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TheMac04
2011-11-20, 06:54 PM
Or "The Only Plot Point In This Story I Thought Was Stupid".

So, Haley gets hit with the inability to talk because of the shock of her treasure getting destroyed in the hotel fire. Or at least, that's how it's portrayed in the comic. The problem comes up because of this, and doesn't seem to have anything to do with Elan. And then, all of a sudden, now she can't speak because she hasn't admitted her love to Elan. And this is because...why? The reasoning for the speech problem seems to suddenly change from losing all of her money to an emotional issue, with no real explanation for how that makes any sense. And it's even worse because the writing for Haley's internal struggle is really stellar, but if I'm interpreting it correctly, the set-up is confusing in inconsistent. So what's the deal?

Jay R
2011-11-20, 07:18 PM
Or "The Only Plot Point In This Story I Thought Was Stupid".

So, Haley gets hit with the inability to talk because of the shock of her treasure getting destroyed in the hotel fire. Or at least, that's how it's portrayed in the comic. The problem comes up because of this, and doesn't seem to have anything to do with Elan. And then, all of a sudden, now she can't speak because she hasn't admitted her love to Elan. And this is because...why? The reasoning for the speech problem seems to suddenly change from losing all of her money to an emotional issue, with no real explanation for how that makes any sense. And it's even worse because the writing for Haley's internal struggle is really stellar, but if I'm interpreting it correctly, the set-up is confusing in inconsistent. So what's the deal?

You are making the assumption that the reason something first occurred, and the reason it is not yet fixed , are inherently linked. It's not necessarily true.

The reason a car got a bent fender is that somebody ran a red light. The reason it isn't fixed is that the owner doesn't have time to take it to a body shop.

The reason somebody got sick is that somebody else sneezed in an elevator. The reason she is still sick is that she hasn't taken any medicine.

The reason I started reading The Order of the Stick is that it was cited in tvtropes. The reason I still read it is that I enjoy it.

There was clear foreshadowing that Haley was already being tortured by her inability to speak about her nascent love for Elan. When her mind received a strong shock, that problem finally overwhelmed her ability to speak at all.

Gift Jeraff
2011-11-20, 07:27 PM
Her aphasia was tied to her repression of the truth in general. Like, she probably wanted to cry about saving her father, but she "had" to hide why the gold was so important to her. So its destruction was just the final nail in the coffin, not the direct and absolute cause.

TheMac04
2011-11-20, 07:41 PM
I'd still argue (and in fact, am arguing), that it's still kind of a stretch. The real issue I took with this subplot was that it doesn't really have any logical explanation. Sure, this is a story set in a world based around magic, so we can't expect it to have the same rules as ours, but it's neither explained through normal psychiatric reasons (as far as I know, this is not something that happens) or magical reasons. It just comes off as kind of silly to me.

Goosefarble
2011-11-20, 07:41 PM
Yeah. The treasure was just the straw that broke the camel's back.

Wait, V wasn't involved at all...

Allow me to try to elabourate if I can. People who have troubled pasts, people who were abused or witnessed traumatic events and stuff, they have similar things to Haley, and more often than not the trick to getting them out of it or for them to cure themselves has nothing to do with the cause. For example, if someone doesn't speak because their parents were murdered, there are going to be other ways around it than bringing their parents back to life.

It's probably all crap, what I just said, but that's how I figured it.

NerfTW
2011-11-20, 08:08 PM
For the last few weeks, she'd been mocked for her "love" of gold. She had been holding in why she was collecting it. She finally had enough to free her father, and suddenly it was destroyed. This alone put her into shock.

The reason she didn't get over it was because she STILL couldn't tell everyone why she was upset, due to her trust issues. Imagine it this way. You're extremely upset about something, but you're embarrassed to tell your friends. You're crying, and they mock you, thinking it's something minor. You try to tell them, but every time you do you stop yourself because you're embarrassed. So now you're more embarrassed.

Multiply this by a lifetime of hiding things, and the effect is magnified. She wasn't able to get over it until she finally convinced herself to trust someone completely. Keep in mind it was only a week or less that this was occurring. Strip wise, it was a year or so, but in comic time, she was being dragged around and watched by guards, then ferried off to the Oracle and Cliffport that same day. She didn't get a private moment with Elan until the date, where she opened up.

