I honestly adore the fact that Kaneki’s companions are people that he had once been in life-or-death fights against. It’s incredible that they’ve all found a common ground and respect for Kaneki as their King. Also, I love the implication that Kaneki’s got such a close and trusting relationship with Ayato that they can wordlessly communicate. Probably of all of this group he trusts Ayato the most, which - to me - reads as “I love Hinami like a daughter and you are her boyfriend so I trust you” and vice versa “You were good to my sister even when I wasn’t, and you’re someone Hinami cares about so I trust you”. I mean, what else do they really have on a basal emotional level rather than the grand scheme of “we want to live safely as ghouls”? They met back up saving Hinami and she’s kind of what’s holding their group together.
Hi everyone! I’ve noticed a bit of negativity floating around the divination community. And I wanted to make a quick post addressing it!
What happens when you request a tarot/energy/rune/oracle reading (especially a free one) and you feel like the reader got it wrong. That’s ok! It happens! But what’s important is how you respond to this! Most readers like myself ask for feedback so we know what we’re doing right but especially what we are doing wrong! So here’s a little how to guide on how to let a reader know that their reading didn’t meet your expectations without being rude!
1. Say thank you- even if you feel the reading was completely bogus say thanks! The reader used their time and energy to deliver a reading to you. They don’t have to offer these services but they do and you, whether you realize it or not, benefitted from this reading. Even if it’s wrong at least you are now certain what is not going on!
2. Express that you thought the reading wasn’t interpreted correctly in a KIND manner. Saying something like “your reading for me was dead wrong” isn’t helpful and is rude to your reader. Instead begin your feedback in a different way perhaps like “thank you for the reading! I wanted to leave some feedback as not everything you stated resonated with me”.
3. Back up your statement- we ask for feedback/constructive criticism! If you say we’re wrong but don’t say why you feel that way how are we supposed to learn? Readers make mistakes, we’re human! But we can’t learn if you rudely tell us were wrong but won’t support your claim.
4. Acknowledge potential error on your end- Was your question super vague? Is this a question you didn’t want the answer to? It’s possible you’re blocking yourself from accepting the full meaning of the reading. Make sure you analyze that as well.
5. Don’t have an attitude- I know it’s disappointing when you receive a reading that doesn’t resonate. You ask yourself “what the heck is this reader doing, this can’t be right”. You might be angry or upset to hear something negative. Try to keep that to yourself. If you can’t, it’s best not to leave feedback! Diviner are people who work hard at what they do. It can be really discouraging to get overly harsh negative words about our work.
If you express yourself correctly the diviner may be willing to revisit your reading and re-interpret it in light of the new info you provided. Like I said we’re human. I know that if I get info that might change things I give a reinterpretation of the reading. However,the reader may stick to their original reading as they may be picking up on something you can’t quite sense. Sometimes readings take a while to make sense or as mentioned you’re blocked to the message. Meditate on it and decide for yourself if you’re gonna accept this reading or let it go. If you get a negative reading and you don’t like it you don’t need to accept that as your final outcome. The future is malleable and you are in charge of it. Readings are never 100% accurate or set in stone. You can always make the change you are hoping for!
That’s all! I hope this helps! Remember to be kind to your diviners!
Lesley Sharp: “When Sky is copying people’s speech patterns, we both had to learn the square root of pi to two or three dozen decimal places, but it was almost impossible to keep up with David. His speech pattern, the rate at which he speaks, is phenomenally fast. Really, really quick. He learns pages and pages and pages. And the rate at which he speaks is the rate at which he thinks. Russell explained to me that David’s Doctor has a lot to say, because that’s David. He’s so bright. Isn’t that brilliant though? The things that Russell thinks about and then re-interprets - I think they’re both amazing.” – from DWM #397
From the Midnight DVD Commentary (with David Tennant, Russell T. Davies, and director Alice Troughton): David Tennant: We did rehearse the pi-number quite a lot… Russell T. Davies: I remember you learning that the day after you got the script! DT: Yeah, I just thought, “Oh, I see…” RTD:
You walked into the Sontaran read-though and just rattled off the square root of pi! DT: I got the script the night before, and thought, “He’s given me the square root of pi to 30 decimal places… I’m gonna show him.” RTD & Alice Troughton: [big laugh] DT: …and I got up early, and learnt it over breakfast RTD: And it was brilliant!
