Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

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Re: Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

Post by 222333 »

*
Hello and happy new year.
Welcome Beth.
Emily said:
“but V and C always see the good.”

This is the fundamental truth of our show, the truth that singles it out for me and triggers my musings. The key word is “see”, I think. No need to elaborate on this symbolic sight, spread all over our show, perhaps even more than in the myth. Catherine is blind, then sees a monster, then sees beyond the monster. Vincent sees a thirsty soul, then sees a beautiful woman, then recognizes the thirsty soul beyond the beautiful “fixed” face. Compassion is what makes us see what *already* exists, and it makes the difference between delusional, or even optimistic approach to ugly things to make them bearable and… love, the truth beyond knowledge. And yes, it’s “a tale of self-reliance”, as Emily said, because the source is *within*. In fact…

Beth said:
the strength of every B&B tale lies in the fact that the Beast's appearance and strength gave him distance enough to analyze himself, and Beauty's presence in his immediate life gave him the measuring stick of humanity to which he could hone his own self-revelations. (…) he knows himself better than Beauty knows herself (given his isolation and time to reflect) and thus his "aha!" moment is small, subtle, less of a transition than a finding of something.

Perhaps the difference is that in the fairy tale the Beast’s self analyzing is prompted by the punishment, while Vincent, in my opinion, never feels punished. Apart from this, isolation, in this context, be it in a fairy castle, behind a blindfold or “below the city streets” - which for me is symbolic of the quiet of our soul - is a useful tool to look at one’s heart and find there the strength to be compassionate. Once found such strength, you can navigate any dark alley, be it in NYC or in your peers’ souls, and find a spark of beauty. You still can be crushed and frustrated, but somehow you know that the solution is not putting the blame on someone else: it would only lead to move from environment to environment, trying to find the perfect one where nobody can hurt you, while “if you live, you bleed”. No: Catherine did not stay Below in the safe cocoon of self-pity, she went back Above to test her “new” eyes. Only then the love story could start. Such *personal* decision to look at things with new eyes, I think, is the reply to the first two questions of Emily’s post: “what kind of free choices do we have?”, and “what is the most important kind of wealth?”.

So, I think that once found this inner source of compassion, there is no difference between “a man being valid in his own existence vs valid in the context of his usefulness to society (or his immediate community)” per Beth’s parallel, because such individuals will use the inner tool of their compassion in whatever environment the life put them. And it will make a difference disregarding the effectiveness or wideness of their action (but this last assertion is rooted in a personal spiritual take which is difficult to bring evidence to).

Apart from this, Beth, for now I’ll just thank you for it’s an interesting and stimulating prompt, but I’ll write more as soon as possible to disagree :wink: with your idea that “they seem to place value more on WHAT he can do than WHO he is”, as in my opinion, it’s exactly the opposite:

Mary: Vincent is very special to us. In some ways it's his fate, his life that holds us all together. He protects us and we protect him. (GBTC)

Vincent: You will let me go out, to do what must be done - whatever must be done?
Father: I pray that won't be necessary.
Vincent: So do I.
Father: That is not who you are, to us. (Outsiders)


Oh, and no need to apologize for length, not here. :D The inner isolated castle is a place of the heart we all need, don’t we? Reflecting, analyzing, understanding need time and length, and it’s a privilege to be allowed to share the others’ insights.

Ciao,
S
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Re: Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

Post by Maclurv »

Welcome Beth! Length is not an issue, so no worries. All the more ideas to play with in my view!

It seems that the Beauty of the fairy tale knew more of herself than did our Catherine. Beauty of the tale was born in severely restricted times for women, so there is a sort of parallel there in terms of the 80's being a time for the woman's movement.

The other characters did not seem all that aware of the 'Other' as you point out. They certainly did not seem to discuss it, or we are to assume they were already aware and did not need to, yet they do not act as if they know.

Vincent seems to indicate his attachment to Catherine was immediate in dialog to Father and to Catherine (later on, I believe). At least the Bond forms from that moment, and we can discuss whether that Bond represents love or not. Catherine does take longer to recognize her love for Vincent, although when it started is another issue.

More thoughts later as I digest. Welcome!

Pat
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Re: Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

Post by Zara »

Beth wrote:She's seen within the context of conversations far more often than Vincent (excepting the two of them talking to each other), which indicates that she's more connected to her community than he is to his.


