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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 15 Jul 2003
Notes left: 2368
Knick Knack wrote:
I suppose taking it both ways works, now that you mention it. The two explanations can both fit in with the overall themes present in the people and the entire game as a whole.

I did suggest that a few posts up.

Burning Man wrote:
I can probably agree that some of her emotional scars were indeed manifested in the creation of the monster, but I don't see why it's just about her abuse.


Knick Knack wrote:
Also, what exactly is making you not so sure. There's plenty that indicates negative feelings on sex and molestation were a massive part of her subconscious(and thus, her reality). The uterus room, the figures of women with bleeding crotches on either side of the walls of the burning stairs, the 'or you could just force me' line, how the Doorman jumped from Angela's to James' reality because of how the two people both linked it to sex, just to name a few.

The Japanese script is the primary reason why I'm having second thoughts.

Frankly speaking, when you play the game for the very first time, you don't make the connection of the "uterus room" or the figures of the 'women' in the burning staircase to sex just by looking at it. Connecting them to sex is an afterthought. Listening to Angela and her famous "or you can just force me" line and "you're only after one thing" line is the cause people speculate that she was molested. After that speculation settles in, that's when people start to associate her surroundings with sex.

That's perfectly fine.

However, I found it weird that the Japanese script doesn't make mention of her being 'forced' nor that men like James "were only after one thing." With that comment out of the way, it suddenly didn't make sense that she was molested.

I could go into more detail of course, but that's the gist of it.

In the case of Doorman jumping to James' scene, I can say it's because two people are linked with 'murder'.

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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 18 Jan 2007
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[spoiler]Being a person that does not speak Japanese, I can't say for certain, but it seems like there might be something lost in translation here. That isn't to say that it's necessarily a matter of "Engrish". It's just that there's certain words that will have multiple meanings and/or connotations in one language that may not apply in another language. For example, if we were to make reference to someone being a "chicken", inferring that they were a coward, and then translate that to another language for someone to read, it's likely that it will confuse them.

I'm sure "Ideal Father" is the exact translation from Japanese, but we may not really be understanding what they mean by it. It's possible that the word "ideal", or "father", or the combination of the two, could have some alternate, or more significant meaning that doesn't translate to English. Though like I said, I don't speak Japanese, so I can't be certain.
This seems likely to me based on the fact that they did choose to change it. Since the translation is done rather well in the SH games, I doubt it's just a slip up. If they'd wanted us to understand the name as "Ideal Father", I think they probably would have just called it that. Instead, they chose to change it to "Abstract Daddy", which says to me that that's the closest they could get to the meaning they were trying to portray.

Even in English, the word "Ideal" has multiple meanings. It could be something that has, or a situation that has, some sort of percieved perfection, but it can also be some sort of ultimate goal in the sense of being part of idealism, and so forth. The same can be said for the word "Abstract". The two even overlap in the sense that to an extent, they can both mean "not real", imaginary, unrealistic, or impractical.

Even if the name is meant to be "Ideal Father" in English, and with the meaning we would generally attach to it, it could be ideal because he is physically manifested as a monster, which would represent his personality more accurately. Alternatively, if Angela feels that she somehow deserves the abuse, as has been suggested, then it could be a matter of him being ideal in the sense that he provides that abuse. Not that I would think Angela actively wants to be abused, it would be more subconcious, much like James' guilt manifesting itself as Pyramid Head.

The idea of the form he's manifested in being what could make him "ideal" does bring to mind the possibility that what Angela sees is not necessarily the same thing that James sees. There is precedent for people having different perceptions of monsters. In SH3, Vincent suggests it when Heather first meets him ("They look like monsters to you?"). And I'm not completely certain about this one - but in SH2, when James runs into Eddie in the prison, and he talks about how he killed someone, I believe the corpse lying next to him is a "Lying Figure" monster, though Eddie seems to see it as a person. But like I said, I'm not entirely sure on that one, it may have just been the dead body of a person, I don't fully recall.

