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Author Topic: [204] Civil Wars, Part 2  (Read 43261 times)
Ikkin
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« Reply #825 on: Nov 06, 2015 11:02 pm »

Also, I've heard elsewhere (maybe also on this forum?) that it could be partly because of her being put in the compound that she tends to respond with violence so much. I think that Korra has so much energy and burdens and frustrations that she has to let it out somehow and since she had a very restricted childhood with not much freedom she got used to letting her anger and frustration out while she was bending or by losing her cool (like when she accidentally destroyed the spinning ancient boards in "A Leaf in the Wind"). After she became a pro-bender and actually had a way to let out her anger/frustration in a positive way then I noticed that her explosions of frustration and 'temper tantrums' became much less frequent.

Are you thinking about this, perhaps?  (Or this?Wink  The idea that Korra being raised in the compound could have resulted in her tendency to respond to violence is something that I've explored a lot.


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And I think that Korra does know what's right and wrong as deeply as Aang and Katara, but she either goes 'screw it' and does what she thinks needs to be done anyway or she just plain forgets.

I didn't mean to imply that Korra doesn't actually know what's right and wrong -- the difference between her and someone like Aang and Katara is that she doesn't have the sort of built-in moral resistance that they do.  Aang was only ever at risk of losing sight of his principles when he was literally taken over by an outside force, and Katara proved herself incapable of going through with her attempt at taking violent revenge.  Korra, in contrast, seemed capable of just about anything, even if she was able to hold her worst impulses in check most of the time.


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Korra probably had it drilled into her from childhood how she was the Avatar and how important it was that she do a good job and keep balance and peace in the world, so much so that when she did try to do her job and made mistakes, she felt she had failed. The people who looked after her didn't help much either. The only person who understood and encouraged Korra was Katara (I'm not counting Korra's parents since I think they didn't have much control over Korra's life and training after she was put in the compound). The members of the White Lotus were stern, sour and stuck-up (in my opinion). They didn't even compliment Korra on her firebending during her firebending test and just sat there grim-faced and complained about her lack of restraint. Of course they had a point there, but they could at least have tried telling Korra what they thought was good about her firebending. And in a nicer tone as well. It's no wonder Korra ends up being how she is, when you look at her childhood.

Yeah, exactly.  =(
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Chericola
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« Reply #826 on: Nov 07, 2015 02:17 am »

Also, I've heard elsewhere (maybe also on this forum?) that it could be partly because of her being put in the compound that she tends to respond with violence so much. I think that Korra has so much energy and burdens and frustrations that she has to let it out somehow and since she had a very restricted childhood with not much freedom she got used to letting her anger and frustration out while she was bending or by losing her cool (like when she accidentally destroyed the spinning ancient boards in "A Leaf in the Wind"). After she became a pro-bender and actually had a way to let out her anger/frustration in a positive way then I noticed that her explosions of frustration and 'temper tantrums' became much less frequent.

Are you thinking about this, perhaps?  (Or this?Wink  The idea that Korra being raised in the compound could have resulted in her tendency to respond to violence is something that I've explored a lot.


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And I think that Korra does know what's right and wrong as deeply as Aang and Katara, but she either goes 'screw it' and does what she thinks needs to be done anyway or she just plain forgets.

I didn't mean to imply that Korra doesn't actually know what's right and wrong -- the difference between her and someone like Aang and Katara is that she doesn't have the sort of built-in moral resistance that they do.  Aang was only ever at risk of losing sight of his principles when he was literally taken over by an outside force, and Katara proved herself incapable of going through with her attempt at taking violent revenge.  Korra, in contrast, seemed capable of just about anything, even if she was able to hold her worst impulses in check most of the time.


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Korra probably had it drilled into her from childhood how she was the Avatar and how important it was that she do a good job and keep balance and peace in the world, so much so that when she did try to do her job and made mistakes, she felt she had failed. The people who looked after her didn't help much either. The only person who understood and encouraged Korra was Katara (I'm not counting Korra's parents since I think they didn't have much control over Korra's life and training after she was put in the compound). The members of the White Lotus were stern, sour and stuck-up (in my opinion). They didn't even compliment Korra on her firebending during her firebending test and just sat there grim-faced and complained about her lack of restraint. Of course they had a point there, but they could at least have tried telling Korra what they thought was good about her firebending. And in a nicer tone as well. It's no wonder Korra ends up being how she is, when you look at her childhood.

Yeah, exactly.  =(

Yeah, I did read your 'Why the White Lotus Shouldn't Be Allowed to Raise Children' post. Smiley I liked it a lot-- it was very insightful. It made me feel more sorry for Tonraq, Senna and Korra than I was already. It would have been pretty difficult for them to be separated like that, and even more difficult for them to support Korra and be there for her like they are in the series. You'd think that it must have felt like a slap in the face for them, since it implied that they were incapable of/weren't worthy of looking after their own daughter. I can't really imagine them choosing to live separately from Korra; they probably would have intended to move in with her but the White Lotus (influenced by Unalaq maybe?) wouldn't let them.

One of the things that I love most about Korra is that she is so unpredictable. She is like a tidal wave, compared to Aang. She is willing to do things that Aang would never dream of doing (like breaking her father out of prison, threatening to make her polar-bear dog eat a judge...). It's refreshing. I've always liked badass, headstrong characters better so Aang was never my most favorite character in Avatar (though I do like him okay). Korra is way more awesome and badass than Aang ever was, and LoK gives me this 'wow' feeling that Avatar never really gave me. The monks' teachings were ingrained in Aang from early childhood, so he would find it very hard to make the sort of decisions that Korra does in LoK. And Katara doesn't seem to have a mean bone in her body-- she was in a motherly role for a lot of her childhood so I guess she would be incapable of doing what Korra does.         

                   
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AtoMaki
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« Reply #827 on: Nov 07, 2015 04:03 am »

You still don't seem to get it.

My original point was that, when Korra feels helpless but still has options open, she reacts with violence.  She obviously can't react with violence when that's not an option.

I get it. And to that, I say that when she feels helpless but still has options open, she breaks down and cries (or runs away from the problem). She doesn't react with violence. She only accepts violence as a solution to her perceived-helpless situation, but only when the option presents itself (at which point she stops feeling helpless immediately). Someone has to show up and tell her that she can still punch stuff - she won't start punching stuff on her own.

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I'd also argue that Korra's reaction to true helplessness often constitutes self-inflicted emotional violence. She doesn't just break down crying, after all -- she lashes out at herself, calling herself "the worst Avatar ever," withdrawing from her friends, and possibly even considering suicide.

I wouldn't call it self-inflicted emotional violence. It is more like an inability to accept one's own flaws and failings. Her depression is just a way of escapism: it is easier to say "I'm the worst Avatar ever" and be very sad about it than actually explore why it is the case.

That's not how emotions work.  =P

Normally, no, that's not emotions work. But I think Korra is not a "normal" case.

Depression isn't a way of escapism. It's technically a mental disorder. If Korra is so upset that she's thinking of suicide then something is seriously wrong. Also when you're depressed and feeling a lack of self-worth rational thinking tends to go out the window. The last thing on Korra's mind would be exploring why she is a 'bad Avatar' and trying to fix it.

