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Obverse & Reverse Ch6 Page 23

Obverse & Reverse Ch6 Page 23 published on 37 Comments on Obverse & Reverse Ch6 Page 23

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So now two things are pretty certain: one, Eleanor has to be lying about her background to some degree, and two, *why*. And it’s much sadder than the reason Roald thinks.

Given the way Wonderlanders talk, I think it’s less lying and more exact wording.

Family is great, I don’t got a family… raised by monsters that deserve the title.

She picked her name herself, doesn’t mean that she didn’t have a different one before she killed it out of spite.

I’m afraid it does. Roald here just gave us the key: that it’s *adult* Bandersnatches that thought to be ‘dangerous’.

Eleanor doesn’t want to be seen as a ‘monster’, and I believe, is running away from home out of sheer loneliness. She’s probably has been detaching herself from other Bandersnatches because of the bad rep they’ve been given; she would certainly be using the first outsiders she’s ever met as an escape route, thinking that if they’re all children, she could run away with them and be accepted.

Eleanor might be orphaned or abandoned, but she’s had parents long enough to learn to talk and get a basic education from. She’s clever, curious and intuitive.

But the name she claims she ‘picked’ is one denoting a lineage: ‘the third’. She couldn’t do that if she didn’t know what a lineage was, and she *wouldn’t* do that if she’s trying to escape her old life. Therefore, it’s her given birth name. The kids wouldn’t pick up on this… but Roald would.

Unless it means something else here. Under the characters she’s “Eleanor McLean Mothersbaugh XIII” but on she’s “Eleanor McLean Mothersbaugh XII”.

Now, this could be a misprint, or it could be that “the twelfth” or “the thirteenth” could be referring to something other than lineage. For instance, the number of times she’s chosen to keep that as her name.

She said she picked the name herself. She could have added things like “the first”, “the second” and so on for the number of *times* she’s picked it.

Which in turn would also suggest this isn’t the first time she’s tried to run away.

“Which in turn would also suggest this isn’t the first time she’s tried to run away.”

*nods* Given what she said earlier, I think it can be easily assumed she’s tried more than once to escape the woods and all the associations, but has failed because people not only refuse to talk to her but won’t let their kids talk to her either.

I mean, for all that, it could even be the number of times she’s been able to actually introduce herself.

…Or she could’ve just picked “the twelfth” because it sounds fancy.

For comparison, in the anime Cowboy Bebop, one of the main characters is named “Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivruski IV” which was a name she entirely made up for herself for no reason other than it sounded good, including the IV. There was no hidden meaning to any of it. It just sounded good to her.

Why would she have to be lying? All she said was that she had no family: they could be dead, and they might have died when she was young.

It’s even possible that these prejudices killed her parents. Or maybe Bandersnatches don’t have family in that sense, and she’s lonely because she sees other groups of families. Maybe she got separated and lost.

‘To some degree’. As has been pointed out, it’s probably in the Wonderland trait of literal wording. But you can ‘lie’ without words – her emotions and curiosity are genuine, but look how knowingly sly her body language is while the kids debating in the woods, how she can push the narrative, how manipulative she is of Jimmy in particular, how she can turn her expressions on a dime, and how she anticipates every response they make. No, I’m convinced she’s attempted this many times and has had plenty of practice, and that she’s so desperate to escape her current life and the prejudices it has to endure that whether she actually *has* family or not doesn’t even matter by now. ‘I’m a child, they’re children, this time I can make this work.’

I think the biggest hint Eleanor is a runaway rather than an orphan may be her claim that she *did* choose her own name. On the face of it, there wouldn’t be any reason to do so unless she were ashamed of it. It wouldn’t matter to any other strangers what name she has, but it matters deeply to her. Cutting off all family ties sounds like the reason that makes most sense.

Well there is one other, and given that this arc is about prejudice, now might even the perfect time to introduce it… I wonder now if Eleanor could possibly be genderfluid.

I honestly can not see what you’re seeing about how manipulative she is. She’s like, 10. Kids make dramatic expressions all the time, and I can’t see how her reactions to the others aren’t genuine/slightly played up as kids are won’t to do.

It’s possible she has acquaintances in the woods. Adult monsters that don’t want to take responsibility for a kid, but still look out for her. Maybe she’s stayed with a few other monster families but nothing ever really stuck.

Mostly I think the ‘run away from bad parents’ story would be a disservice to the message that the story is trying to portray. Monsters by and large are not any better or worse that humans/medallion’d monsters, so it would be ill-fitting to have her parents be so horrible that she’s run away from them, ‘proving’ the anti-monster characters ‘right’. Especially when taking in the conversation from the two prejudiced adults; it would make for a weaker story if they were ‘right’ about adult bandersnatches and would weaken what the text has shown thus far about the unfair prejudice that monsters get.

