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Gravedigger
 Post subject: Demonizing Mary (spoilers)
     
         
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Missing since: 04 Mar 2007
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It's pretty apparent that there's more than a little demonizing of Mary in the game, as well as the juxtaposed side of love and respect for her. For example, we have the demonic, bed-ridden Mary spouting moths with a whip tongue, counter posed against the mannequin with a light on it's chest.

I propose that the demonizing we see of Mary is actually done by Mary herself, rather than James.

How can that be, you ask? Aren't the constructs we see done by James?

One of the theories floating around is that Silent Hill can be influenced by several people at once- taking cues from various people. For example, Eddie's meat locker- the physical characteristics, such as the hanging slabs of meat, are things that are important to Eddie's state of mind.

So when we see the demonized forms of Mary, such as her final boss form, I think these are contributions from Mary herself. Imprints from herself left in Silent Hill- and while Mary may not be consciously in Silent Hill during the game, I still have no doubt that her warped perception of herself was present.

In order to explain how Mary's self perception got there, a few things have to be considered. I've always understood there there to be a certain amount "field of effect" in Silent Hill. Meaning, you have to be in Silent Hill in order for your mind to influence it (not counting people with psychic or cult powers). Given that we can't actually place Mary in the game, we can consider a few options.

The first is that it might be James's subverted knowledge of Mary's self perception- while he was aware that she was self-loathing, he didn't share in her opinion. Therefore, the town could draw on this knowledge from James's mind without it actually having been emotional pertinent to James.

The second is the possibility that Mary is actually in Silent Hill- possibly in James's trunk. While Mary's conscious mind might not be influencing Silent Hill, I don't think her being dead is really that much of a barrier, in terms of emotional assignation.

The third, based off of a theory made by MMY, is that Mary might have spent some time of her convalescence in Silent Hill. This way, the town would have been "updated" in a way, since its last encounter with her as a happy, recently married young woman. Given that she might have stayed here closer to the end of her illness helps in the fact that by this time she was fully entrenched in her self loathing.

It's important to distinguish that this was Mary's perception of herself, and not's James's perception of her. I think he was aware that she had this self hatred, and I think that he was hurt by her treatment of him, but not nearly as much as would lend to such violent and ugly images like the final boss forms.

My reasoning for this is that James never hated her, as Mary points out in their final conversation. Also, he was never disgusted by her: before he killed her, he took her hand in his, looked her in the face, and leaned in to kiss her forehead. After she dies again, in the Leave and the In Water ending, he picks her up, and carries her from the room. This kind of physical proximity, particularly the kiss on her forehead, does not denote any kind of disgust- in fact James seems pitying and resigned, and there's no markers of rage or cringing in any of his movements.

On the other hand, Mary constantly expressed her disgust for herself. In the conversation in the hallway, directly after you defeat Pyramid Head, she voices how much she disgusts herself. When you read her letter, she says, "I feel so pathetic and ugly laying here, waiting for you... "

I think as many fears of Mary contribute to the formation of Silent Hill, as much as James's did. While her letter states that she fears James might disgust her, his actions show us anything but.

None of this is to say that James is a saint, nor that he was never hurt or angry at her behavior. However, whatever he may have felt I don't think was nearly as strong as the kinds of emotions Mary held for herself. She was disgusted not only with the way that she looked, but also the way she was acting. While James was surprised and hurt by her behavior, he was never disgusted by her physically or emotionally. The nature of the final boss highlighted perfectly what Mary thought she had become. She was perfectly aware of her effect on James

I think that his journey through Silent Hill was as much of a way to reconcile Mary's own negative emotions from her illness, as it was a way to come to terms to what he had done to his wife. In a way, this is hinted at in their final conversation- it's up to personal opinion as to whether or not we are actually seeing a kind of place that time and space don't really exist, allowing the spouses to have one last meeting- or whether this is just a figment of James's bruised psyche.