...Or that Catherine connects to her community primarily through conversations, while Vincent connects to his community through other means in addition to conversations...

;)

Beth wrote:(apologies to Zara, I'm a talker...it's how I analyze, and thus how I understand, but it makes for lengthy everything)


You have soooooo come to the right place for lengthy postings. :) No worries. Yes, I'm apt to defend the rights of the less-talkative folk to be their quiet selves, but I don't want to silence the talker-selves either. Balance and mutual respect is good in such matters.

I want to add that I'm enjoying all the questions and reflections from all the voices in this forum topic. Horizon-broadening stuff. Many thanks to everyone.

~ Zara
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Re: Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

Post by Maclurv »

I'm slowly catching up to thoughts from earlier. I think of something, then I get distracted and forget! (The curse of an ENFP!)

S said:

There is no answer to the “whys” of Vincent, period.


I'm not as interested in the "whys" of Vincent as I am in the reasons they must go so slow in their relationship: what are the fears? what is the need for courage? (I tried to look up the quote in Orphans but no transcript yet, so I may not have it precise.) I would love a bit of conversation from them, each from their own perspective. Catherine, in my view, is a problem-solver. I can't see her calmly waiting years if there is a problem she can confront and wrestle with a solution. Not all are solvable, but never knowing the problem pretty much keeps it unsolved! And I know Catherine is a woman of both worlds. So, again, from her perspective, she would be thinking about how both can be blended so that they could be together, and Vincent kept safe.

And after reading previous posts, I'm pondering why I want to know these nuggets of information. Truly, I have enjoyed plays and stories where there is an ambiguous end, so that the viewer/reader can reach their own conclusions. So I don't always need everything spelled out, with footprints left to follow. So why does the lack of 'relationship conversations' bug me so much? I suspect I'll be noodling on this a while. The only thing occurring to me now is that I've become so invested in this show, these characters, that I want assurances that the impossible is possible (with love). Perhaps the genre requires the happy ending in my mind.

How much does Father understand Vincent? Having raised him from a baby, does he understand Vincent best? Or has he tried to 'over-develop' the human side of him, thinking that it would serve Vincent better in the long run? He certainly seems to know that medically Vincent is very different from the rest of them (metabolism, sleep, drugs reacting differently or not at all). But the Beast side, and the Bond, seem to be elusive or ebb and flow with him as to how much he seems to understand. He seems fairly certain that their relationship is the 'love that can never be' (by the way, S, I just watched an episode where Vincent said that, and I think it may have been one of the trilogy ones) and that the 'relationship will only cause you pain .' And, again, we get no information as to why he thinks that way (we can perhaps infer that Margaret had an influence on his opinions, but may not be the only influencer). We know he sees Vincent as his successor, as a holder of the true flame of tunnel philosophies and culture to carry it forward. But this might lead us to speculate that he formed Vincent in his 'image' so that his succession would be a natural conclusion. Catherine does know the toll the killings take on Vincent, as she stated she felt what he felt, shame. Father does not have this insight into Vincent. And from a Beast perspective, killing should not be shameful, should it? It is natural (either for sustenance or for survival). Does the fact that he feels shame speak to his human side, the education at the hands of Father (perhaps denying or downplaying the Beast side?), his lack of complete integration of this dual nature, or all of the above?

The Beast in the fairy tale is all alone - he has no father, he has no friends. There are no others who could try and understand him. He waits for Beauty to love him before it's too late. Our Beast has Father, the tunnel community, and Catherine who can understand him to the degree that it is possible. Yet, that doesn't seem so much of an advantage over the fairy tale as one might think.

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Re: Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

Post by Zara »

Pat wrote:(I tried to look up the quote in Orphans but no transcript yet, so I may not have it precise.)


Just for reference:

http://www.batbland.com/pieceofeternity ... logueA.pdf

"Orphans" dialogue begins on page 29 (assuming your PDF reader marks pages the same way mine does).

Pat wrote:He seems fairly certain that their relationship is the 'love that can never be'...


Father never says that their love or their relationship can never be. Father makes direct and meaningful statements about the reality of the lovers' relationship throughout the series and he never doubts or disparages their love. It's the future of that relationship...a life they long for...that he believes is doomed from the word go. And, well, quite honestly, he's right.