Korra's depression comes from her cognitive dissonance: she dead-set on the idea that her world is good, her friends are right, and that she should be some sort of ultimate super-good person; when the harsh reality hits her, and it turns out that neither is (or should be) the case, she escapes into depression rather than face the world as it is. When even depression fails to provide her a safe way out, she starts to create her own reality and starts projecting her fears and insecurities into something she can "defeat" (Dark Korra).
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Chericola
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« Reply #828 on: Nov 07, 2015 05:55 am »

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I get it. And to that, I say that when she feels helpless but still has options open, she breaks down and cries (or runs away from the problem). She doesn't react with violence. She only accepts violence as a solution to her perceived-helpless situation, but only when the option presents itself (at which point she stops feeling helpless immediately). Someone has to show up and tell her that she can still punch stuff - she won't start punching stuff on her own.

I'm pretty sure she reacts with violence. Accepting violence as a solution makes it seem as if Korra actually thinks about what she is going to do beforehand. Most of the time Korra just does it (like when she saw her mother crying in "Civil Wars: Part 2" and immediately ran to threaten the judge and make him release her father).

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Normally, no, that's not emotions work. But I think Korra is not a "normal" case.

How can Korra not be a normal case?


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Korra's depression comes from her cognitive dissonance: she dead-set on the idea that her world is good, her friends are right, and that she should be some sort of ultimate super-good person; when the harsh reality hits her, and it turns out that neither is (or should be) the case, she escapes into depression rather than face the world as it is. When even depression fails to provide her a safe way out, she starts to create her own reality and starts projecting her fears and insecurities into something she can "defeat" (Dark Korra).

That doesn't even make sense. :/ That description makes it sound as if she's in denial. No one 'chooses' to be depressed, or thinks of it as a 'safe way out'.
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AtoMaki
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« Reply #829 on: Nov 07, 2015 06:22 am »

Accepting violence as a solution makes it seem as if Korra actually thinks about what she is going to do beforehand.

She doesn't but others do it for her.

And the interrogation of the judge doesn't fit into this argument, because it wasn't a helpless situation (neither for real, nor for Korra). A better example is when Korra lost Raava: she broke down crying until Tenzin told her that she could become a spirit giant or something and punch Unavaatu in the face.

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Normally, no, that's not emotions work. But I think Korra is not a "normal" case.

How can Korra not be a normal case?

She has problems. Serious ones.

Quote
Korra's depression comes from her cognitive dissonance: she dead-set on the idea that her world is good, her friends are right, and that she should be some sort of ultimate super-good person; when the harsh reality hits her, and it turns out that neither is (or should be) the case, she escapes into depression rather than face the world as it is. When even depression fails to provide her a safe way out, she starts to create her own reality and starts projecting her fears and insecurities into something she can "defeat" (Dark Korra).

That doesn't even make sense. :/ That description makes it sound as if she's in denial. No one 'chooses' to be depressed, or thinks of it as a 'safe way out'.
[/quote]

Korra is in a state of denial/ignorance. This is what causes her problems nine times out of ten. And of course Korra doesn't choose to be depressed consciously: it is like a defense mechanics (an escape route) that keeps her fake world (where everything is good and nice, her friends are always right, and she is the absolute good) safe. Again, cognitive dissonance at its finest. 
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Ikkin
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« Reply #830 on: Nov 07, 2015 09:04 am »

Accepting violence as a solution makes it seem as if Korra actually thinks about what she is going to do beforehand.

She doesn't but others do it for her.

And the interrogation of the judge doesn't fit into this argument, because it wasn't a helpless situation (neither for real, nor for Korra). A better example is when Korra lost Raava: she broke down crying until Tenzin told her that she could become a spirit giant or something and punch Unavaatu in the face.

Actually, the situation with the interrogation of the judge was exactly what I was talking about (and the situation with Raava was exactly what I wasn't, when talking about situations where she felt helpless but didn't actually lack perceived options).

When Korra feels helpless but still can see an option for violence, she takes it.  Amon made her feel helpless but didn't actually cause her to believe she'd lost the ability to act, so she challenged him to a duel.  The love triangle situation made her feel like she wasn't in control but didn't actually cause her to believe she'd lost the ability to act, so she took her frustrations out on her opponents.  Tarrlok made her feel like a failure but didn't actually cause her to believe she'd lost the ability to act, so she tried to burn him alive.  Judge Hotah made her feel like she was out of reasonable options but didn't actually cause her to believe she'd lost the ability to act, so she threatened to have Naga eat him.

With Raava, Korra didn't understand that she had the ability to act until Tenzin gave her an idea as to how to do it.  That's clearly not what I was talking about... and since this whole thing started because of what I was talking about, I fail to see why you're acting as if it's in any way relevant.


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Quote
Normally, no, that's not emotions work. But I think Korra is not a "normal" case.

How can Korra not be a normal case?

She has problems. Serious ones.

Quote
Korra's depression comes from her cognitive dissonance: she dead-set on the idea that her world is good, her friends are right, and that she should be some sort of ultimate super-good person; when the harsh reality hits her, and it turns out that neither is (or should be) the case, she escapes into depression rather than face the world as it is. When even depression fails to provide her a safe way out, she starts to create her own reality and starts projecting her fears and insecurities into something she can "defeat" (Dark Korra).

That doesn't even make sense. :/ That description makes it sound as if she's in denial. No one 'chooses' to be depressed, or thinks of it as a 'safe way out'.

Korra is in a state of denial/ignorance. This is what causes her problems nine times out of ten. And of course Korra doesn't choose to be depressed consciously: it is like a defense mechanics (an escape route) that keeps her fake world (where everything is good and nice, her friends are always right, and she is the absolute good) safe. Again, cognitive dissonance at its finest.  [/quote]

It makes no sense to interpret Korra's depression as a defense mechanism when it's much more natural to interpret it as the expected consequence of Korra's idealized world falling apart.  When she's feeling down, she can't see herself as the absolute good, after all.
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AtoMaki
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« Reply #831 on: Nov 07, 2015 01:32 pm »

Accepting violence as a solution makes it seem as if Korra actually thinks about what she is going to do beforehand.

She doesn't but others do it for her.

And the interrogation of the judge doesn't fit into this argument, because it wasn't a helpless situation (neither for real, nor for Korra). A better example is when Korra lost Raava: she broke down crying until Tenzin told her that she could become a spirit giant or something and punch Unavaatu in the face.

Actually, the situation with the interrogation of the judge was exactly what I was talking about (and the situation with Raava was exactly what I wasn't, when talking about situations where she felt helpless but didn't actually lack perceived options).

Uhm... but the situation with the judge was neither helpless nor perceived as helpless. It was 'dire' (well, not even that if you ask me) but not helpless. Same with Amon. Korra had a feeling of losing control in those cases, but it is far from feeling helpless.

It makes no sense to interpret Korra's depression as a defense mechanism when it's much more natural to interpret it as the expected consequence of Korra's idealized world falling apart.  When she's feeling down, she can't see herself as the absolute good, after all.