I chose the former- I think that Mary is as much of an active participant in the world as James is. We wouldn't see her hallmarks throughout the game as much as we did, otherwise.


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Woodside Apartments Janitor
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Missing since: 12 Jan 2007
Notes left: 1196
Last seen at: Night Springs
This was a very interesting read I must say. I agree with several points, such as the numerous instances where we see how disgusted Mary is at herself, I especially agree with the part where you say that "Mary is as much of an active participant in the world as James is." Though, personally, I think its more of Mary creeping into James subconscious than Mary actually forming her little mark in Silent Hill.

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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 05 Mar 2009
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Lostkitsune wrote:
I think its more of Mary creeping into James subconscious than Mary actually forming her little mark in Silent Hill.


I think I would have to agree with this statement. As much as this was an interesting read, Sionnan, I would have to agree that the final boss form - though it may not be how James saw Mary - may very well be Mary, and her views on herself, "creeping into James subconscious."

The same would go for the Eddy's situation that you were explaining. It's clearly shown that Eddy believes - at least in his own mind - that he's [spoiler]justified in killing the people he killed because of the way he treated them,[/spoiler] and so he wouldn't see himself as a monster or a killer. But James is at least sane - or as sane as he could be in the situation he's in - and still understands that you [spoiler]can't just kill people because of the way they treat you or look at you. [/spoiler] And so when James fights Eddy in the meat room, the room wouldn't be Eddy's view on himself or a showing of his state of mind, but would rather be significant to how James see's Eddy now.

But, your argument could also be defended by use of the Stairs of Fire scene with James and Angela. When James runs into Angela for the last time, we see them both in the burning stairway and she explains, at the end of the scene, that for her, things are always like this. This is how Silent Hill is seen through her eyes, so there's no way James could have known that unless she told him earlier, which she didn't. So, what he was seeing was actually a projection of her own subconscious, which suggests your theory is true.

But, Angela is alive, Eddy is alive, [spoiler]and Mary is clearly dead.[/spoiler] So when we learn more about Mary and the things that happened that eventually led to [spoiler]James killing her,[/spoiler] it is my opinion that the things projected thereafter are still coming from James' subconscious in accordance to the way Mary saw herself.

Still, VERY interesting ideas here.

_________________
Fall, fall, fall, to the bottom of Hell,
Pool of blood, sea of fire, and needle mountains.
Fall man to Hell. Fall, fall, demons of Hell are calling you,
Pool of blood, sea of fire, and needle mountains.
Can't you hear the groan of the dead? Fall, fall, the darkness of Hell is boundless,
Pool of blood, sea of fire, and needle mountains. It is the lullaby of Hell.


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Gravedigger
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Missing since: 04 Mar 2007
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may very well be Mary, and her views on herself, "creeping into James subconscious."


This is actually more of what I meant, and I apologize for not being clear. I think that at one point James was aware of Mary's self loathing. Even so, he forgot about it from the trauma, but Silent Hill picked up on it all the same. It's what I meant in the first scenario. However, perhaps I'll clarify it more by saying that it's a piece of raw information, uncolored by James's own psyche. This is versus a piece of information that has been colored by James- for example, feeling hurt by Mary's sharp tongue.

(I recognize this might pose a problem, considering that nothing is untouched by perspective of the holder. I'd argue that while he was privy to the information, her self-loathing did not contribute to his own manifestations of Mary. His own manifestations were things like the mannequin with the light.)

Basically, what gets contributed to a certain characteristic determines the form and origin of the monsters. He isn't disgusted by Mary. He didn't hate her. The final boss form was made by someone who had begun to hate her, and was disgusted by her- Mary herself.

Re: Eddie- we'll have to agree to disagree. In my eyes, Eddie knew that what he was doing was wrong. He was throwing up from disgust when we first saw him, indicating that seeing the dead body disturbed him. And while Eddie revels in the simplicity and easiness of being able to take a human life, I'd argue that it doesn't mean he doesn't know it's wrong. I think part of the thrill is knowing that what he is doing is wrong, and his moral character and sanity erodes away as the game progresses.

