“That’s why literature is so fascinating. It’s always up for interpretation, and could be a hundred different things to a hundred different people. It’s never the same thing twice.”
Sara Raasch, Snow Like Ashes
Currently reading: Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch🌨
James comes from a super rich family and grew up severely sheltered and ridiculously “conditioned” to be ready for formal society, recieving little to no attention from his parents that didn’t directly have to do with prepping him to become an influential adult. He ran away from home as a teen and joined a gang because it was as good a way as he could think of to get away from his family because anything “legit” he could’ve tried to do his parents would get involved with or try to talk him out of to instead just do whatever THEY wanted him to do to make even MORE money, marry some girl, have kids etc etc. Not helped by the fact that the girl chosen by his family for him to marry is an extremely overbearing, controlling cruel girl who cared nothing for his feelings or well being. Only wanting him for his money and as a “trophy husband”.
In the original series, after a really cruel scheme by his family to get him to come home, get married, get a real job, make money, James left for good and forfeited his inheritance, effectively severing all ties with his family and their money.
His submissive personality comes from a childhood of strict upbringing and harassment from his supposed fiance as well as his neglectful parents. James struggles with being assertive or standing his ground as he’s been raised to believe his own emotions are not important and pleasing other people is all that matters.
Jessie was the only child of a single mother who was a high-ranking member of Team Rocket. Unfortunately, during an expedition to the Andes where there had been several sightings of Mew, Jessie’s mom went missing. Because Team Rocket is awful, Jessie was completely ignored by the organization despite her mother’s influence and she was booted to a foster home which had no money to look after her properly. She went a lot of times without food.
She tried to become a nurse but couldn’t get into the training school. She decided to go to another nursing school meant for Chanseys but eventually flunked that too since, you know, she’s not a chansey. She then went to a regular trainer school (where she met James) and eventually flunked out of that too. Which is where she and James joined the biker gang. She did some model work but it never went anywhere. She’s had a bunch of weird odd-jobs before joining Team Rocket.
She’s had a string of boyfriends but unfortunately seems drawn to scumbags as all her past boyfriends have treated her badly in some way or another. More than likely her childhood neglect makes her crave affection and she looks for it in bad places.
Meowth was a stray, moving to a big city believing it would be easier to find food and be taken care of there. At some point, he met a female meowth and became enamoured with her, but she rejected him, saying that she vastly preferred the company of humans to other pokemon, especially dirty strays with no trainers. So, in order to win her affections, Meowth went about learning to speak, and walking on hind legs (something I wish the friggen games would remember! The species don’t walk on hind legs!) But when he approached her again after he felt he had a good grasp on how to act more human, she called him a ‘freak’.
He joined Team Rocket as it was one of the first words he had learned to say and while there got himself to almost being in the position of Giovanni’s person “pet” pokemon. However, for unknown reasons, Meowth was kicked to the curb and assigned to Jessie and James, effectively “thrown away” by the organization who saw no further use for him and when the novelty of a talking pokemon wore off.
He has also effectively screwed up his own levelling as a result of the
humans speech and mannerisms, and is unable to learn payday or evolve as
Meowth is bad at trusting people and has a tendency to be sneaky and underhanded. Behaviour learned from trying to survive as a stray against stronger city pokemon and stealing food from humans to survive. He is still trying to win Giovanni’s attention and approval, possibly because he equates it to validation for existing.