Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Love Me 2

I watched the rest of Taxi Driver last night. It's interesting to observe that I missed that Travis is writing to both his parents - I just picked up on his mother. Preconceptions at work, no doubt!
Travis lies; he writes to his parents (dutiful son) and tells all manner of tales to conceal the true extent of his declining mental health and unpleasant work and equally unpleasant accommodation. Is he detestable because he's lying?
Well, I read this as 'wanting his parents to be proud of him'. The lie is a means to an end, and the end is a well-intentioned end. (This is referred to in philosophical circles as consequentialism and is a key theme - one that informs the Major Dramatic Question [MDQ] - of my short-story.)
I think too that, because Travis lives in squalor and takes all manner of abuse from his passengers, he is more likeable; that's to say that the bonding process with my protag, Corus, possibly suffers because he lives in a picturesque cottage and loves his work. Perhaps this can be likened to the broad appeal of soap operas: we like these characters because their lives are much worse than our own - they provide a context with which we can be happy/happier with our lot.
Whilst Corus will, by the end of the second third, lose everything (his black moment) - and I have to wonder at the perversity of the reader-protag relationship, where the reader wills the protag to suffer out of jealous spite :o) - this is meaningless if the reader has already absconded because they couldn't bond with Corus.
Thoughts on this matter are ongoing ...

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