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Date Posted: 15:34:09 04/10/06 Mon
Author: andrea gaudiano
Subject: Re: looking for clues in season buffy six: 'normal again'
In reply to: scott 's message, "looking for clues in season buffy six: 'normal again'" on 23:24:42 04/08/06 Sat

which is real? buffy in the asylum or buffy in sunnydale?
(Pls don't dismiss my answer as flip - I'm very serious)
Answer: neither is real.
Analysis: it's like asking what's real about any fictional character. It's like asking "is spiderman real?" Fiction is not reality. As far as what's quote-unquote "real" within the context of that piece of fiction, it's a moot point: the authors could decide that the asylum is "real," then, in a later episode, decide the asylum was in another alternate dimaension, and sunnydale is really "real," then later come up with a newer yet explanation - but it'll still be fiction, and subject to new decisions by the authors.
of course Buffy's friends are real! ; ) and I love them!
Joking aside, fiction is not real, but "Normal Again" is a brilliant episode: technically it goes to masterful measures to leave the question unanswered (other than as I suggest, probably); more importantly, it shows tremendous depth on so many fronts. Finally, it masterfully deals with a narrative cliche', and provides a profound narrative solution that is unprecedented in the Lit and flicks I've studied: i.e., the protagonist's (and viewers') dilemma about which is real (my sunnydale nightmare or my asylum relief) is solved by the character's identity and psyche herself, even though it's with the subconscious intervention and help of the mother (or mother figure): rather than a deus-ex-machina solution from the outside, or an unsatisfactory I-woke-up-and-it-was-just-a-dream, it is the protagonist -the hero- who, at the end of the episode, comes to the deepest grip with her identity, and she chooses not so much which reality is real, but WHO she really is.
Yet another episode that makes this series even more advanced than any literature i've studied.

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