Here on tumblr we’re comfortably throwing around (and taking in) ideas that stretch the mind, and attempt to cross the boundaries of society confines and stereotypes. Which is cool, but sometimes it can get a bit… detached from the actual real world that we’re trying to change (but still, lardely, haven’t, cause change is hard, if not impossible.)
So, basically, tumblr-land can be miles away from the whole rest of the land. It’s important to remember that this is a place of ideas, but not of the realization of these idas. That happens in the outside world, the real world, known also as
Immediately you’re going: “Oh no, don’t ruin it. Don’t expose it to THEM. THEY don’t get it.”
But they must. Just whining to each other on here, although fun, won’t change anything. Going out and doing stuff will.
So, let’s do an experiment, shall we?
(Trust me, I’m a physicist.)
Let’s take this (amazing, if I say so myself) idea: A reverse retelling of Jane Eyre.
She is the one with the sercret, mad spouse hidden somewhere, thirsting for her flesh.
She is the one who wanted to grasp that little glimpse of happiness with another man, even though she knew if was forbidden.
She is the one who has to be set on fire (both metaphorically and literally) before she can be free of her demons.
She is the one who needs to be rescued from the horrors of her own life, and they both have equal flaws and good things to bring to the relationship. (In the book, Rochester needs to be freed of his wife, but other than that he’s supposed to bring more to the marriage, not morally, but materially.) In this reverse story, they are equals morally. Although she’s still kind of poorer, so that stays the same, as do a lot of other things, (because Charlotte is a genius and that story is already waaaay ahead of its time, and people would probably hate SO much on it because of feminism and stuff, but they can’t cause it’s a classic and you go, girl.)
What if he, in reverse, has had a sad, emotionally abusive childhood, and has lived a dry, melancholy life? While drownig in riches (nice contrast there).
What if he is the unspoilt one, has never given his heart to any woman, nor has be promised marriage to one, although he’s had women salivate after him for years?
What if he is the one who has to come back to her in the end, and find her ruined, and promise to her that she is more worthy of him now than she ever was?
What if he has to rescue her morally and emotionally as much as she? (That’s the only thing that doesn’t happen in the book, Jane is the moral anchor throughout, and he’s trying not to drown in the sea of his sins. But what if she is a sinner too?)
What if, in short, the roles are reversed? What if the woman is the one with the guilty secret? Is she then worthy of love? Do we even dare to consider it? What if the man is left bewildered and wondering if she likes him AT ALL, and asking her to trust him with her secrets, and left at the altar (or near it)? What if he is the second man in her life (the non-virgin antitrope -is that even a word? Now it is) but she the first woman in his?
What if the man, for once, is not the one in need of emotional rescuing, but does the rescuing himself, even though he isn’t qualified to do it? But he becomes someone who can lead them noth to a stronger moral standard. He isn’t the rescuer, but he BECOMES the rescuer. Because there’s nobody that will save him, if he won’t do it himself. That’s what I’m talking about. What if he is their only hope of ever working things through? What if she is good and kind and faithful, but maimed? Ruined? Is it good/romatic/relatable that he should want her at all? And is she in a place to even be attracted to him, after what has been done to her?
What if they are both ruined, the girl as well as the guy?
Well, I’ll tell you what happens then.
People don’t GET IT. Most people. Some do. And yay. But most don’t get it. (Or if they get it, they don’t like it.) Ewwwww why isn’t she pure? Ewww she’s married, I don’t read books about girls like THAT. Ewwwww that’s not a heroine, that’s a *** Ewww why would he want her? Ewww Eww Ewwwww
In case you don’t realize what I’m talking about yet, it’s not ok for a woman to have a dark secret, to need rescuing, to not hold herself to a higher moral standard. All the things that make us go “my poor baby” for Rochester, would make us go “ewwwww” for Jane.
That’s gender swap in the real world, my friends. How do I know that? Because of this. I did it, you see. I did the experiment. And I am thankful every day for people who GOT the story from the first second, like @tea-books-lover@velutluna@pagesfullofstars@celebangel@bassguitarwitch and soooo many others who beta-read, reviewed, or just plain encouraged me with this outlandish idea.
Because, let me tell you.
I’ve gotten hate. (The ewwwws we were talking about, see above. So many EWWWS)
ewe? close enough.
I’ve even seen people read the synopsis and go, why would I read a book about a heroine like that? I don’t read books about ruined heroines.
People message me (most of them don’t dare post reviews) telling me they loved the writing but WTH? I reply, it’s reverse. They say ewww the heroine isn’t pure. I say she’s like Rochester, he isn’t pure. They say well, yeah, but he’s a guy. It’s ok for the man. That’s not a Jane Eyre retelling (A LOT of them don’t even get that. They don’t even recognize the Jane Eyre plotline or the characters once I swapped the genders. I mean it when I say it’s a different world out there, you guys. People have no idea. No. Idea.) I say -I usually say nothing, or just bye, but if it’s a nice person who wants answers, I reply- it’s the same story, governess goes to work for rich dude, mad spouse, fire, impossible love, morals, wedding stopped, the works. But it’s reverse.
