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 Post subject: Janey Slater
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 6:10 pm 
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Twilight Lady II wrote a lovely explanation of her view of Janey's role in Jon's life...
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I think Janey recognized very early Jon’s need to please others and his tendency to try to earn love by doing what others wanted and I think that after the accident she saw a way to capitalize on this on a whole new level. I get the impression anywhere Jon went Janey would go as well, I think she was naturally a little controlling and insecure in her relationship with Jon, even before the accident and even more so after. I doubt she would want Jon to do something she wasn’t a part of or couldn’t keep tabs on. I’m sure the government loved this but I doubt they ever had to tell her to do it, I think she would have regardless. I think the government had enough psyche profiles on Jon to know that he would most likely go to the meeting and join the Crimebusters just because they “asked”, but knowing that Janey would tell him to do the same thing was a nice bonus for them.

...and it got me wondering what Janey was really about.
Is she meant to be a personification of the world's fear at the idea of the man to end worlds? (tm Milton Glass)
Janey is the only character who is outwardly afraid of Jon and what he means to scientific and societal progress. Laurie just gets annoyed at his passivity and lack of focus. Is that what drives his (probably preordained) choice to turn away from Janey to Laurie, he's tired of being treated like a monster?
If Laurie comes across as needy, Janey is a black hole.

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 Post subject: Re: Janey Slater
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 11:11 pm 
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Janey always came off as the classic 'frigid bitch', IMO. Even before the accident, she seemed cold.

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 Post subject: Re: Janey Slater
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 11:38 pm 
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Janey fell in love with Jon Osterman and she got Dr. Manhattan instead. To me, it's just that simple. When she got involved with Osterman, she could never have predicted what he'd become (and really, who could?). The love of her life became something else and she wasn't able to understand or accept that. By the time she finally realized that, she was an old maid dying of cancer, the prime years of her life spent in mutual misunderstanding with a walking A-bomb.

At least Laurie knew what she was getting into.

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 Post subject: Re: Janey Slater
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 6:25 am 
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Lady_Rorschach wrote:
Janey always came off as the classic 'frigid bitch', IMO. Even before the accident, she seemed cold.


Cold? She made all the moves on Jon! And she sticks by him after the accident. Unwise, perhaps, but at least it shows a degree of loyalty.

Curiosity Inc. wrote:
The love of her life became something else and she wasn't able to understand or accept that.


I think that's the key, although they had only known each other three months (and only been together one) when the accident happened. She stayed with Dr Manhattan for seven years, and only left when he cheated on her. I wonder if she stayed because she felt partly responsible for what had happened? Or guilty because she had abandoned him? Or did she stay out of fear? How do you dump a God? Or, how do you walk out on your partner because they've been changed through no real fault of their own - what if he had just been badly deformed, or crippled? People face these challenges in real relationships, and it makes for a hard time - struggling to make the relationship work, but feeling you'd be a villain if you left.

And then, how interested is Jon in Janey? Did he just get together with her because she was the first woman to take an interest in him? In Chapter IV he admits that his saying "I'll always want you" was a lie, whereas he never wants to lose Laurie. Problems might have surfaced fairly quickly had he remained Jon Osterman: it would just have been easier for them to break up.

In some ways, I think both Jon's relationships raise some of the practical issues of the Superman/Lois Lane dynamic. What attracts Superman to Lois? What happens when she gets old, and he's still (relatively) young?

Thematically, I thought Jon's love life helped to explore some of the practical problems of a superhero's love life. How long will Lois Lane and Superman last? When she gets old, will he trade her in for a younger model? Will she resent his longer-lasting youth? How long before someone superpowerful just gets bored of ordinary folk?

Laurie's unique background mean she can relate to Jon in a way that Janey (or any other "normal" person) can't. But in the end, Jon can't relate to Laurie. Their relationship was doomed from the word go: he was always going to drift out of touch sooner or later. I think that's what he comes to terms with in the end: that he's not Jon Osterman, not a human being any more, and he has to stop pretending that he is.