The otherworlds of James and Angela do seem to overlap some, and they both clearly do see the Abstract Daddy monster, but it's possible that they don't see it the same way. Angela recognizes it as her father in some way, or is at least associating the advance and potential abuse of the monster with that of her father, but I, personally, did not really see the significance of the shape of the Abstract Daddy until it was explained to me. So it may just be me, but it seems like it's possible that the shape of the monster is how James' mind is interpretting Angela's monster; Angela could see it differently, which would make it's shape something relating to James.
But it's hard to say if they see it the same or not. There's no one conciousness that's influencing the whole otherworld of the game like in the case of Alessa or Walter, so I think that the three of them (James, Angela, Eddie) all see their own monsters, but the Abstract Daddy is the only place where they really overlap. So the question is whether or not James would see it the same way that Angela does because it's her monster.[/spoiler]


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 15 Jul 2003
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Let me be the first one to welcome you to Silent Hill Heaven.

You do bring up an excellent point about possible alternate interpretations regarding the term "ideal father", and yes, it is possible to make 'ideal' or [risou] to mean 'unrealistic.'

However, to my knowledge [risou] means 'unrealistic' but only because the conventional meaning behind the word is that it's "too perfect." It's the peak of perfection. Idealism is something people want to achieve and it's unrealistic because they can't achieve it. And if "abstract daddy" is a symbol of Angela's idealism, then there's something wrong.

There's a separate word that goes with 'abstract' as in "abstract painting" and that is [chûshô]. This can also mean 'unrealistic' or 'ambiguous' without the implicative meaning of 'idealism'. I do not see why the editors would have used [risou] and not use [chûshô] instead when it would been sufficient within the context.

Silent Hill Chronicles specifically mentions that the monster is a symbol of Angela's past. It's a depiction of something that she did or happened to her. Metaphorically, saying that it's a depiction of her subconscious might be feasible within the context, but the two aren't equal, that is, a subconscious may be a product of her past, but not vice versa. The book explains the emotions that were portrayed with James' monsters, but it doesn't do that with Angela's monster. It could have explained her emotions, but chose to state its description differently.

Passing Stranger wrote:
So it may just be me, but it seems like it's possible that the shape of the monster is how James' mind is interpretting Angela's monster; Angela could see it differently, which would make it's shape something relating to James.

And that's one of the reasons I don't necessarily agree with the monster depicting molestation. In order for that to work, James would have had to enter the room with the mindset that whoever was in that room with Angela, must be doing something naughty to her. Before James enters that room, the only (might I add, vague) indication of her being molested is her screaming. And this is before she says the famous lines which led people to believe she was raped.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 05 Feb 2005
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Sorry about not reading clearer earlier, Burning Man

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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 15 Jul 2003
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Littlestardweller wrote:
Sorry about not reading clearer earlier, Burning Man

Huh?


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 05 Feb 2005
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I mean for not reading that you already suggested that the two interpretations could be true at the same time.

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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 15 Jul 2003
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Oh...ah, no need to be sorry. I was probably unclear about that myself. :)

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Cafe5to2 Waitress
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Missing since: 15 Jul 2003
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I don't think there's any question that Angela was molested. Regardless of the symbolism in the 'Abstract Daddy' creature, Angela's conduct throughout the game is clear evidence in itself. Her reaction to the creature when we first see it doesn't make sense if the creature represents her killing her father. The lin "Daddy, no, please, don't!" has very few alternative interpretations. Either she was being beaten or sexually abused, and most likely both.

Also I'm not buying into this 'Ideal Daddy' translation issue at all. The simple fact is there is no simple translation from Japanese into English in these situations, and terms are carefully chosen often not because they're the most literal translation, but because the alternative terms carries a cultural connotation vital to the original.

In the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion, for instance, the literal translation of the enemies is 'Emmissaries' or 'Sages', but the translator's carefully chose 'Angels' because it carries a specific connotation which they wished to preserve. 'Ideal' may be the most correct translation, but I don't think there's any doubt that 'Abstract' was the term we were meant to recieve.

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Historical Society Historian
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The Necronoir wrote:
The line "Daddy, no, please, don't!" has very few alternative interpretations. Either she was being beaten or sexually abused, and most likely both.

I think she was being beaten. I'm not convinced that she was sexually abused though.

