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 I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?

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ThreeOranges
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PostSubject: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:42 pm

They're on fanfiction.net:

AGATB: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3320157/1/A_Great_And_Terrible_Beauty_A_Busy_Readers_Guide

RA: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3320157/2/A_Great_And_Terrible_Beauty_A_Busy_Readers_Guide

TSFT: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3320157/3/A_Great_And_Terrible_Beauty_A_Busy_Readers_Guide

I have to admit, I enjoyed the first one but I didn't particularly like the others - some really disturbing messages in RA and TSFT. Which is why I suppose I wrote these parodies: attempting to find some humour is better than just complaining! Wink
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Wed Oct 15, 2008 12:44 pm

...Not seeing the humour. Just out of curiousity, what were your problems with the books?
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:08 pm

Sorry, I'm not seeing the humor either. I only the first one and part of Rebel Angels--the beginning and end. I AM confused though, WHY did you sign up for this site anyway? We obviously all love the Gemma Doyle triology...

BTW... It seemed like to realized this, but I'm just going to clarify in case you didn't... In the end of Rebel Angels, Gemma kills Nell for a reason, and Nell was perfectly happy with it. Circe was going to sacrifice Nell, Gemma saved her so she could cross over the river to what lies beyond. "You can't keep things caged" she said when Gemma saw her cross over. Nell was happy to be free of her tortured human mind.

I agree with Flying Free Fee, what WERE your problems with the books? Just wondering...
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:41 pm

I find them amusing Smile Guys spoofs don't mean you hate the thing your spoofing, it's quite the contrary. Some twilight or HP spoofs I've seen completly bash the books but for humorous purposes so it's all good Smile

Oh, sorry my dislexia got the better of me. So you didn't like the books at all? Or just certain parts?
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:56 pm

blue_panda_41295 wrote:
Sorry, I'm not seeing the humor either. I only the first one and part of Rebel Angels--the beginning and end. I AM confused though, WHY did you sign up for this site anyway? We obviously all love the Gemma Doyle triology...

Well, I didn't sign up as a troll, and I did want some discussion, so I'll gladly take this opportunity to discuss what I didn't like.

Quote :
BTW... It seemed like to realized this, but I'm just going to clarify in case you didn't... In the end of Rebel Angels, Gemma kills Nell for a reason, and Nell was perfectly happy with it.

Which was a huge, huge cop-out. "The victim WANTED me to kill her!" Such a justification enables Gemma to commit a big flashy act of murder as a finale instead of looking for a way to save the victim.

I honestly - and I am not just saying this - find it shocking that shooting-the-hostage was justified as an acceptable "twist". Would you have applauded Bruce Willis in DIE HARD if he'd have shot the hostage instead of pleading with the hostage-taker to spare him? Of course not. Heroes are supposed to save lives, not take them.

Suppose Circe had had the knife to Gemma's father's throat? Or Kartik's? Would shooting-the-hostage have still seemed such a good idea then? Of course not. But Nell was an "expendable character", and a deathwish could be projected onto her, so Gemma could kill her with impunity.

Just answer me this: If Nell had wanted to die, why didn't she thrust her own neck against the knife's edge and cheat Circe that way?

Quote :
Circe was going to sacrifice Nell, Gemma saved her so she could cross over the river to what lies beyond.

But Gemma didn't know what would happen to anyone who died in the Realms - that's why she didn't shoot at Pippa, because she had no idea of what would happen! That Nell popped up on the other side of the Realms was just good luck and not what Gemma "intended". Her first and primary aim was to outwit Circe. That was more important to her than Nell's life.

And then, in the third book, Gemma shared the power with Circe anyway. So Nell died for nothing!

Quote :
"You can't keep things caged" she said when Gemma saw her cross over. Nell was happy to be free of her tortured human mind.

You take your mind with you wherever you go, into Heaven or Hell!

In fact, it did look awfully like Nell was just pretending to be mad, choosing to fill her mind with nursery rhymes in order to block out Circe. Why on earth couldn't Libba have written her an ending where she no longer had to block Circe out? She could have been cured and out of Bedlam in a week. Why did Libba decide that the only acceptable ending for her was death? Because she was a loose end and it was easier to kill her off? Because if she were still alive in TSFT, it would be harder for Gemma to pardon Circe?

Quote :
I agree with Flying Free Fee, what WERE your problems with the books? Just wondering...

Well, in addition to the shoot-the-hostage thing, we have the

1) suck-up-to-the-school-bully mentality in AGATB (you can't deny that's what Gemma does wrt Felicity - hardly personal integrity, is it?)

2) mixed-race relationship that's actually closer to an employer/servant relationship in TSFT (Gemma treats him like a servant, and in the end he even sacrifices himself so she may live... True love, or Libba dodging the bullet of whether Gemma would have had the courage to initiate a proper equal relationship between herself and Kartik in life? I'm inclined to say the latter)

3) negative view of female friendship - at first I liked the cynicism in the portrayal of school life, but pretty soon it became clear that there is no simple friendship or meeting-of-kindred-spirits in the world of the GD Trilogy, just bargains based on blackmail, need or greed. Look at the sheer ingratitude shown by Felicity, Ann and Pippa for all Gemma's help - why on earth didn't Gemma just think, "You know what? All they do is treat me like a turnstile to the Realms, so I'm better off without them"?

