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 I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?

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ThreeOranges
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:45 pm

Quote :
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.

In the Realms, Felicity had to choose between staying with Gemma and friends, or running off to Pippa. She chose to run off to Pippa EVEN THOUGH she knew, from the previous encounter, that Pippa was a raving lunatic. That doesn't look like choosing the "good side" to me. (I wish Gemma had just left Felicity there, instead of risking everyone's lives to save her. Miss McCleethy died as a result of Felicity doing that!)

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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.

I think you have not yet had to work for someone like Felicity. I have, and I can guarantee that after about a week the rich person's haughtiness and refusal to treat you as anything higher than dirt will really get on your nerves. But don't take my word for it - try it and see!

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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 new and held a grudge for that.

Yeah, in AGATB Felicity effectively dumped Pippa for Gemma, and yet in TSFT Felicity is totally in love with Pippa. How did that happen? Really, have you ever seen that - dumping followed by declaration of true love - in real life?

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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.

So using that gifted Power to try to kill Gemma isn't ingratitude of the lowest order? As for Pippa going mad, I think that's Libba forcing a madness on Pippa externally - it's not organic character growth, it's making her into a handy villain by "sending her mad".

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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.

That's a good description, but there is one thing missing - the fact that Ann really should have been Gemma's greatest fan after all Gemma had done for her. And she wasn't - whenever there was conflict, Ann took the other person's side rather than Gemma's. She's not loyal, and I don't find that believable.

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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).

Blackmail? Killing a deer? Uniting in getting a much-loved teacher unjustly expelled?

In Harry Potter, the Trio were united by bravery and risking their lives for each other. In the Gemma Doyle Trilogy, Gemma keeps risking HER life to save her friends, but they don't return the favour. (Eventually Felicity and Ann do participate in the final battle, along with hundreds of other Forest Folk, but that's it.)


Quote :
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 each other. They start to like each other, 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.

Like I said, I can understand sacrificing principles to not be alone - but when the friends have proven they owe no loyalty to you, isn't independence honestly better?

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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.

True, but when she goes back to such obvious users she reminds me of a moth darting towards the flame over and over: "Maybe this time it won't burn me... OW! OK, maybe THIS time..."

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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.

I've seen this "lack of perfection" cited as one of the strengths of the series, and to an extent I agree - these characters are certainly flawed! However, what I DO like to see in a series with flawed characters is some sort of hint of how people *should* behave, and some sort of karmic punishment for bad behaviour. You get none of this in AGATB.

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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.

There is nothing wrong with making other people into your obedient zombie slaves? Denying them their free will?

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With art, any kind of art, it's all about interpretation and how YOU choose to see things.

True, and if someone has a particular interpretation they should be able to articulate their grounds for that interpretation. I hope I have here!

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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.

Well, part of my problem is that she is given so much power and responsibility - and then SHE WASTES IT ALL, and gets no comeback for it!! That may be believable, but is it really so admirable? Is it really the sort of behaviour we want to see in a "heroine"?

Gemma is the ultimate decadent spoiled girl - she wants the Power because she wants to use it to win friends and fulfil her own desires, yet when she's faced with the responsibility of being "Most High" and "Lady Hope" to the Realms, she sits on her hands and does nothing until the last possible moment.

Yes, it's realistic - but is it admirable? Why does she get no payback or comeback for her bad behaviour? This is what's so annoying about the books, that Gemma gets to trash the Realms and ruin plenty of people's lives, and yet she never gets any kind of comeuppance. (Losing Kartik is not sufficient payback, since he volunteered to die in order to save her AND she probably would never have had the courage to marry him anyway.)

Quote :
Whew, that was loooooooong.

Not as long as this Smile but thank you for such a thorough answer in the first place!
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Sat Oct 25, 2008 6:23 pm

Haha, yeah I tend to talk alot.

I guess our biggest difference (because at this moment, it's me who doesn't have the time to respond fully =P) is that you think that the protagonist should be a heroine who makes simple mistakes and gets what he/she deserves... I think nearly just the opposite. The way I see it, the protagonist can be anything the author pleases as long as he/she is believable. I didn't feel the need for Gemma to get what she deserved in the end because such things often don't happen in real life, unfortunately. I do agree with you on the Harry Potter trio-- You may not believe this but those are my favorite books in the entire world... The Gemma Doyle trilogy is one that I like but I do think that nothing can beat HP in my mind. That being said, I can definately understand where you are coming from with the difference between the two series.
As for the comment about working for a Felicity person... I'm not sure exactly how old you think I am but it's not even legal for me to work yet in the state of Connecticut-- I'm 14! tongue
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:21 pm

flying free fee wrote:
Haha, yeah I tend to talk alot.