“[Trump] rarely speaks logically, and he only emphasizes one side of things as if it were the absolute truth. There are lots of moments when I suspected his assertions were factually dubious… He is so overconfident and yet so logically unconvincing that my interpreter friends and I often joke that if we translated his words as they are, we would end up making ourselves sound stupid.”
– Japanese Interpreter Chikako Tsuruta
“You realize, at that moment, that you have written something very unpleasant to read. Trump’s vocabulary is limited, his syntax is broken; he repeats the same phrases over and over, forcing the translator to follow suit. The translator has to translate the content and the style. So that is what I do, and reading Trump in French, which is a very structured and logical language, reveals the poor quality of his language and, consequently, of his thought.”
Persona Chart Series - Interpreting Planetary Persona Charts
Okay so throughout the Persona Chart series I will be explaining the interpretations of different components in the chart, I will be starting with planets since they’re the basics.
Interpreting the Personal Planet Persona Charts (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars)
Okay so the personal planets are very specific to us, they represent our personality quite a bit more than the other planets. When we interpret their persona charts, we look at them we look at them like separate people within us (like with the other planets).
Moon Persona Chart - Made up of everything that creates our emotional side.
Ascendant is how our emotional side is received
Sun is the main ego (same as our Natal Moon sign)
Moon is our deep emotional complexes
Mercury is how we communicate our emotions to others
Venus is how we comfort others/find our own comfort
Mars is the emotional drive behind our actions
Interpreting Outer Planets Persona Charts (Jupiter and Saturn)
While they’re sort of like the personal planets, Jupiter and Saturn are slow moving planets and would more so serve as archetypes, this being said there are only small differences in how they should be interpreted. I would recommend interpreting them more like themes in your life (Jupiter = The world is your oyster, Saturn = weights on your ankles that keep you grounded), rather than different personalities in you.
This way, the planets in the person chart will all relate to those individual themes in your life.
Interpreting the Higher Octave/Generational Planets Persona Charts (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto)
These three are far too abstract for me to regard them as tangible personalities but instead, I see their person charts as maps for the hard to find potential in us. Something the three of these planets have in common is spirituality and a higher existence. I would recommend using these person charts to study the talents you have regarding protest and the supernatural (Uranus), psychology and spirituality (Neptune) and sex and the occult (Pluto).
Note: They say it’s important to look at the Persona chart of your Natal Chart ruler because it can give us a lot of insight and can uncover secrets
PSA for new fans who are wondering about why some people are hating on bbc Sherlock.
Don’t worry, the fandom is not “dead”. There’s still plenty of us who love the show and loves s4, despite what the bitter people say.
This outcry by some fans will always happen every time new materials appear. With every new canon, there’s always gonna be someone to diss it and say the new canon is “wrong” or “ooc”. That’s because within the 2-3 year of hiatus, fans indulge themselves in fan creation and fan theories and they’ve already subconsciously decided what they want to see in the new episodes, or they’ve subconsciously dictated what the characters are allowed or not allowed to do, based on how the characters are re-interpreted in fanfics. But reality is, interpretations are open ended, and often what appears in the new material might be different from what the fans believe was their “correct” interpretation.
This happened when s3 first aired as well. Some people quit the fandom because they thought “it was too much of a drama soap”, they said Sherlock’s character in s3 was ooc, they said tsot is “not a bbc Sherlock episode”, they say moftiss is going too far, they say the resolution and reunion of the fall was not ‘dramatic’ or 'johnlock’ enough, and the list goes on.
This always happens. And not just to bbc Sherlock. Any tv show or movie or game or anything, when new material comes out there is ALWAYS people who hates it and quits.
But there is always new fans coming in too. So by no means is the fandom getting smaller. There’s still plenty of us who loves the show as much as you do :)
Are the voices in the studio catbird afac dub the canon voices?