If we wanted to argue about the meat locker and how Eddie sees himself- I would argue that much of Eddie's trauma centers around the idea that he is a worthless hunk of flesh. Similarly, because he has been degraded in such a way, he has begun to see people in such a way. They have no use and no redeeming qualities, just as the way Eddie has been taught to see himself. This, however, does not mean that Eddie doesn't understand that what he's doing is against the rules.

"Killin' a person ain't no big deal. Just put a gun to their head. And POW." Indicating that he before believed, or had been taught to believe, that taking a human life is a big thing, and had been taught as such.

As for Mary being dead posing a problem- I agree that Mary's mind can't actively contribute to the shaping of Silent Hill. Not in the way that James, Eddie, and Angela do. I'd still have to argue that there's no problem for Silent Hill to do so, by relying on information that was imprinted there when she stayed there earlier, and then being modified either by Mary when she stayed at Silent Hill later during during her illness, or picked from James's subconscious. Or being modified by the imprint of Mary while she's in James's car- she might not be up and about, but then again neither was Amy Baldwin, but she still contributed.


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RESPECT
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Missing since: 19 Jul 2003
Notes left: 19440
Last seen at: #lfk
I've more or less been saying that since '01.

Mary blames herself far more than she blames James, and as guilt is a major factor in contributing to the otherworld, her own penitence is responsible for the otherworld's appearance.

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. . . AND THAT'S THAT.


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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 05 Mar 2009
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It's only obvious that Eddie knows what he's doing is wrong right away, and the vomiting gives it away - he was disgusted by the fact that he killed someone and by the dead body itself. I actually should've worded what I said differently - it sounds like I meant Eddie never saw anything wrong in it, when he really did the whole time. I completely agree with you in the aspect that his moral character and sanity deteriorates throughout the game, and it's at the end of the game when he doesn't see it as that big of a deal.

I also just realized that I kind of contradicted myself in my last post. That is, I said that in James' last meeting with Angela, he saw the world as it was projected by her subconscious, but denied the fact that Eddie's subconscious could've been projected on the world during James' final meeting with him. It's very possible, and your argument is completely valid in this stance. So, my bad in that regard.

But, my stance is still clear when it comes to Mary and she's seen in the final boss form - I still believe that it's nothing more than an image projected through James' subconscious based on the information that he learned (or rather re-learned) throughout the game. But, you pretty much just said that, so I guess we agree on many more levels that we thought. :)

Anyways, I'm not adding anything productive to this argument, just simply proving that I'm an idiot. :P So I'll finish my blind rambling in saying that I still think these are very interesting ideas and am glad they're being brought up. :D

_________________
Fall, fall, fall, to the bottom of Hell,
Pool of blood, sea of fire, and needle mountains.
Fall man to Hell. Fall, fall, demons of Hell are calling you,
Pool of blood, sea of fire, and needle mountains.
Can't you hear the groan of the dead? Fall, fall, the darkness of Hell is boundless,
Pool of blood, sea of fire, and needle mountains. It is the lullaby of Hell.


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Brookhaven Receptionist
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Missing since: 25 Sep 2007
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makes sense to me

on a side note, knowing how Team Silent likes to mess with people's heads I think more than likely [spoiler]Mary really IS in the trunk of James car, I mean how awesomely freaky is it that you set out to "look for Mary" and there she is from the very beginning of the game :P [/spoiler]


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Hope House Careworker
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Missing since: 12 Jan 2009
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I do believe that James and Mary co-founded the SH2 Otherworld. But James could very well be the one demonizing Mary. After all, a part of him hated her for taking away his life.


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Gravedigger
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Missing since: 04 Mar 2007
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>After all, a part of him hated her for taking away his life.