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 Post subject: Re: Janey Slater
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:38 am 
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Blue_meanie pretty much said it.

but it seems, if we are to look at jon as superman, Janey is lois lane.

It would make sense, they're both work colleagues and so on.

And in watchmen, the inevitasble had happened long before the main narrative of the story had begun. Jon ditches Janey long before, for a much younger model.

It seems to be tackling the superman-lois lane relationship, you know.


But it also does seem she was Jons first love and perhaps just him resorting to it (But hey, what a catch) because as he said it, she's the first woman to buy him a beer.
That's a pretty big thing for a guy like Jon! How could he say no?! ;).

I'm not sure i liked her anyway. Someone mentioned it before, but for instance, her presence at the meetings.... Why? She didnt need to be there. Go away. Woman.


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 Post subject: Re: Janey Slater
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:56 am 
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i wonder how anyone could see janey as cold, calculating or whatever. to me, she seemed to display amazing courage and loyalty. as it has been pointed out, when jon turned into dr. manhattan, she stuck with him, despite having been together for just three months. she stays seven years and only walks out after HE cheats on her with laurie.
i highly doubt that she needs to mooch of his publicity. she´s a scientist herself, for god´s sake, she´s got intelligence and a career, she´s obviously a self-assured woman (what with buying the beer and making all the moves).
i think it was jon´s turning into a blue wonder that really challenged her, becauseit completely changed their relationship. in a way, he has reduced herself to the physical, which seems to be the thing that attracts dr. manhattan most in women. do we ever hear him express admiring thoughts about a woman´s intellect? (okay, he´s also above men, but at least he acknowledges adrian. i really don´t remember. feel free to correct me, i´ve lent my copy of the GN to a friend).
so it is only fitting that he leaves the aging janey for the very young laurie, and understandable that janey would react hurt and angry. she stand by him all these years, and then he up and pulls the classic MCP.


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 Post subject: Re: Janey Slater
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:55 am 
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Nellodee wrote:
In a way, he has reduced herself to the physical, which seems to be the thing that attracts dr. manhattan most in women. do we ever hear him express admiring thoughts about a woman´s intellect?
(okay, he´s also above men, but at least he acknowledges adrian. i really don´t remember. feel free to correct me, i´ve lent my copy of the GN to a friend).


Good observation! Though, Janey is the only intellectual woman we see Jon interact with, and he never expresses open admiration for any man's intellect, either, so it's difficult to draw any generalisations. When he first meets Adrian, he identifies him as "interesting". Thereafter, his only interactions with Veidt are limited to expressing disappointment (and defining him as a "termite"), and telling them that he understands, without condoning or condemning. Adrian seems to think they'll talk as equals - I'm not sure Jon sees it the same way. Of course, two decades separate the two events. His growing alienation has moved his interest in Laurie from the sexual to the conceptual, so his interest in Adrian's intellect may have waned?

There's definitely a double standard at work here: Janey tends to get blamed for Jon leaving her, and Laurie tends to get blamed for leaving Jon. Yet Jon is the one at fault in both cases.

It is an interesting question as to whether turning into Dr Manhattan has changed Jon's attitude to women, or whether it's simply given him the means to act on that attitude. Jon never actually expresses any legitimate interest in Janey: he gets together with her because she makes the moves. It's almost like he can't believe a woman would have any interest in him. Once he realises he can have someone younger and better looking, he's off.

But then, Jon's attraction to Laurie seems genuine. On Mars, he states that his telling Janey he'll "always want [her]" is a lie: whereas he "never wants to lose" Laurie. He doesn't seem interested in trading her in for a younger model, even when she reaches the age that he left Janey. And he goes on to identify Laurie's "specific form" - not just her DNA, or her body, but her background, everything - as being a thermodynamic miracle. There's something different about Laurie: she's sufficiently warped (or sufficiently naive) to accept him as an equal. So maybe it's more than just a sex thing? I often wonder what he and Laurie actually find to talk about. Her interest in animals? A shared interest in pushy parents? Were they both Devo and Pale Horse fans?