No. Those are just the voices in the dub. And while I’ve personally approved of all those voices I don’t think there’s any such thing as a “canon” voice for a comic character. It’s like how there’s no such thing as a canon appearance for Cecil or Taako (cause they’re podcast characters). All interpretations are good and valid as far as I’m concerned.
So this is really my top gripe about anime at the moment, so succinctly summed up by an episode in the show Shirobako. So many times you will see a decent character “moe-ified”, that is, given a heavily amplified kawaii/tsundere/kuudere/nadeshiko/whatever type of personality, and then given awkward proportions in order to fanservice the audience. Cuteness and male-gazeworthy proportions trump everything else. Do the folks in that industry not realize just how derivative it all is when female characters in every show start looking the same?
Last year world famous director Hayao Miyazaki gave an interview in which he said that the anime industry was declining in quality due to it being full of otaku who didn’t observe real people. He also said that the content creators entrenched themselves in the tropes they were used to instead of observing real people. I happen to agree with him. It’s becoming more and more amplified as the characters get less and less relatable. Everyone seems like a carbon copy of each other. And women are represented worse than ever in a lot of these shows, which is highly disappointing. In a lot of ways, with a few exceptions like Fullmetal Alchemist, women in 90s anime were treated far better than their contemporary counterparts. They were far more realistic. Watch an anime like Blue Seed and then compare it to any anime that’s on air today and the difference is noticable.
A new concern of mine that I’m noticing is starting to creep into modern anime more and more is production teams re-interpreting characters and relationships from the original work and showing favoratism in certain areas while bashing others. For example, I just finished watching The Devil is a Part-Timer and I found the Emilia character really interesting. When I did some research into the series, I discovered that the anime director of the series liked another moe female character named Chiho more, so he played Chiho up in the anime and put down Emilia by purposly exaggerated Emilia’s negative qualities. Chiho was featured prominantly throughout the show and was pretty much exclusively featured in the ending credits. I didn’t mind Chiho as a character but I wasn’t intrigued at all by her like I was with Emilia. The director cranked Emilia’s tsundere-ness up to 11 in order to make her less appealing, and although Emilia a main character in the light novels, she was more or less demoted down to an extra in the anime. If you read the translated light novels of The Devil is a Part-Timer, it becomes apparent that Emilia is a lot more subdued and far more likable. She’s still a tsundere but she’s not her anime counterpart. It’s stuff like this that annoys me. When character bias creeps in the story loses. And I’m seeing it a lot more than I used to in anime, which is so disappointing because it means you’re not getting a good adaptation of the source material. I’m not saying that anime has to be 100% true to the source material but I am asking that today’s content creators try to keep their personal biases out of the story. It hurts the message when it becomes super apparent that the storytellers don’t like certain characters or a certain pairings.
I love anime, but lately I have found myself becoming increasingly frustrated with it. After awhile I get bored seeing the exact same tropes played out again and again ad nauseum across the different genres. They need to shake it up and stop pandering to the lowest common denominator. This is what makes series like Attack on Titan and Fullmetal Alchemist so captivating; in the anime world they’re very unique and the characters are far more multidminensional and realistic.
I know I skipped over the antagonists from a lot of early episodes, but I’ll get to them eventually. Cujo’s just only gets one episode, and he is a fairly important character, in my opinion. So let’s get to it.
I am so happy and honoured that the wonderful @da-da-sk has send me a re-interpretation of my wildflower/wall photograph. I think this is far more interesting, mysterious and atmospheric than my plain original.
I would love to collaborate with other photographers and artists :-)
Recently I’ve re-discovered my love for “Phantom of the Opera.” It started after I saw the 2017 rendition of the tale that’s as old as time “Beauty & the Beast,” which lead to my re-reading of favorite childhood novels, “Beauty” & “Rose Daughter” by Robin McKinley. Low & behold, right next to them on my book shelf was one of my all time favorites, Gaston Leroux’s “Phantom of the Opera.” It had been a while since I’d read any of them & in re-reading them with a slightly more wise, adult POV, & a bit more life experience, I was overjoyed that the experience felt much like the 1st in the fact that I realized many details in the stories that I’d missed when I was younger. It’s nice, leaving a favored stories behind for a while & then taking it back in with a fresher perspective.
