I'm looking for a word, phrase, or idiom to describe a person or fictional device. In stories, especially horror and fantasy, there can be a character who is dismissed when they try to tell others what (they think) is happening.
I would like for this term to make no judgments on such characters, their messages, or deliveries. For example, some of the related terms I find assume predisposition. If the message is foreboding, a related term might be doomsayer:
one given to forebodings and predictions of impending calamity
Other terms question the character's reliability, like Chicken Little:
one who warns of or predicts calamity especially without justification
or this definition of alarmist, which challenges the sensibility of the warning:
a person who tends to raise alarms, especially without sufficient reason, as by exaggerating dangers or prophesying calamities.
Another phrase, cry wolf, carries the stigma that the warning is untrue:
to cry or complain about something when nothing is really wrong. (From the story wherein a child sounds the alarm frequently about a wolf when there is no wolf, only to be ignored when there actually is a wolf.)
These are labels other characters might apply to our subject. But suppose our subject:
- Speaks truth (that is, what he says is truly happening), or at least earnestly believes his claim
- Presents his issue sensibly
- Has not engaged in lying, joking, or other practices that would give others reason not to believe him
Then I don't believe any of these terms do justice in describing him, even if his claim is ridiculous.
In a sense, I'm looking for a hypernym to all the above terms. The words are all about people who warn and are not believed, but they have negative connotations appended to them: reasons to be skeptical (if not dismissive) of such a person's warnings.
Is there a term that means only "someone who warns others, who do not believe him"? If not, is there one to describe "an honest person who warns others sensibly and yet is not believed"?