There’s even lines in the book that are a direct nod to the masterpiece.
“You are my bright angel.”
“You can be mended, if once you were ruined.”
“Take off your mask, little ghost.”
“You tranfix me quite.” (Ok, that’s a lie, I didn’t put that last one in, just love it.)
in lieu of a review, you’re my favorite thing in the world, person). And if I can do a TINY BIT to bring about some change in this world, then:
1. Books are the way to do it (or one of the best ways, subtle but powerful), I really believe this, and history backs it up.
2. I am proud and happy and blessed.
3. I don’t mind the occasional thick head trying to push itself into my inbox. Maybe it’s the sign of someone trying to wake up. Or refusing to wake up. But you know what? Something made them almost wake up. And if that something was me… then that’s all I can ask for.
Anyway, I jsut wanted to share a bit of my experience on “the other side”, which something actually went out and did in real life. It changed me in so many ways, and I really hope it might have changed someone else too. Even the littlest bit.
I always reblog reverse story ideas, and now you know why they’re so close to my heart, but I wanted to share my story of actually going out and DOING THE THING. You should always do the thing, even if you’re scared. Also, if you’re scared, I’m here. Talk to me. I know about scared.
Which brings us to:
Read read read
Then write write write.
Learn the rules, and break them. Like Charlotte did. Like a boss.
Let’s keep writing new things, let’s break the rules, let’s be respectful and educated, and then let’s think outside the box. Let’s RUIN the box (see what I did there? Pun, anyone? No? Ok.)
Chloe isn’t the only one put in Luci’s path by God.
So why was father Frank put there? To help or to hurt him? As I see it, he helped Luci figure out what friendship is, but then he was taken away almost immediately. Chloe is also put in Luci’s path by dad, so is the plan to make him fall in love and then take her away as well? Punish and give pain instead of some actual happiness.
To follow your own path also means you have a choice to either do the right thing, almost always described as the narrow and hard way, or the easy thing, usually described as the wider and easier way to walk, but not as fulfilling.
So what is the cause and what is the effect by those two people being in Luci’s path? Is it a way to redemption and happiness or just another way of giving Luci a glimpse of heaven and then take it all away, punishing him once again. God’s got a plan, but to quote Luci, “why does everybody always think it’s a good plan?” All dad has given him this far is a lot of hurt and heartache so being wary of why Chloe is in his life is probably the wisest thing to be.
American Horror Story Characters Based On Real People
Season 1: Elizabeth Short aka The Black Dahlia - Mena Suvari guest-starred on the very first season of American Horror Story as Elizabeth Short, the woman who would become infamously known as The Black Dahlia. Though parts of her story were fabricated for the show, The Black Dahlia murder is very much real. Short was a 22-year-old aspiring actress who was brutally murdered in 1947. Her body was chopped in half, and her killer carved up the sides of her mouth, giving her what’s known as a “Glasgow smile.” Her murderer was never identified.
Season 1: The Nurse Murders and the Richard Speck Case - One of the story lines from the first season revolves around a couple of nurses who are killed in the Murder House. Though the nurses on the show (played by guest stars Rosa Salazar and Celia Finkelstein) aren’t based on individuals, Ryan Murphy has said their murders are inspired by the Richard Speck massacre in 1966. Speck, a seaman from Texas, broke into a Chicago dorm filled with nurses and viciously tortured, raped, and killed eight of them in one night. The sequence in the show is light compared to what actually happened.
Asylum: Kit and Alma Walker and Barney and Betty Hill - Remember Asylum’s Kit and Alma Walker? According to producers, they were inspired by a couple named Barney and Betty Hill, some of the first people to ever claim to have been abducted by aliens in 1961. Their experience was widely publicized and became a bestselling book called The Interrupted Journey and a 1975 TV movie The UFO Incident. Just like Kit and Alma, Barney and Betty were a mixed-race couple, an integral part of the story line on Asylum.
Asylum: Anne Frank - Franka Potente starred on several episodes of Asylum as a mental patient who insists that she is Anne Frank, the 15-year-old girl who famously documented her horrific experience during the Holocaust before her death. It’s not conclusive whether or not Charlotte truly is Frank, but she does make a pretty compelling case. The American Horror Story character remains one of the most tragic and puzzling parts of the series to this day.
Coven: Madame Delphine LaLaurie - A handful of main characters from Coven were based on real people, but none as chilling as Madame Delphine LaLaurie. Portrayed by Kathy Bates on the show, LaLarie was a prominent New Orleans socialite in the 1800s. She was discovered to have tortured and killed many of her slaves in her “Chamber of Horrors,” and her house is still said to be haunted.
