dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

Aesop Amnesia in the Foobisphere.

As I said yesterday, the Pattersons and their friends seem to actively avoid learning from their mistakes; no sooner does a character make an epiphany that in the real, 3-D, carbon-based world would lead to their changing themselves for the better than they immediately forget it and act like the dismal, destructive, dull-witted doorknob they were beforehand. Let's remind ourselves of the lessons that the Pattersons constantly need to relearn:
  • John: He seems to constantly make and forget the discovery that Elly is not, after all, content with her lot in life, that she feels overwhelmed and stifled by the housework that looms before her like an enormous looming thing. The ancillary lesson that his children are not being moody just to make his life harder is also one that he seems to forget seconds after its rediscovery.
  • Elly: The blindingly-obvious fact that her life is not the endless litany of woe and oppression she believes it to be, that John is not a mind reader, that there is not a global conspiracy to keep her from succeeding, that her children are not trying to reduce her into being a babbling cretin who is only good for doing housework and that her life does have meaning are things that she always seems to forget. She also can never seem to remember how children and pets behave; this prevents her from anticipating an accident and making her life better.
  • Mike: He is constantly rediscovering and forgetting that the World is not himself; no sooner does he realize that the evils of the world can affect people like him or that Liz has feelings that need to be respected than he starts in tormenting her again and thinking that he's invincible.
  • Liz: She can never seem to remember that she'd be a lot better off if she weren't convinced that no one likes her and that she doesn't have to debase herself to gain the approval of others.
  • April: She can't seem to get it through her head that her problem with Becky is just that; rather than admit that she's jealous, she inflates a misunderstanding or non-event into a casus belli.
I, of course, know that for the characters to be identifiable, they have to be consistent and thus must forget what moral lessons they do happen to learn; the problem is that since they're supposed to be a real family and that Foob is meant to represent the world outside your window, this inability to learn from the past makes them all look simple-minded. Their battle-cry of "Don't make me feel bad" is an important clue as to why they never learn; it seems to me as if they fear condemnation. Since they seem to be fairly immature, they live under the misapprehension that if they admit error, they won't ever be allowed to be right. There also seems to be an organic factor involved; it's as if the centers of the brain that handle logic and empathy have been somehow short-circuited; this allows them to preach about how other people have to change their ways but not see that they too need to do so.
Tags: one big oblivious family

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