Mitt (A bit muddled)

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at
Fri Sep 15 11:55:07 EDT 2000

On Fri, 15 Sep 2000 11:07:42 -0400 (EDT), Kyra Jucovy wrote:

>>Alex wrote:
>> I think his resentment of his mother is justifiable as she gives him far too
>> mich responsiblity and also forces him into danger. He perhaps expresses
>> this in terms of resentment of women because this justifies his negative
>> feelings about her - she can't help it because she's a woman so that means
>> that she's not being deliberately unfoar on Mitt.
>Oh, yes, Milda seems like a real idiot!  I just feel that I would like
>Mitt better if he were completely foolish about her, instead of
>recognizing her flaws and caring less for her as a result - in combination
>with everything else, it just makes him seem so inhuman.

Like Cat Chant thinking Gwendolen is so wonderful, and that moment of
realization he has that she's's sad and bittersweet and you feel so
sorry for him even if you spent the whole book wishing for that revelation.
Cat is completely foolish about Gwendolen, putting all her nastiness down to
her being a talented witch and so she's forgiven much.

On the other hand, I really like how Mitt's relationship with his mother is
played out.  It's so complex--love and hate together.  I think what Alex
said is absolutely true.  Mitt can't face the fact that his mother isn't
very motherly, that she's forced him into the role of surrogate adult to
replace his missing father (not in an Oedipal way, but still) and so he puts
it all down to her being a woman.  You notice that he doesn't have any other
good examples of womanhood that would destroy this theory.  It does make him
hard to like, though--he's just so bristly as a child, because he really
doesn't have a chance to *be* a child, just a pretend adult.  And all of the
Free Holanders contribute to Milda's delusion and treat Mitt like an adult
as well.  It isn't until Hobin shows up that Mitt finally has a real
parental figure in his life, and by then it's too late.  Pity Hobin couldn't
have come around sooner.

I think I feel about young Mitt the way I feel about Mark Vorkosigan--I
really dislike him, but I feel bad about doing so because I realize why he's
the way he is.  I think Mitt has a longer journey toward being human than we
realize, because all of his childhood traumas are so subtle, and because
(seeing things from his POV as we do) he himself doesn't know how damaged he
is.  Poor kid.

Melissa Proffitt

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