Coven: Papa Legba - Whether Papa Legba is “real” or not is up for interpretation, but the Coven character, played by guest star Lance Reddick, is based on a popular legend. In voodoo culture, he is the intermediary between the living and the dead. Papa Legba is both a good and bad figure, controlling who communicates between the worlds, and in American Horror Story’s case, sentencing some to live in their own personal hells.
Coven: Marie Laveau - Angela Bassett came aboard Coven as Marie Laveau, the ancient voodoo queen of New Orleans. In reality, Laveau was a revered woman in the city between the 1820s and 1860s. She practiced black magic, and just as she is on the show, she was a hairdresser on the side. She was known for being a nurse and a healer, and people still visit her grave to see if she’ll grant them wishes.
Coven: The Axeman of New Orleans - Danny Huston’s Coven character, The Axeman, was a real person - though we still don’t know his identity. Between 1818 and 1819, a series of murders were committed around the New Orleans area. The killer used axes or straight razors owned by the residents of the houses he broke into, and, as seen on the show, he even threatened to kill anyone not playing jazz music on one particular night.
Freak Show: Pepper and Schlitze Surtees - One of the many Freak Show characters to have been inspired by a real person, Pepper (and her husband, Salty) was inspired by Schlitze Surtees. Known as Schlitzie the Pinhead, he was an early 1990s sideshow performer with microcephaly, a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes an unusually small brain and skull. He had the cognisance of a 3-year-old and could only speak in single-syllable words. He is mostly known now because of his part in the 1932 film Freaks.
Freak Show: Edward Mordrake - Wes Bentley appears int he two-part Halloween episode of Freak Show as Edward Mordrake, a man with an evil face on the back of his head. Mordrake was a real person who lived in the 1800s. According to books, he had an unusual deformity: a small face on the back of his head. Mordrake committed suicide at 23, and unlike on the show, he probably doesn’t go around to freak shows on Halloween, killing its performers.
Freak Show: Jimmy Darling and Grady Franklin Stiles, Jr - Though many performers with ectrodactyly, aka Lobster Claw Syndrome, were prevalent throughout freak-show history, Grady Franklin Stiles, Jr. is clearly a large influence for Jimmy Darling. Born in Pittsburgh in 1937, Stiles was part of a whole family of people who had the condition. He was forced to become a sideshow act at a young age and became an abusive alcoholic - which seems to be the direction Jimmy is headed. He murdered his daughter’s fiancé in 1978, and then Grady himself was gunned down by a neighbor in 1993.
Freak Show: Twisty the Clown and John Wayne Gacy - There have been a lot of clown killers throughout history, but none as infamous as John Wayne Gacy. At heart, Twisty the Clown is just an extremely confused and misguided murderer, but Gacy was cold-blooded. His stage name was Pogo the Clown, and between 1972 and 1978, he raped and killed at least 33 young men. He died by lethal injection in 1994, leaving behind a series of haunting self portraits.
Freak Show: Dot and Bette Tattler and Violet and Daisy Hilton - Though conjoined twins Dot and Bette are quite unique, they’re probably based on a pair of sisters by the name of Violet and Daisy Hilton. Born in England in 1908, the twins were fused at the pelvis. They came to San Francisco in 1915, and by the ‘20s, they were successfully performing in vaudeville shows alongside Charlie Chaplin. Following success on stage, their professional lives took a downturn, and they eventually ended up working at a grocery store. Their lives are the subject of a documentary called Bound by Flesh: The Story of Violet and Daisy Hilton.
Hotel: Mr. March and H.H. Holmes - H.H. Holmes is often referred to as America’s first serial killer. He was profiled in the bestseller The Devil in the White City, which tells of Holmes’s technique of hiding his victims in the walls of the building he was constructing. While Mr. March isn’t a direct portrayal, he’s certainly inspired by the killer.
Hotel: Aileen Wuornos - Series veteran Lily Rabe guest starred as Aileen Wuornos, the serial killer who was portrayed by Charlize Theron in the 2003 drama Monster. Wuornos killed seven men while working as a prostitute between 1989 and 1990. She was convicted and later executed by lethal injection in 2002.
Hotel: Richard Ramirez - Also known as the Night Stalker, Ramirez (played by Anthony Ruivivar) went on a two-year rampage in California in the ‘80s. He killed at least 13 people and tortured many more.
Hotel: Jeffrey Dahmer - Seth Gabel played the notorious Jeffrey Dahmer for the “Devil’s Night” episode of Hotel. Dahmer is one of the most well-known serial killers in American history, having murdered at least 17 boys and men. He was also known as the Milwaukee Cannibal, as he raped, dismembered, and eventually ate his victims.
Hotel: John Wayne Gacy - While Gacy inspired Twisty the Clown, John Carroll Lynch returned to American Horror Story to play the real deal on Hotel.
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