Hey, that's what I'm saying too  Smiley! It is an expected consequence of Korra's idealized world falling apart: it is Korra's way to keep her world together, the defense mechanism that makes her unable to comprehend conflicting information when such thing rears its ugly head. Her depression simply shuts off her mind so that her idealized world can thrive.

There is another side effect, and that is the positive reinforcement she gets from others when they see her in a depressed state. Whenever she breaks down, her friends appear to comfort her, and in a way, reinforce her idealized world. This way, she can't just skip self-evaluation and the deconstruction of her false perceptions, but receive considerable encouragement that her misconceptions are "right". 
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Ikkin
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« Reply #832 on: Nov 07, 2015 02:31 pm »

Accepting violence as a solution makes it seem as if Korra actually thinks about what she is going to do beforehand.

She doesn't but others do it for her.

And the interrogation of the judge doesn't fit into this argument, because it wasn't a helpless situation (neither for real, nor for Korra). A better example is when Korra lost Raava: she broke down crying until Tenzin told her that she could become a spirit giant or something and punch Unavaatu in the face.

Actually, the situation with the interrogation of the judge was exactly what I was talking about (and the situation with Raava was exactly what I wasn't, when talking about situations where she felt helpless but didn't actually lack perceived options).

Uhm... but the situation with the judge was neither helpless nor perceived as helpless. It was 'dire' (well, not even that if you ask me) but not helpless. Same with Amon. Korra had a feeling of losing control in those cases, but it is far from feeling helpless.

That just seems like splitting hairs to me.  Korra felt like there was little she could do, so she figured out how to use the things she could do to visit her feelings of helplessness on others.  (There's a reason she put so much effort into terrifying Tarrlok and Hotah.)


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It makes no sense to interpret Korra's depression as a defense mechanism when it's much more natural to interpret it as the expected consequence of Korra's idealized world falling apart.  When she's feeling down, she can't see herself as the absolute good, after all.

Hey, that's what I'm saying too  Smiley! It is an expected consequence of Korra's idealized world falling apart: it is Korra's way to keep her world together, the defense mechanism that makes her unable to comprehend conflicting information when such thing rears its ugly head. Her depression simply shuts off her mind so that her idealized world can thrive.

There is another side effect, and that is the positive reinforcement she gets from others when they see her in a depressed state. Whenever she breaks down, her friends appear to comfort her, and in a way, reinforce her idealized world. This way, she can't just skip self-evaluation and the deconstruction of her false perceptions, but receive considerable encouragement that her misconceptions are "right". 

No, it isn't, because Korra feeling depressed doesn't keep her world together.  It is absolutely not true that "her idealized world can thrive" when she's feeling depressed; she clearly believes the exact opposite of what she normally thinks when she's feeling down on herself.

And it's really obvious that she has no intention of having other people comfort her, in any case, because she goes out of her way to avoid that sort of encouragement.  Korra doesn't take off on her own because she wants her friends to look for her -- she takes off on her own because she wants to be alone.
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AtoMaki
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« Reply #833 on: Nov 07, 2015 02:52 pm »

That just seems like splitting hairs to me.  Korra felt like there was little she could do, so she figured out how to use the things she could do to visit her feelings of helplessness on others.  (There's a reason she put so much effort into terrifying Tarrlok and Hotah.)

It is more like how you define helplessness. If you have options you are willing to take, then you are not helpless. This stands to both real options/helplessness and perceived options/helplessness. What you describe is more like Korra Problem-Solving 101 (if it is complicated... punch it in the face!) and not a reaction to helplessness.

Also, as an interesting tidbit: when Senna admits that she feels helpless she breaks down crying.

No, it isn't, because Korra feeling depressed doesn't keep her world together.  It is absolutely not true that "her idealized world can thrive" when she's feeling depressed; she clearly believes the exact opposite of what she normally thinks when she's feeling down on herself.

It does because it prevents her to fix her idealized world and make it resemble the real world more. She maybe ahs thoughts about how bad she is, but it is just part of her depression: it is shallow and it leads absolutely nowhere.

And it's really obvious that she has no intention of having other people comfort her, in any case, because she goes out of her way to avoid that sort of encouragement.  Korra doesn't take off on her own because she wants her friends to look for her -- she takes off on her own because she wants to be alone.

Yet, she always ends up with someone comforting her... If I remember correctly, she wanted to be left alone twice: the very first time she fell depressed (I think that cliff scene was the beginning of everything), and when people (Tenzin, to be specifically) suddenly denied her positive reinforcement. In the last case, she ran away and didn't stop until she could find someone who had something nice for her (and at that point, even Toph filled the bill).
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Ikkin
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« Reply #834 on: Nov 08, 2015 12:27 am »

That just seems like splitting hairs to me.  Korra felt like there was little she could do, so she figured out how to use the things she could do to visit her feelings of helplessness on others.  (There's a reason she put so much effort into terrifying Tarrlok and Hotah.)

It is more like how you define helplessness. If you have options you are willing to take, then you are not helpless. This stands to both real options/helplessness and perceived options/helplessness. What you describe is more like Korra Problem-Solving 101 (if it is complicated... punch it in the face!) and not a reaction to helplessness.

You still seem to be missing the point that it's possible to feel helpless even if you're not completely incapable of recognizing options, though.  I mean, it's possible to feel helpless due to a lack of good options even if options exist -- and most of Korra's violent options aren't good options even from the perspective of someone who has no problem using violence to get what she wants.


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Also, as an interesting tidbit: when Senna admits that she feels helpless she breaks down crying.

You say that as if it's supposed to be telling that Senna acts in a way that's pretty common for people who feel helpless in the face of loss.


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No, it isn't, because Korra feeling depressed doesn't keep her world together.  It is absolutely not true that "her idealized world can thrive" when she's feeling depressed; she clearly believes the exact opposite of what she normally thinks when she's feeling down on herself.

It does because it prevents her to fix her idealized world and make it resemble the real world more. She maybe ahs thoughts about how bad she is, but it is just part of her depression: it is shallow and it leads absolutely nowhere.

This doesn't make any sense.  It's far more natural to see her unrealistically negative self-image as the reverse of the unrealistically positive one she often shows than to see the two as the same thing.


Quote
And it's really obvious that she has no intention of having other people comfort her, in any case, because she goes out of her way to avoid that sort of encouragement.  Korra doesn't take off on her own because she wants her friends to look for her -- she takes off on her own because she wants to be alone.

Yet, she always ends up with someone comforting her... If I remember correctly, she wanted to be left alone twice: the very first time she fell depressed (I think that cliff scene was the beginning of everything), and when people (Tenzin, to be specifically) suddenly denied her positive reinforcement. In the last case, she ran away and didn't stop until she could find someone who had something nice for her (and at that point, even Toph filled the bill).

She might end up with people comforting her, but she generally resists their comfort initially.  The reason why she left in Book 4 was because people were being too soft with her -- she didn't want Tenzin telling her that everything was going to be alright, she wanted drill sergeant Toph to kick her back into shape.
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« Reply #835 on: Nov 08, 2015 04:12 am »

You still seem to be missing the point that it's possible to feel helpless even if you're not completely incapable of recognizing options, though.