4) Know-your-place: in the world of the GD Trilogy, you have to accept your fate, or bad things happen. Look at what happened to Circe when she wanted to go against what the Realms decided. Look at what happened to Pippa when she wanted to go against her parents. In the end, you have to accede to what society wishes for you, or else. That's why Gemma spends so much time warping people's minds in TSFT - she can only have what she wants if she influences the rest of society into following her lead! It's all quite disturbing, when you look at it closely. In the world of Harry Potter, Imperios are Unforgivables - in the world of Gemma Doyle, they're Perfectly-Acceptables!

So yeah, those are five areas that disturb me. Your thoughts?
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:13 pm

Oh good - they didn't fall flat on their face with everyone! (Just most people.) Thanks!

Rebel Angel wrote:
So you didn't like the books at all? Or just certain parts?

Well, I liked

- the overwrought Gothic atmosphere
- the inclusion of every Victorian cliche imaginable
- boarding school!
- the invention of the "other world"

No joke, I really did enjoy them... in the first book. But in the second book it all seemed as if Gemma had learned nothing from what had gone before AND was acting irresponsibly when she should have been growing up. (If you could read minds, stop time and fly, wouldn't you use such talents a bit more... PURPOSEFULLY than Gemma did?) Same in TSFT. I found it a bit frustrating.
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:21 am

Sorry for my post above, re-reading it, it DOES sound a little harsh, I'm sorry about that. Smile I'm usually pretty pleasant. But when some people annoy me, I tend to take it out on other people. (Someone I know in real life had kind of made me a little angry, and I took it out on you)

BUT, the whole thing is really just the way you see it. I didn't see anything very wrong with the books. I think Gemma was a very believable human being because of her lack of self confidence. She's only 16 and she never chose the visions to come and to have this great power. Most of her mistakes she made, she was just confused and didn't know what to do.


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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:48 pm

Actually, they kind of amused me =P

POMPOUS OLDER BROTHER

haha=D

but anyway, yeah I can see where this whole conversation is coming from. I try not to let it bother me much, though. That's why they're called books and movies.. they're so fake sometimes. Like, okay.. that one movie, When a Stranger Calls. CRAP. Girl is all, ohmygosh man want kill me!! What will I do, IGNORE the cellular device on the floor and run back downstairs where the KILLER is hiding. Sounds good to me. I mean, it's that way with a lot of movies.. but I've learned to just try and take them for what they are. Hollywood and books and such would be a lot less popular and a lot more boring if they were more realistic (in most cases).
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:21 pm

TO...
The "injustice" (to summarize everything you just said in one word) of everything is something that I love about the series. It takes place in Victorian times so it's logical that Kartik --an Indian boy-- would be regarded by Gemma the way he was. She was brought up in a society where appearance is everything and rebeling is not a common thing.
Gemma did not want to kill Nell. It was for the greater good-- a hard choice to make in any situation. She felt guilt for it but understood that if she hadn't done it, Circe probably would have taken over the Realms. She acknowledged that this was "blood on her hands" and I'm sure that if she could have done anything else in that exact moment that wouldn't have resulted in a death, she would have without question. But you see, no one is perfect and I think that Libba Bray does an excellent job of showing this. As for your comment about Gemma's father or Pippa or something... Well DUH. I think that nearly everyone on the planet would be more inclined to save a friend or family member. Maybe Nell WAS "an expendable character" using your words, and of course she didn't deserve to die-- but a choice had to be made. Perhaps it wasn't fair, but Gemma had to make a decision. She describes it as "blood on her hands" which it is... Not a good thing necessarily to kill someone, but a good thing to save herself and the Realms... What would you have done?
What you said about Felicity & Co. is mostly true, I'm not denying it. Gemma even confronts her about it in TSFT with something like, "Would you still like me if I didn't have this power to get into the realms?" and Felicity responds with something like, "That's like saying would I still like you if you didn't have red hair, it's a part of you now, how should I know?" Again, no one's perfect. It's just the nature of the people. Who cares if they only liked the Realms or if deep down they're not even really friends? Is anyone friends, then? And as for Gemma, she herself (again) noticed that and was beginning to fear her own power but also accepting it. A random quote (ish) from somewhere I can't remember: "We don't change as we grow up, we just become more ourselves."
Is that not what it's like in the real world as well? Aren't we, as humans, extremely selfish creatures by nature? If you could have some of the magic that Gemma did, would you not use it at all for your own desires? That is how society was back then, it did not matter how amazing you were if you were not a big person on the outside too. And isn't it still that way?