People get hung up on the fact that it was a cypher, but it would be more accurate to read it as babbling, words mixing together, and completely random to the in comic characters. She wasn't directly translating words between her brain and her mouth. She had just clammed up to the point where she couldn't convince herself to speak.

Porthos
2011-11-20, 08:12 PM
Here's the way I look at it. For various reasons, Haley put herself under a lot of mental strain. She was hiding her true feelings from Elan. She was worried sick about getting money to free her father. She refused to open up to (almost) anyone about anything. In short she was withdrawing further and further into a shell and refusing to interact with the rest of the world beyond a certain stereotypical Tee Hee I'ma Thief. This was also combined with a "What I don't care about, can't hurt me" type of philosophy. Unfortunately for her, she did care about a bunch of things and suppressing all of this ate at her.

Twig after twig after twig was added until, finally, seeing all of that gold up in smoke, and all that hard work she had gone to toward freeing her father broke her fragile little grasp on sanity.

Remember, she didn't just have aphasia, she also started to crack up mentally with all of the fragments of her personality starting to talk to her.

And this brings me to "The Cure". The Cure wasn't so much expressing her love to Elan, as she already tried that once and failed. No, her Cure was actually wanting to open up to others, wanting to stop hiding her feelings, and wanting and show Elan how she really and truly felt. In the famous scene in the cafe, she wasn't really trying to open up to Elan or let her mental guards down. Instead she was simply trying to get rid of the problems affecting her.

And by truly and honestly and heartfeltly expressing her love for Elan in one of the most stressful situations in her life, she finally wanted to open up and share her life with others. Or at least Elan. :smallwink: And it is that moment in her life she had enough of a radical shift to shake her out of her self-imposed mental hangups.

Is it a bit tenuous? Perhaps. But only if one looks strictly at the cause of the mental break and not all of the contributing factors to the break in the first place. As said in both my post and in others, it pretty much was a straw the camel's back situation. Therefore the cure didn't have to be directly related to whatever the final piece of straw actually was.

TheMac04
2011-11-20, 08:59 PM
For the last few weeks, she'd been mocked for her "love" of gold. She had been holding in why she was collecting it. She finally had enough to free her father, and suddenly it was destroyed. This alone put her into shock.

The reason she didn't get over it was because she STILL couldn't tell everyone why she was upset, due to her trust issues. Imagine it this way. You're extremely upset about something, but you're embarrassed to tell your friends. You're crying, and they mock you, thinking it's something minor. You try to tell them, but every time you do you stop yourself because you're embarrassed. So now you're more embarrassed.

Multiply this by a lifetime of hiding things, and the effect is magnified. She wasn't able to get over it until she finally convinced herself to trust someone completely. Keep in mind it was only a week or less that this was occurring. Strip wise, it was a year or so, but in comic time, she was being dragged around and watched by guards, then ferried off to the Oracle and Cliffport that same day. She didn't get a private moment with Elan until the date, where she opened up.

People get hung up on the fact that it was a cypher, but it would be more accurate to read it as babbling, words mixing together, and completely random to the in comic characters. She wasn't directly translating words between her brain and her mouth. She had just clammed up to the point where she couldn't convince herself to speak.

This explanation seems the most solid to me. I like the idea of wanting to be with Elan not just because she liked him, but because she needed a confident that wasn't V. It's more relatable that was.

veti
2011-11-20, 09:16 PM
I'm not a doctor, but I've looked at a few web pages...

... and there's no mention of aphasia being caused by any kind of psychological trauma. All the sources I can find suggest that it's a symptom of either illness (including epilepsy, Parkinson's or Alzheimer's, none of which I think Haley suffers from), or brain injury.

Possibly she had a mild stroke. But in that case - since it was so mild - she should have been fully recovered within a few hours. If it were a longer-term brain injury, then her recovery would have been very different - gradual, getting her speech back a few words at a time.

So I'm thinking the Azurite clerics were right when they said there was nothing physically wrong with her (at the time they examined her). It's possible she had a transient ischemic attack (very mild stroke) initially - worked up by the long-term stress of being betrayed (as she saw it) by Roy, out-logicked by Durkon and abused by Miko, and with the loss of the loot as the final straw - but when she recovered, her subconscious had taken over and decided it liked not being able to speak, because it made it so much easier to keep secrets.

So she needed to overcome her subconscious. What that calls for is a strong and pressing motivation, which is what Nale finally provided.