I know this. And I also know that Korra never display this. She was either taking options (mostly violent ones) and thus didn't feel helpless or had no options at all and felt helpless. In the former situation, she went for her usual problem solving method (violence) - not because she was helpless, but because Korra is a hammer, and if you are a hammer, then your tend to treat your problems as nails; in the latter situation, she broke down crying - this actually often follows the former situation, and is a result of the problems not being nails.

You say that as if it's supposed to be telling that Senna acts in a way that's pretty common for people who feel helpless in the face of loss.

I'm just telling that this might run in the family.

This doesn't make any sense.  It's far more natural to see her unrealistically negative self-image as the reverse of the unrealistically positive one she often shows than to see the two as the same thing.

Okay, if this is the case, then how does her unrealistically negative self-image only come up when her unrealistically positive self-image is in a dire need of reinforcement? And by displaying her unrealistically negative self-image, she gets exactly this reinforcement (and if she doesn't, she travels the world until she can find someone)?

When you think about the actions and reactions of someone with Korra's... hmmm... problems, then you shouldn't take everything at face value. When these people say "Leave me alone!" they often mean "Be with me please! I'm sad, so tell me nice things!" It is a form of unconscious emotional manipulation (effectively the equivalent of shouting "Pity me!").

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« Reply #836 on: Nov 08, 2015 08:42 am »

You still seem to be missing the point that it's possible to feel helpless even if you're not completely incapable of recognizing options, though.

I know this. And I also know that Korra never display this. She was either taking options (mostly violent ones) and thus didn't feel helpless or had no options at all and felt helpless. In the former situation, she went for her usual problem solving method (violence) - not because she was helpless, but because Korra is a hammer, and if you are a hammer, then your tend to treat your problems as nails; in the latter situation, she broke down crying - this actually often follows the former situation, and is a result of the problems not being nails.

The problem with this is, of course, that immolating Tarrlok makes no sense as a solution to any problem other than the problem of feeling helpless.

She obviously doesn't feel helpless while applying violent solutions, but that doesn't mean prior helpless feelings aren't what motivates those solutions.


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You say that as if it's supposed to be telling that Senna acts in a way that's pretty common for people who feel helpless in the face of loss.

I'm just telling that this might run in the family.

That's too speculative to be of any use in an argument, though.


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This doesn't make any sense.  It's far more natural to see her unrealistically negative self-image as the reverse of the unrealistically positive one she often shows than to see the two as the same thing.

Okay, if this is the case, then how does her unrealistically negative self-image only come up when her unrealistically positive self-image is in a dire need of reinforcement? And by displaying her unrealistically negative self-image, she gets exactly this reinforcement (and if she doesn't, she travels the world until she can find someone)?

Because immediately switching from unrealistically positive to unrealistically negative is a feature of splitting, and that has nothing to do with subconsciously seeking positive reinforcement.  Instead, it's about subconsciously dividing objects/the self into "good" and "bad" parts instead of integrating both good and bad into a single whole -- something that's displayed very strongly in characters like Korra and Amon, whose idealized self images actually have different names.

It functions as a defense mechanism because the bad parts are kept on the "bad" side of the split and don't need to be integrated into the "good" side, but the "bad" side isn't there as a way of getting positive reinforcement from others.


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When you think about the actions and reactions of someone with Korra's... hmmm... problems, then you shouldn't take everything at face value. When these people say "Leave me alone!" they often mean "Be with me please! I'm sad, so tell me nice things!" It is a form of unconscious emotional manipulation (effectively the equivalent of shouting "Pity me!").

If that's the case, though, why would she tell people to go away when they're clearly there to offer her positive reinforcement already?

It's possible and even probable that part of her appreciates the positive reinforcement in spite of her reluctance to accept it, but that doesn't mean that her rejection of help is a cry for help in and of itself.  The part of her that rejects help doesn't want it; it's just that there's more to Korra than that.
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« Reply #837 on: Nov 08, 2015 10:55 am »

The problem with this is, of course, that immolating Tarrlok makes no sense as a solution to any problem other than the problem of feeling helpless.

It doesn't have to make sense. Again, if all you have is a hammer, then you will see every problem as a nail. Whether it makes sense or not.

It functions as a defense mechanism because the bad parts are kept on the "bad" side of the split and don't need to be integrated into the "good" side, but the "bad" side isn't there as a way of getting positive reinforcement from others.

Wait... are you then agreeing with me here about Korra's depression begin a defense mechanism or not  Huh ? Because if you do, then there is no point to argue any further. My main point here is that Korra's depression is a defense mechanism - this is the point I try to prove. We can argue whether it is a defense mechanic meant to reinforce her "positive world" or keep the division between her "positive world" and "negative world", but I think it is kind of meaningless as there isn't that much of a difference between the two. 

If that's the case, though, why would she tell people to go away when they're clearly there to offer her positive reinforcement already?

As I can see it, Korra's idealized self is sitting on three pillars: the first is that the world is a good, nice and simple (black-and-white) place, the second is that she must live her life and succeed without "accepting hard truths" (to quote a classic), and the third is that her allies, friends and the people who are close to her are infallible and totally care about her. When Korra tells someone to "go away", she is waiting for a reinforcement of the third pillar - its second part to be exact - because the other staying is a sign of care.




Anyway, I love how deep this argument is running. You know, I don't think that the Bryke intended to have anything like this in the show, and Korra's complex psychological state is simply a product of the weird writing Grin.
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« Reply #838 on: Nov 08, 2015 11:30 pm »

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Wait... are you then agreeing with me here about Korra's depression begin a defense mechanism or not  Huh ? Because if you do, then there is no point to argue any further. My main point here is that Korra's depression is a defense mechanism - this is the point I try to prove. We can argue whether it is a defense mechanic meant to reinforce her "positive world" or keep the division between her "positive world" and "negative world", but I think it is kind of meaningless as there isn't that much of a difference between the two.

Are we talking about the same sort of depression here? Just wondering, because I've seen people use the word 'depressed' when talking about someone who's just feeling really sad but does not have clinical depression. I don't think clinical depression could be a defense mechanism, but maybe that's not what you mean by 'depression'. I'm not trying to pick a fight or anything, I just want to be sure that we're actually thinking of the same thing.

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As I can see it, Korra's idealized self is sitting on three pillars: the first is that the world is a good, nice and simple (black-and-white) place, the second is that she must live her life and succeed without "accepting hard truths" (to quote a classic), and the third is that her allies, friends and the people who are close to her are infallible and totally care about her. When Korra tells someone to "go away", she is waiting for a reinforcement of the third pillar - its second part to be exact - because the other staying is a sign of care.

Sorry but I don't really understand what you mean by Korra's idealized self. :/ I've never thought of her as having an idealized self, or viewing the world as black-and-white and ideal.   