People are imperfect. Evil though Circe appeared to be at times, could you not feel her pain at others? Her jealousy? Her ambition? Her strength? I think Libba Bray did an AWESOME job on this series, if for the sole reason that no one was perfect. There truley WAS light and dark in everyone, she did not just tell it to us but she showed it as well. There was obvious character development in each person and I think that the things Gemma feels and the things she chooses daily were quite accurate, not only with her time period (perhaps a little too feminine, but still very good) but also with the adolescent insecurities that every girl feels growing up.
Sure, at times Felicity could be a bitch, but she was an admiral's daughter, used to having her way yet longing for attention as well. She was bold yet timid in some ways and was there for Gemma at the time she needed her most, taking the good side against Pippa even though she was her lover. She often overlooked the little things, such as apologies but I interpreted that as more evidence of her being so rich and having people waiting on her all of the time.
Pippa was Felicity's beta girl, second in command only to be dethroned by Gemma. She felt jealous and hurt that Felicity could find someone knew and held a grudge for that. Like her best friend, she'd been sheltered all her life and brainwashed to the views of that time period. She was confused about what she wanted and was eventually driven mad by too much of a good thing, The Realms. She was finally in control there and as she'd never been taught, she didn't know how to survive in such a place, especially without the one person who'd always been there, Felicity. She thanks Gemma many times for the power and though she does abuse it, it should count for something in the gratitude section.
Ann was plain and poor. No one liked her or noticed her unless she did something wrong and the only time people talked to her was when they were verbally tormenting her. She was a good singer but it didn't matter as her future was going to live with her cousins as their governess. When Gemma came along, she got to be part of something amazing, part of a secret, part of a life she'd only thought in dreams. It opened a door for her and she found happiness for the first time. In TSFT she finds courage inside of her and does what she really wants.
Gemma is the new girl with visions whose mother just died... She wants friends, she wants acceptance and she wants to be normal. The reason she stays with Felicity, Pippa and Ann is the same as why they stay with her-- quoting Harry Potter, "There are just some things in life you cannot experience without becoming friends..." (or something along those lines). These girls are united by the force of the realms. They were united by that thing only at first (not counting the church or Ithal incidents) and since they're all alone with this secret, they stay with eachother. They start to like eachother, they stick together. Gemma is the most insecure because she never does know why they like her-- is it just because of the realms? Maybe it is, but they're still her friends. If Gemma ditches them, she's all alone. It's not a pleasant feeling and she's obviously not willing to leave her comfort zone in that sense. They stick together. She herself is scared and unsure like most teenagers and would rather be with someone, anyone than be absolutely alone. Maybe you'd rather be all by yourself going through something painful but Gemma as a character is not you, she is Gemma. I'm not perfect, you're not perfect, she's not perfect. Get my drift? She later accuires all the power of the realms. Sometimes the power is too much and she just has to let it out. Sometimes she breaks down, and sometimes she uses it for herself. Not perfect, not intended to be perfect.

And lastly, as for your "imperio" comment, like I said before, it's all in how they were brought up. There is nothing wrong with expressing such a scenario in these books, just as there is nothing wrong with expressing antifeminism in Twilight. With art, any kind of art, it's all about interpretation and how YOU choose to see things. I did not see anything wrong with showing such a society because it's based on a real life time in history after all. You may think that Gemma should have been more self-confident and kickassy but I think she's better as a believable human being.


Whew, that was loooooooong.

No hard feelings, TO, I just wanted to address your comments. I didn't write all that to offend you, just a friendly debate. tongue
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:00 am

ABSOLUTELY no hard feelings, fff! I haven't been able to reply because I've been up to my eyes in work the past week or so, and your answer deserves a bit of time for a response.

however, if I don't put something down now, I look like a drive-by troll Smile so I will answer one question:

What would I have done in that situation?

Simple. I would have lied to Circe. "Put the knife down and I'll share the Power with you". Then I would have led her over to the Well... and thrown her in!

Yes, I would have lied. But isn't a lie a bit more redeemable than killing someone?

It still staggers me that Gemma thought killing was the only way out of the situation. It still staggers me that Libba seems to think that killing is the way to deal with a hostage situation. And if I didn't have to run out of the door right now, I'd answer in more detail than this.

But, since I do... Later!
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:50 pm

Thanks, no hard feelings. =)

But to respond to your post now... tongue

I guess it's just a difference in choices. I'm just guessing here, but I don't believe Circe would have believed her if she'd just lied, and I think Gemma knew that. If you've ever seen Libba Bray or gone to her livejournal, she seems like a pretty awesome person. I don't think she was necessarily expressing her own views on the situation, just what Gemma decided too. She flawed her characters and I love that she's not afraid of keeping them imperfect.

PS-- Do you like Twilight, TO?
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Wed Oct 22, 2008 3:44 pm

flying free fee wrote:


I guess it's just a difference in choices. I'm just guessing here, but I don't believe Circe would have believed her if she'd just lied, and I think Gemma knew that. If you've ever seen Libba Bray or gone to her livejournal, she seems like a pretty awesome person. I don't think she was necessarily expressing her own views on the situation, just what Gemma decided too. She flawed her characters and I love that she's not afraid of keeping them imperfect.



I'm glad they have flaws. They are what? People? What really, not sheep? Giving the good guys things to hate about them makes them have dimension.

In Sara Douglass' The Wayfarer Redemption, the "good guy" who is saving everyone from the antagonist is not the best person out there . . . he kills without a thought, has sex with a girl, gets her preggo, leaves her for a cousin of his . . . yeah his redeemable qualities go on and on . . Razz

It is nice to read fluffy writing, where good and evil is black and white, but I love reading novels where the protagonist and the antagonist are all cast in shades of gray. It makes things more interesting and it portrayes them as people. People arn't perfect, characters in fiction can be.


ThreeOranges wrote:
Then I would have led her over to the Well... and thrown her in!
Neutral YOU"VE STILL KILLED HER!!
Even tho you didnot do it with honor, but with deceit, she is still dead.


.....

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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Wed Oct 22, 2008 3:57 pm

No Kitty, I'd have thrown Circe in and sealed the surface - the exact same result as in RA, but with no dead Nell to plague my conscience.

I'm just guessing here, but I don't believe Circe would have believed her if she'd just lied, and I think Gemma knew that.

So what exactly was the AIM of holding the knife to Nell's throat then? What was Circe hoping to achieve?

"Gimme the Power!"
"OK, come here."
"I won't! You're LYING!"
"How can I possibly give you the Power if you won't put down the knife and come over to the Well?"
"Er... Um..."

All humour aside, go back and look at the dialogue Circe and Gemma exchange in this scene:

CIRCE: "All leaders have blood on their hands."

GEMMA (kills Nell) "Now I have bloodied my hands."

Doesn't that sound awfully like

"Bet you won't have the guts to kill someone! Neener-neener!"

