Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Contradiction

I take an interest in evaluating things - especially people.  Today, I'm going to evaluate an aspect about myself.

I am a contradiction.  One side of me is quiet, shy, thoughtful, reserved, and unassertive, like Jane Bennet.  The other side of me is more like Elizabeth Bennet.  The Elizabeth Bennet part of me is talkative, spirited, and of a more open temper.  This part of me is also cheerful, energetic, and hyper...perhaps a bit like Emma Woodhouse?

I call these contradicting sides of me the "Melanie side" and the "Scarlett O'Hara side".  Half of me is like Melanie Hamilton, the other half of me is like Scarlett O'Hara.  

Olivia de Havilland as Melanie Hamilton
in Gone with the Wind.
I feel that the Melanie side of me is what most people see at first.  When people come to know me well enough, the Scarlett O'Hara side of me is revealed.  Because of this, I feel like the Melanie side of me is on the outside, and the Scarlett O'Hara side of me is on the inside, though in truth I think they're both a part of me.  Most people think of me as someone who is shy, timid, and nice.  The problem with this, though, is I end up being tactless more often, since I'm so used to others assuming I'm always polite.  Politeness seems to be associated with shyness.  My great grandmother was like Melanie Hamilton in the way that she was gentle, kind, selfless, and pure of heart.  As a result of this association with my great grandmother, I have always liked the character of Melanie in Gone with the Wind, despite her one sided nature.  Scarlett O'Hara is more complicated.  She has more layers and more faults, which make her appear human and "three dimensional", and people can relate to her.  I don't completely agree with this idea, however.  I think Melanie is also a complicated character, but this is harder to see because of her subtlety.  I'm not even sure if her character was meant to have complications.  It's an idea of mine, and even if the writer of her character didn't intend it, that is what I perceive.  It's open to interpretation.  Now I'm contradicting myself again!  This is another way I contradict myself - there are usually two different ideas in my head at the same time.  This is why I do not do well in debates, despite how much I love them; I always come up with another idea that opposes the first idea I had.  I also have trouble with not wandering to different topics in discussions...

...where was I?

Melanie Hamilton and Scarlett O'Hara are like two opposite elements of human nature.  Melanie seems to be the opposite of Scarlett in every way.  If I were to express their differences using color, I would paint cool colors to represent Melanie, and warm colors to represent Scarlett.  Whenever I watch Gone with the Wind, I find myself relating to and sympathising (Living in America, I presume I'm supposed to spell sympathise with a z, but I prefer to revolt and do it the British way.  An s looks better, anyway...) with both Melanie and Scarlett.  Underneath the English-like coolness and reserved attitude (the reserved attitude is known to be present in English culture), I am more like Scarlett, and the Irish in me comes to life.  Irish women are known for their fiery temper.  They are strong and spirited, which I believe was present especially in the time of the Celts, and the Pre-Celts, as well.  Pre-Celtic and Celtic culture perceived women as equal, and they were very powerful and full of spirit.  This reminds me of the women in Spartan culture.  Spartan girls were trained physically for fitness as well as the boys, and Spartan women had more rights and were more equal compared to Athenian women.  Of course not all Irish women are as I have depicted, but in my eyes, those that are shy are most likely spirited beneath.  Who knows?  They could just be hiding it.

Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind.
One of the things I identify with the Scarlett O'Hara side of me, is the desire for vengeance.  I'm a very vengeful person.  Even if I accidentally hit my elbow on a wall, I will hit that wall back - and I have pretty sharp elbows, let me tell you.  I know, it sounds a bit nasty, and maybe a little intense...but I can't help it.  Vengefulness is a part of my nature, and my personality.  It's debatable whether or not it is a flaw, but flaw or not, I will always have it.  No matter how contradictory, it is how I will always be.


  1. I completely get this post. It is often how I feel. At home among my family I am much more of a bubbly personality, but in public I tend to be shy. Unless you are a really close friend then I start to get bubbly.
    I have a very frustrating ability to see both sides of and issue.I can also understand where they are coming from even when I don't agree with them. When you talk about making arguments that contradict each other reminds me of that.

    1. You have no idea how happy it makes me to know that other people feel this way, too! :) I think part of it may be empathy; like you said, we often try to see the other person's point of view, and what their opinion is, even if we disagree with them. It can be frustrating to have contradicting ideas! :/