And yeah, it's amazing how deep this argument is getting. It's just the sort of discussion I like-- it's nice seeing other people's opinions and thoughts and how they view the show and its characters. Honestly I never thought much of the psychology behind Korra's actions and decisions-- I've always believed that she reacts the way she does instinctively, or close to it. Tarrlok imprisoned her friends, she felt alone and unsure and possibly afraid, and so went to his office (the decision to me seemed to come out of the blue, like she thought suddenly, 'dammit, I've got to do something' and just went). When she saw her mother crying because she felt helpless (which by the way is a natural response after seeing your husband get jailed for life and almost sentenced to death) she hated and just couldn't handle Senna feeling that way (I think Korra would have been able to endure it if it had just been herself that felt helpless. Seeing her mother that way threw her over the edge). So she just did it.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on why Korra reacts the way she does when she feels helpless. Smiley

Back to the depression as a defense mechanism... I don't see how you can fall into depression just  to have some sort of safety barrier (consciously or subconsciously). I'd understand if you were arguing about delusions, or denial, or anything like that, but depression would be the last thing I'd think of when I think of psychological defense mechanisms. In my eyes, depression is something that happens when you're really down in the dumps, especially after a traumatic event, and can be a very natural psychological response.                     

... Actually, after some thought I think I get what you mean by depression as a self-defense mechanism, but I don't think this is the case with Korra. And I don't think it's the depression itself which would be the self-defense mechanism, but rather how the body/mind reacts to the stress stimulus. Like in Hunger Games, when Katniss' mother fell into depression and spent a long time in denial of reality (or something like that...). She blocked everything out as a defense-mechanism. I don't think Korra's mind would react to the stress by putting her into a depressed state. Also, depression is generally caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain.         

And wow-- I never really thought when I first posted on this thread (the last post being a year old) that a debate like this would crop up. It's great!  Grin I just find this whole thing a pleasant surprise. Smiley                                  
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« Reply #839 on: Nov 09, 2015 05:02 am »

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Wait... are you then agreeing with me here about Korra's depression begin a defense mechanism or not  Huh ? Because if you do, then there is no point to argue any further. My main point here is that Korra's depression is a defense mechanism - this is the point I try to prove. We can argue whether it is a defense mechanic meant to reinforce her "positive world" or keep the division between her "positive world" and "negative world", but I think it is kind of meaningless as there isn't that much of a difference between the two.

Are we talking about the same sort of depression here? Just wondering, because I've seen people use the word 'depressed' when talking about someone who's just feeling really sad but does not have clinical depression. I don't think clinical depression could be a defense mechanism, but maybe that's not what you mean by 'depression'. I'm not trying to pick a fight or anything, I just want to be sure that we're actually thinking of the same thing.

No, I don't think that Korra was suffering from clinical depression at any point in the show (Book 3/4 is arguable). She was on the slope, and she felt really sad (that equals 'depressed' in my book... sorry, I'm not a native English speaker Wink), but clinical depression? Nah.
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« Reply #840 on: Nov 09, 2015 05:44 am »

Oh, okay. Smiley Sorry, I probably should have guessed that you didn't mean clinical depression. I studied psychology in Year 11/12 and learnt a lot about clinical depression, so whenever I see the word 'depression' I tend to automatically think of clinical depression. 

Though I still think that any sort of depressed state couldn't really be called a defense mechanism. I'd call 'blocking out the world' a defense mechanism, or even Korra's telling everyone that she wants to be left alone, but I just can't see a depressed state as a defense mechanism. I studied psych in high school and two semesters of biology in university so I've learnt quite a bit about the brain and how the mind works. I'm not saying I know everything, but I know that neurons and neural pathways basically make it so the body can act in response to stimuli and all by sending messages to and from the central nervous system. I can't really see how a defense mechanism causing someone to be depressed would be set up by the neurons in the nervous system. Though maybe I'm thinking too much about this from the biological/neurological side of things... :/

Of course, I guess it's possible if you somehow get into that habit due to some childhood incident and have that response and later get into similar situations and have that response, then your brain would automatically fire up that response every single time you're in a situation similar to what you experienced during childhood, whether you want it or not. Thus becoming a defense mechanism. So if Korra had some repetitive childhood experiences which left her feeling really sad, then maybe her brain would turn the response into a habit of sorts? If that makes sense... Then again, this is mainly theory and I could potentially be wrong about this. Smiley                               
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« Reply #841 on: Nov 09, 2015 05:54 am »

Of course, I guess it's possible if you somehow get into that habit due to some childhood incident and have that response and later get into similar situations and have that response, then your brain would automatically fire up that response every single time you're in a situation similar to what you experienced during childhood, whether you want it or not. Thus becoming a defense mechanism. So if Korra had some repetitive childhood experiences which left her feeling really sad, then maybe her brain would turn the response into a habit of sorts? If that makes sense... Then again, this is mainly theory and I could potentially be wrong about this. Smiley

I guess she had plenty of opportunities to develop this kind of defense mechanism while she was locked up with the OWL as a child.
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« Reply #842 on: Nov 09, 2015 06:54 am »

Personally I don't think that Korra's depressed states are a defense mechanism. Though I accept that it's a possibility.
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« Reply #843 on: Nov 09, 2015 07:43 am »

The problem with this is, of course, that immolating Tarrlok makes no sense as a solution to any problem other than the problem of feeling helpless.

It doesn't have to make sense. Again, if all you have is a hammer, then you will see every problem as a nail. Whether it makes sense or not.

This still doesn't explain why Korra put so much effort into terrorizing Tarrlok but didn't try taking advantage of that fear to win her friends' freedom, though.

Most people who see violence as a convenient solution to problems channel that violence in ways that seem likely to solve the problems in question, preferably without more permanent damage than necessary.  But Korra kept attacking even though killing Tarrlok could never get her what she wanted.


Quote
It functions as a defense mechanism because the bad parts are kept on the "bad" side of the split and don't need to be integrated into the "good" side, but the "bad" side isn't there as a way of getting positive reinforcement from others.

Wait... are you then agreeing with me here about Korra's depression begin a defense mechanism or not  Huh ? Because if you do, then there is no point to argue any further. My main point here is that Korra's depression is a defense mechanism - this is the point I try to prove. We can argue whether it is a defense mechanic meant to reinforce her "positive world" or keep the division between her "positive world" and "negative world", but I think it is kind of meaningless as there isn't that much of a difference between the two.  

No, I'm saying that splitting is a defense mechanism which has the unfortunate consequence of making Korra feel completely depressed when things go wrong instead of being able to recognize that things aren't totally bad.


Quote
If that's the case, though, why would she tell people to go away when they're clearly there to offer her positive reinforcement already?

As I can see it, Korra's idealized self is sitting on three pillars: the first is that the world is a good, nice and simple (black-and-white) place, the second is that she must live her life and succeed without "accepting hard truths" (to quote a classic), and the third is that her allies, friends and the people who are close to her are infallible and totally care about her. When Korra tells someone to "go away", she is waiting for a reinforcement of the third pillar - its second part to be exact - because the other staying is a sign of care.

My understanding of Korra's ideal self is completely different.