(Hey, you brought up Father. You know I had to say something.)

Pat wrote:The Beast in the fairy tale is all alone - he has no father, he has no friends.


That depends upon which rendering of the fairy tale you read. The farther back you go into the various myths and folktales, the more familial connections appear on the Beast's side of the story. ;)

~ Zara
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Re: Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

Post by sonnetcxxiii »

Happy New Year!

Welcome Beth! I can't remember who said it (it may have been on the Yahoo groups) but I also find myself doing a little "happy dance" with each new person entering the conversation. :lol:

Beth said: She's seen within the context of conversations far more often than Vincent (excepting the two of them talking to each other), which indicates that she's more connected to her community than he is to his. Or bad TV script writing. Either way. (and granted, showing Catherine filing epic paperwork would be boring)


True, Catherine seems like she's talked about more. But then, I might not have been paying attention to that in relation to Vincent. I currently seem to be focused on the horrible inconsistency in stock shots of the seasons.

True, paperwork is boring! I am sure most of the "grunt" work she has to do is as well. And I guess we can't see everything, even in a series show, just the stuff that moves the plot along.

Hmm, I'm not sure if she's more connected to her community than Vincent. I think they both have some blind spots that others don't know or get to see. Catherine seems alienated from her upper-class social circle even more after the attack. Edie made that uptown girl comment, and Luz hassled her about buying her way with her Daddy's money. Catherine never gets angry at those comments, but they might sting a little. And Catherine's new NYC community, the D.A.'s office mostly, is appreciative of her work and accept her new found passion. But I think she's alienated from them in a way because of the secret she has to carry about Below. And not just a conflict of interest legally. Is Catherine more comfortable now than she was pre-attack. I think so. Is she more connected? Maybe more in some ways and less in others? I must ponder more.

I'm also curious about the parallel with a man being valid in his own existence vs valid in the context of his usefulness to society (or his immediate community).


I seem to remember in a sociology class a little "test" about how we think about ourselves. The prof asked us to list "Who I Am" on a piece of paper, giving us like 60 seconds to do it. We then went around giving answers and a pattern formed between the men and women. Women more often put the roles they fulfill first: mother, wife, sister....as compared to traits men put first like smart, strong, funny. The point was about gender, and how you see yourself. Do you focus on usefulness to others by what you do for them, or who you are on a personal level?

Not sure if that is gonna go anywhere, but it's more food for thought.

S said: Once found such strength, you can navigate any dark alley, be it in NYC or in your peers’ souls, and find a spark of beauty. You still can be crushed and frustrated, but somehow you know that the solution is not putting the blame on someone else: it would only lead to move from environment to environment, trying to find the perfect one where nobody can hurt you, while “if you live, you bleed”.


Well done. :)

Perhaps the difference is that in the fairy tale the Beast’s self analyzing is prompted by the punishment, while Vincent, in my opinion, never feels punished.


True, Vincent doesn't appear the way he does due to a curse or a punishment. But I wonder if in some ways he punishes himself once he meets Catherine. Not deliberately, mind you. The "no regrets until now" line comes to mind. But maybe those little doubts about him and Catherine that keep popping up. The Dream, and a life together. There is no doubt when it comes to his love for her, but in relation to being Catherine's possibility.

Pat said: And after reading previous posts, I'm pondering why I want to know these nuggets of information. Truly, I have enjoyed plays and stories where there is an ambiguous end, so that the viewer/reader can reach their own conclusions. So I don't always need everything spelled out, with footprints left to follow. So why does the lack of 'relationship conversations' bug me so much?


I wonder the same thing. Why does it bug me so!? And the more I watch the series, I "see" the more unsaid and subtle things, so my hunger for those footsteps are not as strong. Haha. Maybe it's the LACK of those wonderful, true, equal, and passionate relationships in current pop culture that makes one crave to see it in a relationship we all love so much. I know most romance novels that I pick up are just utterly disappointing.
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Re: Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

Post by Maclurv »

Zara said: Father makes direct and meaningful statements about the reality of the lovers' relationship throughout the series and he never doubts or disparages their love. It's the future of that relationship...a life they long for...that he believes is doomed from the word go. And, well, quite honestly, he's right.