"HA! Called your bluff and KILLED SOMEONE!"

to you? It does to me. So it's not just "Gemma had no choice but to kill Nell", it's more like "Gemma got double-dared to kill someone and rose to the challenge". Or it might even be "You can only be a leader if you've proven you have the guts to kill someone."

It's not very nice, is it? I'm sure Libba is a delightful person in real life, but it's a very dark and disturbing message that her book is sending out! "Imperfections" are one thing, but a disregard for other people's right to exist is something else.

More later (it's 10.45pm here and I need to head to bed) but I tried TWILIGHT and didn't like it at all - I may have issues w/ some of the messages in Libba's work but at least she can write readable prose. Meyer's prose is so bland!
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:14 pm

ThreeOranges wrote:
"The victim WANTED me to kill her!" Such a justification enables Gemma to commit a big flashy act of murder as a finale instead of looking for a way to save the victim.
I agree that "she wanted me to!" was lame, and not a good excuse. Buuut you know what? Some people have to die in literature and Nell was one of them. It happens.

ThreeOranges wrote:
Heroes are supposed to save lives, not take them.
Superman is a hero. Gem is a teenage girl who fucks up and learns from it.


ThreeOranges wrote:
Just answer me this: If Nell had wanted to die, why didn't she thrust her own neck against the knife's edge and cheat Circe that way?

Circe taints things, even if it was Nell's who killed herself by choice on the knife, it was still weilded by Circe.


ThreeOranges wrote:
3) negative view of female friendship - at first I liked the cynicism in the portrayal of school life, but pretty soon it became clear that there is no simple friendship or meeting-of-kindred-spirits in the world of the GD Trilogy, just bargains based on blackmail, need or greed. Look at the sheer ingratitude shown by Felicity, Ann and Pippa for all Gemma's help - why on earth didn't Gemma just think, "You know what? All they do is treat me like a turnstile to the Realms, so I'm better off without them"?
*bangs head on wall repetidly*

ThreeOranges wrote:
4) Know-your-place: in the world of the GD Trilogy, you have to accept your fate, or bad things happen. Look at what happened to Circe when she wanted to go against what the Realms decided. Look at what happened to Pippa when she wanted to go against her parents. In the end, you have to accede to what society wishes for you, or else. That's why Gemma spends so much time warping people's minds in TSFT - she can only have what she wants if she influences the rest of society into following her lead! It's all quite disturbing, when you look at it closely. In the world of Harry Potter, Imperios are Unforgivables - in the world of Gemma Doyle, they're Perfectly-Acceptables!?

Do you know anything about the 1800's in England?
The Realms, and those who live there, act as a symbol of society and the decorum in the Victorian era. I have no idea what an imperio is. . . I'm guessing that they mess with people's minds right?
Yes Gemma did this. Is it wrong? Hell yeah. But you know what . . no ones perfect. If you had powers you would prolly do some things that were bad too.

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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:35 pm

OK, I'll answer this and get round to the rest later.

kitty wrote:
I agree that "she wanted me to!" was lame, and not a good excuse. Buuut you know what? Some people have to die in literature and Nell was one of them. It happens.

Now that's not a strong argument. Would you defend any killing in literature with "it happens" - or just killings committed by characters you like?

Quote :
Superman is a hero. Gem is a teenage girl who fucks up and learns from it.

She learns from it? How?

Quote :
Circe taints things, even if it was Nell's who killed herself by choice on the knife, it was still weilded by Circe.

The will to die would have been Nell's. Remember how Mary "spoiled" Sarah's sacrifice by killing the sacrifice before Sarah had brought the Tracker in to witness it?

Nell would have "spoiled" Circe's plan had she chosen to kill herself before the Tracker arrived. She didn't take the opportunity to rid herself of her life... which strongly suggests she wanted to live.

Quote :
*bangs head on wall repetidly*

I'm not sure I understand you.

Quote :
Do you know anything about the 1800's in England?

A bit, yes.

Quote :
The Realms, and those who live there, act as a symbol of society and the decorum in the Victorian era.

Naked huntresses, Trackers and Poppy Warriors are "symbols of society and the decorum in the Victorian era"? Again, I'm not sure I understand you.

Quote :
I have no idea what an imperio is. . . I'm guessing that they mess with people's minds right?

You must be the only person in the world who has not yet read Harry Potter. The Imperius Curse ("Imperio!" when cast) is one of the Unforgivable Curses, called "unforgivable" because it is considered unforgivable in the HPverse to interfere with another person's free will.

Quote :
Yes Gemma did this. Is it wrong? Hell yeah. But you know what . . no ones perfect. If you had powers you would prolly do some things that were bad too.


Would you give me a total pass on all the bad stuff I wanted to do, or would you object if I made normal people into my obedient zombie slaves?

If you would object to my doing it... Why don't you object to Gemma doing it? I wouldn't mind it if she got some payback in the novel for it, but nowhere does she get a specific punishment for it. Another disturbing message...
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:11 pm

With the Nell thing-- Gemma made the choice to do it, yes. In a situation like that, I probably would have done the same thing, acting first and thinking later. Gemma's decision makes sense. Perhaps it was not the right thing to do but you can at least understand her action, right?
- Circe has Nell "hostage" as you put it.
- Gemma has a bow with only one arrow left.
- Gemma needs to get the magic.
- Nell is mentally insane and just wants to escape Circe.
- The only way Gemma can get the magic is by trapping Circe.
- Nell is pleading to die.
- Circe will kill Nell anyway with her knife.
- Gemma needs to make a choice.