Throughout this vast re-read, I had also at the time been doing research in Greek Mythology (for another project) & also happened to be reacquainting myself with the Hades/Persephone tale. The thing about mythology is that the stories alter in certain details over time. It’s not so different from books like “Phantom of the Opera” that have so many adaptations that they all get jumbled together in their influence over our interpretations of them. When it came to Hades/Persephone what irked me in my research was discovering that Zeus was lauded throughout history. In too many interpretations/re-tellings Zeus is seen as the caring father-figure, the loving grandfatherly-figure (if we’re talking about Disney’s animated Hercules), or the seductive all power God-King. He’s someone to respect. Right? Not really!
Zeus is a man who often came down to Earth to consort with human women (those who denied him its hinted that he raped them) & was NEVER faithful to any of his wives. What, you thought Hera was his only wife? The Greeks viewed him in a traditional Patriarchal sense & that has extended throughout each new adaptation of his character. However, after reading up on Zeus, he actually had a lot in common with his father Cronus, the tyrant Titan King (Cronus may have swallowed his own children, but guess what, so did Zeus - i.e. Athena). Throughout history, literature, & Hollywood he’s portrayed as a hero, an authority figure to be lauded (& perhaps that’s our own Patriarchal society influencing us). Zeus, is in reality, extremely unfaithful, hinted as being a seducer of women & a rapist, had much in common with a former tyrant (his father), etc. Hades is typically chosen as the epitome bad guy. I mean, he had to be bad, since he ruled the Underworld (a job he never even wanted)! Right? It was actually Hades’ power, strength, natural leadership & strategy skills during the 5 yr. war between the Olympians/Titans, the Titanomachy, that enabled the Olympians to win - it was also what caused Zeus to fear Hades & trick him into ruling the Underworld (which inevitably made people wary of Hades & eventually vilified him).
When Hades meets Persephone, falling madly in love with her, he’s unsure how to proceed. Hades actually goes to Zeus, telling his brother that he’s found a potential bride but is essentially uncertain how to proceed. “I’ll just ask my womanizing big brother, Zeus, he knows how to woo women.” (I’m paraphrasing, obviously, but you get the gist.) It is actually Zeus who suggests that Hades should kidnap Persephone. Which in itself, says more about Zeus than it does Hades, IMO!
Hades takes his brother’s advice & does as Zeus suggests, kidnapping Persephone. What’s interesting is the fact that while this 1st half of the story remains pretty consistent throughout the fogginess of history (myths do like to alter throughout time with each new interpretation of them) the 2nd half is open to much interpretation due the latter half being unclear of certain events. It’s a toss-of-the coin, a 50/50 chance; many philosophers & historians believe Persephone was taken against her will, while just as many of them suggest that Persephone saw Hades taking her to the Underworld as rescuing her from her overbearing, controlling mother, Demeter. Demeter also threatens to leave the world in a perpetual state of winter, essentially driving all of humanity into starvation, The same speculate as to whether Persephone knew what would happen if she ate those famed pomegranate seeds.
For any story that leaves room for speculation, I’ve found that it’s what people theorize that’s far more telling of THEM as people than it is of the actual story! When people theorize that Persephone was a victim, that she was tricked, that says more about the theorist than it does Persephone, b/c the theorist is the one that is turning Persephone into the victim, not necessarily the actual story. When theorists interprets/speculates that Persephone had an intelligence that enabled her to know what she was doing, that she made her own choices, it lends Persephone the agency she deserves as a person rather than choosing to victimize her! The story also hints that Hades truly loved Persephone given that he was pretty much the only Olympian who was faithful to his wife!
Moving forward, as I re-read “Phantom of the Opera” (as well as reading “Phantom” by Susan Kay for the first time) I began noticing parallels not just with stories like “Beauty & the Beast” but also Hades/Persephone.
The most obvious parallels being: in comparison to “Beauty & the Beast” an ugly (cursed) man seeking the companionship of a woman who can love him in spite of his ugliness; in comparison to Hades/Persephone, when the Phantom absconds with Christine, taking her down to his lair to make her his bride. The latter parallel also reminds me of the french epic poem “Eloa” who is an agel that falls in love with a disguised Satan - he takes her to hell, not believing she could truly love him now that she knows the truth, but instead she chooses to stay with him regardless.
