Wednesday, April 20, 2011

City of Glass - hurting people for their own good

So now City of Glass has pulled that eternal trope “I have to be nasty and hateful to you to drive you away for your own good.”

And I won’t single the book out for this trope, because it’s hardly unique for it. Urban Fantasy, gods, every genre has this written in spades. The noble character decides to sacrifice themselves by driving off their loved one/friends/family/pet mongoose by being mean and hurtful and vile to them to… SAVE them.

And we’re supposed to gasp and say “oh how romantic/noble/self-sacrificing!”

Well this is my side-eye to all that. And Beloved take note, ever pull that crap and you better make sure that doghouse is comfy because you’re going to be in it a hell of a long time.

To me, someone pulling this “I have to hurt you to drive you away for your own good” is saying several things:
  1. They have the right to make the decision for you – your opinion/agency is irrelevant.
  2. It’s perfectly ok for them to manipulate you to get they want.
  3. It’s perfectly ok for them to hurt you to get their own way.
To which I reply “Awww heeeelll naw!”

However City of Glass does excuse it in one way and that is Clary.

Clary is 16. She has only just realised the supernatural world exists. And she is more clueless, more self-centred and more prone to random near-suicidal stupid foolishness than you can possibly imagine. She has surpassed Elena from Vampire Diaries in the Spunky Agency department. She has now done so much running off on her own doing foolish things without any regard for the consequences that I have literally lost count. Throw in the way everyone around her is a tool she uses without a second thought and I have to say – Go! Manipulate her! Lie to her! Hurt her, for gods’ sake put her in a small box and lock it! DO SOMETHING TO MAKE THE FOOLISHNESS STOP!

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