Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Thing About Powers

If you're just perusing, you might want to wait until you get to the point in the story where I actually link to this profile to avoid any spoilers.

So I think now's a good time to finally talk about powers.

Those who are born with powers always have them from the day they're born, so it changes their view and their reaction to the world.

For example, Michael, who most likely had his powers since he was little (we assume because of whatever was done to him, right?) has used his ability to delve into people's minds in not very delicate ways in most cases. His immense power and his personality makes him impatient and very over confident in most cases, so he generally lacks fine control. Michael is not likely to change memories, but you wouldn't be able to hide much from him if he wanted to know what you knew. Unfortunately, that could probably cause some serious damage if he were to just rip around a mind.

This has impacted his personality negatively. He was probably always an impatient and slightly irritable child, and with his power and his ability to delve into minds, he probably hasn't seen much good inside the minds of those around him who were experimenting on him or those who might have been around the area.

This might shed some extra light at the end of Chapter 4 where Edy and Michael go into town. She realizes that they knew something bad had happened and no one came to help.

“Why didn’t they do anything?” She asks.

And Michael answers, “People aren’t like you, Edith.”

But true telepaths like Michael are rare. As I see it, there are different levels of mind reading ability (and I'd include empathy here), and I actually also would think that the type of mind is very important.

So not only do powers possibly affect the world view of the character, but their own pathways affect their powers and how they might use it. Two characters may have the same power, but they can use them very differently.

In the case of Brandon being born with his power, his power has definitely affected his personality.

It's got to be a very easy and natural thing for him to bond to people. As I see it, babies naturally want to bond to their care takers because they need it. So if you were a passive sort of telepath like Brandon, receiving thoughts and able to connect to minds, it would have to give you an interesting view of those around you.

Over all, Brandon is therefore much kinder and more compassionate than Michael is. While Michael sees the worst and lacks an ability to understand other humans, Brandon understands them only too well and probably can easily put himself into the place of another person (though I don't mean that he uses his power to do that, just that it's easier for him to step back and see the other side because it's like second nature to him).


  1. The same power yet they have each been shaped by it so differently. Even without their inherent personality differences (leaving aside the powers, I mean), it's got to be a hugely different experience to have been born with the ability to do something than to have that ability thrust upon you as a child.

  2. Ooh, definitely! That's true. That might add to Michael's ability to abuse his power easily since it isn't something that is natural; it's something he's very aware of. Whereas Brandon's never known "normal," so he wouldn't know any different.

    Haha, you've made some observations I hadn't even thought about yet. XD