In particular the parallel to Hades/Persephone seemed to fit considering this particular quote from Leroux’s novel, “You must know that I am made of death, from head to foot, & it is a corpse who loves you & adores you & will never, never leave you!” Hades was often referred as Lord of Death since people feared speaking his actual name.
My foray into the various “Phantom of the Opera” adaptations also enlightened me to other aspects of parallelism & details that, as a child, I had not thought of until now with an adult perspective.
Fantasy vs. Reality…
In “Beauty & the Beast”, the ultimate reward for Belle in loving the Beast for who he is (not what he is) in the end, is that he transforms back into his handsome Princely self. As a children’s story B&B gets the message across; that beauty is more than just skin deep, teaches lessons of seeing beyond the obvious, acceptance & tolerance. But the ending is the real fantasy, the lie as it were, b/c in the real world the Beast would not become a Prince again. The real reward for Belle in reality would simply be the Beast’s love, not an alteration in his physicality. These fundamental changes in childhood stories are true within the concept of tales like “Beauty & the Beast” in comparison to whether we’re looking at the story with a child’s gaze or through an adult’s POV. There’s the fantasy we interpret as children, then there’s the reality we see as adults! This comparison is reflective between various adaptations of “Phantom of the Opera” & “Beauty & the Beast.” The fantasy being B&B where the beauty is rewarded for loving such a creature by him transforming into a handsome Prince, while the Phantom stays as he is.
In “Phantom of the Opera” Raoul is referred to as “foppish boy,” that “insolent boy” but a boy all the same! His youth, education, title & wealth are the very things that most women think of in an ideal man. His overall role in Christine Daae’s life represents the sweetness of childhood. Raoul is, at 1st, presented in a very real aspect: his brief history with Christine, his lac of mystery making him seem normal; there’s no supernatural element to his character. However, as Raoul become a Love Interest to Christine, he’s rendered a sort of fairy-tale quality. The reality being that a man of Raoul’s social standing would likely not be able to/or even think to marry someone of Christine’s much lower social standing (he’s a Vicomte, she’s a mere chorus girl). That particular element gives their “love” a Cinderella” feel rendering Raoul as a sort-of Prince Charming. Erik, the Phantom, is flawed & referred to as the man of the story - he’s older, wiser, more experienced (even if those experiences have made him bitter). Leroux even calls Erik, “The man’s voice.” Raoul become less of a reality & more of a fantasy love, akin to a Prince Charming in a fairy-talewhile Erik, becomes less of a fantasy throughout the story & something far more tangible; he’s brutal & honestly flawed, an ugly reality of the world.
Each adaptation that I’ve come across seems to present Erik/Raoul to the reader as polar opposites. You have Raoul who Christine sees quite obviously as a real person (he’s not an Angel of Music, he’s not some Opera Ghost), he’s real flesh & blood, a youthful young man. They have some history together which solidifies Raoul’s presence as a normal guy in Christine’s life. There is no air of mystery. Yet, they come from completely different classes of society. Not unlike how Darcy, in reality, would never marry someone of such low social standing as Elizabeth Bennett (”Pride & Prejudice”). That’s the fantasy - the Prince Charming, Cinderella effect of the Raoul/Christine relationship. Where as there is no real social separation between Erik & Christine. Any expectations society gives for Christine to choose Raoul are the very things that make him a fantasy love: wealth, title, handsome, youth, etc. The fantasy itself is the very thing that lends an illusion of realism to Raoul as Christine’s love interest! He’s a fantasy that exists completely under an illusion of realism, IMO!
