Empress Theresa - what do you do with unlimited power ? - Page 9


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Thread: Empress Theresa - what do you do with unlimited power ?

  1. #81
    WF Veteran Lewdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by popsprocket View Post
    I'm almost afraid to post this, considering how combative this thread is... but:

    Does Theresa have any character development going on?

    I understand your point about her not changing and I think it's a fine enough idea to have someone who stands by their morals no matter what, but something about her has to change to make her an interesting character. If she doesn't change, doesn't have faults, doesn't fail every now and then, then I don't think she is the kind of character I would like to read about. Isn't the best part of fiction the way you can put your characters under extraordinary stresses that are impossible in the real world, and then watch how they change as a result?

    Also, I want to say that I disagree about people not changing because of experiences. Everyone changes because of every experience, even if only in a minute fashion.
    If people don't think people change because of the environment, they are close minded individuals who still think the world is flat, the sun rotates around the earth, and that there is such a thing as a free lunch. I'd beg the question, what experience wouldn't change someone. For me this argument is in the truth of the matter and it's real effects. I can give you thousands, even millions of things that change a person in some way. So tell me just a few things that doesn't. I've almost got a degree in Sociology and believe me I've learned more about human nature than I ever wanted to know.
    Last edited by Lewdog; December 5th, 2012 at 01:59 AM.

  2. #82
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    I'm almost afraid to post this, considering how combative this thread is... but:
    If by combative you mean people express opposing opinions, which is what a forum is for I would think, aren't you now being combative yourself?

    Does Theresa have any character development going on?

    I understand your point about her not changing and I think it's a fine enough idea to have someone who stands by their morals no matter what, but something about her has to change to make her an interesting character.
    In chapter one, Theresa is ten. She goes down the street to throw a baseball back and forth with her little friend Tommy Kearns. That's the extent of her sex life at age ten.
    In chapter two she is a sixteen year old high school Senior. There is no reference to sex in chapter two, but later it will be revealed she only had one boyfriend in high school, a nice kid, a fun to be with kid, a geeky kid with red hair and glasses. He's the only high school boy who ever had the nerve to ask her out. They're obviously not a match, but they get each other circulating out there.
    In chapter three Theresa begins college. She immediately starts dating Jack Koster, "the boy from New York City", but not long after Jack's long standing hometown girlfriend shows up on a surprise visit. Steve Hartley, who has had an eye for Theresa, seizes the opportunity and shows up at her dorm room. They hit it off immediately. "We were perfect for each other." They marry in June. She is eighteen.
    Theresa's sexuality has certainly changed over the years. The text doesn't explicitly say that. It would be insulting. The reader should already be aware of it.

    Another kind of change is increase in knowledge. Obviously Theresa knows a lot more at eighteen than she did at age ten in chapter one when she spoke in simple, short sentences, mostly monosyllables. The text doesn't explicitly say that. It would be insulting. The reader should be aware of it.

    Another change in character is a change in morals, which is what is usually meant by the word character.
    The are two kinds of change in morals.

    One is change in kind. A person moves left or right, up or down, on the spectrum from good to bad. Theresa's morals don't change in kind. Why should they?

    The other kind of change is in intensity, grounding, fervor, understanding, whatever you want to call it.
    In chapter four government agents seize Theresa and take her out to sea for execution:
    Perhaps it was moving away from land for the last time, but for the moment Steve and my parents seemed in another world I had already left. There was nothing they could do for me. I turned to thoughts of my eternity.
    When pushed to the brink someone can panic, or despair, or hope. I had always believed. Some people said they had doubts about God. I pitied them. How could they have doubts? Simple reasoning told me the universe could not be in the form it was without design. It might be a chaos, but the beautiful way it was ordered against a trillion to one odds of elements just happening to have exactly the properties needed to sustain life could only be somebody’s design. Besides that, people’s intellects could not be material alone or would not understand any concept presented to it. But most of all, the goodness of my mother, father, and Steve was not something that could exist in animals. God made them above nature.
    I recited a prayer in my mind as best I could remember it. It was not a standard Church prayer but was fitting for the end.
    The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie in
    green pastures; he leadeth me to still waters. Though I walk through the valley of death I will fear no evil for thou art with me. Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
    Can you imagine a ten year old girl thinking and feeling this way?
    Clearly Theresa has changed.

    The execution fails and HAL's response is disastrous. Theresa agrees to try to get control of HAL. But this means she might acquire limitless power.
    The world has never heard of her until two weeks ago and worries she will become a power-mad dictator. Prime Minister Blair appears at the House of Commons to answer questions. Theresa narrates, "When Blair walked into the House you could see from the eyes of the members they couldn't wait to have at him."
    But the reader already knows Theresa very well, and knows she will not become a dictator. It's fascinating to watch the Prime Minister's lengthy defense of Theresa. which predicts what we already expect of Theresa. And we have 21 chapters to go.

    No change in kind of Theresa's morals is needed to make Theresa interesting.
    Last edited by empresstheresa; December 5th, 2012 at 01:52 AM.

  3. #83
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    If people don't think people change because of the environment, they are close minded individuals who still think the world is flat, the sun rotates around the earth, and that there is such a thing as a free lunch.


    Now that's combative.

    It doesn't actually say anything new, of course.


    I've almost got a degree in Sociology and believe me I've learned more about human nature than I ever wanted to know.
    So did I when I took a sociology course at the Univ of Southern Maine around 1995.
    My sociology professor said Michael Corleone of The Godfather had no choice but to become the new godfather.

