It's not uncommon for readers and reviewers to reference a book's tropes to explain their reasons for disliking (or sometimes liking) a book. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, a trope is an established narrative device. For example, a common fantasy trope would be "the Chosen One," where the protagonist, often the subject of prophesy, is born into a role possessing all the innate gifts necessary to succeed in the role.)
Some tropes are more heavily used than others. But dismissing a work out of hand because it employs tropes seems a little silly. At the same time, tropes can be useful for identifying and discussing genre trends which readers find irksome or overused. A nuanced discussion of tropes can be rewarding and worthwhile, I think.
Some readers who excitedly and simply equate a particular trope with bad/flawed/evil writing are going through that sophomoric thrill of discovering a new term or concept. I think most of us can relate to this process. When I first learned the term "bourgeois," everything was bourgeois for a solid six months.
So, I would say:
- Labeling a thing is not the same as understanding it.
- If you are determined to label a thing, you will often mislabel it or ignore the aspects that don't match the label, which leads to a poor or incomplete understanding of it.
- Labeling things is part of the learning and discovery process, and though some people will stop there and never progress beyond simple labeling, for many, it is just a step along the way to a more nuanced understanding of things.
I think that readers who've already gone through this process find people who are going through it particularly irritating. When I hear a twenty year old say, "Dude, don't be so bougie!" I want to yell, "Stop that! Bad! You're doing it wrong." But I don't, because once upon I time I was that twenty year old, and you know, like, I don't want to be bougie, man.
(This post was adapted from a thread on r/fantasy.)