Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Willow & Xander Further Ed

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Willow & Xander Further Ed

    I saw this question posed on reddit and I thought it was interesting. Did Willow really want to go to UC Sunnydale? Did Xander really want to go on his road trip? Would they both have been better off making different choices, and what could those other choices have been?

    Personally I think Xander really wanted to go to college, if not for the learning, then to be with his friends. He felt that he had to do something special over that summer, to compete with Willow and Buffy. Though I cannot imagine him driving off alone, without them, branching out on his own.

  • #2
    I think Willow's love and interest in magic overpowered her love for academia. She's still interested in higher learning, but magic became a priority. I also think her love and support for Buffy had something to do with her choice to stay.

    I agree with your thoughts on Xander. He needed to have something to look forwards to while his friends were getting accepted in college.
    Made by Trickyboxes
    Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag

    Comment


    • #3
      I believed it when Willow said she wanted to fight evil, and that was her biggest reason for staying in Sunnydale. But I agree, Sosa lola, there was the love of magic keeping her there too.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think it was a combination of the two,
        Sosa and Priceless

        The love of magic and the desire to fight evil:

        Her growing sense of her power in magic
        gave her, finally, a sense that she could play
        an active role, a significant role, in the fight
        against evil: I do not think, as some have
        noted on other threads, that she ever wanted
        to be a leader—I think she always say that
        as Buffy's position—but I do think that she
        sought to do more than side work, more
        than research and random computer hacking
        and such: she wanted a definite role, one
        in which she could play a definitive role,
        fight evil in her own singular way, add something
        to the battle that was at once necessary and
        beyond the reach of anyone else. Magic, if she
        were to develop her ability, would give her that,
        and only by staying in Sunnydale would she be
        able to both further her skills and contribute
        to the endless battle.

        (And in this, too, I do agree, Sosa, that
        her love for Buffy played a role, but I do not think
        that it was decisive: I do not think that she would
        have stayed had she not felt that she would be
        able to contribute in her own particular way, aid
        Buffy as no one else could... )

        As for Xander: I do not think that college was ever
        an option for him—from all we know, he did not have
        the grades or the scores to get in... Nor was he really
        suited for academia: he did not do well in school because
        he was stupid—he so clearly was not—but like many
        bright people, his intelligence could not fit into the
        set rubrics of high school, rubrics that crush all
        individuality and creativity... Moreover, I think his
        home background, which crushed his self-confidence,
        set him up to fail, also played a role... It also played a
        role in his repeated failure, across S4, at a series of
        dead-end jobs, none of which called upon the depths
        of his creative skills and intelligence—it was only when
        he began construction work, a job that drew out both,
        that he began to flourish, flourish far beyond normative
        expectations, as his supervisor notes in The Replacement

        That said, I agree that he is, in his road trip, seeking
        a kind of journey to both meet and contrast with
        Buffy and Willow's move to university. His choice of
        Kerouac—anti-establishment, anti-institutional (and
        thus anti-academic)—says much about his desire to
        set himself up in opposition to their choice, his desire,
        which he may not yet fully understand, to find a
        different way to live, express himself, connect to
        his long-repressed power, intelligence, and creative
        force...

        (Admittedly, working with the Scoobies has given him
        a vision of this possibility, but he has ever been marginalized,
        despite his insights and contributions... )

        ps Thank you, Priceless, for opening this compelling thread....


        Comment


        • #5
          I agree that Willow was drawn to stay in Sunnydale for reasons that were outside of her academic desires. I too believe her belief in her ability to contribute to the fight and her wish to be a part of it are major factors. I can see that her strong connection to her friends most likely layered in there but I think the sense of it as her own individual desire is a really important factor in her choice.

          Similarly I think that Xander's road trip displays his wish to be able to forge an individual path beyond high school. I don't think that he had any wish to continue to pursue academic achievements but he isn't certain where he is going to go. Having a break away from home just seems expressive of his wish to be somewhere else and leave that behind him but his own draw to the fight and the people he cares about prevents him from leaving Sunnydale proper. So it is a temporary road trip that is his first maiden flight in the building exploration of his opportunities and independence. I love how his S4 and 5 sit against Buffy's and Willow's and show someone who is growing but taking a very different route.

          Comment


          • #6
            The road movie is mostly associated with the United States, as it focuses on "peculiarly American dreams, tensions and anxieties".[20] US road movies examine the tension between the two foundational myths of American culture, which are individualism and populism, which leads to some road films depicting the open road as a "utopian fantasy" with a homogenous culture while others show it as a "dystopian nightmare" of extreme cultural differences.[21] US road movies depict the wide open, vast spaces of the highways as symbolizing the "scale and notionally utopian" opportunities to move up upwards and outwards in life Wiki.

            I find it reassuringly odd that Xander's "adult" years begin with a journey into open space that can be figured as a utopian fantasy or a dystopian nightmare and terminates in a closed space that can be figured as - oh guess what - a utopian fantasy or a dystopian nightmare. Have I mentioned recently how much I hate S12 (although, I'm liking it more if it's alluding to a nightmare masked by fantasy). If Xander really is the "pit master", the journey "upwards and outwards" culminates in a movement downwards and inwards.
            sigpic

            Comment


            • #7
              All caught up.

