dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

Elly's expectation gap

As we've seen, Elly's imaginative capacity is severely stunted; this is because she's fairly narcissistic and has trouble coping with people who are not exactly like her and with unfailiar situations. Since it's next to impossible for her to empathize with someone else owing to her inability to step inside their minds, she makes the odd assumption that in a given situation, they should want what she would want, know what she knows and do what would make her the happiest; this means that she seems to never have the right answer to the question "What did you expect would happen?" as the following examples will attest:

  • The current arc is an example of this; what Elly clearly expected to happen is that the teacher would download the ability to write and the inspiration needed to express herself into her brain like a computer transferring a file. This, as I said yesterday, was owing to the assumption that any skill can be learned simply by following a set of instructions; the fact that she had to practice writing over time to get into the habit and had to have something to say came as a nasty shock.
  • The constant discovery that a six year old boy likes such things as playing in the dirt, rude noises, loud games, gross-out stuff, sports, running, jumping and talking loudly instead of sitting very quietly and not doing anything like she would if she were in his place is, as evidenced by her responding to it by looking as if she had seen an unusally bloody fifty-car pileup, fairly traumatic.
  • During the rare periods that she does try disciplining her children, she's always traumatized by the knowledge that they resent it; this leads to her pulling her punches when she should be trying to be consistent. The end result is that her need to be liked makes her life worse.
  • This also explains why she never quite got the knack of pet ownership; since she can't imagine herself as being a life-form that cannot understand any more of spoken language than the tone of a speaker's voice and can't wrap his shaggy mind around what causation is, she can't realize that Farley will never want what she wants because he can't think like a human being or know anything more about a situation than that the human is angry again.
  • It even explains her flaking out when it comes to childproofing; as I've said before, she seems to think that since she herself would not drink drain cleaner, swallow a tack or stick a barette in a wall socket, her children would have her knowledge of the risks and not do so either.
Tags: amazonian catfish tinfoil hat, educating elly, elly: lynn's fantasy self

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