The reasons for this blog: 1. To provide basic author information for students, teachers, librarians, etc. (Please see sidebar) 2. I think out loud a lot as I work through writing projects, and I'm trying to dump most of those thoughts here rather than on my friends.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Note to self re: Beast or God again

"But he who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god."

Was watching FullMetal Brotherhood this morning (it seems to be nearing its conclusion), and was struck by a comment from Roy Mustang. He said that he needs Lt. Hawkeye in order to survive, because she keeps him from being reckless.

This got me to thinking about my WIP. One idea I'm loosely exploring is why you may be better off (in a survival/subsistence situation) with a mutually dependent community of caring people around you, rather than being entirely out for yourself--either needing no one, or aligning with a group whose members use each other on a strictly practical basis. I've been thinking mostly in terms of shared burdens, emotional bonds that make people protect each other and work together more efficiently to survive.

But now I'm also thinking that if you have other people around you whom you care about and trust, and who are equally invested in you, then you've also provided yourself with outside context for your own behavior and choices. Without that community you're essentially functioning in a vacuum, and are more likely to lose a sense of proportion about whether you're acting wisely or not. The people around you can keep you grounded by saying, "Hey, you need to calm down," or "That's a little reckless, isn't it?" or "Yes, you're completely justified in worrying about this situation," or perhaps most importantly, "Remember what's really important to you."

I'm thinking maybe a man who has no need of society because he is sufficient for himself isn't necessarily that way because he's a beast. Maybe sometimes trying to be that way is what turns him into a beast.

That actually dovetails very nicely with what's going on in the book, and I think it also may help me pin down the exact actions that'll take place in the climactic scene where my MC makes his story-capping choice. Whatever that is.

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