Christine: Growing Up…
This is where the jumbled various adaptations of a story become harder to separate, in this regard I’m essentially taking in a bit of every adaptation (this reminds me of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” where in the original novel he’s not as handsome as Dracula is later perceived in later adaptations). In Leroux’s novel Christine has only known Erik, her Angel of Music for a few months (though at times it seemed like she’d known him much longer) whereas other adaptations show Erik being in Christine’s life much longer. As a child Christine looks upon Erik with a child’s gaze. 1st as her Angel of Music, seeing him as a literal Angel. Quickly morphing into the guidance of a teacher, & while he still remains her “mon ange” (my angel), he has also become her Maestro. At the same time he’s become the Opera Ghost. With each stage of Christine’s psyche, the illusion of Erik melts away; from Angel, to Maestro, to Phantom, until he is just a flesh & blood man. Where as Raoul remains a representation of Christine’s childhood & their “love” eludes to that youthful mindset - a childhood infatuation that’s as fleeting as the emotions experienced by other teenagers. Not unlike the comparative romantic relationship in “Gone with the Wind” (Scarlet clings to Ashley who represents life before the war, the last part of her childhood, of a time long gone; while ignoring her very real feelings for Rhett which represent something far more lasting & mature. You have Ashley, the idealist & Rhett, the realist). Raoul represents Christine’s past, her childhood idealism; Erik represents Christine’s growth b/c he’s seemingly a part of every phase of her life.
Christine’s Early Childhood - Raoul (varies with each adaptation)
Christine’s Later Childhood - Erik as her Angel of Music.
Christine’s Teen Yrs. - Erik as he Angel but also now taking on the role of Maestro, her teacher, while also being the mysterious Opera Ghost (something darker, more mysterious than the purity of an Angel).
Christine’s Adult Yrs. (moving into womanhood) - Erik, the illusions have fallen away & he’s now just a flesh & blood man!
The role Raoul seems to chiefly represent in Christine’s life is her past, there’s not much growth in their relationship beyond Raul wooing her. B/c her relationship with Erik changed over the yrs. it represents real growth in character & personality for Christine which is the reality of growing up. By choosing Raoul, Christine chose the illusion of living her life through her childhood & is therefore stuck in the past. Raul essential hinders Christine’s growth as a character, IMO.
Erik (the Phantom) is a lot like Severus Snape - an unlikely sex symbol of the story! He’s also acts as a sort of metaphor for Christine Daae’s evolution in discovering her sexuality.
The fundamental growth of Christine moving away from her childhood & into a woman is connective to how Erik encompasses various phases of her life. When Christine looks upon Erik as an Angel it represents the purity of a child’s mind. He’s her friend, her companion of comfort that get’s her through the loneliness after her father’s death (the Musical & 2004 film). When he grows into her Maestro - her teacher - he becomes her confidant, a source of wisdom (this is especially prevalent in the Charles Dance mini series). As she grows into her teen yrs. & Erik becomes the Opera Ghost, he represents something darker, more mysterious in nature; he’s no longer the pure Angel. By the time Christine sees Erik, the flesh & blood man, he’s fallen in love with her which shows his representation of Christine moving her mindset from the fantastical (Angel/Phantom) to something more real (a man). This development, I feel, is the opposite of Raoul. Raoul starts off seeming realistic & morphs into the fantasy of a sort-of Prince Charming, showing that Christine looks upon Raoul the way she would as a child, as a fairy-tale ending. Whereas Erik starts out as something unreal/otherworldly (Angel/Phantom) later becoming something tangible & real. It shows how with Raoul, Christine moves backward but with Erik she moves forward into adulthood - womanhood (though, that’s just my interpretation).
That moment of adulthood is when Erik reveals himself to being a real man & takes Christine down to his lair for the first time. (Leroux) “The moment she took his offered hand she was no longer a child.” In the musical, this is shown in the song “Music of the Night” in it’s purely sensual nature & tone of the song where we see Erik caress & holding Christine repeatedly throughout the scene. Many speculate that this strongly hinted that Christine & Erik were actually lovers in the most intimate sense, given that during that time period what differentiated between being a girl & being a woman was the marriage bed. Both the quote & song hint at a deeper connection between the 2.
This is reflective throughout much of Christine’s relationship with Erik. In the musical, the songs become more sensual in nature & far less metaphorical. One theory I found was the speculation that “Music of the Night” was metaphorical to Christine loosing her virginity. Interesting.
