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The Little Boy in St. Maria's
http://silenthillforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=25651
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Author:  LastGunslinger [ 11 Feb 2014 ]
Post subject:  The Little Boy in St. Maria's

I apologise if this has been covered before; I've searched a bit to see if anyone else had this idea and haven't found anything, but I may have missed things. It's been a little while since I've posted.

Anyway, the little boy in St. Maria's (I see it called an orphanage, but there are notes that explicitly mention the kids writing to their parents) is usually interpreted as being a representation of Charlie (this is explicitly stated as fact at the Silent Hill Wiki), or of Murphy as a kid, or even Frank Coleridge, but I get the impression that the boy is actually Napier as a child. There are a few (admittedly incidental) reasons for this:

1) The boy doesn't look like either Charlie or Murphy. The fleshiness of his face and the expressions he makes remind me more of Napier.
2) He speaks in an odd manner and cadence that, while it may be a result of bad acting or making the kid appear creepier than he otherwise would be, could also indicate early development of psychopathy, sociopathy or some other personality disorder.
3) The boy is playing with a toy car, and while Murphy remarks that his son liked cars, the toy car collectible found nearby is said to resemble Napier's van.
4) The voice in the gingerbread house (which I initially thought to be a girl's, but at that age a boy's voice would also be high-pitched when upset) depicts a childhood abuse scenario committed by a parent, which often leads to deviant behaviour in the child. This is not likely to be Ann's voice because it's implied she had a loving relationship with her father.

If my theory is correct, when the little girl (who I agree is a young Anne) accuses Murphy of killing the boy, it represents Anne's incomplete understanding of prior events in which she thinks Murphy killed Napier, without necessarily knowing of Murphy's history with Napier.

Because of these details, I think St. Maria's is as much about Murphy acknowledging Napier's humanity as it is about taking responsibility for his role in Napier's death. Forcing Murphy to see Napier as a child, in an environment that can foster problems with psychological development, adds weight to the perception that did not kill a monster but murdered (or, depending on the ending, caused the murder of) a person, albeit one who has done terrible things.

Author:  Rev [ 11 Feb 2014 ]
Post subject:  Re: The Little Boy in St. Maria's

Interesting. I hadn't really thought of it as Napier before. Although I do chalk that kid up for being open to any individual's interpretation.

I kind of always just assumed that the kid represented Murphy's child self, a loss of innocence, et cetera. I don't get hung up on appearances too much, since when you get down to it the young Anne doesn't look much like her adult self, either (other than the fact that they have the same eye color). I also saw the boy and girl as fitting with the Hansel and Gretel storyline, which seemed appropriate for both Anne and Murphy.

Also if I recall correctly, I think the toy car that the boy is playing with is a police car, not a van. But irregardless it's still an interesting interpretation, even if I'm a little iffy on it.

Author:  AuraTwilight [ 11 Feb 2014 ]
Post subject:  Re: The Little Boy in St. Maria's

It's an interesting analysis I can get behind. But whether the boy is Napier, Charlie, Murphy, Coleridge, etc.; I'm not entirely sure it matters. Maybe the kid isn't anyone specifically. The child could be anyone because his status as a kid will make him open the Charlie wounds regardless, and the mere presence of a dead body next to Murphy is all Little Anna needs to make connections and bring up her side of the story and allude at the bigger problem between them both.

Anything else is incidental since neither characters pick up on it.

Author:  LastGunslinger [ 12 Feb 2014 ]
Post subject:  Re: The Little Boy in St. Maria's

I agree it's not a conclusive deduction, although it was the first thing that came to my mind when I first played it a couple of years ago, and it still sticks with me after finishing my second playthrough last night. I mostly like this interpretation because I think it has the most thematic impact.

Murphy's hang-ups on child abandonment and neglect are already made pretty clear in a few of the side quests and tangential items around town, but major cutscenes are usually reserved for major characters, and for that scene and character to exist for the sole purpose of highlighting Murphy's guilt and perception of himself as a monster... it seems too major and affecting to not have a deeper purpose. If it's a symbolic reenactment of a specific event, and Anne (or a form of her) is a witness to it, then it makes the most sense to me if it's someone to whom Murphy did violence, or was a direct cause for violence, and that would be either Napier or Frank. His confrontation with Frank is dealt with later in the game, and there's not much point in exploring his childhood, so I think it's more interesting and thematically meaningful if it's Napier, because in this context Murphy is shown that a child molester, which he perceives as a monster, was once a child himself. From young Anne's perspective, she doesn't have any of that later context and only sees a person getting killed, so the opposite viewpoints come together in the same scene.

Again, it's not hard and fast evidence, but in terms of meaningful narrative I think it fits.

Author:  Soulless-Shadow [ 12 Feb 2014 ]
Post subject:  Re: The Little Boy in St. Maria's

That's a pretty good theory. Unfortunately it's been a while since I've played, so there's not much (if anything) I can contribute to this other than saying it's a great theory.

Author:  phantomess [ 03 Mar 2014 ]
Post subject:  Re: The Little Boy in St. Maria's

Interesting, LastGunslinger. I like it.

And-
LastGunslinger wrote:
Because of these details, I think St. Maria's is as much about Murphy acknowledging Napier's humanity as it is about taking responsibility for his role in Napier's death. Forcing Murphy to see Napier as a child, in an environment that can foster problems with psychological development, adds weight to the perception that did not kill a monster but murdered (or, depending on the ending, caused the murder of) a person, albeit one who has done terrible things.
Awesome. I love reading things that can make me play again with a little bit of a different perspective and/or add things to think about at some parts. Thank you! :)

Author:  I, Rabbit [ 01 Feb 2015 ]
Post subject:  Re: The Little Boy in St. Maria's

Playing again recently with this theory in mind actually holds a lot for it imo. Napier is, unfortunately, a staple part to the plot, and seeing him as a child once holds up with Murphy questioning whether he feels sorry for what he did to him, (something I hold the strong opinion of that I wouldn't, regardless of the noises he made during beating him. Just, no).

Author:  Its Gone Now [ 06 Feb 2015 ]
Post subject:  Re: The Little Boy in St. Maria's

Excellent theory, I had always assumed that it was Murphy seeing himself (guess I never really gave it as much thought as I would have in the earlier games)but now I'm not so sure :)

It's always nice to read a theory that not only makes sense but is pretty watertight, it is as likely as any other theory and I'm going to have to play the game again to know for sure but I for one am behind it.

Brilliant.

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