^It must've seemed logical at the time, in a life or death situation such as that. I'm not saying that killing Nell was her only choice or that killing anyone at all is a good message to send out. The way I do see it, the good guys aren't always completely good and everyone makes mistakes in life. We all carry regrets because of such mistakes; they become who we are, as Gemma says. You say that Nell was easily killed because she was a minor character... But look at Kartik, look at Pippa! People die, people kill, everyone does bad things once in a while.
Now, you also say that we don't mind when our "good characters" kill but when it's the bad guys we automatically hate them. The reason for me is quite simple-- The "bad guys" perform such acts in cold blood, they do it for the sport or for the love of cruelty or power... When Gemma did it, it was for the greater good and she believed that she could set Nell free by taking her life. Again, had she had more time to think about it, I'm sure she would have picked a different choice. Just as well, you can't deny that the bonds of love are often stronger than anything else. We do love our good characters and I won't deny that either. I would love my sister no matter what. She could turn out to be a serial killer or torture prisoners in another country but she'd still be my sister. I'd visit her in jail every day and I'd defend her as best I could even if I strongly opposed what she'd done... Because I love her and she's my sister. Similarly, I will defend Harry Potter to the grave because those are my favorite books ever. I will also defend Gemma because I like her character and I love her series as well. Maybe I do favor her... But to be honest, I liked Circe too. In fact, by the end of the series, I felt so much pity for the poor girl that I nearly cheered when she saved Gemma. I understand that she too was a murderer but I still liked her. Nell to me was an anguished soul trapped within the horrors of her own mind. She did not deserve to die but in that moment, I believe that in terms of the greater good she did what she thought could benefit everyone.


PS-- Thank God about the Twilight thing... I would have been seriously angered if you didn't see the problems with that series.
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:25 pm

ThreeOranges wrote:
Now that's not a strong argument. Would you defend any killing in literature with "it happens" - or just killings committed by characters you like?

Yes, I would've said the same thing if Circe had popped out of a shrub and killed one of the good guys.

ThreeOranges wrote:
She learns from it? How?
She doesn't. Scratch that. She just fucks up. She's not the perfect heroine.

ThreeOranges wrote:
'm not sure I understand you.
Rolling Eyes No one does.

ThreeOranges wrote:
A bit, yes.
Razz I would think so, since you happen to live in England.

ThreeOranges wrote:
Naked huntresses, Trackers and Poppy Warriors are "symbols of society and the decorum in the Victorian era"? Again, I'm not sure I understand you.

Nakedhuntresses are from the mythology Ms. Bray uses and is drawn out of context.
I'm sorry, I should've used the phrase " and the interactions of its' denizens "
Anyways, if you do something wrong in the Realms, eternal zombieness or death are your options right? In TGDT, if you meander away from the "norm" and happen to lose your place in society, arn't you and your family 'ruined' and cut off from your life? Those who break none of the rules and cause no scandal, doing what they are told and thinking what others tell then to; arn't they like zombies?

ThreeOranges wrote:
You must be the only person in the world who has not yet read Harry Potter. The Imperius Curse ("Imperio!" when cast) is one of the Unforgivable Curses, called "unforgivable" because it is considered unforgivable in the HPverse to interfere with another person's free will.
I have read them, do not fear. I remember this. I really didn't like HP. I'm sorry if I do not remember everything.


ThreeOranges wrote:
Would you give me a total pass on all the bad stuff I wanted to do, or would you object if I made normal people into my obedient zombie slaves?

If you would object to my doing it... Why don't you object to Gemma doing it? I wouldn't mind it if she got some payback in the novel for it, but nowhere does she get a specific punishment for it. Another disturbing message...

Gemma should've had some payback for doing that to poeple, yes. I agree with you.


This

*holds up all three books*

Is not the best writing out there.


But I have enjoyed reading them.


I cannot argue worth a crap so. . . . . . yeah.
I guess just lable me as a normal blood-thirsty circumlocutionist with a belligerant streak who happens to like waffles.

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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:24 am

flying free fee wrote:
With the Nell thing-- Gemma made the choice to do it, yes. In a situation like that, I probably would have done the same thing, acting first and thinking later. Gemma's decision makes sense. Perhaps it was not the right thing to do but you can at least understand her action, right?
- Circe has Nell "hostage" as you put it.
- Gemma has a bow with only one arrow left.
- Gemma needs to get the magic.
- Nell is mentally insane and just wants to escape Circe.
- The only way Gemma can get the magic is by trapping Circe.
- Nell is pleading to die.
- Circe will kill Nell anyway with her knife.
- Gemma needs to make a choice.

Circe is not just going to kill Nell anyway: her explicit statement is that she will kill Nell UNLESS Gemma shares the Power with her.

Gemma has a choice - share her own Power with Circe, or let Circe kill Nell and get some Power that way.

I still don't see why "lie to Circe" would not have been an option. It's just... HOW can Gemma argue that killing the hostage is the right thing to do in this instance? Even in the heat of the moment, where is the basic human impulse that states that "killing people is wrong"? Where is it? Where did Gemma ever learn that it was OK to kill a stranger if it spoiled a villain's plans?

And I will ask you, now - if you were in a hostage situation, and you could get a clear shot at the hostage but not the villain, would YOU shoot the hostage just to deprive the villain of their talking-point? Or would you do what normal people would do, and keep the hostage-taker talking until such time as they made a mistake and you could move in to grab them?

Quote :
It must've seemed logical at the time, in a life or death situation such as that. I'm not saying that killing Nell was her only choice or that killing anyone at all is a good message to send out.

I believe you! I believe that YOU do not condone the taking of human life.

