I apologize if this is long, but I felt I needed to post it.
First off, I’d like to say that I’m an Abbey. Well, not entirely. I’m more like a combination of Abbey and Amaya. But there’s a lot about Abbey’s personality that I relate to. And now that I’m older, I can see the drawbacks of his personality as well, having learned from my own mistakes.
Take, for example, today’s comic. Abbey gives a decisive answer to Tess’ question. "Expulsion." And that is a natural Abbey answer. He has a very strong sense of right and wrong. Grey areas don’t exist for him. In Abbey’s view, anyone committing a grievous wrong should be punished severely, without exception. This in part comes from his own experiences. When he was young, his father abused his mother, and he was powerless to stop that. Now he wants to change that. Wherever a wrong is committed, he wants to see swift justice done.
But if justice is blind, then so is Abbey. His personality and strong morals often cause him to make snap judgments without necessarily considering all sides of the story. If Tess were still bullying kids, and Abbey the judge, then Tess would be expelled from school. Yet Tess has changed from two years ago. She now wants to make friends instead of bullying people. True, the seniors and juniors are slow to forgive her, because they remember what she used to do. Still, to her credit, Tess has stuck to her decision to overcome her past. Would expulsion have been the answer for Tess? It would have stopped her bullying, at least temporarily, but it would not have changed the way she was. Rather, it was Tess' decision to change herself that made the difference.
Abbey in his single-minded idealism thinks punishment alone will correct a wrong, when this is not always so. Sometimes the person who commits the wrong needs to be helped, to realize what they did was wrong and to change their ways for the future. Tess was strong enough to make this decision for herself, and to commit to it without encouragement from anyone else. However, not everyone is so strong. People often fall back into old habits unless they receive help and support from others.
I think Abbey has a lot to learn about the world, and about himself. Currently, his personality and his views tend to polarize people. He wants to control the outcome of situations, to do what he thinks is right, but he is just as likely to turn off people as to attract their support. He needs to become a softer person, one who can broaden his horizons enough to see multiple sides of a given situation. He needs to learn that things are not always black and white, and that the instinctive solution is not always the best solution. I think in future comics, a lot of the conflict surrounding Abbey will come from his personality and how it affects and clashes with others. Abbey will need to deal with his demons, and not only those from his past.
In this storyline, I like how Taeshi has put the characters in differing roles. Abbey is the candidate with strong and polarizing views, whereas Sue is the candidate with the more pragmatic policies. So, who would I vote for? It's true that I identify a lot with Abbey, but right now, I’d have to lean towards Sue, because she seems to be the more realistic and grounded person. Though one concern I have with Sue is her stated desire to control the entire student government so that she can actually effect her changes; this seems a little creepy and totalitarian to me. Regardless, I’d be interested in hearing Sue’s response to Tess’ question about bullying.
This post has been edited by wacko: 15 December 2010 - 09:48 PM