I guess our biggest difference (because at this moment, it's me who doesn't have the time to respond fully =P) is that you think that the protagonist should be a heroine who makes simple mistakes and gets what he/she deserves... I think nearly just the opposite. The way I see it, the protagonist can be anything the author pleases as long as he/she is believable. I didn't feel the need for Gemma to get what she deserved in the end because such things often don't happen in real life, unfortunately.


That's so true. The protagonist can be anything the author wants, it doesn't have to be a hero/heroine. Here's the definition I got off of Microsoft Word: the most important character in a novel, play, story, or other literary work

So, that means it could even be a VILLAIN. It just has to be the most important character.
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:29 pm

Right. I think it's all down to reader preferences in the end though, on what you WANT the protagonist to be.
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:07 pm

ThreeOranges wrote:

In the Realms, Felicity had to choose between staying with Gemma and friends, or running off to Pippa. She chose to run off to Pippa EVEN THOUGH she knew, from the previous encounter, that Pippa was a raving lunatic. That doesn't look like choosing the "good side" to me. (I wish Gemma had just left Felicity there, instead of risking everyone's lives to save her. Miss McCleethy died as a result of Felicity doing that!)

In the END, Felicity chose the good side-- After Pippa's kiss, etc. Felicity chose Gemma, even with the knowledge of her love for Pippa.
Forgive me for saying this, but personally I find the remark about Pippa being a "raving lunatic" a bit offensive. I would do anything for my friends or family no matter what. By saying that Felicity should have left Pippa for whatever might happen to her is like contradicting yourself with the Nell thing. Reluctant as I am to bring this subject up again, it's like saying the opposite of what you were saying before, like "Oh, well Nell's crazy, I'm pretty sure of that... Guess I should just kill her then!" When you love someone, it doesn't matter what happens to them, you still love them.


ThreeOranges wrote:
Yeah, in AGATB Felicity effectively dumped Pippa for Gemma, and yet in TSFT Felicity is totally in love with Pippa. How did that happen? Really, have you ever seen that - dumping followed by declaration of true love - in real life?
Felicity was never in love with Gemma as far as I could tell and most likely she did not recognize her feelings for Pippa until it was too late.
Now this is not exactly what you asked for, but I know quite a few people who have broken up and gotten back together later.
Like I stated above, I don't think Felicity realized her love for Pippa until it was too late. (Though correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't they hang out for the entire RA and TSFT novels after "breaking up" in AGATB?)


ThreeOranges wrote:
So using that gifted Power to try to kill Gemma isn't ingratitude of the lowest order? As for Pippa going mad, I think that's Libba forcing a madness on Pippa externally - it's not organic character growth, it's making her into a handy villain by "sending her mad".
Ever watched someone go mad? It's not something anyone can control, once they're gone, they're gone and that's it. There's a reason people like that were (and occasionally still are) put into asylums.
Honestly, if you're going to use "organic character growth" as an arguement, then there's absolutely no way that I can win here! All fictional characters are just that-- Works of fiction. The author creates them... So it's not like something you can just watch before your eyes. And even what you see, you might think it's stupid or fake or something.


ThreeOranges wrote:
That's a good description, but there is one thing missing - the fact that Ann really should have been Gemma's greatest fan after all Gemma had done for her. And she wasn't - whenever there was conflict, Ann took the other person's side rather than Gemma's. She's not loyal, and I don't find that believable.
She was loyal when against outside enemies. She made her own choices otherwise. Had she always chosen Gemma's side, you would be complaining about how she didn't have a brain of her own.



ThreeOranges wrote:
Blackmail? Killing a deer? Uniting in getting a much-loved teacher unjustly expelled?

In Harry Potter, the Trio were united by bravery and risking their lives for each other. In the Gemma Doyle Trilogy, Gemma keeps risking HER life to save her friends, but they don't return the favour. (Eventually Felicity and Ann do participate in the final battle, along with hundreds of other Forest Folk, but that's it.)
In Harry Potter, they had such opportunities. When did Gemma's friends?