The song “Past the Point of No Return” is a bit more blatant in its lyrics if still a bit poetic in how it addresses the concept of physical/sexual pleasure. The fact that it’s a duet between Erik/Christine further shows a more sexual nature to their relationship. It’s the opposite of the duet shared between Raoul/Christine “Say you need me…” which is far more innocent in nature & tone. Where as the songs/scenes between Erik/Christine radiate passion! In “Love Never Dies” adaptation, the song “Beneath a Moonless Sky” is downright blatantly descriptive of the sexual intimacy between Erik/Christine (no longer metaphorical).
As little girls we’re fed stories, fairy-tales of gentle love. Even books like Twilight capitalize on the interpretation of young love as something pure where the teenage male is (rather unrealistically) a perfect gentleman & other books where the man is the only one perceived as having a sexual nature. “Phantom of the Opera” in its own way shows that women are sexual creatures, too. By representing the innocence of her childhood, Raoul is in a way repressive of Christine’s sexuality while Erik enables her to embrace certain desires.
What furthers the sexualization of Erik - whether it’s when he’s Christine’s Angel…
the Opera Ghost…
or just the ostracized, scarred, tormented, isolated flesh & blood man, Erik…
- is the fact that throughout various adaptations of the story there is a great deal that appeals to popular erotic fantasy.
There’s the eroticism of the Phantom’s aesthetic in adaptations like: Webber’s Musical, the Charles Dance Mini Series, the 2004 film, even the poetic prose of Susan Kay’s novel lends a romanticized interpretation of the character: He’s tall, dark, mysterious with an edge of danger. And in terms of physicality, the Phantom is far different from that of Raoul. While Raoul would likely be a handsome athletic man for the time period, he is also what was considered the typical handsome, the typical athlete. Males in society within Raoul’s social class were physical in that they likely had formal hunting parties (ever watched Downton Abbey?) & knew how to fence. But his wealthy likely meant he never had to do any form of real physical labor. In the Charles Dance mini series, ‘04 film, Webber’s Musical, & a novel by Fredrick Forsyth, the Phantom is decidedly more physical: from building & adjusting the Opera House’s architecture, roaming around the Opera House in unlikely places (climbing onto the rafters), not to mention how he moves large pieces of furniture like an organ all the way down to his lair; the Phantom’s backstory as an assassin in Persia! He is very much an active man who’s dealt with physical labor & hardships his whole life & therefore has a sense of strength that Raoul’s luxurious lifestyle would probably NOT enable him to have.
Let’s not forget that enigmatic mask of his!
Not to mention the cape!
And of course the sexualization of the student/teacher-protege/mentor relationship!
Yet, despite all the illusions, the many faces Erik wears, he is far more tangible & real than Raoul. Raoul, who’s personality floats somewhere between entitled brat to nonexistent; Raul, whose entire character is defined by his wealth, his good looks & his past with Christine. Where as Erik, the Phantom has a backstory, a tortured life that makes him the man he is now. Erik who is ever changing & complex in personality & character no matter how enigmatic he’s portrayed feels far more real. Even down to how people treat him & the cruelties he’s endured simply b/c of what he looks like is a reality of our world!
As for the love Erik has for Christine - in Leroux’s novel Erik seems consumed with loneliness & desperate for companionship which makes his feeling for Christine appear obsessive in nature. Though, even at the end they are both moved to tears & Christine shows him great compassion. It’s possible that the lack of human contact that Leroux’s Erik has endured is parallel to that of extreme isolation which can psychological alter a person’s sanity. So, is it the abuse he’s faced throughout his life, the horrors he witnessed in Persia, or his isolation that has made insane? Perhaps all three in Leroux’s novel.
