dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

Image vs. Reality, Part Seven: John and Elly.

It occurs to me that if Lynn wanted to do a proper job of wrapping up the plot, she'd resolve the two major conflicts that her orginal protagonists had. Both John and Elly have dubious ideas that they don't really question that have always complicated their lives. From what I've seen and heard, it's obvious that John grew up in a rather conservative setting wherein traditional gender roles were thought of as pretty much a law of nature. We've spent the last 28 or so years watching him being baffled by his wife's desires for more than she's "supposed" to get out of life. He isn't being unsympathetic to be cruel or nasty, he's just not thinking. The only problem is that sooner or later, he'd say something that was so out there, a voice inside him would ask "What was THAT??" That would be the exact instant that he'd look in the mirror and see the smug buffoon his assistant accuses him of being from time to time. The general response to sudden enlightenment like that is, of course, to gruffly ask what took him so long. And it's not like he could do anything much to make Elly's life easier or really make up for whatever damage his years of condescending idiocy had done. Encouraging her to apply herself outside the home would be a bit of a non-starter because the world has pretty much passed them both by. All he could do is allow as how he'd been a jerk and watch out for signs of jerkishness in the people his daughters associate with. That, and wonder how much of the anger Elly felt towards him she took out on the children. He's spent his life trying to deny admitting that he married a woman that wasn't really all that good with children, that regarded them as pretty much an obstruction to the Good Life. A new and improved John would probably blame himself for the chaotic life his children led. If he'd been a better husband, Elly wouldn't have been in a foul mood 24/7 and the kids would have been better for it. Too bad he'd be wrong. It didn't matter how he'd acted because his wife is stubborn, self-absorbed, ill-tempered and lacks patience and insight. We've spent all this time watching Elly holler, whine, gripe and fret because of her children and never once admit that she might be in the wrong. If she did that, her children would be right and she's too petty to allow them the satisfaction. That is, of course, until her own personal "What was THAT??" moment. If we were to have some external stimulus that made it clear to Elly that she was the problem, the error in the system that messed up her children's lives, we could pan away from their adventures with the knowledge that though she knew she couldn't turn back time and be the mother her kids deserved, she could at least set herself up as a cautionary example. If Lynn had taken the time to wrap up everyone's story arcs properly, we'd have characters we wouldn't have to worry about when we stopped reading about them.
Tags: john: little tin god or petty tyrant?, sheet shaver

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