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A dialectic and materialist analysis of Angel/Angelus

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Joined: 10 Jun 2019
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:01 pm    Post subject: A dialectic and materialist analysis of Angel/Angelus Reply with quote

I'm currently writing a blog post analyzing Angelus and his interaction with Buffy after he turned in S2. I stumbled onto this forum in my research and found a lot of interesting discussion taking place, so that was my impetus to join. So, this is my first post! Hello! My name is Kat.

So, here's my question... This may be a long shot, perhaps, but as a scientifically minded person I see pitfalls in the metaphysical understanding of Angelus' actions, especially the second arc of BtVS, which is the current scope of an article I'm writing. I am wondering if there are any analyses of Angel and Angelus that do not rely on the metaphysical nature of the soul by portraying him as this fractured good-evil duality, but a more materialist lens for making sense of his character as a whole with all the messy internal contradictions that ultimately drive his character. This could include anything that discusses dialectics, materialism, monism as opposed to substance dualism, or even a psychoanalysis/psychology. If anyone knows of anything pertaining to this please let me know. And of course, I think it may be cool also to discuss some of what I've come up with here as well.

My article structure wise first goes over the symbolic analogues that the soul represents in more concrete aspects before resolving the question of Angelus' intentions when it comes to the slayer. So far, in summary, I'm finding some basis of the idea that Angelus, once becoming the primary driver, has a plan for Buffy that includes her at his side. This is corroborated by Drusilla in which she says that he doesn't want to kill her, but hurt her in a similar fashion as the way he did Drusilla. We also know that to Drusilla, being sired isn't a death, but a birth. There's more, but I've been rewatching the season to take notes. I'm corroboraing other things I've seen as well in later seasons of Angel too.

When it comes to Angelus, I see him in the throes of resolving internal and existential conflict over what he's supposed to be (similar in a way to Spike). The scene in Innocence where Angelus tells Buffy that she wants it reminds me a lot of Spike's "you know you want to dance". Ultimately and similarily the feelings he's experienced with Buffy have a definite hold over him, more than I think he initially admits. His behavior from the outset seems mostly about rebelling against the constraints placed upon by his superego, his "soul", his conscience. The pain of it, which the demon provided sanctuary for Liam to escape the pain of his existence before him and the powerlessness he felt at his Father's feet, at society itself.

What I see taking place from there is a ham-handed, and failed seduction taking place... Mostly because I see Angelus fighting himself first by resolving all of the existential baggage and the crisis that created. In his desperation, he actually shows up at the Summers residence to get Joyce into vouching for him. Of course, Joyce has already been coached, so Angelus cool facade soon crumbles and he basically pleads with Joyce. He can't face Buffy herself to do this though. His conscience, being suppressed, I think he loses the correct estimation of how hard he can push before going too far. In a similar fashion, Spike mistakenly thinks he can explain away the events of "Fool for Love" as "misrepresentations, misunderstandings, slurs, and allegations". Angelus' body language when he realizes, that for whatever reason his prodding isn't producing the desired compliance, starts revealing stress. That thing he does when Joyce rises to her feet and heads for the door with Angelus' head in by his clenched hands, flying open as he let's the secret be revealed that they've shared intimacy and he's deeply moved, so moved he cannot sleep without her, his final hand to play in that interaction. This fails, which feeds even more into the ego formation the demon uses as a template of its own expression (to walk a tightrope with anything that could cause pain or render him powerless), which is doomed to cause him to act out even more so because Buffy doesn't crack and run to him under the pressure.

In IOHEFY, Angelus shows up at the school, alone. No weapons, no backup, to confront Buffy. This would be a suicidal move if you hadn't A. Already determined that Buffy is unwilling to stake you OR B. Your sense had flown out the window in the midst of emotional turmoil. These aren't mutually exclusive by the way. A few interesting questions arise. Did Grace identify with Angelus as strongly as James did with Buffy? If the thrall over Angelus was either weak or non-existent (like if Angelus were simply stalking after her to get her alone), how would the scene have played out? To me, based on how peaceful Angelus looked sharing a kiss with Buffy (before she called him the wrong name and ran off) then this reads to me at yet another opportunity for Angelus to have what he wanted.