    Oh really! Michael couldn't just walk away from it all after his father died? Close down the "family business" and retire with the millions his father had already made? Ask for police protection?

    Such erudition! Such knowledge! Such sublime thoughts! Such excitement in learning!
    I wanted to get up and take over the lecture myself.
    Last edited by empresstheresa; December 5th, 2012 at 02:45 AM.

  4. #84
    WF Veteran Lewdog's Avatar
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    Lol ok, it's a proven design that was created by a lot of people very smarter than me and a lot of the people on this board. For example, if a person moves from Nebraska to New York City. Depending on how long they live in New York, they are going to eventually start to take on some of the traits of a New Yorker and lose some of their native traits from Nebraska.

    This scene can be played over and over in different situations. Look at the prison model. Look at the change that happens in a person there. This thread is 6 pages long, and to be honest I didn't got back and read this entire thread, so if I said something that is already been said I apologize. I'm just so strong in favor that people will change.

  5. #85
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    For example, if a person moves from Nebraska to New York City. Depending on how long they live in New York, they are going to eventually start to take on some of the traits of a New Yorker and lose some of their native traits from Nebraska.


    It's all a matter of the degree of change.

    A Southern Baptist who moves from Nebraska to New York may take on a different job, and his accent will gradually change over the years,
    but he won't become a Hindu and he won't become a criminal.

    Theresa spends her first 18 years in Massachusetts. The rest of the story only takes up two years. While she acquires great power, she didn't seek it, doesn't want it, and intends to not use it after the dust settles. The tremendous pressures she's under are not personal, as I explained earlier. They're external, and they pass.
    "Theresa will remain Theresa." ( Prime Minister Blair )
    Last edited by empresstheresa; December 5th, 2012 at 03:37 AM.

  6. #86
    WF Veteran Lewdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by empresstheresa View Post
    It's all a matter of the degree of change.

    A Southern Baptist who moves from Nebraska to New York may take on a different job, and his accent will gradually change over the years,
    but he won't become a Hindu and he won't become a criminal.

    Theresa spends her first 18 years in Massachusetts. The rest of the story only takes up two years. The tremendous pressures she's under are not personal, as I explained earlier. They're external, and they pass.
    "Theresa will remain Theresa." ( Prime Minister Blair )
    When I moved from Ohio to Kentucky, and within months I gained a drawl, I started using hillbilly words like rernt (ruined), and hating churches because they own and run the politics of the area, and there is nothing to do because the churches won't allow it. There are more dry counties in Kentucky than I've ever seen.

  7. #87
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    When I moved from Ohio to Kentucky, and within months I gained a drawl, I started using hillbilly words like rernt (ruined)


    When I entered the Army and encountered Southerners for the first time ( it seemed like most soldiers were Southerners ! ) I adopted a drawl for a time, but it soon passed. It's the need to be a member of the group.

    In To Kill a Mockingbird, the black cook Calpurnia invites the kids, Scout and Jem, to her black church. While there, Scout notices that Calpurnia talks "funny" like all the other blacks. But when they return to the Finch home Calpurnia reverts to "white" talk.

    When Theresa acquires her power, she avoids all public appearances, talk shows, and reporters. She doesn't want to be manipulated by everybody. She refuses to change in any way, even in simple mannerisms.

  8. #88
    WF Veteran Lewdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by empresstheresa View Post
    When I entered the Army and encountered Southerners for the first time ( it seemed like most soldiers were Southerners ! ) I adopted a drawl for a time, but it soon passed. It's the need to be a member of the group.

    In To Kill a Mockingbird, the black cook Calpurnia invites the kids, Scout and Jem, to her black church. While there, Scout notices that Calpurnia talks "funny" like all the other blacks. But when they return to the Finch home Calpurnia reverts to "white" talk.

    When Theresa acquires her power, she avoids all public appearances, talk shows, and reporters. She doesn't want to be manipulated by everybody. She refuses to change in any way, even in simple mannerisms.
    Easier said than done. How often do you think she talks to herself or other inanimate things? As people we generally crave social interaction in anyway. Whether it means face to face, a phone call, the internet, or sending a letter we are meant to interact, it's in our nature.

  9. #89
    Having just read the entire thread I realize that I have nothing worthwhile to say...apologies
    Last edited by Kevin; December 5th, 2012 at 05:18 AM.

  10. #90
    So did I when I took a sociology course at the Univ of Southern Maine around 1995.
    My sociology professor said Michael Corleone of The Godfather had no choice but to become the new godfather.

    Oh really! Michael couldn't just walk away from it all after his father died? Close down the "family business" and retire with the millions his father had already made? Ask for police protection?

    Such erudition! Such knowledge! Such sublime thoughts! Such excitement in learning!
    I wanted to get up and take over the lecture myself.
    I think this is why no-one's going to get anywhere here.

    So I'll answer everything from now on with one-word resposes, to save time.

    To Kill a Mockingbird's lawyer hero father Atticus Finch and his children, nine year old daughter Scout, and 13 year old son Jem, don't change, but they're fascinating to watch. Oh sure, they learn something, but THEY don't change.
    Wrong.

    But while she's under pressures,they're not personal ! She's not being tortured. She doesn't suffer losses. She's not being blamed for anything and can't be; the situations are not her doing.
    Boring.

    She doesn't change.
    Theresa does change.
    Eh?

    people express opposing opinions, which is what a forum is for I would think
    (sigh)

    It doesn't actually say anything new, of course.
    (sigh)
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