I did a quick flip through several scripts and found:

OUT:

FATHER
She can only bring you unhappiness...

VINCENT
(adamant)
Then I’ll be unhappy -- but I can’t forget her.
We’re still connected...
Seige:

FATHER
I’ve always . . . dreaded . . . this moment . . . for you.
(He gets out of his chair, walking toward Vincent)
And I . . . I suppose I’ve . . . always known it would
Come . . . the day when your heart . . . would lead
you to long for a life . . . that can never be, Vincent.

VINCENT
Yes, a life that can never be.


SOO:

CATHERINE
Father, I just want you to know.
I would never hurt him. I love him

FATHER
I know. I also know it can only bring him unhappiness.

NWD:

FATHER
Your . . . relationship… with my son . . .
is a tragic mistake . . . for both of you.

So I can see what you mean about his commenting on the relationship, but I don't agree that their relationship is doomed from the start. Nope, not this little ole' romantic heart! Because if not Catherine (Beauty), then is Vincent (Beast) condemned to his aloneness (death in the fairy tale)? Because if it is because Catherine is a Topsider, then I would ask why Vincent hasn't found someone from Below? (I am making an assumption here that risk and safety is one large fear of Father toward the relationship.) Vincent is 33ish when this starts? Surely by this age, he could have found someone to love who would love him (if not a soulmate, at least companionable love). I don't get the sense that the Tunnel women find him repulsive, so it should have been possible. Unless Father's view of 'unhappiness' is any relationship at all.

And I do know that Father comes to regard their love and relationship very differently, and yet toward the end, he reverts back to telling Vincent it was a dream and maybe it was time to let the dream go (or something near to that), while admitting to Catherine in the last episode of the 2nd season, that she was the only one who might be able to reach him. So Father can be hard to understand sometimes (and I do like him, really!).

Emily said: The point was about gender, and how you see yourself. Do you focus on usefulness to others by what you do for them, or who you are on a personal level?


Interesting! Not surprising, though. In many ways, I wish there was a male person interested in participating in these forums so that we could get a male perspective, because it is different. In my interest in ethics, I read Carol Gilligan's book In A Different Voice about feminine ethics which echoes a similar theme as this experiment. So we look at V & C through our gender lenses. Which means that perhaps my desire for those conversations are about not only my extraversion, but my gender, as well! :)

Maybe the more useful the tunnel community sees him for his differences (strength, lethal ability to protect), the more anguished he may feel because his inner qualities are less appreciated which he wishes were speaking for him more than his differences.

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Re: Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

Post by Zara »

Pat wrote:So I can see what you mean about his commenting on the relationship, but I don't agree that their relationship is doomed from the start.


That's good, because I never said their relationship was doomed. To rephrase: doom/impossibility/the-opposition-of-the-fates shadows the lovers' desires for *a life spent together.* We go through a lot of episodes watching Vincent and Catherine figure out new definitions for things like "togetherness" and "life" and "happiness." This is why I like the metaphor of the borderland, the common ground those two create for each other slowly and over time.

Pat wrote:Because if not Catherine (Beauty), then is Vincent (Beast) condemned to his aloneness (death in the fairy tale)?


Possibly. And possibly not. Our story does not address a reality without Catherine. We do not know what ways Vincent may or may not have found to address his aloneness without her. A main premise of the story is that together, they both reach an end to their aloneness. Any other story wouldn't be "Beauty and the Beast." Also, Vincent is not quite the Beast of the fairy tale. His transformation is not, and will never be, physical. In that, Vincent departs from the fairy tale into fresh new territory, where other dangers beyond death must also be dealt with.

Pat wrote:Because if it is because Catherine is a Topsider, then I would ask why Vincent hasn't found someone from Below?


Maybe because Vincent (and Father) understand that real love is not a commodity or a transaction, not something to settle for when the genuine article cannot be attained, and not something to find by a certain age because there's so very many opportunities (for companionship? sex? casual flirtation? a pleasant marriage? I'm not sure what you're looking for on Vincent's behalf here) just floating around. Real Romantic Love is a very particular thing, unique each time it is born between two lovers. It is the procreative process of recognizing the deepest, truest beauties within another person, and of uniting those beauties with your own, and of nurturing your shared beauty toward lively growth and glorious fruition. Vincent never found anyone Below...because until Catherine, no woman ever perceived the full scope of Vincent's beauty. Catherine brought a special, irreplaceable perspective to the situation. Vincent-self responded to the possibility of an equal partner and a true lover in Catherine Chandler. Nothing less would suffice, because anything less would not be love.