Either way, he may have a massive intellect (and, to be fair, he must have been pretty bright before the accident) and miraculous powers, but he remains emotionally awkward. In some ways, that's what's so scarey about him: he isn't the being of pure and rationale logic he likes to make it. He lusts, gets jealous and goes off in a huff, and tries to bully his girlfriend into kinky sex. His powers mean he can do these things on quite a spectacular level.

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she stand by him all these years, and then he up and pulls the classic MCP.

MCP? Microsoft Certified Professional? Is that what they do? :P

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 Post subject: Re: Janey Slater
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:38 pm 
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Thank you Fahnette! I’m sorry its taken me so long to get back to posting.

Quote:
Fahnette

Janey is the only character who is outwardly afraid of Jon and what he means to scientific and societal progress. Laurie just gets annoyed at his passivity and lack of focus. Is that what drives his (probably preordained) choice to turn away from Janey to Laurie, he's tired of being treated like a monster?
If Laurie comes across as needy, Janey is a black hole.


As I mentioned I really think that Janey was a naturally controlling personality and she saw Jon’s passive, need to please nature and naïveté and took advantage of it and control from the start. She remarks on his age when they fist meet, how young he is to have achieved so much. She may have just been coming on to him and trying to be complimentary but something about her surprise at how at a young he is implied to me that she was older. That always had an affect on my view of their relationship.

I think their trip to the Carnival is really telling. This was their first “date”. Janey’s mother supposedly lives in New Jersey, across the country and exactly where Jon has mentioned that he is going on vacation to visit a friend. Then, when Janey gets there her mother is not answering the phone so they go to the amusement park to kill time. I think it’s odd that her mother would not be available the day her daughter arrives after traveling across the country to see her. I also think it’s odd that Janey wouldn’t choose to stop by the house to see if she’s there rather than suggest that she go back to Jon’s hotel so that she can call again. Were the pay phones at the amusement park no longer working? I would also be a little worried if I traveled across country to visit my mom and she isn’t answering the phone.

I don’t think that Janey’s mother was expecting a visit, I’m not even sure her mother lives in New Jersey or lives at all. The whole thing seemed to be something Janey engineered to get close to Jon. If so, its more than a little manipulative and makes their early relationship based on manipulation. I have no problem with strong women taking charge and making the first move, (I proposed to my husband after all.) But to start a relationship based on a fabricated situation leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

If she felt that she need to manipulate him to start the relationship it seems kind of insecure- did she not feel that he would have invited her on the trip, to his hotel and more eventually on his own?

People who are controlling are frequently insecure. They don’t feel that they are enough for their partner so they try hard to make their partner feel they can’t do without them.

After the accident I think this feeling probably got much worse- after all who wouldn’t feel insecure next to a god?

Her need to accompany Jon to the Crimebusters meeting implies to me that she probably went everywhere with him. To me this again shows insecurity on her part. I think she was afraid of what would happen if she wasn’t there to control the situation.

And I think its important to note that, right or wrong, people with controlling partners often cheat.

I also feel that Jon spent his life pleasing others who were all too happy to tell him what to do, like his dad, the government and then Janey. Ex. Janey demands that Jon take her home during the Crimebusters meeting. She doesn’t ask him to leaver with her,
she tells him what to do.
Laurie pleads with Jon to come back to Earth, she tries to discuss it with him.

Quote:
Blue_meanie

And she sticks by him after the accident. Unwise, perhaps, but at least it shows a degree of loyalty.

