- I read it once for enjoyment, twice for critique, found nothing to nitpick, and return to enjoyment. Ikvan makes me want to lay a thundaga on him, and I have to remind myself there are orders of monks, priests, nuns -- not just in the western world, I'm studying Buddhism right now -- who have extremely strict rules, and whose order simply isn't for everyone. Scary when they take in children who are too young to know anything but the horror of humiliation! Poor Auron. You're fleshing out the details of his story in such wonderful ways, not dwelling on the attack, only tiny hints of his past. I love the idea that his beads are his mother's and the jug is his father's. The ending, of course, makes us prick our ears. You have a way of handing out treasures sparingly and making sure we savor each chapter. :)
Author's responseThank you. As usual, I appreciate your insights and reviews. :) Ikvan is a prick, to be sure. I tried to give him a sympathetic side --he's nervous with children and even insecure in his decisions, but I'm afraid that all went out the window when he started ragging on our hero. :)
- I agree with Helluin that this is fleshing out nicely. I, too, would like to whap Ikvan upside the back of the head for being such a hard-ass. Then again, sometimes youngsters like Auron need that discipline and strictness. However, I have one possible issue, but you may go into detail about it later on in the story. In FFX it is learned that Auron did not get his promotion (that Kinoc eventually got) because he refused to marry the daughter of some head priest (or someone like that...). I'm curious why they would have him marry if he is to remain celibate... unless of course there are some underlying purposes to the fixed-up marriage proposal.
Author's responseSo this is how you do that nifty little Author's response thing? Thank you. And as far the Kinoc/marriage issue goes, I will address that a further bit down the road. I can say that I believe that only the Warrior Monks are vowed to celibacy-- their minds must be on the battle. I think they are the lowest rung of Yevon clergy and the promotion Auron would have received would have allowed him to ascend from the ranks of the monks and thus, allowed a "normal" life.
- I did like the way Auron's mother quizzed him on fiends and things. I like the way he's secretly a little smug about his knowledge in that area.
But why, if Auron's father wanted him to become a Crusader did he choose to become a Warrior Monk instead?
I don't like the way Auron dredges himself in guilt. I suppose it's realistic, given the experience he has just been through as a young adult, but why this experience?
Is Auron's personal strength the result of childhood trauma, in the form of punishment at the hands of Yevon? I think you could convince me. I still wouldn't like it. I don't like Auron as a victim of this sort. In so much of his later story he is a willing victim for a worthy cause. I don't like the way he feels this guilt. Auron seems to me to be one of the few characters in the game who doesn't feel guilty.
I also like to think of Yevon as a slightly less oppressive religion - perhaps this is because we see so few of its rites that I begin to imagine it doesn't have many - the sending, the prayer in the temple, the pilgrimage. That last one is based wholly on guilt which is why I think your interpretation is plausible, but again, I don't like it. I think that Yevon would have to offer a lot of solace of some kind to its followers. They certainly need it and it seems to be actually not all that demanding in the game. I mean, you don't see people going off to church or performing involved daily prayers or fasting. And the only prohibition you hear about is machina. Anyway, I digress.
These are largely personal opinions, so I'm sorry to have bothered you with them.
You write about the shame and humiliation of a young man very well. Ikvan is utterly repulsive, which is what you are going for I think. I rather like the way you make him seem almost excited at having seen Auron's initial transgression.
Your prayer is quite a plausible prayer, couched in suitably formal language, but nothing too complex.
"At twelve, the boy should have gone to an orphanage --raising a child was no duty of a monk." Replace "of" with "for."
"As he cast the Life spell, Ikvan turned his back to Auron, this measure of dignity more for himself than that of Auron." Replace "of" with "for."
"He meant it all, badly." I don't think "badly" is the word you want here. Perhaps "strongly" would be better.
"He deserved the secret, scornful and judgmental whispers he excepted to be waiting him upon his return." "Waiting" should be "awaiting."
Author's responseThank you again for the thoughtful review!
In my head, Auron became a warrior monk because it was most honorable to both his parents to do so --monks are both fighters and thinkers. Also, Auron at this age (along with most Spirans) believe following Yevon is the only true way to eventually be rid of Sin.
I read Auron as a very (but not completely) regretful and guilty person. I believe it is regret which brings him back to attack Yunalesca. He also probably dwells on the past, considering he's sticking around as an unsent, and doesn't usually seem particularly happy about that. I think he's also loyal to a fault, which can be mistaken as either of those. But I think he is also someone who recognizes those flaws in himself, eventually.
I see the religion of Yevon as resembling pre-reformation Catholicism with a touch of Buddhism, but that's totally filtered through my own experience and knowledge.
- The objects that are his--that was very touching. They belonged to his parents and he kept them. I really, really liked that touch. :)
It's hard to fashion a religion out of Yevon when it's so vague. I tend to agree they would be strict on those that served them, but would temper it, and perhaps it would be because this is the order of monks serving Yevon it seems so harsh. It wasn't unrealistic, but ouch, Thundaga. Man, that's just ruthless.
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