The Declaration, chapter 14

This one’s a short chapter, but chapter 15 looks eventful so I didn’t want to do them both at once.

Anna wakes up in Solitary, where she’s conveniently in the cell next to Peter. As planned, they will be leaving tonight, between the midnight rounds and Evil Mrs Pincent’s 4am visit to make Peter ‘disappear’. That means she’s going to have him killed, by the way. I wouldn’t want you to miss the point because it was too subtle.

She heard Peter laugh and it made her glow with pride.”

The other unsubtle thing about this chapter is how Anna is becoming an obedient female who will follow the Great and Wonderful Peter wherever he goes.

In order to get out later, Anna will need to climb over the wall and through a gap into Peter’s cell. She’s not sure she can do it, so Peter decides to demonstrate how easy it is – for him, at least.

“’Who did that to you?’ Peter asked angrily. ‘Tell me who did it.’

Anna shrugged. ‘No one. I mean, it doesn’t matter.’

It matters to me.’

Anna looked up at Peter curiously.

No one had ever wanted to protect her before.”

Well, aside from the fact that Peter’s motivation is only implied, I find this part troublesome. Of course if one of my friends got beaten up, I’d be concerned for them, but this scene just smacks of “helpless female needs strong protector male to look after her”. I don’t like Anna much, but I don’t want her to just be a helpless protagonist. I think I would have preferred it if the scene had gone like this:

“’Who did that to you?’ Peter asked, a note of concern in his voice.

Anna shrugged. ‘It doesn’t matter. I’ve had worse.’

And that’s why we need to get out of here. No one will do that to you on the outside.’

Anna looked up at Peter curiously.

No one had ever cared about her wellbeing before.”

Anna still can’t even reach the top of the wall, so Peter climbs over and gives her a boost up.

“’See? Easy,’ he said, a satisfied grin on his face. ‘Any other problems you want to freak out about before we go?’

Anna shook her head and blushed, embarrassed at how quickly she’d given up. Perhaps she wasn’t quite as invincible as she thought.”

Because she’s a girl, and can’t possibly be as awesome as Peter.

Seriously, there’s no reason to make Anna feel bad here. She’s likely shorter than Peter, and I can’t imagine she’s had much opportunity to practise her climbing skills. She couldn’t quite make it, but it’s okay, because Peter was there to help her and they’re supposed to be working together to escape. At some later point, maybe Anna will be able to do something Peter can’t, and then she’ll help him without mocking and berating him for his lack of experience, or for ‘freaking out’.

Anna gives Peter the Cornish pasty she’s had squashed in her pocket since earlier, and he says that he came to rescue her essentially because he wanted a friend. Since Anna’s parents kept talking about her, Peter basically fantasised this whole reality where the two of them would be great buddies, and he wouldn’t be so lonely. So essentially, Peter’s that crazy stalker who has photos of his target pasted all over the walls.

Not that it matters, because for all that he likes her, Anna is sure to like him back.

Anna now knew that, whatever happened, she would follow Peter anywhere.”

Except into the men’s bathroom. They don’t want bitches in there.

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