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I understand Rachel's point of view. Ruth, to her and to her fellow students, has been nothing but an aggressive jerk. Ruth may have an heart of gold hidden behind of all her issues, but it doesn't change the fact that she has been awful to others for a long time, and that pretty much no one on her floor likes her (they, however, all agree that Mary is far worse: Lesser of Two Evils). And, in real life, people do not forget easily such things, nor do they have any obligation to forgive.
We know her past and her state of mind. It makes her relatable to us, the readers. We don't necessarily agree with Ruth, nor do we condone her behavior, but we understand her to some level, and we weren't the ones that she wronged. Other characters don't have that knowledge, and were the victims of her abusive actions and words.
Is Rachel unnecessarily cold/cruel? Yes. Does she have any reasons to like Ruth? None whatsoever. Was she the victim of someone who claimed to have changed and/or found their redemption, but never followed through their words, ie. an abuser? Almost certainly, as it could explain her point of view on that topic.
Anyone can have a shitty life. That revelation doesn't magically excuse everything someone could have done to others.
Now, Ruth at least publically apologized, and is truly trying to change. You have countless other people who never apologize for what they've done, or deliver non-apologies, and continue their abuse. I hope you don't know one. I've met way too many of those, personally.
I'm just gonna paraphrase what multiple commenters under the comic have pointed out (now and back when Rachel saw it fit to unload her "redemption doesn't exist" spiel on a suicidal person):
No matter what your backstory might be, it doesn't justify being an asshole.
Edited by DrunkenNordmann on Mar 10th 2019 at 7:13:26 PM
Maybe Ruth shouldn't have been such a loathsome worm of a human being to everyone she felt she could get away with if she didn't want some blowback for it.
Ruth is not some uwu soft bean who needs to cuddled into happiness. She royally fucked up and made people miserable over and over, and even if she's trying to be a better person she's not entitled to forgiveness.
Edited by RodimusMinor on Mar 10th 2019 at 2:52:19 PM
"You're not entitled to forgiveness" and "redemption doesn't exist" are pretty different things.
That's clearly Rachel's own history leaking out, and it's not entirely something I disagree with in the sense that being a better person doesn't erase the pain you've caused.
I love Ruth's journey from explosive anger to suicidal depression to ultimately finding some footing for which to shakily walk forward, but the people she's actually hurt don't have to.
Now, Rachel's "Redemption doesn't exist" spiel was out of the line, and her behavior is that comic is, I repeat, unnecessarily cold/cruel. I believe she has every right to not trust Ruth and held her in contempt, but being overtly dismissive and nasty doesn't really paint her in a good light.
Rachel obviously has her own story, that has yet to be told, that explains her current behavior. Just like with Ruth, said story will help us understand her and paint her in a new light. It won't excuse her words, but it will bring us perspective.
I understand both characters. Everyone has led different lives. Depending on the path you take and the people you meet, you could very well end up just like them.
Ruth is actively trying to change. Her medication will help, but it seems to make her more emotional than she was expecting to be. She apologized, and is trying to become someone better. That's a lot. People can change, but changing oneself isn't easy. Some are able to do it, others can't. She at least realized that what she did was wrong: that's colossal. Some people never realize that, or refuse to realize it. Redemption is a rare and special thing, after all. It is not for everyone.
I believe Ruth deserves to find redemption and to be happy, and only time will tell if she achieves her goal. As for Rachel, if she can't forgive her (she has no obligation to do that), she can at least acknowledge that she is making a genuine effort and stop acting outwardly nasty.
Still not an excuse. If somebody else acts shitty, that's on them - if you act shitty in return, that's on you.
I don't think it's a thing to be excused or justified. I think people and how they treat you are just a thing you have to choose how to deal with.
Rachel can stew over Ruth for as long as she wants, and it won't change anything. Ruth needs to get better for Ruth and accept, at the end of the day, that there are those who won't forgive her anymore than she's never going to forgive her grandfather.
Edited by RodimusMinor on Mar 10th 2019 at 3:46:10 PM
Why is Racheal wearing lipstick on route to the shower?
Fashion is eternal.
Just noticed Joyce's "shoes". Attagirl.
Edited by NonoRobot on Mar 10th 2019 at 3:49:53 AM
I'm pretty sure those are just Rachel's lips.
Well count me for jealous
And now it's time for a nice cry in the shower
Also, the Kickstarter for Book 8's up now.
Aw jeez, Ruth.
I totally get where she's coming from. When my grammie died, I didn't cry at all until weeks later, when a local arts high school dedicated a new stage room to her (she was a lifelong patron of the program) and performed a scene from Of Mice And Men.
At the moment I'd imagine it's in the figurative sense as well
Joyce is being really mature about this in her own way! I would have expected her to be a lot more childish about nudity, but nah, she has a practical solution.
The comments today are trying really hard to make Rachel's completely rational statement as bad as Ruth's history of abusing her charges. It's always fascinating to see the lengths people will go to exonerating someone as long as they're a main character.
Asserting that redemption is inherently impossible and someone who has ever been bad will continue to be bad forever and there's nothing they can do about it no matter what is a good way to get the audience against you, I think, regardless of how bad the person you say this to might in fact be.
Edited by wingedcatgirl on Mar 12th 2019 at 8:07:45 AM
Who was doing that?
Rachel, right around the time that Ruth was beginning to make an effort to get herself together...middle of last year, strip-wise?
Edited by Willbyr on Mar 12th 2019 at 10:41:02 AM
Did she actually atone for her abusing behaviour? "Not doing it any more because she's too depressed to lift a finger" doesn't count.
Look, we are seeing all the background and what she's going through. So we can empathise. Also we see that having all that stuff going without a Redemption Arc is not how stories generally work. So we are assigning redemptive value to her that had simply not happened yet.
For every other character in the story acting like realistic human beings would? She is still the asshole. And with no guarantee to ever get better.
Edited by Adannor on Mar 12th 2019 at 6:46:53 PM
That's not the point. Rachel didn't say "I don't believe that you, personally, are redeemed and don't want to waste time and effort waiting." She said "People don't change. Redemption is a lie. Anything else is just a nice story we tell ourselves." It was explicitly about everyone, not just Ruth.
I thought it was clear she was talking about people like Ruth who had enacted that kind of abusive behavior. If she somehow gained knowledge of Joyce and Amber, two people who recognize their own flaws and are working to improve on them, then she'd probably say something like "no, you're fine, keep trying" when she's talking to two people who haven't actively caused tremendous harm to those around her because there's a difference between improving yourself (Joyce) and pulling yourself out of a gutter made of your own choices (Joe, Ruth).
Rachel sees an abusive bully shrug and go "yeah not losing my job but we cool?" and drops a soliloquy on her about the nature of redemption and change. That's not something you say without a lot of past experience.
Edited by RodimusMinor on Mar 12th 2019 at 12:08:37 PM
If she was talking about people like Ruth, why didn't she say "People like you never change"?
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