However, please go back to that passage and read the lines

"Every leader has blood on her hands"

"Now I have bloodied my hands"

And tell me what you think Libba is trying to tell us about the nature of leadership. Because to me that sounds like "Only a person able to take human life is strong enough to be leader".

That, to me, sounds like the most disturbing message ever - more disturbing even than TWILIGHT's "real men dominate and real women are submissive" credo. At least Sparklypoo isn't telling Bella Swan that she isn't a real leader until she's killed someone!
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:24 am

I found the parodies to be quite entertaining - it's funny to read some satirical humor.
I can't say I can really perceive the reason behind much of the cynicism as I really enjoyed the first and second book of the GD trilogy.
However I can say your parody certainly opens up a new perspective on the books for me.
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:42 pm

ThreeOranges wrote:
flying free fee wrote:
With the Nell thing-- Gemma made the choice to do it, yes. In a situation like that, I probably would have done the same thing, acting first and thinking later. Gemma's decision makes sense. Perhaps it was not the right thing to do but you can at least understand her action, right?
- Circe has Nell "hostage" as you put it.
- Gemma has a bow with only one arrow left.
- Gemma needs to get the magic.
- Nell is mentally insane and just wants to escape Circe.
- The only way Gemma can get the magic is by trapping Circe.
- Nell is pleading to die.
- Circe will kill Nell anyway with her knife.
- Gemma needs to make a choice.

Circe is not just going to kill Nell anyway: her explicit statement is that she will kill Nell UNLESS Gemma shares the Power with her.

Gemma has a choice - share her own Power with Circe, or let Circe kill Nell and get some Power that way.

I still don't see why "lie to Circe" would not have been an option. It's just... HOW can Gemma argue that killing the hostage is the right thing to do in this instance? Even in the heat of the moment, where is the basic human impulse that states that "killing people is wrong"? Where is it? Where did Gemma ever learn that it was OK to kill a stranger if it spoiled a villain's plans?

And I will ask you, now - if you were in a hostage situation, and you could get a clear shot at the hostage but not the villain, would YOU shoot the hostage just to deprive the villain of their talking-point? Or would you do what normal people would do, and keep the hostage-taker talking until such time as they made a mistake and you could move in to grab them?

Quote :
It must've seemed logical at the time, in a life or death situation such as that. I'm not saying that killing Nell was her only choice or that killing anyone at all is a good message to send out.

I believe you! I believe that YOU do not condone the taking of human life.

However, please go back to that passage and read the lines

"Every leader has blood on her hands"

"Now I have bloodied my hands"

And tell me what you think Libba is trying to tell us about the nature of leadership. Because to me that sounds like "Only a person able to take human life is strong enough to be leader".

That, to me, sounds like the most disturbing message ever - more disturbing even than TWILIGHT's "real men dominate and real women are submissive" credo. At least Sparklypoo isn't telling Bella Swan that she isn't a real leader until she's killed someone!

Ah well, I haven't read the books since July so you've got to forgive me for not remembering the exact situation. Rolling Eyes

In that case however, maybe that IS the point that Libba's trying to get across. Again, it's just the fact that no one's perfect. Maybe she wrote it to make it seem like a controversy to people like you who do see it that way. If you think about it, no politician is ever honest, what's to say a leader is? I'm sure that Dumbledore has killed people, but that doesn't stop me from liking his character. It doesn't make it acceptable but quoting Hermione [on Dumbledore] "People CHANGE." Libba made her character human and gave her human strengths, weaknesses, mistakes and views accordingly. The way I saw it, Gemma freed Nell from her misery and/or any possible way for her to become a tracker or something of Circe's. She took Circe by surprise and good won over evil in the end.
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:12 pm

flying free fee wrote:


Ah well, I haven't read the books since July so you've got to forgive me for not remembering the exact situation. Rolling Eyes

In that case however, maybe that IS the point that Libba's trying to get across.

You think a leader can't be a leader unless they're a killer too? Really?

Quote :
Again, it's just the fact that no one's perfect.

There is a world of difference between "average flawed person" and "a killer".

Quote :
Maybe she wrote it to make it seem like a controversy to people like you who do see it that way.

You don't see it that way? I think you DO see it the same way I do, that this is a scene about the morals involved in killing someone - the difference is that I see characters who kill as "bad", and you seem to see characters who kill as "slightly flawed but mostly OK".

Quote :
If you think about it, no politician is ever honest, what's to say a leader is?

Again, there is a world of difference between "dishonest" and "a killer".

Quote :
I'm sure that Dumbledore has killed people, but that doesn't stop me from liking his character.

Depends on the context. Killing someone to score points over someone else is not a valid reason for killing, in my view. Killing someone just to show that you are ruthless is not a valid reason for killing.

Quote :
It doesn't make it acceptable but quoting Hermione [on Dumbledore] "People CHANGE."

Did Gemma change for the better as a result of that action? Did she ever look at herself in the mirror and say, "I'm capable of killing a stranger"? Did she ever suffer nightmares as a direct result of killing Nell?

Quote :
Libba made her character human and gave her human strengths, weaknesses, mistakes and views accordingly.

She also gave her the ability to kill another human being rather than looking for a way to save that life. I'd call that "inhuman", not "human".

Quote :
The way I saw it, Gemma freed Nell from her misery and/or any possible way for her to become a tracker or something of Circe's.

If Nell had wanted to be "freed from her misery", she'd have pressed her own throat against the knife in Circe's hands. Therefore, she wanted to survive. And Gemma killed her.

Quote :
She took Circe by surprise and good won over evil in the end.

So "the end justifies the means", does it?

