dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,
dreadedcandiru2
dreadedcandiru2

"At least someone obeys me": how John's mind works.

The one thing that you can't help but noticing is why Elly does what she does. We know that she insists on clean plates because her mother made a point of making her feel like crap if she didn't choke down the sort of horrible crap (cold, mushy peas, liver slathered in gravy, corned beef with enough salt in it to corrode people's intestines at twenty paces and so on and so forth) that gives British cooking a bad name that she insisted was good stuff that was good for her. Given Elly's love for praise, it's not a mystery why most of her own cooking is based on having to trick children into eating foods they hate and then making an ugly fool of herself crowing about how it didn't kill them so now they have to eat it. This, as we all know, has had the effect of giving the Patterson children an unhealthy relationship with food and deepened the trust issues that power the intergenerational conflict that angers the whiny pinhead cowering behind his newspaper.

What we're never told is why John is such a fragile little thing that the merest hint that his children don't do exactly what he wants angers him so greatly. Lynn's refusal to focus on the unimportant thing that is John's past deprives us of knowledge of why he's such a pompous dullard or why he feels as if he has to have blind, unquestioned obedience from everyone within his myopic visual range. We're not kept totally in the dark, of course. Every so often, we get to see that when confronted with everyday annoyances that make most people sigh about having to take the good with the bad, our lad is beside himself with confusion and rage. It's as if he thinks that he's somehow immune from the slings and arrows that beset the rest of mankind and any sort of disconnect between what he expects to happen and what does happen is an evil, terrible thing that must be answered for.

It is thus with no small amount of pleasure that I can state that the Liographies give us a further insight into his character. That's because when you read the one for his parents, you end up realizing that his mother is a stubborn lunatic who needed everything to be just so. Why, she spent five or six years being pointlessly angry at Will because he had free will and only realized that she should quit being a stuck-up jerk about his not doing what she wanted when she expected it to happen when classmates started getting their brains blasted out for Britain. Given how she fixated on Will at far too early an age and seems to wander around with an expression on her face that says "I'm right", it's not hard to imagine what someone that hide-bound and averse to the unexpected would be like as a mother. Her rearranging Elly's kitchen to suit her own preferences like a petty jackass is just the tip of the iceberg; we can expect someone that ready to impose her vision of the true, good and beautiful on the world to keep sending John reminders that things must be as they always were so that she can still dominate his thinking after they scatter her ashes. Simply put, her need to have her way be the only way and John's need to not have to think about what he's doing lest he be humiliated make him a bigger jerk than he would otherwise be.
Tags: john: little tin god or petty tyrant?
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