              All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.





              * The only question regarding Willow is if Willow would have preferred Buffy gone to Northwestern or Brown or if Willow would have tried to convince Buffy to stay in Sunndyale so that Willow could continue helping in the fight against evil.

              If Faith actually took over slaying duties in Sunnydale, there's a possibility Willow would have stayed in Sunnydale rather than go be with Buffy.



              * Xander's interesting because he was in the same classes as Willow, Buffy, and Cordelia and he had a good vocabulary--but it seems he didn't even study for the SAT and he got an abysmal score. So, did he not want to go to college?

              Xander regarding his socioeconomic status seemed defeatist. His seeing Cordelia gaga over Wesley didn't prompt Xander to increase Xander's earning potential.

              Comment


              • #8
                Well, Xander has always been an underachiever and going to college was never really a realistic notion for him. I think that due to his upbringing, he lacked the ability to rise above his circumstance. His decision to go on a road trip, in my opinion, was not to fall short from his friends' new endeavours. So, in a sense, he did that because saying in Sunnydale meant seeing all of his other friends taking this new step while staying behind. Coming back to Sunnydale reeked from defeat and it's something that is explored throughout Season 4 and a small part of Season 5.

                I feel like Willow tied her self worth to her role as Buffy's best friend/sidekick and the more she contributed the better she felt about herself. Staying in Sunnydale was much about that as it was about fighting the good fight.

                Click for art and tomfooleries

                Comment


                • #9
                  Xander regarding his socioeconomic status seemed defeatist.
                  But a low socioeconomic standing can make a person feel worthless and defeated before he/she starts*. Wesley's insecurities are Oedipal - they come from his relationship with his dad, not from society in general. I can see Xander not having the confidence to go to college.
                  sigpic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TriBel View Post
                    But a low socioeconomic standing can make a person feel worthless and defeated before he/she starts*. Wesley's insecurities are Oedipal - they come from his relationship with his dad, not from society in general. I can see Xander not having the confidence to go to college.
                    Yes—

                    That was what I was trying, in part, to say above:

                    That, as well as that even before college, his
                    familial forces prevented him from doing well
                    enough in high school to make college a possibility...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Wesley's born into the English class system - as is Giles (I'm guessing middle to upper class - old money). One would expect both of them to have a sense of entitlement - an inborn self belief that comes from their place within the traditional hierarchy. It's probably not coincidence that both have fathers who work/worked for the council. OTOH, Xander's family don't seem to have attained the heights the American dream suggests are possible. As he tells us when he's playing the Game of Life - cash = good. Xander's family don't have the signifiers of wealth - he's not "good" enough. Wes/Giles don't need it - they have class on their side - their position is "divinely ordained" - pre-destined almost.
                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Jack: What are you, retarded?

                        Xander: No! No, I had to take that test when I was seven. A little slow
                        in some stuff, mostly math and spatial relations, but certainly not
                        challenged or anything. (The Zeppo)

                        Xander being slow in math explains how he struggled with math throughout the show and always needed Willow's tutoring, something they focused on in S1.

                        Edit: Interestingly, Anya enjoys math. Also, Buffy dislikes history while Angel and Spike lived history.
                        Made by Trickyboxes
                        Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I don't think his trip had all that much to do with Buffy or Willow. Xander had quietly resigned himself to being a townie and never getting out of Sunnydale. His poorly planned road trip wasn't much more than an escape from that, a brief vacation before returning to the life he felt he was going to have. It's a pretty common thing among the poor-working class. They can't afford destination spots or to fly, so you take the road trip and see what you can see. Unfortunately, he didn't make it far.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MikeB View Post
                            [i]

                            Xander regarding his socioeconomic status seemed defeatist. His seeing Cordelia gaga over Wesley didn't prompt Xander to increase Xander's earning potential.
                            I don't see how Cordelia's reaction to Wesley is relevant. If Xander and Cordelia had still been a couple, and Cordelia had been chattering up a storm about her college of choice, then I could see Xander trying to join her there. But they're not, and she hasn't. By "Amends," Xander seems to have more or less accepted that they're not going to get back together. I realize that he's only 17-18, but that's old enough to know that you can't base your entire future on what your ex does.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post
                              I don't think his trip had all that much to do with Buffy or Willow. Xander had quietly resigned himself to being a townie and never getting out of Sunnydale. His poorly planned road trip wasn't much more than an escape from that, a brief vacation before returning to the life he felt he was going to have. It's a pretty common thing among the poor-working class. They can't afford destination spots or to fly, so you take the road trip and see what you can see. Unfortunately, he didn't make it far.
                              Yes, but he talked about it with much significance and made a big deal of it... It felt like he was trying to compensate for not taking the same path as his friends.

                              Click for art and tomfooleries

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X