Also, if Circe had been properly conquered I'd concede you had a point. But since Gemma DID share the Power with Circe in the end, it's hard to believe that Nell died for any real reason at all.
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Thu Oct 23, 2008 4:57 pm

WOW! This post has gotten a LOT of replies. Smile I respect all of your opinions, but if I had to choose a side, I'd choose the PRO-AGATB side. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Thu Oct 23, 2008 5:36 pm

TO, I don't mean to be rude but I feel like you're twisting my words up. I don't believe that Gemma killed Nell just to kill her, I believe that she was doing what she thought was right at the time. In this case I do believe that "the ends justify the means" because I obviously interpreted it in a different way than yourself. Everyone reacts to things in different ways and seeing as this takes place in a mythical world and in the victorian era, I'm sure that Libba intended for it to be a fictional tale and not a handbook on how to run a person's life.
Now my great-grandmother is not very old compared to most people's-- like 87 or something and let me tell you, she is the crankiest, most unmotivated, and self-loathing person that I know. She wants to die, she complains about it all the time. There is no doubt in anyone's mind that she wants to do that. She takes about a zillion pills per day and could easily overdose or something if she wanted... But she doesn't. She doesn't have to courage to do that to herself, she doesn't want it to hurt or whatever else. She wants to die peacefully in her sleep but obviously she can't because she takes all this medication to keep herself alive. The human mind is a strange thing, TO, and it all comes back to our choices. Nell made the choice to stay alive and then plead for Gemma to kill her. Gemma's choice was to kill Nell, she saw it as a means of saving the girl. That was her choice. Libba Bray never said that this was something good for Gemma to do and no one said that this book preached some perfect superhero who did everything right. It's just a book and in the book, yes, I believe that Gemma over all is a good person. This debate has been nice but I think that in the end we're just going to have to agree to disagree. Is the Nell situation your only problem with the series?
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:18 am

flying free fee wrote:
TO, I don't mean to be rude but I feel like you're twisting my words up.

I'm not twisting your words, I'm just asking you to explore the implications of this scene. This is a scene where someone chooses to kill a hostage rather than save them: whenever I see such grotesque disrespect for human life I have to question it.

I have to ask whether the hostage really "wanted to die". I have to ask whether this was truly the "only way" for the heroine to proceed. Most importantly, I have to ask whether an action like this is what we want to see in a YA heroine - because stories do have morals and messages, and I'm not impressed with a story that has a "heroine" killing another person, then justifying it with, "I'm the heroine, so anything I do must be considered OK!"

Quote :
Nell made the choice to stay alive and then plead for Gemma to kill her.

All Nell actually did was shoot Gemma an "anguished look", which Gemma interpreted as "Kill me" and which could well have been "Save me, Lady Hope! Don't let her kill me!"

Consider this hypothetical scenario. Someone shoots me an anguished look. I interpret that as I want to die. Please finish me off. Should I immediately kill them on the basis of that look, because, hey, they want to die and they want me to kill them?

If I do kill them, can I really defend myself later with "Hey, they wanted me to kill them, and it's my choice so you can't question me"?

Quote :
Gemma's choice was to kill Nell, she saw it as a means of saving the girl. That was her choice.

And because it was her choice to deprive someone of their life, she can't be questioned or brought to account? Because it was her choice, we're supposed to suspend judgement?

"Hey, you can't judge Voldemort! He killed people, but that was his choice!"

"You can't judge the Joker! That was his choice!"

"You can't judge Saruman!" Etc.

Call me old-fashioned, but I do think that the act of killing is an important boundary. It should not be breached without good cause - and my point is that Libba provided a scene where Gemma could have overcome Circe with some intelligent trickery, but she chose not to do that. Instead, Gemma gets out the weapon and takes an innocent person's life.

My beef is not just the fact Gemma gets out the weapon - it's the fact that Libba wrote it that way.

She could have written that scene any way she wished. She could have had Gemma overcome Circe in any number of different ways - she's the creator of this world, what she says goes! So why did she choose to create a scene where Gemma gets out a weapon and takes an innocent person's life as a means of resolving an issue?

Is this really what we want to see in YA fiction?

Also please note, I wouldn't be so annoyed if Libba had written Gemma as suffering trauma or getting some payback for the act of killing. If she'd done that, the message would be understood - you do something wrong, you get the punishment later. But Gemma gets NO direct punishment as a consequence of killing Nell! It's as if the message of RA is "You can kill someone and get away with it, no sweat!"

Quote :
This debate has been nice but I think that in the end we're just going to have to agree to disagree. Is the Nell situation your only problem with the series?

Not my only problem, no, but it is the one that really sticks in my throat. Can't swallow it, no matter how I try. You've kindly addressed some of my other problems in your previous long post, so tonight or tomorrow I'll write a proper reply to those as well.
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PostSubject: Reply (pt I)   Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:45 pm

Finally, I will get round to answer the rest of your post; sorry for the delay on this!

Quote :
TO...
The "injustice" (to summarize everything you just said in one word) of everything is something that I love about the series. It takes place in Victorian times so it's logical that Kartik --an Indian boy-- would be regarded by Gemma the way he was. She was brought up in a society where appearance is everything and rebeling is not a common thing.

How exactly was he regarded by Gemma? Would you say she saw him as an equal or as an inferior? (I don't want to tackle this question until I know how you see the Gemma/Kartik relationship.)

