dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,
dreadedcandiru2
dreadedcandiru2

The inarticulate fear factor.

For long-term readers like myself, there's nothing quite as interesting as a trip back to the very early years in order to provide context for what we see in the current batch of reruns. One example is the very early strip in which John is baffled by the nebulous nature of Elly's discontent. She can't put why she's out of sorts into words but she knows that she feels that family life is not nearly what it's cracked up to be and for whatever reason she can't express, she knows she doesn't much like the idea of staying home and being taken for granted while everyone else gets to go out and have a public identity. It doesn't seem fair to her that she should wait because she's haunted by nightmares she doesn't realize she has of people only ever appreciating her and thinking that she should have had a life thirty years after she died.

The reason that I mention this is that most of what drives the conflict between her and the kids is a fear she cannot express. Every single thing the children do seems to terrify her for a reason she doesn't consciously know. If you were to suggest to her that she seems to fear that either a crowd of vigilantes will shoot her down in the street for being a bad mother or that her mother will materialize out of the ether and tell her to go to her room and think about what she's done while she raises the children properly, she'll actively deny it despite those being the content of her dreams. Her waking mind is protecting her from seeing the nightmare fantasy images but it can't protect her from the fear those images inspire. Thus, the endless gobsmackage. Thus, I should think, also the recurring image in Mike's later books of an otherwise kind person being twisted into a fearful fury by images of great suffering that baffles his mother. Who is this angry, anxious mother filled with fear and doubt and why does she feel as if no one cares? Certainly not her.
Tags: elly versus herself
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