Quote:
The simple fact is there is no simple translation from Japanese into English in these situations, and terms are carefully chosen often not because they're the most literal translation, but because the alternative terms carries a cultural connotation vital to the original.

In this situation, there is a simple translation from Japanese to English.

Quote:
In the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion, for instance, the literal translation of the enemies is 'Emmissaries' or 'Sages', but the translator's carefully chose 'Angels' because it carries a specific connotation which they wished to preserve. 'Ideal' may be the most correct translation, but I don't think there's any doubt that 'Abstract' was the term we were meant to recieve.

Unfortunately, you're comparing apples and oranges. In case of anime, it originally uses a Japanese name, and only when the anime is being brought overseas do the translators change the names so that it fits with the intended audience, in this case, the western audience. The monster names in Silent Hill aren't like that. The names were given originally. They didn't translate the name for western audience specifically.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 20 Jul 2005
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The valves were sexual enough for me to think that Angela was sexually abused.

And The Necronoir has a point. "Daddy, no, please, don't!" indicates that the monster represents something unpleasant to Angela, not "ideal" to Angela because otherwise she would embrace it. Unless Angela tried to say "Daddy, no, please don't come any closer or I'll have to stab you!" which still has little to do with the monster being her "Ideal Father."

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Missing since: 26 Oct 2006
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The valves were sexual enough for me to think that Angela was sexually abused.


Exactly. There's really no other way you can construe the symbolism of long, cylindrical pistons pumping in and out of holes in the wall, especially when that room is exclusive to Angela.

I really think some people are taking the phrase "ideal father" much too far. It's one phrase in the book, and while it may be important, you can't base your entire idea about the monster on one phrase. Angela seems terrified of it. When you see something that is ideal to you, you don't scream "No! Don't!" Also, her smashing the TV over its body obviously shows that she has quite a lot of pent up rage and hatred for the thing.


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RESPECT
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Missing since: 19 Jul 2003
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I'm pretty sure every one of you has missed the point of what "Ideal" means in this case. . . .

Burning Man isn't suggesting that Thomas Orosco was an "ideal father" in the sense that he was a perfect man, but that the monster representing her father is symbolic of Angela killing her. Thus: Thomas Orosco being an "ideal father" is that of being a "dead father." The only way she could tolerate her father is if he were decease--which she took care of.

This way the monster James sees--which represents the taking of a life--is the same as what Angela sees: the taking of a life.

Disputing a translation, by the way, just because you don't like what it suggests is counter-productive. Burning Man can read Japanese and knows what is said.

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. . . AND THAT'S THAT.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 20 Jul 2005
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Burning Man isn't suggesting that Thomas Orosco was an "ideal father" in the sense that he was a perfect man, but that the monster representing her father is symbolic of Angela killing her. Thus: Thomas Orosco being an "ideal father" is that of being a "dead father." The only way she could tolerate her father is if he were decease--which she took care of.


I didn't miss that point at all, I understand what he tried to say completely; but why would Angela feels repulsed by the monster? It's illogical because if the monster represents an "ideal/dead father" then she wouldn't get scared by it, would she?
Personally I think Passing Stranger's point is the most compromising one so far:

Quote:
Angela feels that she somehow deserves the abuse, as has been suggested, then it could be a matter of him being ideal in the sense that he provides that abuse

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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 15 Jul 2003
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amphreded wrote:
I didn't miss that point at all, I understand what he tried to say completely; but why would Angela feels repulsed by the monster?

Because it reminds her that she killed her father.

Take Maria for example. When James first meets her, she is the 'ideal' Mary. Healthy, sexy, and not yelling at him all the time. Yet, we see three instances where she is shown to be brutally murdered. And this is supposed to remind James of what he's done. Perhaps deep down, a dead Mary was an ideal Mary to James afterall.

We have to remember that, with the exception of Laura, everyone came to Silent Hill because they killed somebody and are feeling guilty for it. They all give other reasons such as James "looking for his wife", Angela wanting to find her family, and Eddie just happened to lost his way. But we all know that's not their reason. And Silent Hill is there to show what they did. Unfortunately, with the common belief, Angela doesn't fit into this category. Because with the common belief, all Silent Hill does is remind Angela of how much she's a victim in all this.