Quote :
Gemma did not want to kill Nell. It was for the greater good-- a hard choice to make in any situation. She felt guilt for it but understood that if she hadn't done it, Circe probably would have taken over the Realms. She acknowledged that this was "blood on her hands" and I'm sure that if she could have done anything else in that exact moment that wouldn't have resulted in a death, she would have without question. But you see, no one is perfect and I think that Libba Bray does an excellent job of showing this.

"No-one is perfect" - no, but, as I say, there is a difference between "imperfect" and "a killer". I saw no conditions which meant she HAD to kill Nell; I saw no significant remorse over killing Nell in the third book; and I did see some very disturbing dialogue where Gemma seemed to WELCOME her new status as a killer: "Now I have bloodied my hands".

Any wonder this disturbs me?

Quote :
As for your comment about Gemma's father or Pippa or something... Well DUH. I think that nearly everyone on the planet would be more inclined to save a friend or family member. Maybe Nell WAS "an expendable character" using your words, and of course she didn't deserve to die-- but a choice had to be made. Perhaps it wasn't fair, but Gemma had to make a decision.

If Libba explicitly told us that Gemma made the WRONG choice, I wouldn't mind - but she doesn't! It's presented as the "best possible" choice, and I honestly cannot believe that it was.

And, like I said, I would have preferred it if Felicity's little cousin had been the hostage rather than "expendable Nell". Then maybe we'd have had some genuine aftermath from the killing of an innocent party - maybe Felicity and Ann would have refused to speak to Gemma again, and maybe Gemma would have suffered some genuine remorse!

As it was, the message was "kill an expendable character for an easy solution, and to prove how strong you are". Some message!

Quote :
She describes it as "blood on her hands" which it is... Not a good thing necessarily to kill someone, but a good thing to save herself and the Realms... What would you have done?

Lied to Circe. Better a strategic lie than a killing.

Quote :
What you said about Felicity & Co. is mostly true, I'm not denying it. Gemma even confronts her about it in TSFT with something like, "Would you still like me if I didn't have this power to get into the realms?" and Felicity responds with something like, "That's like saying would I still like you if you didn't have red hair, it's a part of you now, how should I know?" Again, no one's perfect. It's just the nature of the people. Who cares if they only liked the Realms or if deep down they're not even really friends? Is anyone friends, then?

Well, I find it all very cynical about the nature of female friendship - strange that Libba wanted to write a book about girls throwing off artificial restraints and discovering independence, yet what she produced was a portrait of girls unable to trust each other and following social conventions. Also, there's a central character (Gemma) unable to rebel against social expectations in any way that really matters.

Quote :
And as for Gemma, she herself (again) noticed that and was beginning to fear her own power but also accepting it. A random quote (ish) from somewhere I can't remember: "We don't change as we grow up, we just become more ourselves."

It wasn't "her" power, she grabbed it from the Realms and kept it as long as she could, instead of restoring it. And THEN her delay in restoring it resulted in Pippa going mad, Miss McCleethy being murdered and Kartik being treed. And - here's what's most noticeable - it's not presented as a failure at any point. Everything she does is excused as the best or only thing she could have done. In the end Gemma is irresponsible and selfish, and she suffers no direct consequences for her actions.

Quote :
Is that not what it's like in the real world as well? Aren't we, as humans, extremely selfish creatures by nature? If you could have some of the magic that Gemma did, would you not use it at all for your own desires? That is how society was back then, it did not matter how amazing you were if you were not a big person on the outside too. And isn't it still that way?

Hang on - of course I'd use it for my own desires, but if I could stop time and influence people, do you think I'd just stick to solving my own petty problems? Hell no! I'd be telling the President of the US what to do!

So why isn't Gemma whispering into the British Prime Minister's ear - the Marquess of Salisbury - that he ought to allow votes for women, or do something about distributing food to the starving poor on London's streets? All that power, and she squanders it on what - making obedient zombies of those who annoys her, or giving Ann a new face?

Not that I am a great fan of Gemma for making obedient zombies of people who annoy her, but hey, if she'd done her mindwhammy to create better conditions for other people I wouldn't mind so much. But she has so much potential to make life better for others... and she wastes it. (See my parody of TSFT for why her creation of rubies out of pebbles would just have made things worse for the mudlarks.)

Quote :
People are imperfect. Evil though Circe appeared to be at times, could you not feel her pain at others? Her jealousy? Her ambition? Her strength?

She killed innocent schoolgirls in order to get the Power. She was a portrait of greed and ruthlessness and I do NOT admire her.

Quote :
I think Libba Bray did an AWESOME job on this series, if for the sole reason that no one was perfect. There truley WAS light and dark in everyone, she did not just tell it to us but she showed it as well. There was obvious character development in each person

How did Gemma change from AGATB to TSFT? I didn't see any changes for the better. As for Ann, Libba really dropped the ball on her - she was passive in RA right when she should have been growing a new personality, so that when in TSFT we heard she was such a great actress and had always been such a great actress, we didn't believe it for a moment. "Actress? Ann? Maybe when she stops looking at the floor whenever she speaks..."

Quote :
and I think that the things Gemma feels and the things she chooses daily were quite accurate, not only with her time period (perhaps a little too feminine, but still very good) but also with the adolescent insecurities that every girl feels growing up.

I agree here - which of us hasn't sold out when faced with the prospect of loneliness and isolation? - but why is Gemma still unable to say no to her "friends" even after they betrayed her, got her favourite teacher unjustly expelled, threatened to stab Kartik, made a blood sacrifice to the powers of Evil, etc? Felicity, Ann and Pippa proved they weren't to be trusted in that scene, yet Gemma goes along with them anyway for two more books and never even asks herself "Why am I hanging round with these guys?"

Gemma's story reminds me of the proverb, "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."
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