Anyway, let me know what you think of this and if you have anything pertaining to the research I am looking to review. Thank you. I look forward to your replies!
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I lvoe that you are here. I love you love this stuff.

I am sorry that I can't quite find all those thousands of links to help you with people who are actual writers and teachers of this stuff.

I don't really understand 'material' when that is all that I think there is because my brain can't not think. ( ) is nothing in math. Abstract, but there you go.

The staging platform is “death” (change) and the protagonists expressed the “goal” each wanted, (which the literary, * implied * promise would also give them each other. And the reason is not just "shipping; " it is mythical. Opposites and Like with Like. The latter makes modern romance but isn't what has grabbed people's attention for centuries.

It is told in paradox (hear of the curse?) Well, “normal” and “mortal” were the “goals” and “becoming” was the means. One needed to live and the other needed to die.

When I speak of “paradox” I think of all the metaphors and symbols and myths shown and, in this narrative, actually deals with the problem of “perspective” or “relativity.” I can’t think of a thing you can name with Buffy and Angel that doesn’t include it. After all, the slayer is also a demon housed with a soul.

Even the “soul” is material. It was SHOWN, not “talked” about. It is light and could literally be ‘removed’—energy/matter to matter/energy is itself a paradoxical process, just as is life/death also called “life.”

Look, I'm not gonna argue souls/conscience or "sign of a human' when I rather doubt souls and do understand humans make "leaps' in imagination that is more than 'DNA' or memory--which is not all that trustworthy, but sure keeps on making "experience' great cud. hee.

As I said, the story platform is death, (change) and the myth of the Odyssey are the bones, including Orpheus, and those of Hyperion/Apollo. The point actually named in BTVS is ‘becoming.’ What? “Normal.”

And for Angel? His also is becoming. What? Mortal. THAT is why ‘Sanctuary” is the answer to his journey. He knows the greatest power is mercy. He knows free will is “the difference’ between his soul and his demon. But one has to be in the condition to USE it. (So "nothing matters, it matters what we do" as a solution really didn't FIX or CHANGE him, did it. Still a vampire. Still gotta soul a few syllables can toss into a peanut butter jar. THE HECK?

He doesn’t know how to give himself the power to even be capable of free will: sanctuary. He feels forgiveness means he has the right to die and that means he has to be mortal to do it. paradox.

So both are cursed. Both “sides” of the self are in opposition, too. So, one needs to live and one needs to die.

Both Buffy and Angel are a soul and a demon and the journey of becoming an adult is “always changing.” Paradox. That is the journey of humanity and knowing we are precious because we die.

The ‘thing that happened’ to both shows is that a “magical child” more than half through the story became the story of actually showing the “becoming.” Why watch the supposed main protagonists anymore? NO POINT. I hated it.

Buffy and Angel are the promise with the other. And it was “the union of opposites” that has been * shown * as the means to reach the goal of “becoming” (at least 4 times). An example requires the death of the world (of childhood). When Buffy doesn't allow it, she fails. Angel endlessly decides he is A god, not just "god" which might have actually helped him recognize HE KEEPS GIVING POWER TO PEOPLE WHO ARE DEAD (besides himself; snerk). That is what Angelus means. HIs argument with Catholicism rather overlooks the point of the story: LOVE.

As for Angelus, not so sure about the “repressed part”. This is a story, not a psychological treatise/argument between Freud and Jung, even if there is plenty of that, too. (See Bettelheim and fairy tales). I can’t speak to philosophy. Just the vocabulary eludes me.

As for “what condition my condition is in” : Angelus has been driven mad. He is obsessed with a creature HE CAN”T KILL. To turn her would make her “just another vampire’ and not Buffy; to keep her is impossible because she changes and is mortal and dies. He doesn't. Paradox.

As I said, the more studies there are, the more I love the old myths and why we need “story” to be human.

Making Buffy and Angel “less” than the whole of the he laid out is nothing but a great announcement to me “justifying” how Joss failed himself and feminism, and worst of all his own talent, let alone real live people, his own wife and children. too. ‘

Yes, bitter muchly, I only wanted the story Joss actually promised, not the one he actually never wrote and now can’t allow because the very myth of even “one” means there will always be that exception to paradox.

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