Merlin (with spoilers was RE: Ready for Merlin?

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Fri May 23 07:52:37 EDT 2003


Charlie:

>I'm not sure if selfish is the word for Nick. I think he is quite
>thick-skinned, and isn't as sensitive to the feelings of others as he might
>be because he assumes that most people are as thick-skinned as he is and
>can't (won't?) make the empathetic effort to see that they aren't. One of
>the things I like about MC is the way this characteristic is, so far from
>being a bolt-on feature, a vital part of the plot, particularly vis a vis
>his laughing at Japheth, whose reaction even at the end of the book is a
>mystery to him ('What of it? You trod on an egg. It was funny.')

I agree about lack of empathy for the feelings of others, but also 
feel that selfish is the word for him, at least in _Deep Secret_. 
And that was one of the (very few) things I found disappointing about 
Merlin.  By the end of DS Nick seemed to me a more fully developed 
character than he was in Merlin.   And he'd also moved so far in the 
direction of out-growing his selfishness that I was rather surprised 
to find it coming up as if he was only 'now' starting to work on it. 
But he also seemed - maybe not exactly younger, but certainly no 
older than at the end of DS.  Maybe the same age in fact, but written 
for a younger audience?

>And there is a kind of reassuring consistency in all this, as Sally says.

Yes, I agree with you both here.  And even more than Howl's 
'slithering-out', I think Nick's selfishness served a vital survival 
purpose.

Hallie.

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