So I ask you. If Abstract Daddy doesn't show Angela what she's done, then what exactly does Silent Hill show Angela to remind her what she's done?

PS: Thanks, 00000.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 20 Jul 2005
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So I ask you. If Abstract Daddy doesn't show Angela what she's done, then what exactly does Silent Hill show Angela to remind her what she's done?


Well it's the monster that reminds her of her past, you're right. But it wasn't the point I was trying to debate. I was trying to point out that "Daddy, no, please, don't!" to me seems like "Daddy, don't come and abuse me" more than "Daddy, don't come and remind me of what I've done."
"Daddy, don't come and remind me of what I've done" can be described as ideal (Passing Stranger's point), but "Daddy, don't come and abuse me" doesn't seem to be in anyway way connect with the word ideal. I hope that makes a bit of sense of what I'm trying to say.

Also basing arguments on this quote from your original post:

Quote:
I would think that if "abstract daddy" really is supposed to mean "ideal father", then I would speculate that the monster is not a depiction of Thomas molesting Angela, but a depiction of Angela stabbing Thomas to death perhaps. Quite frankly, I believe that to Angela an "ideal father" would be a dead one.

The "Daddy, no, please, don't!" quote and Angela's reactions show that Angela is consciously repulsed by the monster. If an "ideal father" is a dead one, wouldn't by that you mean Angela's "ideal father" should be absent? Thus by the monster showing itself in front of Angela and scaring her, it is no longer "ideal" because it isn't "dead" before her eyes.
In your first post, it seems to me you used the word ideal to embody perfect attributes according to the subject (i.e. daddy is perfect/ideal for Angela because he no longer exists). You didn't use the word ideal to express subconscious desires (i.e. daddy is ideal because he is the perfect tool to represent what Angela needs to be reminisced).

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Cafe5to2 Waitress
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I think it's quite clear from her conduct after the thing is killed that she has absolutely no remorse for killing her father, which is why the last time we see her is wandering off into her perpetual hell- she hasn't learned anything thus her reality doesn't change.

If the creature represented her killing her father I can't imagine Angela doing anything other than a victory dance and perhaps a waltz with the thing.

Also that concept art isn't the clearest picture of the creature. If you get up close to one during the game it's pretty clear that the figure on the bottom has its knees up and its legs spread, with the top figure's pelvic area in between. Together with Angela's mistrust and violent reaction against anyone touching her I think it's pretty conclusive.

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RESPECT
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Missing since: 19 Jul 2003
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>she has absolutely no remorse for killing her father
If that were remotely true, she wouldn't be in Silent Hill to begin with.

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Missing since: 26 Oct 2006
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I think it's quite clear from her conduct after the thing is killed that she has absolutely no remorse for killing her father,


That's probably the furthest thing from the truth possible. She's obviously being consumed by guilt, self-hatred and self doubt..or she'd have no reason to be there.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 14 Oct 2004
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To add (haven't read the whole thread so it might have been mentioned), after the fight, Angela kills the monster in a scene that might be copy of what actually happened (the TV and everything). Now, if the ideal father is a dead father, why would Angela scream "No daddy, please don't" and then kill the already ideal dead father?. I have always seen the abstract daddy creature as a creature on top of another on the side of a bed (or something flat). It looks like a Baconish version of a rape.

Digging to much into translation "errors" and trying to prove something based on your interpretation of an abstract/surreal creature makes a truth for you, but not necessarily a truth for me. This is also because it has no impact on the story itself. She was abused, we are all agreeing on that part, but your monster theory is a bit of a long shot.
Even for a creature designer I would believe that making the creature a representation of rape and abuse or the feeling of it, is more appealing and disturbing then making an ideal father.

All the monsters in James "mind" are based on both the nature of the sickness Mary had, the violence he caused her and on the desire for sex that he could never get satisfied. They aren't really a representation of Mary post-killed, they are all about the final moment with all James feelings involved.
If this is true for James, then Angela would most certainly have her feelings involved in the creation of the abstract daddy. The feeling of rape and abuse are all there and her fear of this through what she cries out twords the monster. Her final blow is also there to support the idea that this monster is not an image of a dead father, it's an image of a father abusing Angela.

