For me, looking at whether the good guys or the bad guys are the main characters is the wrong way of looking at it.
I don’t understand how else to look at it if you’re going to discuss structure, theme, and narrative intent. That’s the bones of the story. The scaffolding. It’s the way you build a story so that the meaning comes through loud and clear. If this is a conversation about those sorts of things (and I was under the impression it absolutely was) then you HAVE to look at it that way, don’t you? What’s the alternative? Even fairy tales have to be created by someone who wants to figure out how best to effectively communicate the idea they want to get across. The ideas don’t just happen accidentally.
I’m not arguing for what’s easy. I think that’s sort of obvious simply due to how many words I’m devoting to how hard it is to tell these stories well, and how much thought you have to put into those sorts of decisions for them to work in ways that resonate this strongly. It’s not easy at all. I don’t think it SHOULD be easy. And that means you have to think about what you’re suggesting for your characters, and what those suggestions do for the messages they embody AS characters, and the ideas they exist to represent.
I’m going to disengage at this point, sorry. But again, thank you for spending the time and being fair and patient about it.