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Discussion Analysis / AvatarTheLastAirbender

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Mar 2nd 2011 at 1:59:27 AM •••

I take issue with this analysis on several points:

His friends, his selves, and the world itself seemed to stress him to do one thing, but Aang was able to finally think for himself and yet still save the day IN HIS OWN WAY.

Except that's not what happened. Aang was only able to save the day "IN HIS OWN WAY" because of Deus ex Machina. Because some entity from outside of the story appeared and gave him a solution to his moral dilemma. If that had not happened, Aang would not have been able to energybend. And in all likelihood, Aang would have gotten killed by Ozai, because he wouldn't have had the stones to kill him.

In short, Aang did not reach enlightenment. If enlightenment was to be had, it was because he was given it. It was not earned.

The nomadic and loose nature of the Airbenders allowed them to be wiped out so easily."

No, it did not. Sozin's Comet is what caused them to be wiped out. Their loose society had nothing to do with it. They were ambushed and killed in a single day by thousands of super-powerful Firebenders.

Sozin could have chosen the Northern Water Tribe. Or Ba Sing Se. Or wherever he wanted. Any of them would have been annihilated on that day. But he specifically choose the Air Nomads, because he knew that conquering the world effectively meant perpetually fighting the Avatar. The next Avatar would be an Air Nomad, so he had to kill them.

The Air Nomads were not killed by their vice. So your analysis falls apart.

The "Go with the flow" attitude of the Water Tribes let the South slowly get picked off.

I don't understand this. The Southern Water Tribe is literally on the other side of the world. What exactly could the Northern Water Tribe expect to do to help them?

The Earth Kindgdom's adamancy led to a steely military dictatorship that kept a perpetual illusion of peace.

No, that was the Dai Li. The reason the Dai Li got to where they are can be attributed to a weak Earth King. Earthbenders are many things, but weak is not supposed to be one of them. If Bumi had been Earth King, you can bet the Dai Li wouldn't have been able to do anything of the sort.

Furthermore, this was restricted to Ba Sing Se only. There was no illusion of peace anywhere else.

When the Water Tribe "froze" stiff in the north they fell into a regime of rigidity and doctrine that could never stand up to the Fire nation alone.(Note how out of date their intelligence was)

Except that they stood up to the Fire Nation just fine. They only failed when the Fire Nation used a heretofore closely guarded secret: they found and killed the Water Spirit, cutting them off from their waterbending.

This had nothing to do with their "rigidity and doctrine." However out-of-date their intelligence may have been, it had nothing to do with their performance in battle. They may not have been able to execute their attack, but their defense was virtually impregnable. Until their waterbending died.

And when Aang lost Appa his attachment almost took him over the edge.

That's not what happened. You're so focused on the cleverness of your own idea that you miss a much more reasonable explanation.

One day, Aang was caught in a storm. The next day, he woke up 100 years later, with virtually everyone he had ever known dead. Since then, Aang has had a consistent need to keep people close to him.

Remember Bato, of the Water Tribe. The mere idea that Katara and Sokka might leave him ultimately caused him to hide vital information from them. And almost made them actually leave.

Aang has abandonment issues. Big time. Couple that with the fact that Appa is pretty much the only thing he has left from his former life... yeah, he went crazy when Appa vanished. It has nothing to do with him being an Air Nomad, and everything to do with him being a person. This is a consistent part of his character.

Kyoshi's stubborn no-nonsense attitude led to the creation of the treacherous and dogmatic Dai-Li.

So we're bringing information from outside the series in. Very well.

There's nothing inherently treacherous about the Dai-Li. What they needed was a leash, something to keep them from gaining power. What they needed was checks and balances. Also, Kyoshi's idea of making a group who would be "feared by all" protect cultural history was just silly. It wasn't her "no-nonsense attitude" so much as her being stupid. History should be protected by scholars, not earthbenders.

Furthermore, it's not part of Kyoshi's final speech. Her final speech was about Chin and how she would have killed him.

And Yang Chen preached about how the detachment that the Air Nomads had with the world just winds up isolating them from those who they should protect. Aang avoided these pitfalls and thus SURPASSED the other avatars, unlocking what even they could not: Energybending.

Yang Chen specifically did not have the isolationist mentality of the Air Nomads. She did not agree that Avatars should detach themselves from the world. She specifically said, "The Avatar can never do it."

Also, there were more than 4 Avatars.

Lastly again, Aang did not gain personal enlightenment to unlock energybending. He was given energybending by a Deus ex Machina. There's a big difference.

Indeed, the final speeches of the Avatars are a good explanation for why the Deus ex Machina was so bad. They explain that he must kill Ozai. That it's not about him and his personal thing against killing. That it's about what the world needs.

But quite suddenly, Aang can think of himself and his own needs. And why? Because of bullshit!

Edited by Korval Hide/Show Replies
Sep 6th 2011 at 1:18:55 AM •••

An interesting rebuttal. I shall prepare a full response to your LB, one of my favorites. To be released this week, it's been a nice ride. ;)

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