I’m referring to the Alice in Inappropriate Touching.
Is she the VILLAIN?
Is she EVIL?
She is the hero of her own story, just like the rest of us. I’m writing this post, because the vast majority of readers don’t seem to understand her.
And I think it’s my responsibility to clear that up. I am the writer, no?
In some ways, I GREATLY admire Alice. She has serious personality problems, but she is highly functioning. I mean, she owns her own company, she’s in a good relationship, she has family that (sometimes) talks to her. She even has friends. Clearly, she wouldn’t have those things if she wasn’t a person with redeemable traits.
But the problem is that for most of the fic, all you see is Bella’s perspective on Alice.
She is actually (in many ways) Bella’s scapegoat. She is certainly a clear indication that Bella has serious problems of her own (if you can look at it objectively).
Do you follow me?
See, when things go wrong for Bella, Alice is an easy person to pin the blame on. Let’s look at the short list of stuff readers blame Alice for:
1. the restraining order
Yes, Alice did get the restraining order, but everyone seems to conveniently forget how the POA came about. Who signed it anyway?
Bella. No one forced her to do it.
2. the situation with Bella’s apartment
Again, Bella has just done what Alice says, without any disagreement.
We see in chapter 5 that Bella actually FAULTS Jasper for arguing with Alice. But I think everyone would agree that Jasper is one of the most well-adjusted characters in the story. He doesn’t let Alice walk all over him. Bella does.
The bottom line is this: Alice only has as much power as Bella gives her. If Bella said, “Meh, I think I’ll take care of myself, thanks.” Alice would either have to put up or shut up (as we used to say back in the day).
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying that these things WEREN’T Alice’s fault, but that, as with MOST things, there is shared responsibility for the outcome.
It would be very easy to point my writerly finger and say “he’s the villain” or “she’s the problem.” Real life isn’t like that. And…even though I write fic, I like to think that the situations are at least SOMEWHAT plausible.
I don’t do villains. I do heroes. All these characters are the heroes of their own story. You’re just getting a limited glimpse at a couple of them, with slivers of some of their family/friends.
So, try to give Alice a break. If you hate her, fine, it’s your life. I personally don’t like to walk around hating people; it’s a waste of energy. But you do what you want to do.
Thanks for reading.