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... too bloody lazy (
2011-06-06 06:11 pm (UTC)
Meta on "Lost in the life" dub!con and non!con and canon!Marcone
Today, I couldn't stop thinking about the sex scene between John and Harry (on chapter 3), trying to decide if John is aware of what he's doing or not. Yeah, my productivity was not good, but well ... shit happens, employer, sorry.
For the record, I
dub!con and non!con in stories. It's one of my kinks and not something I'm ashame to admit. I particularly like stories in which the divide between the one and the other is not clear, which is why this story is hitting so many of my buttons just right :) (aka forestgreen has died and gone to heaven).
But, back to my meta thoughts: I'm inclined to believe that John
manipulating Harry on purpose. Idk, it just read that ways to me. I kept doubting my own interpretation, though, and I realized that it was in part due to the idealized concept of perfect!John that fanon has made popular: John is gender-aware and privilege-aware and he wouldn't force anyone and he wouldn't kill puppies either :)
I'm guilty of using/writing this interpretation, too, but when I think about it from a more rational point of view, this isn't really the canon!John we have, or is he?
I mean, canon!John is awesome (and I love him to bits) but he's also the
of Chicago Outfit. He wouldn't have made it that far if he wasn't willing to be a ruthless motherfucker (which he is). Yes, canon has established that he isn't cruel when it can't be avoided (not because he's nice, but because he doesn't consider it effective in the long term). He's a killer (as per his actions, his own admission and what Harry saw of him in the soulgaze).
He did try to force Harry to work for him, because really, "sign my contract or I'll let rabid werewolves kill you" is the kind of offer that you
unless you're Harry (clever, magically powerful and very, very lucky). John tried to force Harry's collaboration on more that one occasion (after all he tried to make a deal with the FBI to capture Harry again, and didn't have any compulsions in letting the loup-garou kill the Alphas -- very young people even if not quite children -- in order to get Harry for himself).
When you take away the idealization of John fandom is guilty of, canon!John is the kind of person who wouldn't have any compulsions in buying a slave (a powerful wizard) if it helped him protect Chicago and further his goals as Head of the Outfit. He wouldn't even think twice about it. In the soulgaze Harry says, that John is the kind of person who kills and does cruel, ruthless things like a supermarket purchase (if the benefit outweighs the cost, he'll pay it and be done with it).
And then, there's the timing. Because I agree that as the books advance, we see a more human (compassionate?) side of John. But is it so much that he has changed? Or that he can afford to show more mercy, because he has consolidated his power (becoming a signatory of the Accords, erasing everyone that has--or can--oppose him in Chicago)? That leads back to the supermarket purchase simile that Harry uses: the price of showing humanity isn't as high the more powerful he becomes, because there are less people out there who can oppose him.
But this John, the one from "Lost in the life", he isn't there yet. This is a John who is still rising to power. Timeline-wise, this story takes place about one and half year before Storm Front (right?). So this John can't afford to show any kind of weakness; he has to be more ruthless, more careless of other people's feelings--even if the price is turning off his own humanity or at least tuning it down a bit. This is the John who was willing to let werewolves eat Harry, the John who killed everyone in the mafia who didn't swear loyalty to him, the one who cleaned the streets of Chicago of all competition. Would he purposely manipulate Harry to have sex with him, especially if he can tell himself that Harry is enjoying it?
Yes, he would. That's my opinion.
It doesn't mean that as time passes and he stops seeing Harry as a tool, and starts seeing him more as a friend and a lover (Stockholm syndrome goes both ways after all) he might (probably will) bitterly regret the choices he made. More so, when he realizes that he stole those choices away from Harry, that there's no way now he can ever learn if Harry
would have chosen him freely
given enough time.
Also, we don't know yet what Morgan told John. Let's not forget who brokered the sales contract. Morgan probably told him that only the worst warlocks (ruthless killers who twist magic for their own purposes) are turned into slaves so that they can be stopped from killing innocents. Morgan sure as hell didn't tell him that Harry claimed it was in self defense, and that Justin was trying to enslave/kill Harry. All slaves John might have seen before Harry are indeed, cruel, ruthless warlocks. As John sees it, what's one more punishment, right? If Harry is a killer, he doesn't deserve the protections that John's sense of honor would give innocents/children.
With time he will realize that something doesn't add up between what Morgan told him and what he's seeing. But right now, as of chapter 3? He wouldn't have any moral qualms about forcing the good-looking, ruthless, killer he believes Harry to be to bend to his will. And if he has to force Harry to lie to Hendricks, to get Hendricks off his back, yeah, John would do that, too. He probably thinks Hendricks is being soft on Harry, forgetting what Harry truly is (as per Morgan's sales pitch -- a warlock).
So, anyway, I'm shutting up now. This is a huge meta between the divide of fanon!John, canon!John, forestgreen's interpretation of John and the ultimate question, to life the universe and everything. The answer, in case your wondering is 42.
My brain, sometimes it scares me.
Also, I love this fic! :) :) :)
Also No. 2, I'd love to hear your thinky thoughts on this (not necessary the fic, although that'd be great of course, but your interpretation of John Marcone). Would he force Harry? Wouldn't he? How does he evolve in the books? Anything, really.
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