I think that's the key, although they had only known each other three months (and only been together one) when the accident happened. She stayed with Dr Manhattan for seven years, and only left when he cheated on her. I wonder if she stayed because she felt partly responsible for what had happened? Or guilty because she had abandoned him? Or did she stay out of fear? How do you dump a God? Or, how do you walk out on your partner because they've been changed through no real fault of their own - what if he had just been badly deformed, or crippled? People face these challenges in real relationships, and it makes for a hard time - struggling to make the relationship work, but feeling you'd be a villain if you left.


Great points…

Loyalty? Or was it guilt, fear, advantage? You have to admit it’s a help to your career as a physicist is you live with the greatest advancement in science of all time. It was also partly her fault the accident happened, it was her watch Jon went back for and she didn’t stand by Jon the one moment he needed her most. As the accident started she turns away. No matter how terrible it would be to be there as my partner died, I wouldn’t let him die alone when he needed me most. Even if it was painful I don’t think I would let even a friend or coworker die alone, especially if they called out for me.

In her defense did she love him yet? Was it attraction or love? They were only together three months, did she know for herself yet that she loved him? Did she stay with him after because she loved him or felt guilt or because what it could mean for her career?


I think what my rambling is trying to get at is that I got the impression that Janey was slightly insecure about her relationship with Jon before the accident, the majority of their relationship she controlled Jon and often dictated his actions either by telling or manipulating. I think Janey may have had a lot of interesting reasons to stay with Jon after the accident but what I learned about her before tells me that not all of them might have been altruistic.

Their relationship seemed to me to be a power struggle. At the very least Janey was intimidate by Jon after the accident, and that’s not a good place for a relationship to thrive. To me Janey’s relationship with Jon was in a way like our relationship with nuclear power. We love it, use it, fear it and cause the greatest harm when we try to manipulate it to our ends and to use it against others. If we don’t respect it and see it on its own terms for what it is, good and bad, then we are doomed to be harmed by it.


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 Post subject: Re: Janey Slater
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:52 am 
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Some great points there, TwilightLadyII. I'd actually missed a whole bunch of that stuff:

Quote:
She remarks on his age when they fist meet, how young he is to have achieved so much.


I'd always assumed she was the same age as Jon - but looking back, I can't find anything to back that up. And you're right: her commenting on his age implies that she would be older, by at least a few years. That's interesting because I'd always assumed Janey was thirty-seven when Jon cheated on her, an age that Laurie is approaching in 1985. If we assume that Janey was forty or even older at that stage, then Laurie is still substantially younger in 1985 (indeed might only be the age that Janey was when she first met Jon). So, maybe Jon would have gone off Laurie given enough time?

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I don’t think that Janey’s mother was expecting a visit,


Now that's another really interesting point that I had completely missed. In fairness, Jon's fairly passive and left to his own devices he might never have got around to actually making a move. He objects when they're described as "lovers" by the cameraman, so he's obviously oblivious to Janey's feelings towards him. Perhaps she just didn't want to be thought of as too forwards? Was worried that if she made all the moves he would feel emasculated, or intimidated? Or maybe it emphasises one of the problems in their relationship - if Jon's just going along with it, or is just impressed because she's the only girl who's taken an interest in him, then that's not a great basis for a relationship.

Quote:
You have to admit it’s a help to your career as a physicist is you live with the greatest advancement in science of all time.


We never really find out what it meant for her career. Did she occupy the same "kept woman" role later occupied on Laurie? At least she could have helped out around the lab! It would certainly be an opportunity to work on the cutting edge - even if she is later concerned about the rate of advancement.

Quote:
she didn’t stand by Jon the one moment he needed her most


I can certainly understand that it must be hard to watch someone you love die in such a horrible way. Nevertheless, it does show some selfishness in Janey: that she puts her own concerns above Jon's, even when he's about to die. I wonder if Jon carried any lingering resentment over that abandonment? It must make some challenges for a relationship, and all the evidence points to Jon being very bad at expressing his real feelings.

