Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Working Title: -rename-: From YKTTW
Susan Davis: I am on errantry, and I greet you. Was Nita really a Na´ve Everygirl? Certainly, she was bullied, but she always had a good deal of intelligence going for her, and not just "pure heart" -- and it wasn't until well after she had evolved past the being-bullied stage that she had her episode of driving friends away. (Also are books fair game yet? I've been biting my tongue about numerous examples....)

Looney Toons: Whether books are fair game or not is still in dispute, although Terry Pratchett certainly has his share of examples in the Wiki. As for Nita, if you feel I'm mischaracterizing her early stages -- and it's possible, it's been a while since I read So You Want To Be A Wizard -- feel free to modify or delete that example.

Ununnilium: Bookify!

Susan Davis: "So You Want To Be A TV Tropes Contributor...."

Gus: Mmmm ... Books! </Bizzaro Homer>
Sukeban: Talking about books, would Pollyanna count as an example?

Kilyle: Who decided The Little Match Girl was "sadistic" and "full of Glurge"? Andersen liked to open society's eyes to the life of the lower classes. Compare She Was Good for Nothing. While you're at it, compare, say, Grave of the Fireflies (same thing much drawn out, and minus, I think, the Glurge). There are times when it's appropriate to show the unbearable injustice of the life of one less fortunate. It's one way to change society.

While I haven't recently read The Little Match Girl, I remember thinking it a very good tale. Maybe it is Glurge. I've never had that reaction to it. The visions you could easily compare to the dreams and even halucinations that provide some measure of comfort to a prisoner of war in a cold cell. When you can't change your circumstances, you try to escape them any way you can, even if it isn't real. And then on the other hand, the religious elements say it might indeed be real--and remind us that death is not the end, and that comfort may come after death even if it didn't before. It's certainly not the only time this comes through in Andersen's tales (see the end of The Little Mermaid, for example).

Obvious I think the remark is an incorrect analysis of the work, but... I suppose if it's useful, let it stay up. I'll just glare at it now and again when I see it.

Tzintzuntzan: I'm the one who put that there (way back when I created the initial entry), so I'll try to explain. The story (which is available on-line) does indeed draw attention to the plight of the lower classes, but just because it's a worthy cause doesn't mean it's not sadistic or glurge. In fact, glurge often comes in a worthy cause. It includes (as the entry puts it)"sad-eyed puppies, sweet-faced children, angels, dying mothers, or miraculous rescues brought about by prayer."

Andersen wanted to show a victim of poverty, and there are lots of them. But it isn't enough that the victim suffer -- the victim is also a sweet, utterly innocent waif who is dying and has only "one person who ever loved her." Andersen picked the victim who is most likely to make the reader go "awwwww" and cry. There are plenty of victims of poverty who aren't as cute, which makes you wonder if Andersen didn't think he'd get a reaction with them. And like most Glurge, the attempted happy ending can be seen as totally dark. She may have been saved...or it may be an even sadder story of a miserable girl in denial. And the fact that she wants to be saved by grandmother can be seen as a death wish -- "I want to be with (my dead) grandmother."

It's very similar to the Littlest Cancer Patient and Death By Newberry Medal. While it's better-done than most of those examples, I'm not the only person who found its heart-tugging to be absolutely shameless. To compare, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" has a dying man's hallucinations, while Dickens also has children crushed by poverty -- but neither is Glurge -- there's no "look at the poor widdle dear and cry" feeling.

Kilyle: I see what you mean. I would agree that there are many less pleasant victims, and obviously poverty and misery produce psychological problems as well. Hrm... (a) is it impossible to use a "sweet, utterly innocent waif" in this sort of tale, or how would this be put to better use; (b) how can a similar story have any sort of "happy" ending that didn't involve the miraculous rescue a la Little Orphan Annie; and (c) is it always inappropriate to try to get the "look at the poor little girl and cry" feeling, or can it be used as part of a greater whole?

Tzintzuntzan: Sorry to respond so late (I just stumbled on your reply today!)My response to all three questions would be that an innocent waif, crying over an innocent girl, and such happy endings can be used without being unpleasant Glurge, but it's hard. In the same way, if a story has a little boy and his pet dog that dies, there's no inherent reason that the story has to be Glurge -- but it's something that often is, so the writer needs to tread carefully.

Earnest: Is it just me, or is she the same initialed down on her luck twin sister of Mary Sue?

The protagonist in the Devil Wears Prada?
Tanto: My God, this is awful.

Citizen: A one-week YKTTW, and nothing better came of it. Still better than the original.

Sci Vo: Do you know how hard it was just to pry people away from "princess" names, even though they would've been totally misleading? That's the power of the Girl Equals Princess meme! It was damn frustrating.

Susan Davis: If nothing better came of it, then nothing is exactly what should have been done! And the YKTTW didn't actually come to a consensus on the need for a change.

Nornagest: Cut this --

* Princess Nausicań from Nausicań of the Valley of the Wind is a Na´ve Everygirl not concerned with her body image, who never gives up and saves the world with her pure heart in one of the most idealistic endings of all time.
** I wouldn't call Nausicań particularly naive, or an everygirl for that matter. She's really closer to an Action Girl.
*** Also, she is kind of a Mary-Sue.

She's neither; she's The Messiah from page one (or the first five minutes of the movie).