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  • One of these day's you're going to have to get a grownup car.

    I know I'm a bit new to be starting a new thread, but I've been watching Buffy episodes here and there at the same time as looking into the play "A Doll's House" by Ibsen, and it occurred to me how much the same principles apply in both, so here's the question I pose:

    In relation to Buffy (not so much Angel as I've only watched up to Season 3) how relevant is the theory "We are all children, pretending to be grownups and hoping we won't get found out."

    In particular what triggered this thought was the line in Entropy, Anya to Xander:

    No, the mature solution is to spend your whole life telling stupid, pointless jokes so no one will notice you're just a scared, insecure little boy!
    To what extent does this continue for each character? My thoughts:

    Buffy:
    I'm beyond tired. I'm beyond scared. I'm standing on the mouth of Hell and it is going to swallow me whole.
    Okay, so this is pretty much like the "I'm only sixteen, I don't wanna die." of Season 1, but this is Season 7 now. Buffy is the Slayer, right, which means she has to save the world on a pretty much daily basis. So she can look after herself. But here we see how she reverts to that scared little girl. She even admits to putting on the motivational speeches, can't remember the quote but something about a parking warden? Is it all just an act?

    Willow:
    I am Willow. I am Death. If you dare defy me, I will call down my fury, exact fresh vengeance, and make your worst fears come true! Okay?!?
    This is played as obviously putting it on - it's completely an act and we the audience can see that.




    Okay so I'm a bit tired and looking up quotes is making my eyes hurt, I'd love to hear everyone's views on this!


    Edit: I just noticed the apostrophe in day's in the title of this dammit! Sorry, it annoys me as much as it does you!
    Retrograde
    Hellmouth Tourist
    Last edited by Retrograde; 27-04-08, 09:37 PM.

  • #2
    I just noticed the apostrophe in day's in the title of this dammit! Sorry, it annoys me as much as it does you!
    Ha! I did notice that. It's okay.

    Well, I haven't read "A Doll's House", so I'm not sure if I have the exact meaning/relevance/ background info for that quote, but I'll do my best.

    That quote of Anya's is one of the things that makes "Entropy" one of the best season six episodes to me. It really says a lot about Xander's character...but I don't think that it's entirely accurate. I do think that Xander jokes a lot to get people to like him more and to cover up his own insecurities, but I think that in the big moments, he's pretty serious. Look at his retort-- "I'm not joking now."

    Buffy- I think that most of her "pretending to be grownup" moments happen in Season Seven. I think that in Seasons 1-4, she's pretty confident with who she is. "I'm a teenager, I have yet to mature." She's fine with being the kid, and doesn't really want to change this. In Seasons Five and Six, Dawn's presence defines her life, and while I think she's "pretending" to be grown up in these two seasons as well, it's out in the open-- everyone knows that she's just barely holding it together, and she's not fooling anyone (on the show). But when you get to Season Seven, you have General!Buffy, who, honestly, has no clue what she's doing. But everyone thinks that she does, especially the Potentials. She gives orders and maintains a facade, but really, "[she's] just so tired".

    Willow is interesting, because I think that she's more insecure in the first few seasons, and then becomes more confident as the years go on. "Restless" is a great look at this-- Willow tries to be a cool, confident college student, but inside she feels like the same insecure nerd that Buffy first met. I think that throughout Season Five, she's much more self-assured, and I think that when she takes over the group in Buffy's absence, in "Weight of the World" and "Bargaining", she's not "pretending"; she actually is confident and knows what to do. But once she gets hooked on the Magic!Crack... I really don't know how to look at her character after that. She's obviously terrified of the magic in Season Seven (What? "Orpheus"? What?), but I think that she's so obviously acting like a child here (and in Season Six too, now that I think about it) and she's heavily reliant on others, especially Buffy; I don't think she's even trying to fake it and act grown up.
    The story's kinda bland. It's about this guy named Dumbledore Calrissian who needs to return the ring back to Mordor.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Retrograde View Post
      I know I'm a bit new to be starting a new thread
      Nope, not at all, new people = new perspectives So, welcome!

      In relation to Buffy (not so much Angel as I've only watched up to Season 3) how relevant is the theory "We are all children, pretending to be grownups and hoping we won't get found out."
      Yeah, totally. I think this is the case in life, actually.

