It happened again last night. My pillow suddenly felt very soft and hairy. So I switched on the light and… ta-daaa.
(Part 2 of “My cat has learnt how to open doors”)
I’m fairly certain I’ve reblogged this before, but goddamn, they’re all sO CUTE.
#Can we talk about how realistic this is #it literally has almost every body type and preference here #big thighed #skinny waist #freckles #tall #short #gay #straight #red kneed #thigh gap #tattoos #piercings #girls with short hair #guys with dyed hair #short dresses #skinny jeans #these could have been drawn so stereotypically yet they’re not #however they’re still perfect
Ok, let’s talk about Christine Daaé
This turned out to be much longer than I first intended it to be. Putting it under read-more so I won’t clog your dash.
Of course, nobody’s obligated to like any given character in any given fandom. If you’re not a fan of Christine, I’m certainly not here to convert you.
What I’m wondering, though, is where the "she’s just a spoilt pretty girl who gets everything she wants without any effort" - idea comes from.
I’m genuinely intrigued. Because - let’s look at Christine’s life story, shall we? She starts out as Swedish peasant girl who loses her mother at the age of just five. Much of her childhood is spent in misery, travelling between fairs with her father, sleeping in barns. That might sound all romantic and bohemian to a modern reader (and to be fair, Leroux probably intended it to sound romantic and bohemian too) - but, honestly - have you ever tried sleeping in a barn? In winter? In Sweden? Not much luxury there, I can assure you.
Also, let’s look briefly at the social standing of “travelling people” in Scandinavia in the 19th century, often referred to as “Fant” or “Loffare” when not of Romani descent. Generally, they were not held in high regard. At all.
*insert discourse about discrimination and predjudice against “otherness” here* True, there were some cases of travelling fiddlers who gained both fame and fortune, but as Leroux explicitly states, Daddy Daaé was not one of them;
"…the father, who cared only for his daughter and his music, sold his patch of ground and went to Upsala in search of fame and fortune. He found nothing but poverty.”
Eventually, Daddy Daaé and Christine meet Professor Valerius and move to France with Valerius and his wife. Again, moving to Paris, learning a new language and new customs might sound thrilling and romantic. In real life, however, it’s an incredibly stressfull situation.(redeaths has written an excellent post about this and other aspects of Christine’s childhood, go read it! (x) )
Christine, still a young child at this point, copes better than her father, who becomes ever more depressed and finally dies from an unspecified disease. So after seeing her father wither away before her eyes, Christine is now an orphan in a foreign country. How does any of this make her spoilt? True, she has her adoptive family, but hey - in the meantime, Professor Valerius has died too! And Mama Valerius, while a sweet and lovable lady, does seem a bit unstable - at least by the time of the main PotO arch.
Fast foreward some years. We find that Christine is employed at the Opera Garnier, and, with the help of a certain angel of music, has become somewhat of a star. Wow. She belongs to the upper-class now, you might think. Surely she can do whatever she wants to - even marry the Vicomte de Chagny (or any other of her many admirers, should she so choose.)
Well, not really. See, back in the 19th century, the opera/theater was considered a sort of demi-monde. You might be famous, you might gain applause and even admiration - but you weren’t truly considered respectable. That’s why Philippe (Raoul’s brother) brings Raoul there to meet women.That’s why Philippe himself has an affair with la Sorelli, but would never considerer marrying her. That’s why he’s all cool when he thinks that Raoul wants Christine as his mistress, but throws a fit when he realizes that Raoul intends to marry her.
Christine is far from an upper-class socialite. Even Raoul accuses her of being an “opera wench” at a certain point, when he thinks that Erik is just some rich opera patron with whom she’s having an affair. After all, that would’ve been a common occurance at the opera.
In fact, this is why Leorux repeatedly writes that Christine was “innocent”. It was so common for theater girls back then to rely on the support of a wealthy patron (often becoming his mistress) that Leroux has to explicitly state that Christine hadn’t chosen that course of action. In essence, she was a self-made girl, “mistress of her own actions”. She went to school, graduated from the academy and earned a place at the Garnier before Erik even came into the picture!
Ok, I could ramble on, but I’ll spare you from it and stop here. Now, I don’t intend to portray Christine as the perfect heroine who never makes any mistakes. She is naive - at least in the beginning of the book - , she does make mistakes, she even berates herself for it! Like her or dislike her. I just don’t see how it’s possible to view her as some spoilt upper-class girl who gets everything handed to her on a silver plate.
…. writing a metanarrative about Christine and suddenly realizing that Alex has just posted one saying the same exact identical things, only 100000x better than me XD
Weeeell Imma finish this anyway.