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For a SPN paper:

In examining Supernatural's exploration of the monstrous, it becomes clear that Sam Winchester is its main focus. Infected by demon blood at six months, he is chosen by Azazel to lead a demon army and ultimately become Lucifer's vessel. It is a dark destiny that seems inescapable at times, evidenced in episodes such as “Nightmare,” “Croatoan,” “Born Under a Bad Sign,” and “The Monster at the End of this Book.” Many monsters stand in as metaphor for Sam's destiny, especially that of Madison in “Heart,” and Jack in “Metamorphosis.” Season four sees Sam embrace his monstrous side through the drinking of demon blood to exorcise and kill demons, all under the guise of good intentions. In “On the Head of a Pin,” he uses the power it provides to kill Alistair, and in “Lucifer Rising” to kill Lilith, all in the belief that he was stopping the Apocalypse. His exploration of the monstrous culminates in the character of Soulless Sam.

Yet, hope can also be found within his character. He is selfless, courageous, and heroic. He has an ability to see the good within those around him, even those that are supernatural. It is this juxtaposition within his character that demonstrates Supernatural's faith in humanity. Despite his struggles with his destiny, he often chooses to save others at great personal risk. This comes in episodes such as “Bloody Mary,” “Playthings,” “The Usual Suspects,” and “Jus in Belo.” He chooses not to kill humans, even when they threaten him, as Gordon does in “Hunted.” It reaches pinnacle in “Swan Song,” when Sam makes the ultimate sacrifice for the world by casting Lucifer back into Hell. It makes his story one of redemption, exemplifying Supernatural's belief that humanity can also do the same.