To which Mary responds, "James, if that were true... then why do you look so sad?"

I really don't think he did kill her out of hate. He just wanted there to be complete closure, letting everything, even the most remote possibility, come out into the open. Mary knew this, and called him on it.

Again, I'm not saying James never felt any kind of negative emotion to his wife during the course of her illness, just saying that James didn't hate her. He certainly wasn't feeling hate during the moment he killed her.


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Woodside Apartments Janitor
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Missing since: 12 Jan 2007
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^ I completely agree, James, to me, never hated Mary, he wast just hurt/depressed and confused, James comes across as rather "lost" to me.

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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
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Last seen at: I'm here, and waiting for you
In response to the theory, though I like the idea of the town drawing on imprints, can't her ghost simply be in the town? It's not like it's not unprecedented.

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I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


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Gravedigger
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Missing since: 04 Mar 2007
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AuraTwilight wrote:
In response to the theory, though I like the idea of the town drawing on imprints, can't her ghost simply be in the town? It's not like it's not unprecedented.


I also was thinking of this, but forgot to bring it up in my original point. I did mention Amy Baldwin a little earlier, which is how I was trying to hint that Mary might be a ghost. But more of an imprint, instead of really conscious like Ernest Baldwin. Or if she is a ghost, she only exists in the place where James really meets her.


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Historical Society Historian
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Yes, the problem with the ghost theory is that Team Silent has a certain way of portraying their ghosts. Usually ghosts of those who met an untimely and gruesome death are forever stuck in the location where they lost their lives. Since many believe that Mary was killed in the comfort of her home, that would mean that Mary's ghost would be stuck there forever haunting the place. I'm not sure if moving the corpse to a different location would change that.

Of course, this certainly doesn't mean that the ghost theory is negated. If Mary was killed in Silent Hill, for example, the above point is void. It's just a matter of discussing whether or not the town does manifest something from a ghost's "conscious."

As far as the theory itself goes, Sionnan, I think you did well to bring up the possibility that the "demonizing" could be from Mary and you'd be partially right.

Masahito Ito went into some detail in one of Konami's official Silent Hill 2 guidebook, and it seems that the end boss is actually a construction of her own negative emotions and James' perception of Mary. Specifically, the bed-like frame that the monster is encased in and the reason that Mary is upside-down so that her mouth is beneath are from James. Mary's part in the construction has to do with the figure's appearance such as the blanked-out eyes and its expression as it attempts to suck the life out of James.

I may translate Ito's statement regarding the end boss someday, but it was interesting to note that Mary's part in the construction was largely due in part of her negative emotions just as if she were alive. Feelings of betrayal, physical torment through her disease, and even guilt toward James all had a hand in the construction of the end boss. There is a certain contrast that can be examined between the end boss and Mary that appears in the In Water, Leave endings.

I am unsure what to say about the mannequin of Mary, though. It's not the same "demonizing" as was done for the end boss. In fact, one could even say that it's an over-glorification of a "perfect" Mary. What sort of emotions from Mary would have a part in its creation is beyond me.

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Gravedigger
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Missing since: 04 Mar 2007
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>I am unsure what to say about the mannequin of Mary, though. It's not the same "demonizing" as was done for the end boss. In fact, one could even say that it's an over-glorification of a "perfect" Mary. What sort of emotions from Mary would have a part in its creation is beyond me.

And here is where I fail magnificently at properly explaining myself. What I meant to say is that images like that- ones where Mary is idolized, in a way- are contributions from James. Which is why I think the contrast that can be found in the images of Mary are so incredible- because they never came just from James.

As for the end boss- this is good information. The dual contributions really fits the way the dynamic between spouses. It goes a way in helping my theory out- that both James and Mary contributed to the images we see.

If you have any more on what Mary helped create, could you post it here?

>Usually ghosts of those who met an untimely and gruesome death are forever stuck in the location where they lost their lives.