First, I think Korra's black and white thinking is the cause of her idealized self rather than an effect of it.  After all, if she thinks things are either totally good or totally bad, she needs to idealize herself to not instead believe that she's horrible.

Second, I see no evidence for the rejection of "hard truths" as a pillar of Korra's personality.  Rejecting failure, sure, but Korra's entirely willing to go to extremes to get what she wants.

Third, Korra doesn't see her friends and allies as infallible and totally invested in her except insofar as she splits them into totally-good and totally-bad versions of themselves, too.  She sees Good-Tenzin as caring about her, but she also sees Bad-Tenzin as a terrible teacher who's holding her back.  As such, an ally demonstrating support does little more than put them on the better side of that divide for a moment; it certainly doesn't uphold Korra's ideal self.

Speaking of which, it's strongly implied that Korra's ideal self is someone with all of the individual power necessary to deal with threats to the world.  She doesn't like needing help, and once she recognizes that there's no way around it, she seeks to control the people whose help she requires to regain her sense of control over the world.

Korra's idealized self, in other words, is someone with unbeatable power and unquestionable control over the world around her.  This is a big, big problem, one that endangers the people around her and causes her to become depressed when confronted with the fact that she can't live up to that ideal.  But it's a very different thing than depression-as-a-defense-mechanism.


Quote
Anyway, I love how deep this argument is running. You know, I don't think that the Bryke intended to have anything like this in the show, and Korra's complex psychological state is simply a product of the weird writing Grin.  

Heh, it's hard to say.  This stuff seems intentional when applied to Amon and Tarrlok, but I'm not sure Bryke recognized how much the same applied to Korra, too.
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« Reply #844 on: Nov 09, 2015 08:44 am »

The problem with this is, of course, that immolating Tarrlok makes no sense as a solution to any problem other than the problem of feeling helpless.

It doesn't have to make sense. Again, if all you have is a hammer, then you will see every problem as a nail. Whether it makes sense or not.

This still doesn't explain why Korra put so much effort into terrorizing Tarrlok but didn't try taking advantage of that fear to win her friends' freedom, though.

I'm pretty sure that the reason behind this is the simple fact that Tarrlok wasn't afraid of Korra. She had no advantage, and when she finally did, Tarrlok pullet out something scarier than her from his pocket (his plotben... I mean, bloodbending).

No, I'm saying that splitting is a defense mechanism which has the unfortunate consequence of making Korra feel completely depressed when things go wrong instead of being able to recognize that things aren't totally bad.

Ah, okay. I think it is hard to make a clear distinction between the two (the "splitting" and the depression) - they just simply walk hand-in-hand.

First, I think Korra's black and white thinking is the cause of her idealized self rather than an effect of it.  After all, if she thinks things are either totally good or totally bad, she needs to idealize herself to not instead believe that she's horrible.

Yes, it is a cause. That's why it is a pillar  Undecided...

Second, I see no evidence for the rejection of "hard truths" as a pillar of Korra's personality.  Rejecting failure, sure, but Korra's entirely willing to go to extremes to get what she wants.

I wouldn't call being brutish a "hard truth". "Hard truths" are things Kuvira employed, and Korra absolutely despised her for that... even though Kuvira was super-successful with them. What Korra does is "righteous violence", but she would never do things like sacrifice people for the Greater Good or ruthlessly exploit others.

Third, Korra doesn't see her friends and allies as infallible and totally invested in her except insofar as she splits them into totally-good and totally-bad versions of themselves, too.  She sees Good-Tenzin as caring about her, but she also sees Bad-Tenzin as a terrible teacher who's holding her back.

Bad-Tenzin was not Korra's ally and/or friend (at least for that short duration he existed). That's the big difference Wink.

Speaking of which, it's strongly implied that Korra's ideal self is someone with all of the individual power necessary to deal with threats to the world.  She doesn't like needing help, and once she recognizes that there's no way around it, she seeks to control the people whose help she requires to regain her sense of control over the world.

Korra's idealized self, in other words, is someone with unbeatable power and unquestionable control over the world around her.

Korra's idealized world is indeed a mess. Though, I think Korra is just as fine with being controlled as long as the world behaves the way she wants (like, being controlled while having the illusion that she is in control).

This is a big, big problem, one that endangers the people around her and causes her to become depressed when confronted with the fact that she can't live up to that ideal.  But it's a very different thing than depression-as-a-defense-mechanism.

I don't think so. Depression (as: being really-really sad) definitely helps her to not accept reality, and just wait in the ruins of her world until help comes (most of the time drawn by her depression in some way). You can say that this is just way too convenient, so there should be something at work.

Heh, it's hard to say.  This stuff seems intentional when applied to Amon and Tarrlok, but I'm not sure Bryke recognized how much the same applied to Korra, too.

Provided that these problems were never really touched upon, and definitely not resolved in any meaningful way, I would say that Bryke had no idea whatsoever  Smiley.
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« Reply #845 on: Nov 09, 2015 11:44 pm »

The problem with this is, of course, that immolating Tarrlok makes no sense as a solution to any problem other than the problem of feeling helpless.

It doesn't have to make sense. Again, if all you have is a hammer, then you will see every problem as a nail. Whether it makes sense or not.

This still doesn't explain why Korra put so much effort into terrorizing Tarrlok but didn't try taking advantage of that fear to win her friends' freedom, though.

I'm pretty sure that the reason behind this is the simple fact that Tarrlok wasn't afraid of Korra. She had no advantage, and when she finally did, Tarrlok pullet out something scarier than her from his pocket (his plotben... I mean, bloodbending).

That's not true -- Tarrlok was terrified of Korra.  Not only was he backing away in terror, it's heavily implied that he considered "don't bloodbend" to be his "one rule," and Korra scared him into breaking it.  I'm not convinced in the slightest that Tarrlok would have been willing to use his bloodbending if his life hadn't depended on it, and, as such, Korra could have had an advantage had she not lost control to the point of attempted murder.


Quote
No, I'm saying that splitting is a defense mechanism which has the unfortunate consequence of making Korra feel completely depressed when things go wrong instead of being able to recognize that things aren't totally bad.

Ah, okay. I think it is hard to make a clear distinction between the two (the "splitting" and the depression) - they just simply walk hand-in-hand.

There's a difference being a defense mechanism and something being the reverse edge on a defense mechanism that functions as a double-edged sword, though.  Korra's unrealistically-negative self assessment does not, in and of itself, protect her against anything -- it's just an unfortunate side-effect of a dynamic that protects her in other ways.


Quote
First, I think Korra's black and white thinking is the cause of her idealized self rather than an effect of it.  After all, if she thinks things are either totally good or totally bad, she needs to idealize herself to not instead believe that she's horrible.

Yes, it is a cause. That's why it is a pillar  Undecided...

Pillars are component parts, not causes.  =P  Causes tend not to be component parts, in fact, unless you think that the egg from which a chicken hatches is a component part of that chicken.  Wink

But, okay.  Black and white thinking is something that supports Korra's idealized self, so I suppose it would make sense to consider it a pillar.


