Saturday, February 07, 2004

What's it take to be weary?

A small debate has emerged between me and another person on Savoynet. In Princess Ida, Melissa is supposed to have grown up at a women's university, and to have never seen a man before in her life. Upon seeing one in Act II, she says, among other things, the following:
Their cheeks have not that pulpy softness which One gets so weary of in womankind
It was suggested that this line represents an inconsistency on behalf of Gilbert, the author: "Logically, she could not have grown weary of women's faces unless she knew that an alternative existed. You don't grow weary of things when--as far as you've ever known in your life--there is no other way." I don't think that I accept this principle. I posted:
I don't think I agree with this principle at all. Frankly, I've grown weary of the fact that it takes energy and effort to build friendships. I've never seen a friendship just magically appear, but I think it'd be cool if one did, because *I'm weary of the way it always works*. Or consider the "Belle Principle", taken from my favorite Disney Cartoon, Beauty & the Beast. Belle has lived in her small villiage since birth, and doesn't seem to have travelled. Nevertheless, she manages to "want much more than this provincial life". I see no contradiction at all in Melissa's having grown weary of women's faces, even if she's never seen a man's face.
It was justly pointed out to me that I was merely citing another fictional example in the Belle case -- but does anyone seriously think that Beauty & the Beast is psychologicaly unrealistic on the basis of Belle being weary of a town she's never left?

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