Dr.Epic
2011-11-20, 09:44 PM
It's all emotionally linked. Haley was gathering the gold to free her father, which she'd bee keeping a secret. She'd also be hiding her feelings for Elan, also a secret. See the connection?

Goosefarble
2011-11-20, 10:13 PM
As usual Dr. Epic presents what I was trying to say while simultaneously making it sound less stupid.

TheMac04
2011-11-20, 11:27 PM
Curses, my arch-nemesis!

Tulya
2011-11-21, 12:06 AM
Haley's aphasia is not that unrealistic if you're looking at it in a framework of stressors as playing a primary role in the etiology of most psychiatric disorders. The stressor that serves as the tipping point is not necessarily the greatest stressor - some people have experienced dramatic increases in symptom severity following a positive stressor. A vacation, a promotion, or a recognition ceremony are all wonderful things, but they're all also taxing in some ways.

But storywise, I think the resolution of Haley's aphasia had more to do with her needing to speak because of the extraordinary circumstances. Consider the consequences if she didn't speak then and there: With Elan under Nale's Suggestion, she'd have to fight him. Unarmed, outnumbered, without flankers, death was highly probable. She'd die without Elan knowing she loved him. She'd die knowing Elan hated her, thinking she'd betrayed him and the Order of the Stick. That horror was greater than all of her accumulated stress.

Dr.Epic
2011-11-21, 03:39 AM
As usual Dr. Epic presents what I was trying to say while simultaneously making it sound less stupid.

What are you trying to say? That I used rationality to calmly explain something? Well logic has no place on the internet, so allow me to retract my statement and offer a replacement that's more internet appropriate:

OMG! Haley's brain LOL'd because King Leonidas Sparta kicked he verbal speech out of her brain center because ninjas. Later, she get it back because someone leave Britney alone. And something about a series of tubes. FTW!

How's that?

ThePhantasm
2011-11-21, 05:55 AM
The problem was caused by her habitual suppression of the truth and inability to open up to anyone. Money is closely connected to her secrets - she is a thief. The problem was cured when she opened up to someone about the thing that she most wanted to keep secret from them.

Jay R
2011-11-21, 09:19 AM
What are you trying to say? That I used rationality to calmly explain something? Well logic has no place on the internet, so allow me to retract my statement and offer a replacement that's more internet appropriate:

OMG! Haley's brain LOL'd because King Leonidas Sparta kicked he verbal speech out of her brain center because ninjas. Later, she get it back because someone leave Britney alone. And something about a series of tubes. FTW!

How's that?

Perfect. I will not add another word to this thread.

Goosefarble
2011-11-21, 11:45 AM
What are you trying to say? That I used rationality to calmly explain something? Well logic has no place on the internet, so allow me to retract my statement and offer a replacement that's more internet appropriate:

OMG! Haley's brain LOL'd because King Leonidas Sparta kicked he verbal speech out of her brain center because ninjas. Later, she get it back because someone leave Britney alone. And something about a series of tubes. FTW!

How's that?

No I uh, I was just trying to say that the way I explained it was less good than the way you explained it. But uh... your new way's good too.

:smalleek: pleasedon'thurtme.

irenicObserver
2011-11-21, 08:05 PM
This thread is slowly turning into a parrot ranch. :smallsigh:

TheMac04
2011-11-21, 11:56 PM
This thread is slowly turning into a parrot ranch. :smallsigh:

Are you trying to set up a one-liner?

irenicObserver
2011-11-22, 02:27 PM
No, it's just that reading some of these posts made me feel like there was an echo in here. Or maybe just a whole lot of ninjas.

martianmister
2011-11-23, 01:39 PM
Her illness is related to pseudo-science of Phrenology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phrenology). Her brain parts about the secrets was full and inflated by secrets, so she didn't have any more place for secrets. Because of that, her brain did preserve these secrets by paralyzing her speech.

Dr.Epic
2011-11-23, 02:48 PM
No I uh, I was just trying to say that the way I explained it was less good than the way you explained it. But uh... your new way's good too.

:smalleek: pleasedon'thurtme.

I was learned from the master of non sequitur. (http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/teamt/sadpanda/forget-about-it/31496-pirates-of-the-caribbean):smallwink:

Vinyadan
2011-11-23, 02:53 PM
(as far as I know, this is not something that happens)

I'm no physician, but I read an episode in Freud's Clinical Cases where nervous aphasia was also named (Dora's case).