Quote
Second, I see no evidence for the rejection of "hard truths" as a pillar of Korra's personality.  Rejecting failure, sure, but Korra's entirely willing to go to extremes to get what she wants.

I wouldn't call being brutish a "hard truth". "Hard truths" are things Kuvira employed, and Korra absolutely despised her for that... even though Kuvira was super-successful with them. What Korra does is "righteous violence", but she would never do things like sacrifice people for the Greater Good or ruthlessly exploit others.

Korra didn't "absolutely despise[]" Kuvira.  She envied Kuvira's ability to be out there making a difference when she was still trying to recover, but she never seemed to have any real personal dislike towards Kuvira.  Korra seemed pretty genuine in her desire to reason with Kuvira when she told Meelo that Kuvira saved her dad.  She admitted that Kuvira was just defending herself when Su attacked her.  She said she saw a lot of herself in Kuvira and noted that they're "both fierce and determined to succeed, sometimes without thinking things through."  She even responded to Kuvira's claim that she had to make tough decisions by saying that " I know what that's like.  I've had plenty of people mad at me about decisions I've made."

The show gives us every indication that Korra recognized Kuvira as what she could have been had she gone wrong, up to and including Korra literally seeing Kuvira as her old self.  And yet, when push came to shove, the only thing that kept Korra from killing Kuvira at Zaofu was a hallucination.

Of course, Korra's willingness to use Kuvira-esque tactics was something that she had largely reined in by Book 4, but there are still a decent amount of examples in which Korra was willing to sacrifice or exploit people for the greater good.  Just look at what she was willing to do to get the United Forces to deal with the Northern Water Tribe -- the "get the NWT blockade to attack us so we can attack back" gambit basically required casualties to function, and once the URN declared war, deaths would have been guaranteed.  (Other examples include her basically sacrificing Republic City to stop Kuvira and being completely okay with her plan leading to Hiroshi's death, her telling her friends during Harmonic Convergence that they'd be stuck in the Spirit World forever if something happened to her, her needing reassurance that it was okay to sacrifice herself for the airbenders instead of protecting the Avatar above all else, her killing her own uncle without wasting time looking for another way that might not exist, her being basically down with torture...)  Not to mention, if Korra wasn't willing to accept "hard truths," she wouldn't have gone along with Unalaq for anywhere near as long as she did.


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Third, Korra doesn't see her friends and allies as infallible and totally invested in her except insofar as she splits them into totally-good and totally-bad versions of themselves, too.  She sees Good-Tenzin as caring about her, but she also sees Bad-Tenzin as a terrible teacher who's holding her back.

Bad-Tenzin was not Korra's ally and/or friend (at least for that short duration he existed). That's the big difference Wink.

Fair enough.  XD  I don't think your interpretation really allows for his existence, though.


Quote
Speaking of which, it's strongly implied that Korra's ideal self is someone with all of the individual power necessary to deal with threats to the world.  She doesn't like needing help, and once she recognizes that there's no way around it, she seeks to control the people whose help she requires to regain her sense of control over the world.

Korra's idealized self, in other words, is someone with unbeatable power and unquestionable control over the world around her.

Korra's idealized world is indeed a mess. Though, I think Korra is just as fine with being controlled as long as the world behaves the way she wants (like, being controlled while having the illusion that she is in control).

It seems more appropriate to say that what Korra really seeks out is the feeling that she's in control.  It doesn't really matter that her control is an illusion as long as she gets what she wants (see: the length of time that she stayed in the OWL compound), but once that illusion vanishes...


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This is a big, big problem, one that endangers the people around her and causes her to become depressed when confronted with the fact that she can't live up to that ideal.  But it's a very different thing than depression-as-a-defense-mechanism.

I don't think so. Depression (as: being really-really sad) definitely helps her to not accept reality, and just wait in the ruins of her world until help comes (most of the time drawn by her depression in some way). You can say that this is just way too convenient, so there should be something at work.

Except that, again, Korra doesn't just "wait in the ruins of her world until help comes" -- she takes off and usually looks for something she can do (even if that "something" is counterproductive, like getting herself beat up in Earth Rumble matches or considering jumping off a cliff).


Quote
Heh, it's hard to say.  This stuff seems intentional when applied to Amon and Tarrlok, but I'm not sure Bryke recognized how much the same applied to Korra, too.

Provided that these problems were never really touched upon, and definitely not resolved in any meaningful way, I would say that Bryke had no idea whatsoever  Smiley.

I'd say the identity stuff was touched on plenty in Book 2, where Korra was symbolically shown as a child growing up once she realized she had light inside herself (as Korra) and saved the world with the force of her own spirit (without the Avatar).  It just got brushed aside most of the time after that.  =/  Kuvira's portrayal (as a "dark mirror" of Korra) suggests that they might still have remembered the power-and-control stuff, though.
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« Reply #846 on: Nov 10, 2015 05:43 am »

That's not true -- Tarrlok was terrified of Korra.

For someone being terrified he was quite confident... There was one moment where he got scared in the very last stage of their fight, but then bloodbending happened.

There's a difference being a defense mechanism and something being the reverse edge on a defense mechanism that functions as a double-edged sword, though.  Korra's unrealistically-negative self assessment does not, in and of itself, protect her against anything -- it's just an unfortunate side-effect of a dynamic that protects her in other ways.

Korra never truly evaluates herself negatively, just spews generic BS about herself (and gets really-really sad). It isn't even unrealistically-negative if you think about it.

Causes tend not to be component parts, in fact, unless you think that the egg from which a chicken hatches is a component part of that chicken.  Wink

Of course it is. There is no chicken without an egg. Don't be silly  Cheesy.

Korra didn't "absolutely despise[]" Kuvira.

The whole reason Korra opposed Kuvira (other than because Tenzin said so) was that Kuvira's methods were a big no-no in Korra's book.

And no, your examples aren't even close to what I would consider a "hard truth". A Korra who has no problems with accepting "hard truths" would have dethroned Unalaq and ended the civil war by wiping out the NWT fleet personally, she would have sacrificed Jinora to Unalaq (just as Kuvira sacrificed Bataar Jr.), she would have dethroned Raiko and commandeer the UN fleets, and joined Kuvira while telling Suyin&co to suck it up. 

The show gives us every indication that Korra recognized Kuvira as what she could have been had she gone wrong, up to and including Korra literally seeing Kuvira as her old self.  And yet, when push came to shove, the only thing that kept Korra from killing Kuvira at Zaofu was a hallucination.

Except that, again, Korra doesn't just "wait in the ruins of her world until help comes" -- she takes off and usually looks for something she can do (even if that "something" is counterproductive, like getting herself beat up in Earth Rumble matches or considering jumping off a cliff).

Well, I admit, she does wander around sometimes to look for someone who can give her what she wants, but I wouldn't say that she is looking for a solution - more like she is looking for attention. She is like a moving beacon of "Help me!" there. And when nobody cares about her big sign, she creates someone who does (Dark Korra, who drags her to the Earth Rumble match).

