I feel like this is a common story element. Someone has a negative view about a person/group of people, and their worldview is changed after they are forced to spend time with that person/group. This happens in Disney's Pocahontas (and by extension, Avatar), and I have seen a webcomic where it is the focus. But I feel like there has to be a long history of this idea in literature.

I am interested in the history of this plot device. Does anyone know if there is a single story or event from which this originates?

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    Welcome to Literature Stack Exchange! A couple of tips about this site's scope: list/recommendation questions are firmly off-topic, but we do take questions about history-of-literature including the history or origins of specific tropes or devices. So, asking for examples of stories featuring this type of plot would be off-topic here, but asking e.g. for the first such example in literature, or something specific about how this trope developed in literature, would be OK.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Jan 17, 2021 at 16:38
  • @Randal'Thor would it be fine if I edited my question to be in line with that? Because that is really what I was wanting anyway. Commented Jan 17, 2021 at 16:48
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    Yes absolutely. That's why I left a comment, hoping to encourage an edit to tip the question one way or the other. In its original state it's in a fuzzy border area between on-topic and off-topic.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Jan 17, 2021 at 16:57
  • When you ask for the oldest example of something, you may get multiple answers, depending on what other users are familiar with. See our older questions that used this pattern. Of course, asking about the history of this pattern also works, but is more challenging to answer.
    – Tsundoku
    Commented Jan 18, 2021 at 11:22

1 Answer 1


It goes back at least to Biblical times, if not earlier. St Paul, also known as Saul, was a persecutor of early Christians. But while traveling on the road to Damascus he was struck blind. Some Christians took care of him until his sight was restored. Then he was converted to Christianity, and became their leader.

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