(Not to say that run away stories are bad or that all parents are Inherently Good: I just don’t think the text and themes of the story so far support this theory)

I missed your comment about the name but:

I see a few potentials to why Eleanor chose her own name.

1. Parents never got a chance to name her.
2. Parents disappeared before she could learn her name.
3. She lost her parents when she was young enough to forget it if no one kept caller her it.
4. Bandersnatches don’t name their children until they reach a certain age, and her parents disappeared before that point.
5. Bandersnatches might not have typical families as we think of them. It might be a case in Bandersnatch culture that the young can take care of themselves, and so are left in the woods to grow and learn until they’re old enough to be accepted into Bandersnatch society.
6. Maybe Bandersnatches spawn
7. Maybe she just didn’t like her name but that has nothing to do with her parents
8. She has amnesia

I agree, it’s not bad parents she’s running away from. It’s the loneliness of life as a ‘monster’. Unfortunately, her parents, if she has them, would be a constant reminder of that. She wants something better, and family is unable to provide it.

we already have one example of a specy , in universe, that turn crazy with age
(male nixies)

Often, in media, there is a portrayal using monster/alien/animal as metaphor for racism, that turn flat or weaken the message because in that universe, the argument about the differences are more genuine than real life racism (“they are dangerous and always armed” in marvel about mutant, which is ambiguous but much more convincing than the real life historical “black people are born criminal”)

In this case, it is ambiguous : the monster classification seems arbitrary , as just the species that did not have medallion made versus the one that did. there were no example of genuine irreconciliable differences yet (bar maybe the demon ? except they played card with gabe, so it is more a conflict of faction than something innate) other than the differences in lifespan and the innate tolerance (unturned) vs ignorance (vanilla humans) when seeing through the veil.

But the physical difference are there, much more marked than those that real life racist base their view on, and without reason to think that the difference are purely physical.

TL DR : so far most example of in story specyism have been bigotry, and shown as such, but i would reserve judgement a declaration of a mental difference in some group (in this case, adult bandersnatch) said by those who had contact with said group, prior to them appearing in the comic, or a description by another character with prior contact as well making a description going counter to it.

i love how Mary isn’t even *contradicting* Roald’s bigotry here, she’s just constructing an exception for someone she feels is exempt from the Obviously Correct image of bandersnatches as dangerous and untrustworthy. it’s a great example of two different but related flavors of prejudice; “yes yes these stereotypes are true, everyone knows that, but *you’re* different! *you’re* not like the others – because we have the chance to rescue you and teach you better!”

We also have an in comic example of (the male half) of a specy that goes insane after 50 as a precedent for both mental divergence and time delayed issues. It is possible that Roald has met bandersnatchs before. Note that he specify ‘adult’, rather than ‘other’
If both are true and relevant, he knows more than us, so calling him prejudiced is premature.

The next pages will probably show that the source of his belief comes from bad interactions or, in parallel to rl racism, other people prejudice, or maybe it will show other people having had different experience, proving him wrong, but maybe not.

In real life, racism is baseless and has long been disproved completely but specyism, treating animals differently depending on their species, even for similar beings and at equivalent intelligence like for example cat vs lynxes, is not

They’re monsters because the dragons forced the sphinxes to close down the medallion forge before bandersnatches could ask for medallions? Roald is gonna owe someone an apology when his damnable ignorance is cured.

I just noticed the necklace he is wearing… is that a custom jub-jub medallion, or does he have a blank griffon medallion sewn into a snazzy pouch? Does each breed of griffon have their own medallion, such as reverse-griffons? Is that why Mary’s kids grew up as griffons, so they would know what breed their kids are and what sort of medallions to give them?

My theory is that bandersnatches are some sort of heraldic that went feral and got mutated by Wonderland magic. Aren’t there some mammalian heraldics that can breathe fire?

This makes me want to learn more about Bandersnatches of this world. Though I’m still open to the possibility that they are in fact monstrous and that Eleanor is the odd one out.

But, you know, at the same time… They could be totally cool too.

It’s just, when you’ve been told enough that you’re something, you could end up believing it too. Like at the moment I know a few people who are actively fighting against their own kin and all who “support” them, ‘cose they’ve made the kin believe that they can’t succeed unless the system gets rigged in their favour, thus making it just as crooked when it was set against them…

Eleanor could well be in for a fight against kin who want to believe themselves monsters as well, ‘cose others made them believe it too…

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