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Old 2013-02-08, 08:09   Link #12003
Sol Falling
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Age: 29
"Bakemono" is a fine word to describe Medaka. I disagree that the word "monster" carries any moral implications--it represents only a judgement, a presumption, on the part of the accuser. By nature, the word "monster" only carries connotations of something unknown, beyond comprehension, of the ones using that word. Fear, desperation, uncertainty--to be called a monster is to be put into a position of inherent superiority.

All sentient minds, born into the social context of humanity, will tend to think of themselves as "human" (or try to become "human"). By developing some natural concept of "human" within themselves, they come to naturally define a contrasting intuition called "monster". The accusations of Medaka's 'monstrosity' right now belong to Iihiko alone. Kakegae and Kotobuki might agree with him conceptually, but it is only Iihiko himself who has experienced the irrational feelings of fear and repulsion.

Iihiko defined a "hero" to be "a person with a purpose". And he defined a "human" to be "someone who lives just to live". Beyond these two definitions, other types of human are beyond his comprehension. That is why Medaka has become a monster to him: because she has been reduced into a mess possessing neither a purpose, nor the self-preservational instinct necessary to live.

Medaka's trampling by Iihiko represents a complete breakdown of her self. There is no way to treat her senseless "determination" as a victory; neither any way to believe she carries any hint of her former heroic nobility. Instead, what Medaka's singleminded desperation (and the results it brought her) can represent is only something broken; as Kakegae said, someone like a chronic gambler, spiralling into self-destruction. However, what I think Medaka's breakdown proves in itself is Medaka's humanity--because humans are irrational, weak, self-destructive and pointless. Iihiko's neat, rational explanations "Heroes have a purpose", "Humans just try to live" are precisely the reason why Medaka became an incomprehensible monster to him--he cannot comprehend irrationality, can't hope to grasp self-destructive weaknesses.

Medaka is superior to Iihiko in the nature of being human. That is the victory I think she earned over Iihiko in this chapter. She is human because only someone with Iihiko's monstrous strength could call Medaka's actions in this chapter those of a monster. Medaka only did something any weak, irrational, desperate human, would be capable of doing--clinging onto someone's legs, and not giving up.
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