Well... yes and no. We never figure out how Ernest dies, but he's still a ghost. So this opens the idea that sometimes they stay a ghost if they feel they have something left to do. For all we know, Amy might be hanging around because she wanted to give her father the gift, rather than the circumstances around her death.

I'm only going off SH2 ghosts- it seems other games have other theories.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Yes, the problem with the ghost theory is that Team Silent has a certain way of portraying their ghosts. Usually ghosts of those who met an untimely and gruesome death are forever stuck in the location where they lost their lives. Since many believe that Mary was killed in the comfort of her home, that would mean that Mary's ghost would be stuck there forever haunting the place. I'm not sure if moving the corpse to a different location would change that.


Where's this fact come from? The only thing I can think of is the occult magazine in SH3 as a source, but that was supposed to be a clue about Heather's past.

Quote:
I also was thinking of this, but forgot to bring it up in my original point. I did mention Amy Baldwin a little earlier, which is how I was trying to hint that Mary might be a ghost. But more of an imprint, instead of really conscious like Ernest Baldwin. Or if she is a ghost, she only exists in the place where James really meets her.


I never imagined that she might be an imprint. I always imagined Amy was a ghost just a few hallways and a staircase away from her equally dead father. That was the bitter irony of their tragic situation: Both are dead, waiting for the other.

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I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


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Gravedigger
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Missing since: 04 Mar 2007
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Ah the pitfalls of my inability to be clear strike again.

I wasn't referring to Amy in that case, I was referring to Maria. I know Amy's more than just an imprint, given that she speaks to Maria. Strangely, the moment is actually almost a replay of Amy's death, so when she says "Please give them to my Daddy," you have to wonder if this was actually something she said just before she died, or if this was something Amy was able to say to Maria after her energy had been triggered.

To me, the ghosts have varying levels of dormancy. Ernest isn't at all- he's fully aware and fully active. Amy, with the fact the only way we encounter her was in the attic after you touched an object germane to her death, is dormant only until something emotionally relevant to the moment around her death is messed with. I think her awareness of the area isn't as complete as her father, or there would have been more instances of her around.

At any rate, Mary is a special case. She's a ghost only in the regard that James still keeps her around as if she were alive- almost forcing her energy to a certain level of activity. Similarly, Mary died wanting to set things right- she never got to. In this case, I think a certain part of her consciousness lived on- it's that part that we see conversing with James in the final conversation.

However, it's not like it was her consciousness as an independent force- I'd be willing to speculate that because James felt so guilty about her, and that he kept her memory so close to the surface, that Silent Hill was able to manifest her because it was so raw for James.

So Mary is unlike Amy and Ernest, because I don't think she exists in a way that could manifest without her husband and Silent Hill. Arguably, at least Ernest can manifest even when not in the foggy Silent Hill, because there's the tagging on the back of the mansion regarding the haunting.

So if Mary is a ghost, she's more of a memory than a traditional ghost. I can't necessarily call her a ghost in the ending conversation, because while she's dead, it's another one of Silent Hill's impossible spaces. I think Mary exists in those memories, and Silent Hill gave them a chance, in a way, to go to those memories, and yet still interact within them.


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RESPECT
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Missing since: 19 Jul 2003
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>that was supposed to be a clue about Heather's past.
How is that an allusion to Heather's past when it's clearly an allusion to the man decapitated after jumping onto the tracks?

The occult magazine article provides evidence for the ghosts of Silent Hill 4: The Room and why they remain where they do: They're capable of traversing the worlds in which they died, as is Ernest only capable of traveling through his house.

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. . . AND THAT'S THAT.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
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>that was supposed to be a clue about Heather's past.
How is that an allusion to Heather's past when it's clearly an allusion to the man decapitated after jumping onto the tracks?


I was referring to the article that spoke about reincarnation and being possessed by another person's memories.

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BlackFire2 wrote:
I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


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