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Nov. 16th, 2009

heathers

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Theory.

I've heard a lot of arguments about the nature of the soul in the Buffyverse, and it seems to be the most important plot point that was never explained. We know Buffy doesn't really have a consistent mythology; rather, it draws on outside ideas and grows as the show does. There's a lot of things that are badly implemented and require a lot of suspension of disbelief. But mostly, it doesn't matter when contrasted with the amazing, well thought out character arcs and interactions that surround them.

The reason the Jossverse is able to get away with not knowing what a soul is--even though it's a crucial plot point--is because the audience doesn't know either. The metaphysical question here has been debated by people much smarter than me and they've never come up with much of a solution. But Western society also places a lot of emphasis on a soul--humans have them, animals don't & souls go to heaven. So when Angel tells us that his soul was returned, we nod, because somehow we understand what has happened without having to know what a soul is.

When Angelus was punished by the Gypsies, they returned his soul to him. But if we look at this punishment from the mentality of the Watcher's Council, it makes no sense. A vampire isn't the person; it's a shell inhabited by a demon. The person is gone. Therefore, by this logic, Liam's soul really is innocent for Angelus's crimes. It was in no way involved.

But we've seen enough from Spike and Angel (and even Darla, Dru and Harmony) to know that this isn't the case. In Dopplegangland, Buffy tells Willow that the vampire is in no way based on the person and Angel begins to correct her. Because we've seen enough of the history of our favorite vampires to know that the person really does influence the vampire. Spike has spent his entire life reacting to his shame at being a bloody awful poet. Darla is vain and power-hungry, a characterization that could be easily attributed to her lack of power in her previous life. Vampires really tend to react against the things that bothered them during their previous existence and spend an unlife trying to get what they couldn't have previously (eg. Angelus - respect, William - love, Darla - power).

So Angelus's first incarnation is deeply influenced by the person Liam had been in life. Liam is, to some degree, responsible for Angelus. This kind of makes me think that maybe the soul is a type of innocence. I've often heard that a soul is basically the inner calling that makes soul-possessors want to do what's right. They don't always follow it, though. They can taint their own soul (lose their innocence) by refusing to listen to it. But if you look at a soul as a combination of some kind of "human" innocence and desire to do right, then when Angelus is cursed with his soul, it isn't only punishing him, but it's damning Liam too for his role in creating Angelus.

So the Gypsies' punishment works really well, because not only does the demon suffer, but the human soul which was previously chilling out in the ether is brought back into the body and tainted by the demons past acts. Therefore, the gypsies punished the demon who killed their special girl child, but also damn the human that was responsible for some of the desires of the demon.

Doyle says to Angel at some point that the balance sheet isn't exactly in his favor, implying that the soul is guilty for Angelus's actions too. So either (a) all vampire's souls are guilty and damned at the moment the person is turned or (b) vampire's souls aren't punished for the actions of the vampire. I am inclined to think the latter, because otherwise the curse would only have served to give Liam a chance at redemption. That's more like a blessing. Or a present. Angel's curse instead somehow implicated the soul in Angelus's actions, tying the two together. That's a pretty nasty thing to do to someone. I like this theory, because it makes more sense to me than the concept that Angel isn't guilty of Angelus's actions at all...the curse didn't just return the soul, it tainted the innocence of the soul and damned Liam's humanity while also punishing the demon.

I really don't want to do Bio.
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Jan. 30th, 2006

heathers

(no subject)

Sep. 24th, 2005

heathers

(no subject)



Animorphs is Love



If you take it, please upload the image to your own server.

I know the graphics aren't great. I was bored.