This tendency of Anthony’s to judge a person by who he thinks he or she should be is mostly why John commiserated with the greasy little buffoon. That’s because he too sees people not as they are but what the stereotypes that shape his view of the world tell him they would have to be. This means, of course, that he would immediately see Thérèse as being in the wrong because she wanted a bunch of things that she shouldn’t have wanted if she wanted to go around calling herself a good woman. He also assumes sight unseen that sunken-chested whiner Anthony is a hero for being subjected to the torment of actually having to man up and not welch on an agreement he made under false pretences.
What makes this all the more infuriating is that to my knowledge, John has never met this woman and never will. Just as Liz confidently talked trash about her based on the third-hand testimony of her oafish clod of a brother, John only knows what little he has stirred himself to pay attention to about the woman. This, sadly, is just more of the same with him. As I write this essay, I can see strip after strip that has John cower behind his newspaper or fort up in his workshop to avoid the peril of learning who the people around him are and what they really want. It’s a lot better for him to make an ugly ass of himself by assuming sight-unseen that his children are malicious brats who thrive on making Daddy look foolish than to have to understand why Lizzie is terrified of new faces and new places. If he gives up and doesn’t do things with his children because they’re making him look foolish for kicks, he can avoid a lot of horrible things like seeing them as people and perhaps even worse, figuring out what ‘everyone’ knows is a load of old cobblers and thus looking at the man in the mirror and seeing a purblind fool who let himself make a fool of himself.