In other adaptations Erik’s love is portrayed as something far more pure. He loves Christine for her talents (singing, ballet, artistry) & not her physical beauty like Raoul. As a woman, I can’t tell you how annoying it is when people, men in general, comment on my looks. When someone tells you you’re pretty/beautiful, your looks aren’t something you really have control over (genetics), therefore the compliment falls flat a lot of the time. Where as if you compliment someone for their accomplishments, something they’ve worked hard for, it’s far more meaningful. The relationship between Erik/Christine in various adaptations appears to be built on companionship, trust, respect, the love of friends, the love of student/teacher, romantic love, the appreciation they have for each other’s talents, & at times their own mutual loneliness (Erik in his solitude & Christine in the sadness of her father’s death). The Raoul/Christine relationship many times focuses on how beautiful Raoul thinks Christine is. In the 1990s TV mini series adaptation starring Charles Dance, the Phantom tells Christine that Raoul is not worthy of her b/c, “He comes to the opera for the wrong reasons. He come for the sake of pretty faces rather than the music.” In a way, much like in “Beauty & the Beast” Belle/Christine at times deal with body image issues. Where as the Beast in B&B, & Erik in “Phantom of the Opera” are both judged for how they look, so are the characters Belle/Christine - both women are seen for their looks by their love interests Gaston/Raoul. Where as in the Musical, for example, Erik seems to focus mostly on Christine’s talents which he later becomes attracted to.
This was essentially my interpretation of “The Phantom of the Opera” in it’s entirety, including the influence of its various adaptations. I theorize with the more sympathetic, romanticized versions of the story mostly b/c my 1st exposure to it was the 2004 film & later Webber’s Musical. I read the book after that & so my mental via of the Phantom was decidedly different to that of what Leroux likely originally intended. To me the film, musical, mini series, & Susan Kay’s novel are the ones that are most influential of how I view the story/characters compared to someone who started out reading Leroux’s book 1st. Which was an entirely new experience for me in terms of how I usually analyze/interpret things b/c I almost always read the original novel before any other adaptation.
Feeling (Fi): Anne
builds an instant, strong connection to Matthew that she describes as a “kindred
spirit.” She “understands” him, through their shared quiet but intense
affection for one another. Her emotions drive all her decisions, and Gilbert
accuses her of making things “all about herself,” when she is actually trying
to connect to him, through their shared
loss. She can be melodramatic with her feelings, but keeps the most intense
things to herself, until she learns she can trust Marilla with some of them
(even then, she doesn’t talk about her abuse at the orphanage or in foster
homes). She is incredibly kind, sensitive, and easily offended, but also has an
Intuition (Ne): She
self-entertains endlessly through stories, window friends, and dramatic
re-interpretations of the world around her. Anne daydreams about climbing into
a cheery tree if no one comes for her; she prefers to tell Marilla an invented
tale about her marvelous parents, rather than the truth. She never does
anything without a flourish. She
admits that the white way of delight is “the only thing that cannot be improved
on, by my imagination!” She has a dozen stories in her head all at the same
time, and often shares these (abstract) details with her friends; they can’t
think up a plot for a story? No problem, Anne has a vague idea they can use!
She refuses to accept the world as it is; she has to put her own personal shine on it.
Sensing (Si): Her
own experiences are very important to
her, and Anne uses them to frame her expectations of reality; she comes to
Green Gables terrified they won’t want or keep her, because others have ditched
her in the past, due to her “ugly” red hair and freckles. She is overwhelmed
with delight when the Cuthberts give her a sense of security, sameness, and
permanence, by inviting her to sign the family Bible and become a real Cuthbert. Anne glowers on the train
that, “Why are BAD memories so much harder to forget than good ones?” She
spends several episodes flashing back to her traumatic experiences, triggered
by similarities and emotional reactions in her environment. Her perception of
how life was is sometimes naïve (Ne) and impressionistic (Si) rather than
Thinking (Te): Oh,
boy. Anne has a temper. She insults
Rachel Lynde in no uncertain terms. She screams at Gilbert to leave her alone.
She doesn’t hesitate to slap down Marilla for her fake “good night,” at the end
of her first night at Green Gables. Her Te bitch-slaps people all over the place. Since she is so
young, she uses it mostly to assert her opinions… but while she IS very hard
working at school, and smart enough to teach herself long division, she hasn’t
quite mastered the art of not daydreaming yet and… you know, not setting the
kitchen on fire.
Note: This is on Netflix now. It’s magnificent.
Go watch it.
listen i know we’re supposed to interpret this line as lorde learning to be alone and loving herself but no one can stop me from choosing to believe that it’s really about her having a ghost girlfriend
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