Also, there's no evidence that Janey saw Jon as the love of her life - maybe it was just a sex thing, never meant to be that serious? And after the accident she's stuck, whether through guilt or ambition or fear.

Quote:
I also feel that Jon spent his life pleasing others who were all too happy to tell him what to do, like his dad, the government and then Janey.


It's interesting that going to Laurie is the only time before his trip to Mars that Jon exhibits any will of his own. But then Jon seems to have a complete lack of ambition - he expresses no direction or drive of his own, just follows the direction given by other people. Laurie's the first person (or thing, for that matter) that he's actually expressed a personal desire for. Actually, she's the only thing he expresses a personal desire for. It's hard to know whether he cheated because he was unhappy with Janey, or whether he just stuck with her because he's so passive, and it was only when Laurie came along that he realised he'd rather be with her?

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 Post subject: Re: Janey Slater
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:11 pm 
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blue_meanie wrote:
I'd always assumed she was the same age as Jon - but looking back, I can't find anything to back that up. And you're right: her commenting on his age implies that she would be older, by at least a few years. That's interesting because I'd always assumed Janey was thirty-seven when Jon cheated on her, an age that Laurie is approaching in 1985. If we assume that Janey was forty or even older at that stage, then Laurie is still substantially younger in 1985 (indeed might only be the age that Janey was when she first met Jon). So, maybe Jon would have gone off Laurie given enough time?

Went back and looked at the art for Janey and damned if she doesn't look older than Jon. She's drawn to look rather frumpy, very unlike Laurie.
I find it quite interesting that she wears the same outfit (black tank top and purple skirt, strand of pearls) during the first and last moments of Jon's transformation... the amusement park, where the watch is broken, and the cafeteria, where Hatty manifests himself as a complete being.

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 Post subject: Re: Janey Slater
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:58 pm 
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More great points!

Quote:
Blue_meanie

He objects when they're described as "lovers" by the cameraman, so he's obviously oblivious to Janey's feelings towards him.


Oblivious or had not developed the same feelings toward her yet? Or both….

Quote:
Blue_meanie

Or maybe it emphasises one of the problems in their relationship - if Jon's just going along with it, or is just impressed because she's the only girl who's taken an interest in him, then that's not a great basis for a relationship.


I couldn’t agree more!

Quote:
It's interesting that going to Laurie is the only time before his trip to Mars that Jon exhibits any will of his own.


I thought it was interesting to see how his “costume” given to him by the government got smaller and smaller over the years. I always thought that his dislike of it in the first place meant that he slowly started pushing back and wearing less as a slow expression of his own wants and that cheating with Laurie was his coup de gras in rebellion, something he wanted and something he was willing to do regardless of others feelings. A total rebellion to his passive please others nature.

Quote:
Fahnette-
Went back and looked at the art for Janey and damned if she doesn't look older than Jon. She's drawn to look rather frumpy, very unlike Laurie.
I find it quite interesting that she wears the same outfit (black tank top and purple skirt, strand of pearls) during the first and last moments of Jon's transformation... the amusement park, where the watch is broken, and the cafeteria, where Hatty manifests himself as a complete being.



LOL, your right I never noticed that before!


Thinking about it more…..

I think that the accident really just exaggerated Jon and some key elements of his relationship with Janey rather than change who he was and their relationship altogether. She was older, perhaps insecure about her age, and a bit controlling. Jon was aloof, perhaps a little naive when it came to understanding other people, and passive. After the accident Jon becomes even more removed from other people, he has an even harder time staying connected to them and to understanding them, he takes an even more passive approach to his own destiny. Jon stopped aging as well, so the age gap between them became more exaggerated. Janey is even older, even more insecure, maybe she even tries to become more controlling. All these problems may have been there from day one, the accident just upped the ante, so to speak.

Just as they said “The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking” Human nature remained human nature and so war remained, regardless of the threat and destruction capabilities of new weapons. Jon’s body and abilities were utterly changed but his nature stayed the same. Janey and Jon’s relationship was unconventional due to his abilities but the dynamic between them didn’t change. Janey remained controlling and Jon checked out. Their nature ultimately did not change.


