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Mandy Straussberg
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Author:  TigerShadow [ Tue Nov 11, 2014 2:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mandy Straussberg

I would like to point out that in her situation, Mandy was being victimized. Yes, other people were affected by the possible divorce, but divorce is extremely difficult for a kid, especially since Mandy grew up with her parents being together rather than them divorcing when she was very young. Mandy has to cope with two people who have always been a model marriage to her suddenly splitting up, on top of the stresses of school (at which, as we see clearly in "Mum's the Word" and "A Class Reenactment" as well as others, she works very hard) and the emergence of pre-adolescent and adolescent hormonal imbalances, and her brother is bitter and aloof toward her and their family. Can we really say she's whiny for the horrible crime of daring to be upset and internalizing her perfectly legitimate negative feelings about a major upheaval in her life while dealing with everyday teenage stresses?

Mandy is wrestling with a highly charged emotional response to a major pillar of support in her life being torn apart—does no one expect her to care at least a little bit about herself? Expecting her to deny herself entirely at age twelve and act like everything's hunky-dory is entirely unrealistic, and if she had done that, her detractors would just accuse her of being fake. Characters who actually deal with internal problems can't seem to win in fandoms, even though they're doing what any of us would probably do in their shoes. =/

Maybe I'm being a bit harsh, but I've never been much of a fan of the "whiny" interpretation of characters who have the gall to be upset that they're going through a rough time. I don't like it when people complain about Harry being angsty in Order of the Phoenix, I don't like it when people complain about Korra being weak in Legend of Korra, and I don't like it when people complain about Mandy being whiny in Adventures in Odyssey. I'll be frank and say that I have no respect for that interpretation because it essentially denies the character in question a chance to express human emotions, and I will never not defend characters who are so inaccurately accused.

Her behavior was not entirely justified, however; I will point out that she did display some selfishness, even though it was never to the extent of which she is accused. Part of the point of "Life in the Third Person" was her learning to move on from herself and her desires into what God wants. Selfishness was a character flaw, and she learned to deal with it; her entire character should not be written off because she displayed a flaw, and said flaw should never be exaggerated the way I see that it is.

Author:  Blitz [ Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mandy Straussberg

There are some obviously weak character that need more backbone. Mandy isn't so much one of them. Yeah sometimes I felt like slapping her out of her drudgery but for the most part I sympathized with her.

Author:  TigerShadow [ Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mandy Straussberg

And honestly, the fact that you got annoyed with her sometimes while you felt sorry for her is a good thing—it shows that the writers have brought to life a character that resonates with you on that kind of emotional level.

Author:  Bethany Shepard [ Wed Nov 12, 2014 3:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mandy Straussberg

Sadly, I never felt sorry for her because, in every way, she irritates me. But, there are few female characters in AiO that I truly love. Harsh but true.

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