amielleon said: I actually agree with you about the depression but want to argue about Gone Home. I was really disappointed by Gone Home. It did amazing things with its narrative format and creating wrong but shocking first impressions (my favorite was finding all that stuff about how your family is ~crazy~ and walking into your dad's JFK-conspiracy-theory loaded office). But at heart it's about two high school girls who are opposed by society and run away together. (cont'd)
And aside from being a story I’d read a zillion times before, I also felt that it was faintly “dishonest” (in the literary sense). I did not feel that Sam led the kind of life that would have motivated her to elope for good, and at the close I did not feel that them “running away to be happy together” was the real end of the story. I was disappointed because the story was told in such a brilliant way, but the story itself was such a simple cliche. OTOH the parents’ marital issues seemed real.
Okay, that seems reasonable — I can see why you’d feel that way. The execution is probably a lot better in general than the content. It’s definitely possible that this elopement is not permanent or might end poorly. Sam just comes across as the kind of person who will instinctively defy authority or do something to prove a point even when it might be against her own longterm interests. Leaving together was clearly a very spur of the moment decision, but I can kind of understand why she’d do it.
Her parents’ reaction to her essentially coming out to them felt very real to me based on the kind of people they were. Not outright condemnation, but patronising, ignorant denial, thinking that they’re being good and patient and acting in her best interests, and completely not understanding that they have just dismissed a vitally important aspect of their daughter’s identity out of hand.
Anyway, though, I mostly just objected to the idea that this is a stock “tragic lesbian story”. Whatever cliches it may employ, or whether you think they’ll realistically be happy together in the long term or whatever, I don’t think it’s fair to say that a love story where both of the participants are alive and in love and still together at the end falls into that category.
Yeah, definitely a case of form over substance, heh.
Regarding the spur of the moment decision, it isn’t that I feel that it was out of character. It was more of a narrative-level lie, you know what I mean? Like, “this isn’t the situation, but this is the story I want to tell so this is how I’m going to paint it.” I loved the first third of Going Home and grew progressively more lukewarm toward it as time went on. I actually didn’t really like the coming out journal entry, either… the event described was authentic enough but I felt like the wording was the same carefully scripted account used as a poster narrative for gay rights many times over.
I guess I can understand if you just didn’t like the dismissive label, though. Mark also has many things to say about the careless use of the word “tragic,” haha.