Pat wrote:So Father can be hard to understand sometimes (and I do like him, really!)


I've been trying to explain Father to people ever since I wandered into this fandom, that his ideas about Vincent and Catherine do change, but not as drastically as some seem to believe, that he doesn't ever revert to some lesser evaluation of their relationship, that he is always confident of his own relationship with his son. Maybe it comes down to this: if you assume Father's primary character motivation is fear, his words and actions in the series might make superficial sense on a case-by-case basis, but they don't cohere over the long haul. He gets a reputation for being an ignorant, perpetually frightened, inconsistent yet sometimes kinda amusing...curmudgeon. But if you believe Father is actually motivated by genuine love (and I'm serious about this: real, honest-to-God, beloved-focused love), then I promise, he is perfectly comprehensible.

Best wishes,

Zara
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Re: Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

Post by Maclurv »

Zara said: Nothing less would suffice, because anything less would not be love.


I do realize this; having never married myself because I've never come close to anything like that. However, relationships can form for other reasons, valid reasons, and may produce satisfaction. I suspect a number of people fall into this category and a number of others for less valid reasons resulting in less satisfaction (given the divorce rate). Granted, Vincent finding such a 'love' would definitely not be of the fairy tale mythology, but I proposed this in exploring Father's admonitions against the relationship.

f you assume Father's primary character motivation is fear, his words and actions in the series might make superficial sense on a case-by-case basis, but they don't cohere over the long haul. He gets a reputation for being an ignorant, perpetually frightened, inconsistent yet sometimes kinda amusing...curmudgeon. But if you believe Father is actually motivated by genuine love (and I'm serious about this: real, honest-to-God, beloved-focused love), then I promise, he is perfectly comprehensible.


I need more explanation please. For me, motivation is not the same concept as whether a person is loved or not. And I do believe that Father loves Vincent. But great damage can be done in the name of love. Father is wholly human and has his flaws. He invokes this caveat to Vincent more than once: what I did, I did in the name of love, as if to excuse his wrongness which he later comes to see for himself. Paracelsus even mocks this point when he assumes Father's personage in the trilogy. Granted, Paracelsus is evil and manipulative, but one cannot mock something that is not borne of some truth.

Father's reasons for warnings and admonitions can be from fear. Experience is a powerful teacher and there is logic to pass on warnings from experience to spare others that same experience. The reasons for verbalizing the warnings can certainly be love, because if no particular relationship exists, one may not be inclined to warn another, especially if little compassion exists. But Father has felt great injustice from Above, great disappointment, or he would not have created Below as a place of safety. I do not think of him as perpetually frightened, not for himself. But I do think he worries about Vincent's safety (reasonably, to be sure) and that would never change as long as Vincent is who he is, and as long as Father loves him.

Wishing all was perfectly comprehensible to me (ha!),

Pat
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Re: Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

Post by Zara »

Pat wrote:However, relationships can form for other reasons, valid reasons, and may produce satisfaction.


Yes, but not for Vincent. And I'm convinced Father would understand this about his son.

Pat wrote:...I proposed this in exploring Father's admonitions against the relationship.


Father makes admonitions against the relationship? *blink blink* What?

Pat wrote:I need more explanation please. For me, motivation is not the same concept as whether a person is loved or not. And I do believe that Father loves Vincent. But great damage can be done in the name of love.


Many things that people call "love"...aren't. I am working from a perspective that holds that Father truly and primarily acts out of real love and that his love does not damage people. Of course fear enters into Father's actions, just as with every other human emotion....

I'm at a loss as to how to explain further about character motivations. I thought motivation tells us why characters speak and behave as they do. Fanon tends to insist that Father is very motivated by fear, so much so that fear taints his love (or pseudo-love), as you have described. Canon, however, shows me a character who relies on love far more than fear to inform his decisions and actions. *shrugs* That's all I wanted to point out.

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Re: Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

Post by Maclurv »

Zara asked: Father makes admonitions against the relationship? *blink blink* What?


