Francine - harvest
I Blame the Dutch mpoetess
Previous Entry Share Flag Next Entry
Um. So, I mentioned I'm not a redemptionist, right?
But I'm watching comments float past about redemption, redeemable, irredeemable.

Just wondering -- not patronising. Does everybody share the same definition of "redeemable?"

Because where I come from, it means "able to be brought (or brought back to) to a state of goodness/rightness/acceptedness." It doesn't mean "redeemed" implying that a person is currently good. It doesn't mean "forgiveable" implying that redemption is in the eyes of whoever's deciding whether the subject's past deeds are too evil to ever forgive.

It means, is there a chance that the person can, under any circumstances, become, through experience, through forgiveness, though conscious attempt to change or through an act of God -- an acceptable person, to the universe/God/Powers-that-be. Can he change, does whatever passes for God care enough about him to assist him with that change. Does he have the *potential* to be aware of wrongness, and regret having caused it, and wish not to cause it again?

To say that Spike is irredeemable based on any of his past actions misses the point of what redemption is. To say that Spike is irredeemable (on his own, though not by act-of-god) because he has shown no sign of remorse for any of his crimes, implying that he has no ability to feel such -- was a valid argument, though not a proven one -- until this episode.

Wherein he *did* show remorse. The question is not what the crime was, how forgivable any particular viewer finds it, whether it was worse than any of his past crimes, whether he meant to harm, whether he's seriously disturbed, even whether *Buffy* forgives him. It is, does he show the capacity for change? And yes, imho, he does. Did it take something awful for him to finally experience (but not yet understand) guilt and remorse? Yes. But *has* he experienced it? I think so. Think he still is experiencing it. Does his attempt to deny that make it less real? No.

I think many people are confusing -- or perhaps purposely replacing -- "redeemable" with "Forgiveable in my eyes" or with "already redeemed."

Worth precisely $0.02.


2002-05-08 11:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

Does he have the *potential* to be aware of wrongness, and regret having caused it, and wish not to cause it again?

When it comes to Buffy and Dawn - yes, Spike is capable of feeling regret and a desire to do right by them. But when it comes to anyone who isn't named Summers? No, he doesn't care, and hasn't shown any indication that he has any respect for human life in general. This will not change just because he feels remorse about hurting Buffy. For one thing, he doesn't think of Buffy as human - he tells her she "belongs in the darkness," like him. His chip doesn't even recognize her humanity.

Is there a chance Spike can change? Sure. There's also a chance I could drop dead of a heart attack tomorrow, but there hasn't been anything in my history to indicate that's likely. Spike LIKES being evil. He thumbs his nose at the Scooby Gang's goody goodyness. He couldn't care less whether Joe Shmoe Bystander gets eaten by a demon. As soon as he thought his chip was on the fritz, he tried to kill an innocent woman, and he admitted just last ep. that Anya was the only Scooby he wouldn't bite if given a chance.

Some would say saving the Scoobs' lives several times would constitute an effort to do good, but I disagree. Spike's motivation for working with the Scooby Gang is not to save the world or help people, and never has been. He likes killing things, and he likes spending time with Buffy - there is no conscious attempt on his part to change and become a better person. Just because an atheist recites Hail Marys in church, it doesn't give him faith. You can't just go through the motions, you have to believe in it, and Spike doesn't.


2002-05-09 12:34 am (UTC) (Link)

Right, but the point of this post was to clarify that peope are saying Spike's action in Seeing Red made him unredeemable. Not unredeemed, which imho, he is. Not unforgiveable in their eyes, which is everybody's right to their own opinion.

I wasn't speculating on whether Spike *will* be voluntarily redeemed. I don't think he will. My suspicion is that plotlines are moving him towards somebody telling him straight out "You can never be what she needs/what you want to be, as you are; will you allow us to change you?" And his only voluntary step being making that choice. But it's a theory, nothing more.

I don't think Spike has been trying to be good. At best, I think he's been trying to be neutral, and wavering back and forth over that line. I don't think he's trying to change -- far from it -- I think he's finding that he's changing involuntarily, and HATES it. BUt still, not really the point I was trying to make with this post. I wasn't talking about "Are the evilistas who say he won't be redeemed right or wrong." I was talking about how many people who are condemning his actions, quite rightly, seem to be using the word "irredeemable" to describe lem. An action is not irredeemable, by the way I understand the word, nor is a person irredeemable based upon any particular action(s). A person is only irredeemable if there is no capacity for change. Not *desire* for change, not *attempt* to change. BUt capacity for change.


2002-05-09 12:36 am (UTC) (Link)

and he admitted just last ep. that Anya was the only Scooby he wouldn't bite if given a chance.

Whose last name, last time I checked, wasn't Summers.



2002-05-09 09:11 am (UTC) (Link)

:) Almost got me on that one, but Spike saying he wouldn't bite Anya (in the same breath he says he would bite her friends) does not equate to Spike reconsidering whether killing people is a wrong thing to do. That's like a bank robber saying, "I like you. Tell you what, I'll let you go, but I'm still shooting the other hostages."

His conversation with Anya reminded me of the post-chipping dorm room scene with Willow. When Willow voiced her insecurities about not being desirable enough, he was very sweet and assured her that she was a lovely girl. But even after relating to Willow as a person with real feelings and not as a Happy Meal, he still wanted to rip her throat out. Spike is sensitive, but not remorseful.


2002-05-09 10:18 am (UTC) (Link)

But it does show him caring in some way about somebody not Buffy or Dawn.

I'm not arguing that Spike is ..
ah fuck. right now I'm not arguing that Spike is anything, because I'm just so damn tired of all of it.

If he weren't my favourite character -- from his POV, not as "Oh, look, abs" this would have me so damn twisted up.


2002-05-09 10:18 am (UTC) (Link)

wouldn't. wouldn't have.


2002-05-09 12:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

Sorry if I squished your toes a bit, Amy! Spike is one of my favorite characters, too, and I don't see any of the controversy surrounding him right now as a bad thing. It just goes to show what a multi-layered performance JM can pull off, that he can let all of us see totally different sides to his character and make us care about what happens to Spike so much. Don't let any of the Spike debates get you down.

Spike may be your POV character, but I think you can probably tell that Xander is mine ;)


2002-05-09 12:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

No, not you, Jen. Sorry if I gave that impression. This general fannish malaise on my part is just the end result of me having nothing to do at work, and bloghopping instead of, you know, creating something valuable. ;-)

Xander is my second POV character, after Spike. Xander's harder for me because there are times when I *have* him. He's just there, and I get it, and he's me, and yeah. And there are times when he's so comepletly alien to me that I wonder if it's the same character. It shouldn't divide between het and slash -- and in really damn good het or gen, it doesn't -- but quite often, sadly, it seems to. Think about Xander-and-woman, read about Xander-and-woman, and I don't feel him at all. Think about Xander-and-man, and bang. Zoom.