Thursday, 8 August 2013

Sometimes I Think About Fictional Characters Too Much

Part of my morning routine is catching up on the handful of webcomics I read.  One of which is David Willis' Dumbing of Age.  Willis write a few comics, but this one is by far my favourite because I can relate to it and he manages to create a lot of dramatic plot lines without being unrealistic.

One of the main characters is Joyce, an extremely religious and sheltered girl who had been homeschooled up until this point in her life.  College is quite a culture shock to her, and as a result, hilarity ensues.

Because of recent events, I see a lot of character development for Joyce on the horizon.  She's starting to see a whole bunch of new things from a new perspective, and she's learning how to deal with that.

SPOILER ALERT!  I'm not going to give away much of the plot, but I do need to mention some plot related things.  Fair warning.

New things for Joyce include:

  • Having people question her beliefs and logic, e.g., when they pointed out that she voluntarily got a flu shot, which is based on science she claims she doesn't believe in
  • Her new favourite cartoon allegedly promotes Eastern religion
  • Resisting the temptation to engage in "premarital hanky panky" with her boyfriend, Ethan...
  • Who has just come out to her as gay, but she has decided that that's ok and will stay with him (though perhaps not for the right reasons)
  • Her best friend, Dorothy, is an atheist.
As she begins to adjust to these new experiences, a wrench is thrown into the mix.  Her extremely religious and sheltering parents come to visit.  First they question her love for an Eastern religion promoting cartoon, which she brushes off.  Then they tell her that they don't want her to be friends with Dorothy.  This bothers her immensely as Dorothy is one of the nicest people she's ever met, even nicer than some of the Christian people in her homeschooling group.  She's upset that her parents want her to ditch Dorothy because of her lack of religion and claim she's a bad influence, in spite of the fact that she is kind, intelligent, and moral.

I can't see Joyce abandoning religion; it's too big of a part of her personality.  I can, however, see her questioning what she's been taught prior to college, and the rules and ideas her parents have, and this will be HUGE for Joyce.  My prediction is that she will learn to think critically and make her own decisions.  She will learn to make decisions based on what she feels right, and not based on what she's been told is right in the past.  This may cause some tension between Joyce and her parents (which could also be a new experience for her and further her character development), but my hope is that she can convince her parents that she can be best friends with an atheist and still be a devout Christian teenager.

I can't wait to see where this goes!

1 comment:

  1. In one way that webcomic holds some truth to each person who goes to college/university. Highschool does shelter each of us to some degree as to what life out there is really like. There is no preparation to what life on our own will be like. Parents don't help either because as much as they want to prepare us they gave not a clue what it is going to be like.

    As for home schooling. I have known one guy who was home schooled and boy the real world was a hell of a shock to him. His grandparents schooled him (parents passed away) and they did their best to pass on their knowledge and experiences to him but the generation gap was just too great a stretch. The schooling was inadequate too. What was relevant so many years ago was not today. When he decided to go to university he almost failed out because of this. Lucky he was a smart individual.

    The other issue was that there was no social interaction with people his age. He spent all his time with his grandparents and when it came to social interactions it was church outtings. Now there is nothing wrong with this but when all the those you are interacting with fall into the same mold, there is no diversity. University was almost too much for him. It is almost too much for most people.

    In the end, keep us informed how things go for Joyce. :)

    Justin, The Forklift Driver