I consider the lines I quoted earlier to be admonitions, otherwise, why share them with Catherine or Vincent at all? They would fall into the category of ' if you don't have something nice to say..'

Fanon tends to insist that Father is very motivated by fear, so much so that fear taints his love (or pseudo-love), as you have described. Canon, however, shows me a character who relies on love far more than fear to inform his decisions and actions. *shrugs* That's all I wanted to point out.


Perhaps I'm particularly dense today. Still, I'm trying to decide if I should feel a bit insulted here. :? (Don't worry, I take no offense!) Do you think that I see Father as pseudo-loving Vincent? Or perhaps we are arguing semantics. I do realize that a lot of fanon paints Father very unfairly. Yet he is who he is from his own history, and to me, that does shape his view. An example outside the realm of Vincent & Catherine's relationship is his approach to the Outsiders in that episode. Given the warnings of many others, including Vincent, he still chose a pacifist approach, a withdrawal, hoping the problem would resolve given no retaliatory action. His experience Above made him loathe to assume evil, pre-judge, or whatever it was, and to not assume offense (having him arrested on trumped up charges an offensive move by the McCarthyish committee on the episode). A more personal example would be my mother who passed on her fear of water to my oldest sister. She wanted her to be safe around water, but couldn't keep her own fear from influencing how it came across to my sister. Fortunately for me, she recognized what she had done and backed off (me being the third/last child). So from my perspective, Father can come from love and yet let his fears influence what he recommends to Vincent.

A lot of what I hear Father telling Vincent is that this relationship (and perhaps any other) will cause him unhappiness. There is an unspoken question here: why would you want to do something that will cause you unhappiness? Where is the logic in that? Of course, Father never says this. But why does Father say this? (me with my why questions!) All relationships have periods of unhappiness in them. In some respects, we probably need them to grow within the relationship. But to say that to someone would make me think that the sayer has had some particularly bad relationships causing the sayer to conclude that relationships are more unhappiness than happiness and would be better to be avoided. Or, in this particular case, there is something specific in this relationship to cause Vincent and Catherine unhappiness. So what would that be? (again, with the questions!) I agree that Vincent cannot join Catherine Above, and that Catherine would not be happy solely Below. Both of these characters know this. And still they seek to forge a path for their dream. So what is to cause the unhappiness from Father's perspective? I am really asking this question! :)

Befuddled, as my mother used to say,

Pat
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Re: Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

Post by Zara »

Zara wrote:Fanon tends to insist that Father is very motivated by fear, so much so that fear taints his love (or pseudo-love), as you have described. Canon, however, shows me a character who relies on love far more than fear to inform his decisions and actions. *shrugs* That's all I wanted to point out.

Pat wrote:
Perhaps I'm particularly dense today. Still, I'm trying to decide if I should feel a bit insulted here. :? (Don't worry, I take no offense!) Do you think that I see Father as pseudo-loving Vincent?


No, no. I fear my peculiar grammar has caused needless confusion. You were describing how fear can taint love, yes? My parenthesis contained only an additional concept of my own and was not directed at your post. I intended no insult.

Emily wrote:And the more I watch the series, I "see" the more unsaid and subtle things, so my hunger for those footsteps are not as strong. Haha. Maybe it's the LACK of those wonderful, true, equal, and passionate relationships in current pop culture that makes one crave to see it in a relationship we all love so much. I know most romance novels that I pick up are just utterly disappointing.


I think Beauty and the Beast's intrepid crew of storytellers under the supervision of Ron Koslow performed a modern miracle on television. They showed the world what genuine love looks like. It's hard work to craft a tale that can convey the heights and depths of the human heart like that. More difficult still to get such work published and distributed to a wide audience. For whatever reason the powers that be in our society seem to think that such rich beauty is not profitable enough, and thus not valuable enough, to permit its existence...let alone promote its messages. We are all lessened by this overall lack of lovely love-stories.

S wrote:This is the fundamental truth of our show, the truth that singles it out for me and triggers my musings. The key word is "see", I think. No need to elaborate on this symbolic sight, spread all over our show, perhaps even more than in the myth. Catherine is blind, then sees a monster, then sees beyond the monster. Vincent sees a thirsty soul, then sees a beautiful woman, then recognizes the thirsty soul beyond the beautiful "fixed" face. Compassion is what makes us see what *already* exists, and it makes the difference between delusional, or even optimistic approach to ugly things to make them bearable and... love, the truth beyond knowledge. And yes, it’s "a tale of self-reliance", as Emily said, because the source is *within*.