ThreeOranges wrote:
Like I said, I can understand sacrificing principles to not be alone - but when the friends have proven they owe no loyalty to you, isn't independence honestly better?
Again, I think it's all a matter of opinion. Some people would rather be with anyone than alone where others would rather be alone than with anyone at all.


ThreeOranges wrote:
True, but when she goes back to such obvious users she reminds me of a moth darting towards the flame over and over: "Maybe this time it won't burn me... OW! OK, maybe THIS time..."
Interpretation and opinion. That's all it comes down to in many of your cases.


ThreeOranges wrote:
There is nothing wrong with making other people into your obedient zombie slaves? Denying them their free will?
I'll admit that she was selfish but I probably would be too if I had access to such amazing power.


ThreeOranges wrote:
Well, part of my problem is that she is given so much power and responsibility - and then SHE WASTES IT ALL, and gets no comeback for it!! That may be believable, but is it really so admirable? Is it really the sort of behaviour we want to see in a "heroine"?

Gemma is the ultimate decadent spoiled girl - she wants the Power because she wants to use it to win friends and fulfil her own desires, yet when she's faced with the responsibility of being "Most High" and "Lady Hope" to the Realms, she sits on her hands and does nothing until the last possible moment.

Yes, it's realistic - but is it admirable? Why does she get no payback or comeback for her bad behaviour? This is what's so annoying about the books, that Gemma gets to trash the Realms and ruin plenty of people's lives, and yet she never gets any kind of comeuppance. (Losing Kartik is not sufficient payback, since he volunteered to die in order to save her AND she probably would never have had the courage to marry him anyway.)
I think that Gemma would have done anything for Kartik as soon as she started going down to see him in his "dreams." Marriage would have taken much thought and as he didn't make it out alive, I guess we'll never know.
For what feels like the zillionth time, it's all a matter of opinion. Personally, I care more about myself than everyone else on the planet or whatever. If I had issues and I had a way to get them solved immediately, I would not waste my time with something that I personally do not even care/know much about. If Gemma HAD done something like that, you'd still be complaining about the same thing.
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:28 pm

flying free fee wrote:
Right. I think it's all down to reader preferences in the end though, on what you WANT the protagonist to be.

True, but I'm not sure whether your argument is

1) Gemma isn't as bad as you're making her out to be

or

2) She IS that bad, but we don't mind
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Mon Oct 27, 2008 4:47 pm

flying free fee wrote:
In the END, Felicity chose the good side-- After Pippa's kiss, etc. Felicity chose Gemma, even with the knowledge of her love for Pippa.
Forgive me for saying this, but personally I find the remark about Pippa being a "raving lunatic" a bit offensive.

"No! I am special! Chosen! You will not leave me!" *FIREWALL*

Should I call Pippa "differently sane", then?

Quote :
I would do anything for my friends or family no matter what. By saying that Felicity should have left Pippa for whatever might happen to her is like contradicting yourself with the Nell thing.

Clearly Felicity should have not have gone, for the good of everyone. However, what I actually said in the previous discussion was "(I wish Gemma had just left Felicity there, instead of risking everyone's lives to save her. Miss McCleethy died as a result of Felicity doing that!)"

So if Felicity wants to risk her own life to warn Pippa, great for her. But when she ran off, she made a clear choice between "possibly helping Pippa" and "possibly putting Gemma and all her friends in danger". At that instant, by choosing Pippa, she chose poorly.

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Reluctant as I am to bring this subject up again, it's like saying the opposite of what you were saying before, like "Oh, well Nell's crazy, I'm pretty sure of that... Guess I should just kill her then!"

Part of my objection to the killing of Nell was that she probably wasn't inherently crazy, she was assuming craziness to block Circe out. She could have lived a full life, had Gemma not ended it prematurely.

Also, there is a world of difference between "letting someone die" (when they're in a position where you would have to risk your own life to save them) and deliberately shooting them dead.

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When you love someone, it doesn't matter what happens to them, you still love them.