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 Post subject: Re: Janey Slater
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:54 pm 
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Sorry for the double posting but I though of another point that always stood out to me about Janey.

It also stuck me as to how hateful Janey seems to be during the reporter’s interview with her right before the announcement she has cancer. It seems to me that she really wants to hurt Jon with the news. She must know that finding out that he gave her cancer would likely cause him to feel a lot of pain and guilt and that claiming that he is a danger to everyone would force him to be ostracized from society. Why such hate?

If it was because of their failed relationship and the way that their relationship ended, ie Jon’s cheating, that was quite a long time ago. I believe it was something like 12 years latter. She seems to be very angry over a relationship that ended so long ago, and really the time they spent broken up at that point was longer than the time they spent together.

It could also be because of her state of health and the fact that she blames Jon for her cancer, but I find that hypocritical as well. After all, when they first meet Janey tells Jon of how many of their fellow scientist at Gila flats had died of cancer. In fact she shows him a wall of photos at the bar of those that have died of accidents and cancer. So she must have known that there was a risk that she could develop cancer even without Jon being in the picture. And if it is the cancer issue that has made her so angry then what about the fact that it was her watch Jon went back for that caused his accident. If Jon, at least outwardly, never blamed her for the accident then does she have the right to blame him for her accidentally contracting cancer?

Is her hate and anger really just her own feelings of guilt being redirected?


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 Post subject: Re: Janey Slater
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:23 pm 
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TwilightLadyII wrote:
Is her hate and anger really just her own feelings of guilt being redirected?
Someone nurtured that hate and anger. Someone tapped into it and turned it exactly where he needed it to go. Wonder who? ;)
Had she not been a necessary part of the plot to get Manhattan out of the picture, I think she would have died never giving him any other consideration.

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 Post subject: Re: Janey Slater
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 4:14 am 
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TwilightLadyII wrote:
It also stuck me as to how hateful Janey seems to be during the reporter’s interview with her right before the announcement she has cancer. It seems to me that she really wants to hurt Jon with the news.


Now this is another excellent point. I had always assumed that she had only recently found out about her condition. At the very least, there's no reason she should have connected it with Jon until Doug Roth suggested it, which would bring up an awful lot of old feelings. She may also be projecting her anger with Jon over the cancer into anger over their relationship: just lashing out at him. And it must be hard to have your ex and your replacement occupying celebrity status.

Most of all, though, I think the problem is that she's bottled the feelings up for nineteen years. The layout of the GN draws a parallel with Laurie's situation as she leaves Jon. Like Laurie, Janey has had no one to talk to about it - and like Laurie, she feels it's a relief to get her problems with Jon out in the open. That's the difficulty with dating a God - how can you ever complain? Who can ever hope to understand your problems?

Quote:
After all, when they first meet Janey tells Jon of how many of their fellow scientist at Gila flats had died of cancer.


I thought she only mentioned Hank Meadows? And John got godlike powers out of his accident, so she might not feel that much guilt over it - especially once he's decided he's not interested in her anyway. I don't think she does have the right to blame him for her cancer (even if he was the cause, how could he have known?) - though having just said "how could he have known?" we come back to the old predestination argument. Does Janey think he knew that he was going to give her cancer.

Fahnette wrote:
Someone nurtured that hate and anger. Someone tapped into it and turned it exactly where he needed it to go. Wonder who?


Doug Roth! That cunning fiend... :D

This is a good point - as I mentioned above, I'm not sure Janey would have made the connection between her cancer without prompting by Adrian (via Doug Roth). Of course, without Adrian's plot, she wouldn't have had cancer in the first place. But she might still have carried a lot of bitterness around about Jon - as I say, the problem of not being able to express these issues can create all kinds of trouble further down the lay.

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