Thank you for writing this. Compassion is what makes us see what *already* exists... Yes.

Peace and light,

Zara
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Re: Mythology and Its Importance to BATB

Post by 222333 »

Pat said:
A lot of what I hear Father telling Vincent is that this relationship (and perhaps any other) will cause him unhappiness.

*
No dear Pat. Not a lot, and only in the beginning. He says so *twice*, once in the Pilot, and once in Song of Orpheus, *before* the blessed closure with Margaret. After Song of Orpheus, after his own lover’s bitterness was somehow healed, his attitude changes, and you’ll find only him standing for both of them and praying. After that, he only says that their life together is impossible -- which is true, and which also Catherine says (China Moon, A Happy Life – and somehow also in Orphans, when she realizes she does not want to live Below, after all). I suppose that the correct way of approaching this perception of Father and Catherine (not of Vincent, by the way – we never hear him saying so, quite the contrary: Catherine: One thing I learned from Vincent—Nothing is impossible! =Ashes Ashes) would be to discuss what “together” means for them, not what “possible” means, as we do see that it IS possible to some degree.

Pat said:
There is an unspoken question here: why would you want to do something that will cause you unhappiness? Where is the logic in that? Of course, Father never says this. But why does Father say this? (me with my why questions!) All relationships have periods of unhappiness in them. In some respects, we probably need them to grow within the relationship. But to say that to someone would make me think that the sayer has had some particularly bad relationships causing the sayer to conclude that relationships are more unhappiness than happiness and would be better to be avoided. Or, in this particular case, there is something specific in this relationship to cause Vincent and Catherine unhappiness. So what would that be? (again, with the questions!) I agree that Vincent cannot join Catherine Above, and that Catherine would not be happy solely Below. Both of these characters know this. And still they seek to forge a path for their dream. So what is to cause the unhappiness from Father's perspective? I am really asking this question! :)

*
And I am unable to reply, if we’re speaking of the episodes and not of our personal take on the show and its characters: and I don’t see the attitude you’re describing in the episodes. Or better, we see precisely what you say, a growth. But a curious fandom perception forgets such growth, to remember only a few stereotyped and worn out phrases, out of context and out of the storyline. Father fears for Vincent, as a parent does, but as a parent, he wants his son’s happiness, and he *knows* that Catherine brings him happiness. What we see is that after such first initial diffidence, Father rejoiced and watched with hope to his son’s thorny path to happiness with Catherine. After SoO, this is what we hear Father saying:

Vincent: Our bond is stronger and deeper than either of us can begin to imagine.
Father: As if both your... destinies were inextricably linked.
Vincent: Yes.
Father: As if your hearts in their search for union could transcend time and space, circumvent the laws of physics and probability.

Father: I sometimes feel... I'm standing on the bank of a raging river, watching you try to swim across. How can I not worry? I'd be a fool. And yet Vincent, at the same time, I have to marvel at your courage.
Vincent: Catherine swims across that river as well. She faces the same dangers, shows the same courage. And in many ways the toll on her is even greater.
Father: You really think that's so?
Vincent: On her side of the river there is no one standing on the bank, watching. On her side of the river there is no one praying for her safe passage. On her side of the river, Father, there is no one but Catherine.
Father: Then I shall stand watch, and pray, for both of you.

Father: Then trust in that, Vincent... It's a remarkable thing, to feel the beat of a woman's heart, on a distant shore.

Father: Catherine…Dear Catherine, you must know by now that you’re part of that miracle…You saw him…and all that he is…and you gave him…You gave him a dream. For that, I shall be forever grateful.

Father: I never dreamed I'd one day look on Catherine…with the fondness that I do.
Vincent: It's been a time filled with things we never dreamed of… It's been the most miraculous year of my life.
Father: You know, you two share something quite extraordinary…Something that touches the best in all of us.



Now, an interesting discussion would be trying to understand why generally the fans are blind to all this.

S

ps - For reading convenience, I'm copying this post to a new thread, please reply there -- or open a new thread if you want to continue to talk about Mythology. Thanks.
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