I'd say the identity stuff was touched on plenty in Book 2, where Korra was symbolically shown as a child growing up once she realized she had light inside herself (as Korra) and saved the world with the force of her own spirit (without the Avatar).  It just got brushed aside most of the time after that.  =/

In my opinion, that part of the episode is the absolute height of Korra's character development. Too bad its lessons are dropped right in the next scene  Tongue.
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« Reply #847 on: Nov 10, 2015 05:46 am »

Well, this is a nice discussion. Cheesy Just as a quick aside, when Korra tells Judge Hotah to 'keep talking' the look in her eyes is terrifying.   
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Ikkin
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« Reply #848 on: Nov 10, 2015 07:48 am »

That's not true -- Tarrlok was terrified of Korra.

For someone being terrified he was quite confident... There was one moment where he got scared in the very last stage of their fight, but then bloodbending happened.

If you time the fight, Tarrlok spends as much time being terrified (21:10-21:45) as he does being confident (20:32-21:10).  Korra had him on the ropes for a good long time before he resorted to bloodbending.


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There's a difference being a defense mechanism and something being the reverse edge on a defense mechanism that functions as a double-edged sword, though.  Korra's unrealistically-negative self assessment does not, in and of itself, protect her against anything -- it's just an unfortunate side-effect of a dynamic that protects her in other ways.

Korra never truly evaluates herself negatively, just spews generic BS about herself (and gets really-really sad). It isn't even unrealistically-negative if you think about it.

This seems utterly unsupportable.  If you're going to make a baseless claim that Korra isn't actually assessing herself negatively when she calls herself the "worst Avatar ever," there's no common ground for discussion.


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Causes tend not to be component parts, in fact, unless you think that the egg from which a chicken hatches is a component part of that chicken.  Wink

Of course it is. There is no chicken without an egg. Don't be silly  Cheesy

Unless you can show me on a diagram of a chicken where the egg it hatched from went, I feel like you're missing the point.  =P


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Korra didn't "absolutely despise[]" Kuvira.

The whole reason Korra opposed Kuvira (other than because Tenzin said so) was that Kuvira's methods were a big no-no in Korra's book.

No, the whole reason Korra opposed Kuvira was because Kuvira was threatening places that Korra cared about.  Korra repeatedly implied that she was okay with leaving Kuvira alone as long as Kuvira kept Zaofu and Republic City out of it.


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And no, your examples aren't even close to what I would consider a "hard truth". A Korra who has no problems with accepting "hard truths" would have dethroned Unalaq and ended the civil war by wiping out the NWT fleet personally, she would have sacrificed Jinora to Unalaq (just as Kuvira sacrificed Bataar Jr.), she would have dethroned Raiko and commandeer the UN fleets, and joined Kuvira while telling Suyin&co to suck it up. 

Amusingly enough, Korra actually did threaten to off Unalaq and slaughter his troops, and she did try to commandeer the UF.

In any case, you seem to be conflating Kuvira's "hard truths" with the willingness to do awful things simply because it's expedient, but the impression Kuvira gave me was that she acted the way she did because she thought it was necessary.

Every single example you offered was of something that Korra knew to be unnecessary given her goals and her alternatives (and, I'll note, joining Kuvira over Su would have meant Korra abandoning her own goals!).  That Korra -- like Kuvira! -- prefers not to be any harsher than she feels like she has to be doesn't mean that the two of them don't have an awful lot in common in terms of willingness to go to extremes to get what they want.


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Except that, again, Korra doesn't just "wait in the ruins of her world until help comes" -- she takes off and usually looks for something she can do (even if that "something" is counterproductive, like getting herself beat up in Earth Rumble matches or considering jumping off a cliff).

Well, I admit, she does wander around sometimes to look for someone who can give her what she wants, but I wouldn't say that she is looking for a solution - more like she is looking for attention. She is like a moving beacon of "Help me!" there. And when nobody cares about her big sign, she creates someone who does (Dark Korra, who drags her to the Earth Rumble match).

I can't think of a single thing in canon to support the interpretation that Korra wasn't doing everything she could to get back to what she was before.


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I'd say the identity stuff was touched on plenty in Book 2, where Korra was symbolically shown as a child growing up once she realized she had light inside herself (as Korra) and saved the world with the force of her own spirit (without the Avatar).  It just got brushed aside most of the time after that.  =/

In my opinion, that part of the episode is the absolute height of Korra's character development. Too bad its lessons are dropped right in the next scene  Tongue

How were they dropped?  Because Korra couldn't light-whammy Unalaq's dark spirits?  I don't think that's how it was meant to work.  =P
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AtoMaki
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« Reply #849 on: Nov 10, 2015 08:43 am »

This seems utterly unsupportable.  If you're going to make a baseless claim that Korra isn't actually assessing herself negatively when she calls herself the "worst Avatar ever," there's no common ground for discussion.

You know, I can't even remember when she called herself the "worst Avatar ever"... And it isn't assessment when you simply call yourself "the worst Avatar ever" or anything. You make an assessment when you ponder about the "why" and the "what went wrong" - and after the assessment is done, you end up with some sort of conclusion. If you can point at Korra's assessment process and the conclusion... well, then you are watching another show because Korra never ever had either of these. She just sat down somewhere (or started to wander around), became really-really sad, then someone came and snapped her out of it. After that, all she had to say was something along the line "I was in a dark place before, but it doesn't matter anymore".

Hell, even Aang called her out on this "pretending that you want to be alone" thing.

Unless you can show me on a diagram of a chicken where the egg it hatched from went, I feel like you're missing the point.  =P

Okay, I can't follow you here. I guess you are aware to the fact that the egg (sans the shell) is the chicken... uhm... wrong comparison maybe?

No, the whole reason Korra opposed Kuvira was because Kuvira was threatening places that Korra cared about.  Korra repeatedly implied that she was okay with leaving Kuvira alone as long as Kuvira kept Zaofu and Republic City out of it.

I dunno, but in the end, Korra specifically called out Kuvira on being a tyrant.

Amusingly enough, Korra actually did threaten to off Unalaq and slaughter his troops, and she did try to commandeer the UF.

And she backed off in both cases when she got the reminder that these things were not nice.

Every single example you offered was of something that Korra knew to be unnecessary given her goals and her alternatives

Well, this is true, but emphasis is on 'Korra knew'. Of course she "knew" that these things were "unnecessary given her goals and alternatives" - her goals and alternatives were set up by her second pillar to not include these things in the first place.

I can't think of a single thing in canon to support the interpretation that Korra wasn't doing everything she could to get back to what she was before.

She was doing everything she could, but only if she had help for that. It was never about Korra snapping out all on her own, but Aang/Tenzin/Katara/Toph/Zaheer (speaking of which, I can see a pattern here...) pushing her through her problems.

How were they dropped?  Because Korra couldn't light-whammy Unalaq's dark spirits?  I don't think that's how it was meant to work.  =P

They showed us that it was supposed to work exactly like that. Where was the light and peace that could change the world? I'm asking!
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Keeper of Suki's firebending ancestry, the Kyoshi Warrior dojo, the love potion made from rainbows and sunsets and the mecha tanks.

My fanficions.

My Avatar RPG system.
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