      The immediate thought that came to mind, though, was at the end of season six when Giles returns and tells Buffy that "Sometimes the most adult thing you can do is ... ask for help when you need it" and in this sense, I thought in season seven Buffy did her best. But she was in some ways at her most mature and in some ways her strongest personally, when she was able to admit she didn't have it all under control.

      As for the Willow quote you bring up- if I remember rightly, this was directed at Andrew. So the whole 'hoping we won't get found out' thing doesn't really apply- I think Willow knew exactly who she was scaring the crap outta, and I am sure she knows that using that kind of mask wouldn't work on many others.

      In terms of Xander- yes, absolutely he's the least mature, in many ways. He's also the one who maybe has things in perspective best, and he is scared and insecure, but he's also bravest for not hiding this- I don't think the joking is entirely to hide his insecurities, or not all of them, anyway.

      As for Giles... 'The dark age', anyone? Running away from his problems, denying them so much so that he needlessly endangered his slayer and her friends, rather than admitting he needed help (from the person who is supposed to be fighting the forces of darkness).

      Good thread.

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      • #4
        [Buffy] was in some ways at her most mature and in some ways her strongest personally, when she was able to admit she didn't have it all under control.
        I completely agree with this! LaJaula, your point about Buffy being alright with being a kid in the first few seasons is something I agree with. However, I think as the Slayer (ie not in her day-to-day life where she is free to be as kiddy as she wants) she forgets that actually, she is only in her teens. She has matured faster than most kids and as a result forgets how other people will act around certain things. For example, in (I think) "The Initiative" when she and Riley bump into each other while both on patrol, the awkwardness not only comes from the fact that they have to hide it from each other, but also from the fact that it's difficult to switch between 'Slayer' mode and 'kid' mode - she has to be able to exchange banter but at the same time look out for danger.

        To compare it to normal life, I think it's a bit like when friends visit you at work. I've had this at the library and it's very difficult to switch between the voice you use with your friends and the voice you use for customers.

        I think I may have wandered off a bit there!


        Another character I'd like to bring up is Joyce. I find her one of the most complex 'grownup' characters on the show. She is having this fresh start in Sunnydale - has to find a whole new set of friends as well as make sure her daughter doesn't get kicked out of school. When she finds out about Slaying, this is also shoved in the mix and it must be pretty difficult to keep a lid on everything and to keep everything ticking - work, family, friends and romantic life.
        In "Dead Man's Party", Joyce keeps on mentioning her friend Pat - could this be that she is flicking a finger at Buffy? - 'my life carried on while you were away, ner ner ner!'
        We also see how much she is trying to keep it all together for her daughters when we find out about her brain tumour (can't remember the exact illness). Really, all she would probably want to do is curl up and be taken care of, but she has to try and hold it together and be 'grownup'.

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        • #5
          In regards to Buffy;

          I've heard a lot of people believe that in their opinion, Buffy regressed as a human and in maturity. At first I disagreed, but honestly now I'm not sure I can. I think you all raise an interesting point in that Buffy was fine as a teenager. I reject the common argument people offer in the defence of season six that it was a good season because Buffy shouldn't be happy all the time, because that's never been the case. The show was successful because she was real and identifiable, she was never "always happy" and that's what made her human. But Buffy, despite her hard times, had a stronger sense of self, had stronger relationships with those around her, and was more comfortable being Buffy.

          I found it ironic in 'I Only Have Eyes For You' when Buffy makes the comment that the Ghost James is just like your average teenager, because he's "scared" and "frustrated" and "confused." If you watch the series these are all traits far more evident in Buffy during later seasons of the show than the earlier.

          Buffy herself admits some of the differences in her character. She states in 'The Gift' that she knew it was right to give up Angel to save the world, one of her finest and most heroic acts in the series, but she didn't have that anymore. And I don't think she truly ever stopped being at the mercy of life. In season 2 when Angel went bad, understandably she couldn't kill him at first, but never did she shoot down anyone who brought attention to the situation like she did in season 7 concerning Spike's trigger.

          Buffy also was able to maintain the relationships she had with those around her. She was able to have a strong bond with Xander and Willow, to interact with Giles and have an open relationship with Angel. Slowly over the series she lost that, she regressed, she couldn't form those bonds and she lost her way.

          So in all honesty I can see their points now. I view Buffy as more mature in the first four seasons and into season 5 of the show, than she was by the end of it. Season 8 is changing that quite a bit, but she still has a while to go.

          ~ Banner by Nina ~

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