piątek, 28 grudnia 2007
Mildmay, Felix and the question of power? [Sarah Monette, "The Doctrine of the Labyrinths"]

What is the dynamics between Mildmay and Felix?

Interestingly enough, the brothers take the roles of the strong one/the weak one or victim/tormentor interchangeably. First Mildmay is a master with mad Felix as a slave (or at least that's how Felix sees himself, identifying Mildmay with his long-dead Keeper; Mildmay more than once mentions the fact that he had to force Felix, beat him, physically abuse him for his own good). Then there's Felix the wizard with Mildmay the boy from the lower class and Felix realizing that Mildmay, behind his tough facade, is psychologically delicate and vulnerable, therefore easy to hurt. Then, as a modification of this theme, there's Mildmay the esclavin with Felix as obligataire bound by the obligation d'ame. But then at the end of The Mirador, when both Felix and Mildmay are in prison, it is Mildmay who is the strong one protecting the grieving Felix in one of the most emotionally moving scenes of the whole cycle so far [p. 403]:

"Do you think it's dark, where Gideon is?" And, powers, his accent has gotten away from him, and his voice was barely more than breath, and he sounded so fucking
"Oh, sweetheart", I said, and my voice broke. "C'mere." We found each other in the dark, and I hugged him, and for once he didn't go stiff or shrug me away, but hugged me back.
"I don't want him to be in the dark", he said into my shoulder. "I don't want him to be afraid".
"His White-Eyed Lady was waiting for him," I said. "She'll take her of him. She'll help him rest".
"Do you think so? Really?" He was crying, the way you learn to cry when you're a kept-thief and you don't dare make any sound about it. But I could feel his tears soaking into my shirt.
"Really", I said and held him against the dark