Bitten: Grief (Chapter 12)

Nope, I still don’t intend to get into why this is so late, but don’t expect any sort of regularity anytime soon >.> I do have the TV series on Netflix, so I’ll be covering that as well.

Warning: This might get triggering for those recovering from abusive situations, as well as the usual amount of rape and rape culture for this book.

Last time, on Bitten:

“Because obviously human killing is different than wolf killing, because with human killing, you intentionally take the life of another living  being, but when wolves kill, they actually just generate rainbows and fluffy bunnies and unicorns, so it’s totally the opposite. ”

“Do not date this man!”

” They head back to the car,  where they run into Logan, who Clay is jealous of because Elena actually likes him. Unfortunately, he’s dead. End of chapter!”

Clay somehow gets Elena back to Stonehaven, as she’s in a grief-coma herself, barely aware of her surroundings. Which is A-ok! People often react this way to grief, and it was quite a shock finding her friend’s body like that. Elena wants nothing to do with Clay right now, which is also understandable,  but he won’t take no for an answer:

“Let me in, darling. I want to be with you.”

Because in Clay’s world, that’s all that matters. When she continues to say no, he takes out his rage on the walls and objects:

His bedroom door slammed. Then another crash, something larger this time — a nightstand or a lamp hurling into the wall. In my head, I followed the path of his rampage, seeing each piece of furniture smash into bits and wishing I could do the same.

This is not ok: he seems to be angry because she wouldn’t let him into her bedroom, as this only started when she denied him access. Smashing up your property in a fit of rage is juvenile at best, but I can’t help but read this as a warning sign for their relationship.

Back to the overarching moral of the tale: Elena does not smash things because she has a moral compass, while Clay reacts on base instinct and breaks all his things.

[Smashing some china statues] would feel wonderful, but I’d never do it. I’d remember how much time Jeremy  had put into picking them out for me, how it would hurt him if I destroyed his gift.

Instead, she lays in bed wallowing in her grief. Again, a perfectly fine reaction, but I wish she had someone she trusted nearby to help her rather than suffer alone.

Random question: how does Elena know exactly who is standing outside her bedroom door each time she hears a knock? Do they smell different enough through the door to her when she’s in human form? Does she have detailed intuition about how each one would knock in this circumstance? Or is it just lazy writing?

Jeremy comes to Elena’s room, locking himself in and sitting on the bed, touching her, without saying anything. That creeps me out a bit too — how does he know she’s okay with his presence right now? But consent means “not yelling ‘no’ in precisely the right way” in this series, so it’s to be expected. Little things like this help erode the idea of her body and her space belonging to her.

Elena has daddy issues, and sees Jeremy as a surrogate father-figure who is too “moral” to love her. Her tragic backstory includes her foster mother being basically raped in the middle of church service, which probably adds to her desire to excuse Clay’s repeated rapes of her as being her own fault for not saying ‘no’ in precisely the right way.

At least she gets a chance to visit Logan’s grave and get some closure. Honestly, Elena’s grief is portrayed very well in this chapter, at least in my opinion. It’s not as melodramatic as Bella’s blank pages to represent an empty life, but it does pervade her thoughts and narration, tainting everything that happens with her listless sorrow.

Clay reacts to Elena’s crying at the graveside by becoming angry, yelling and disturbing her while Jeremy at least attempts to be quiet. Elena has to interrupt her own grieving to look after Clay because Jeremy apparently told him that going for revenge this very minute was a bad idea but didn’t expressly forbid him from going. Clay’s “special needs” clearly rank precedence in Elena’s mind over her own ordinary needs, and she hides in the truck so that she can come along and be his leash.

Elena has always suffered from irrational rage, which makes her afraid of herself. Good — that’s the kind of instinct that ought to lead her to seek help from a professional rather than shacking up with a bunch of immature men prone to violent rages as well.

Since it’s broad daylight, she suggests killing time by finding out how the town is reacting to the rave from the night before. Clay literally doesn’t understand the point of asking what a bunch of sheep humans think about an event,  but Elena convinces him that werewolves could be outed and he’s apparently realized that would be bad. I guess he’d have to, since that’s the only think separating him from a rogue at this point. They decide to buy a newspaper and keep their ears open while waiting for dark.

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2 Responses to Bitten: Grief (Chapter 12)

  1. Firedrake says:

    I think part of the problem here is that this werewolf community is all about command relationships (much like the picture RTCs paint of the ideal family). Yeah, Elena has no personal space or autonomy, but nor does anyone else there except Jeremy. And everyone else just assumes that that’s the way things should be.

    Elena is an abuse survivor, in the sense that she is still technically alive. But really, the degree to which she has not done anything about her unfortunate head-state is pretty remarkable. No outside help, either real or werewolfish; no attempt to work through her own problems or even admit that she might have any; yeah, I know, there are people like this, but they don’t to my mind make good protagonist fodder.

  2. Pingback: Deconstruction Roundup for July 4, 2014 | The Slacktiverse

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