I don't know - if my Beloved were to start calling himself the Messiah and demanding I kill myself in order to be with him, I might start rethinking our relationship. And, strangely enough, that's exactly what Felicity does when Pippa starts shoving the berries at her and shouting "With me or against me!" If Felicity weren't capable of reasoned judgement and self-preservation, she would have eaten those berries.

Which makes her subsequent quasi-suicidal return to the Den of the Fanatics so strange... But yeah, that was her choice. What's annoying is that she must have known that Gemma would go after her, and that by running off "her choice" was risking everyone else's lives as well.

Quote :
Felicity was never in love with Gemma as far as I could tell and most likely she did not recognize her feelings for Pippa until it was too late.
Now this is not exactly what you asked for, but I know quite a few people who have broken up and gotten back together later.

Oh yes, so do I! "Love, then breakup, then love again" is understandable.

However, "friendship, then breakup, then love" is not so understandable, because when you dump a friend that's usually the end. The dumper then falling so deeply in love with the ex-friend they previously dumped that they then "go gay" for the ex-friend? Don't buy it.

Quote :
Like I stated above, I don't think Felicity realized her love for Pippa until it was too late. (Though correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't they hang out for the entire RA and TSFT novels after "breaking up" in AGATB?)

Yes, but when Pippa's face went all Gollum-esque in the Realms Felicity reacted with disgust and, when Pippa started crying and ran off Felicity didn't run after her and try to comfort her. So I think it's fair to state that Felicity wasn't "in love" with Pippa by this point, or she would have run after her and tried to stop her going to the potentially injurious Winterlands. Instead, Felicity is all "C'mon, let's go home" to Gemma. Not the behaviour of someone in love with Pippa.

Quote :
Ever watched someone go mad? It's not something anyone can control, once they're gone, they're gone and that's it. There's a reason people like that were (and occasionally still are) put into asylums.

My point was that Pippa's "madness" came from nowhere - there was no hint in AGATB that she was mentally unstable, and her act of eating the berries was not "killing herself" but "escaping to a nice world where I won't be forced to marry a horrible man". (That the Realms turns out to suck was not something she could have anticipated.)

I think people with epilepsy would probably have been offended by the suggestion in TSFT that Pippa's epilepsy intensified her madness - that was some unfortunate retconning on Libba's part.

Quote :
Honestly, if you're going to use "organic character growth" as an arguement, then there's absolutely no way that I can win here! All fictional characters are just that-- Works of fiction. The author creates them... So it's not like something you can just watch before your eyes. And even what you see, you might think it's stupid or fake or something.


OK, this point I will concede. "Organic character growth" is quite subjective, all in all. That said, I prefer it when a swerve in a character's development is hinted at earlier on, so I don't get the feeling that it came entirely out of left field.

Quote :
She was loyal when against outside enemies. She made her own choices otherwise. Had she always chosen Gemma's side, you would be complaining about how she didn't have a brain of her own.

Oh no I wouldn't! You see, at school I was very much like Ann - outsider, isolated, the target of unpleasant behaviour - and I remember my reaction to a newcomer to the school, the first person to treat me with decency after years of having been treated badly by everyone else. I attached myself LIKE A LIMPET to that person, I was so grateful! Very Happy Honestly, if she'd have asked me to help bury bodies, I would've!

I know what you'll say: "But Ann is NOT YOU." No she isn't - with a history like hers she would have been a hundred times more needy than me! - but what I want to know is why she chooses Felicity's side over Gemma's at certain strategic points in AGATB and TSFT. Felicity tried to get Ann expelled with the ring trick. Gemma saved her hide on that occasion! So my reaction is, "if Ann is going to reject her saviour and suck up to her tormentor, Libba had better give me a very good reason why." And Libba did not explain why. I call that a failure in the narrative.

Quote :
In Harry Potter, they had such opportunities. When did Gemma's friends?

Well, they could have all united to save Pippa from Bartleby Bumble, maybe... Or at the Well of Souls, maybe Felicity and Ann could have pulled Pippa away from Circe instead of JUST STANDING THERE... Or maybe Felicity or Ann could have accompanied Gemma to the Realms at the end of AGATB to help her rescue Pippa...

Honestly, if Libba had wanted to portray Felicity and Ann as any better than freeloaders, there would have been opportunities in the narrative for her to give them something important to do.

Quote :
Again, I think it's all a matter of opinion. Some people would rather be with anyone than alone where others would rather be alone than with anyone at all.