Why can James see it? Well, he didn't abuse Mary, but she could never satisfy him and that desire (also represented through PH:s rapings) together with his (mild) violence against Mary at her final moments and his understandings over Angelas past, could be what makes him able to see it as Angela sees it. It's pretty easy for James to understand a part of Angelas drama early on when you look at the ripped photo.

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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 15 Jul 2003
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Glazarus wrote:
(haven't read the whole thread so it might have been mentioned)

It has been mentioned, and I will address it. Besides, it's common courtesy to read other people's posts before you say something.

I think there's a misunderstanding in that some of you guys are thinking I said abstract daddy depicts a dead father. What I'm trying to say, however, is that abstract daddy represents Angela's want for an 'ideal father' which is a dead father. That's why I suggested that perhaps it's a depiction of Angela stabbing Thomas, sending her father to his death.

Obviously, if such an image comes back to haunt Angela and shows her what she's done along with perhaps a reminder of why she did it, then she's going to be repulsive of the monster. Just like James was when Maria was killed three times. It's not so much of the thought that Maria was killed is what's bothering him. It's a reminder of what he did to Mary.

Quote:
Digging to much into translation "errors" and trying to prove something based on your interpretation of an abstract/surreal creature makes a truth for you, but not necessarily a truth for me. This is also because it has no impact on the story itself. She was abused, we are all agreeing on that part, but your monster theory is a bit of a long shot.

I wish I can take your word for it, but I don't believe you're applicable enough to tell me that I'm digging too much into translation errors. Finding translation discrepancies goes way back for me as early as 2001 and I've been doing that since. Also, I'm not simply going on "ideal father" in this case. I'm using the whole Japanese script. It's just that I didn't get into the details because I've noticed that it's a foreign concept to many people.

I agree that she's probably been abused; Angela makes that clear in any script. Yet, I don't necessarily believe she was sexually abused.

Quote:
Even for a creature designer I would believe that making the creature a representation of rape and abuse or the feeling of it, is more appealing and disturbing then making an ideal father.

Yes, I know fans like it and it is rather ironic.

Quote:
All the monsters in James "mind" are based on both the nature of the sickness Mary had, the violence he caused her and on the desire for sex that he could never get satisfied.

I don't agree the monsters are representations of James' desire for sex. Sex and death, the core theme of Silent Hill 2 is based on the idea that subconsciously we're always thinking about sex and death. It does not mean that we are sexually deprived or that we seek to die in any way. You can call it "primal instinct." It's in our subconscious because we are human beings.

Actually, the idea of such theme is made clear if you saw a documentary on Jacob's Ladder.

Surprisingly, Eddie wasn't an exception to this rule until the developers decided to can the sexual theme in Eddie's world. I'm talking about the butt-naked dead men that he probably shot to death. Would the existence of such dead men imply that Eddie is gay? And how come James can see them as well? Is he gay too?

You see, if you're going to try and apply sex to a character's past, you're going to get some really far-fetched suggestions.

I simply believe that the sexual theme in Angela's world is not about her past, but an indication that her world is a bi-product of her subconscious.

Quote:
Why can James see it? Well, he didn't abuse Mary, but she could never satisfy him and that desire (also represented through PH:s rapings) together with his (mild) violence against Mary at her final moments and his understandings over Angelas past, could be what makes him able to see it as Angela sees it. It's pretty easy for James to understand a part of Angelas drama early on when you look at the ripped photo.

A ripped photo could imply a destroyed family, but it's a stretch to assume a girl was sexually abused by a photo alone. No, there's hardly anything to indicate to James that Angela was sexually abused at all before her famous lines in the labyrinth.

In my opinion, James can see the abstract daddy monster because he killed Mary, too. The two characters are tied through the concept of murder. Eddie, too. This is why James sometimes can cross over to Eddie's domain as well.

Granted, I'd like people to understand that this theory is a work-in-progress. While the "sexual abuse" theory had years worth of discussion to become substantialized, mine is relatively new. I welcome any sort of constructive criticisms.


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