True, but whenever I see a character continually "sell out" because they don't have the strength to be alone, I can't really respect them. I've seen too many women stick with abusing men because they "can't bear to be alone".

Quote :
Interpretation and opinion. That's all it comes down to in many of your cases.

So you don't see a pattern of Gemma being burnt by Felicity and Ann and continually going back for more of the same treatment?

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I'll admit that she was selfish but I probably would be too if I had access to such amazing power.

Yes, maybe I would too! But in a story I expect karma to make an appearance and punish the person who abuses their power. Dream on, right?

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I think that Gemma would have done anything for Kartik as soon as she started going down to see him in his "dreams." Marriage would have taken much thought and as he didn't make it out alive, I guess we'll never know.

Yeah, Libba dodged the bullet SHE HERSELF CREATED. If she was going to tackle the issue of a mixed-race relationship, she should have had the guts to have her heroine either get together with the guy or not get together with him. Not have him killed off so she never has to make that decision!

That said, if Libba wrote a sequel where Gemma meets and marries a black guy whilst in America, then ignore the above paragraph. If Libba did that, that would be awesome.

Quote :
For what feels like the zillionth time, it's all a matter of opinion. Personally, I care more about myself than everyone else on the planet or whatever. If I had issues and I had a way to get them solved immediately, I would not waste my time with something that I personally do not even care/know much about. If Gemma HAD done something like that, you'd still be complaining about the same thing.


What, you think I'd be complaining had Gemma used her power to get the poor on the London streets served bread and soup? I assure you I wouldn't!

It's just that Libba has Gemma occasionally awakening to the perceived injustices of Victorian England - the poor, the inability of women to vote, appalling working conditions and child labour - and yet, she HAS THE POWER to do something about it and doesn't! It's just... Why even bother to mention all this, Gemma, if you have no intention of doing anything at all? It's frustrating to see the heroine pay "lip service" to social problems of the time and yet fritter away her chance of doing anything to actually help the situation. Deeds not words, Gemma!

And finally, I understand what you mean about heroes and heroines not having to be paragons of virtue. However, I think that the sign of a good hero/heroine is the ability to either choose wisely or grow from their mistakes. With Gemma we have a series of poor choices and no sign of self-reflection... and no sort of external punishment either!

I know, people often don't get payback for poor choices in real life, but if I wanted "real life" I'd read a newspaper.
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:53 am

Also, I'd just like to clarify what Gemma actually "does" for the poor in TSFT. This amounts to

1) transforming some pebbles into "rubies" to help the mudlarks
2) transforming something into pound notes to pay Theodore Van Ripple
3) giving the girls campaigning for the fire victims some real money (good!) and a spark of enthusiasm to make them keep going

With regard to 1) - the magic won't last forever, and the moment it wears off whoever bought those rubies for their market value is going to be stuck with pebbles. They'll have lost hundreds of pounds (in today's money) on the exchange. Is that acceptable?

It's the same with Van Ripple's pound notes. Gemma's system of "helping" means that SOMEONE gets screwed down the chain of transaction. Gemma's attitude seems to be "Fine if someone gets screwed, as long as it's not my friends I don't care."

And, regarding the campaigner - the real money is a good idea, but why doesn't Gemma actually stand there with the working-class campaigners and spend her time and energy doing something about it? Giving the girls that spark of enthusiasm is actually quite insulting - the girls must care in the first place to be out there campaigning, and whilst Gemma may be giving them a bit of extra energy to keep going it's still the girls who are doing the mentally-draining work of standing on the pavement, appealing to passers-by.

It's a bit like me encouraging a charity worker to stay outside for longer because they're doing such splendid work... instead of offering to take over from them so they can have a rest.

In the end, Gemma DOES give real money to a charity box, which is good. However, consider that this is the sum total of all she does to help the poor, and that with her power she could do anything at all.
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:21 pm

You present good arguements but I do think it's all a matter of opinion as to how each person interprets the story.
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:20 am

right, well, i knw this discussion has been finished for a while, but i just wanted to say that i loved the parodies AND the books (i especially liked the parody for RA)

there, i'd been wanting to do that : )
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PostSubject: Re: I wrote some AGATB parodies - wanna see?   Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:20 am

Was I the only one who thought that was kinda dumb and not funny?
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