I agree, LLE. She's really the ticker of this story. I'm fascinated by her. She's a telepath (bestowed gift) that causes more heartache than happiness. I wonder if, in the end, this finally leads to her happiness?
LOL I cant count them.. Just on a side note, today I went on FB (starting to really get the hang of it) and I saw a "like" I thought it totally suits Sookie's character. "Yes, I've changed. Pain does that to people" Im so worried what CH has planned next for that poor girl. She really irks me, but it makes her so much more appealing as a character.
I also have to say "yahoo palace" really made me cringe, but now I just laugh. I have to say living in the South I have never come across anyone saying that though. Wonder where or how CH comes up with some of her expressions.
I wonder where Sookie' will be at the end of the series. She'll obviously be a lot harder than she was at the beginning, heck she already is. I just hope she'll still have an underlying sweetness and willingness to do the right thing. I do hope she'll be less judgemental.
I think one of the things that's unique about this series is how CH keeps Sookie rooted in her humanity. Other series in the UF/paranormal genre feature heroines who either are or become partially supernatural themselves, and quickly adjust to the violence in their worlds. Despite being part fairy, Sookie still identifies with humans, and feels their deaths more sharply. I'm guessing that's because somehow they're more real to her? It's interesting that she questions that in herself as possibly prejudice. When I get impatient with her for second guessing her actions and being judgmental, I try to imagine myself in a similar situation, with people dying around me, and all kinds of supernatural struggles going on, all within 2-3 yrs time. It's a lot of change to absorb.
CMH, I think she's so aware of her human side because she's known about that side longer. I also think that as the stories have progressed, she has become more aware of the Supes and their take(s) on things.
I don't think Sookie is anymore judgmental than anyone else, in fact, I think her level of tolerance, especially of the supernatural world, is phenomenal for a human. She may be grossed out by the panthers and Weres mating practices, because her emotional side can't comprehend it, but I think she still respects Calvin and Alcide as men, and the weres right to conduct their (nontraditional human) traditions.
I don't think it's fair to Sookie to expect her to accept all that is supernatural because she is now going to be a part of that world forever. She's already accepted a lot, but there are bound to be limits because she's not a supe. Her telepathy and small streak of fairy hasn't fundamentally changed who she is, and overall, I think all supes still see her as inferior.
Sookie's pragmatism and sensibility has made her ruthless in her will to survive, but I think she will always struggle with the consequences of her actions. The question is, what is the point in killing to survive, if you can't live with what you've done in order to survive? How can Sookie be glad to be alive when the reason she is alive is because she took the life of another? - These questions makes my head spin!
I don't think the supes see her as inferior, humans in general, perhaps, but not Sookie. In fact, I think that's the draw of the supe world for her, that with everyone having supernatural abilities, she doesn't stand out like she does in the human world, where they do look down on her. I see the supes treating her with respect, whether as an ally or adversary. Both fairies and vamps have risked their lives for her.
Kindred, those are some good questions. I think Sookie is beginning to be okay with others dying if that means she gets to live. If it bothered her enough, she probably would have walked away from this kind of life a while ago. Maybe having the spark, which makes her more open to the supe world helps her deal with that kind of life.
I wonder how Sookie would deal with things if some of her close friends and family were to die. She might begin to hate this lifestyle if some of the people she really loved died, especially if they died protecting her or because of something that she did. I think that CH will probably kill off someone like Bill, Sam, Pam, or Jason, so Sookie can figure out if she can live with this life when the people she really counts on aren't in it.
Her grandmother is the only person that really meant a lot to her that has died because of her involvement in the supe world. In a way, her grandmother's death was necessary for her supe life to evolve. If Adele had lived, she would have avoided a lot of the situations that she's been in so that Adele would not have had to worry about her.
cmh, I think that is one of the best parts of this series is that Sookie has not lost her humanity. It definitely makes this series stand out from the others where the characters dive head first into the supe world. That's what I like about Sookie is that she seems so real. I love it that she gets so conflicted about death because I would be feeling the same way in that situation. But I've gotta say that I would never be as brave as she is. Sookie is adapting to the supe world though. She's slowly been changing throughout the series. IMO, Sookie is handling everything quite well. Sookie may kill when necessary, but I think she'll always feel somewhat guilty because her humanity isn't going to fade away.
Yes, a handful of supes have come to value Sookie for more than her telepathy after they got to know her, but I think overall, supes see themselves as superior to humans which includes Sookie. The fae, in particular, see her as inferior even with her small streak of fairy. Niall loves her and tries to protect her, but I think that it comes from a place where he sees her as something as less than, not exactly respect as an equal. I also think the vamps who love her have a sort of love/hate thing with her humanity. Eric for example, probably loves that she treats him with respect and has risked her life to save him, but the fact that she is willing to do that for others baffles him. Pam doesn't understand what difference it makes to Sookie if you kill someone in self-defense while being directly attacked, or if you kill an enemy after plotting there murder first. After Victor and co. are murdered, Bill thinks Sookie is naive, and he can't understand why she isn't happy she survived. They all love Sookie and her humanity, but they can't understand it, and seem to view Sookie as faulty because of it.
I also agree, Sookie has accepted a lot of things in the supe world, and she has more than she had before when she was the lone 'freak'. But, I also think she's paying a hell of a price and getting little in return.
Kindred, Niall valued his human wife over his fairy wife, and Claudine died protecting Sookie. I think one of the things Eric values in Sookie is her loyalty, which he first saw in relation to others. He was a loyal man in life, and I don't think they necessarily lose all their human traits in their vampire afterlives. I agree Pam wouldn't have a problem taking someone out for any practical reason, but Bill was pointing out to Sookie that although the assassination was clearly an aggressive act, it was provoked and ultimately a self-defense in that Victor would've taken them out if they hadn't acted.
"I also think she's paying a hell of a price and getting little in return." I pretty much agree with you. I think Sookie feels that this life is better than the one she was living before. I know she has found some good friends and love in the supe world, but she has also seen a lot of death and nearly died many times. That says a lot about how lonely and isolated that she used to feel to consider this life preferable. I know that only a few supes truly value Sookie, but she is valued by them a lot more than she is by humans. Almost all humans consider her to be a freak except for when they can use her for some reason.
"The fae, in particular, see her as inferior even with her small streak of fairy." I think the fae consider themselves to be superior amongst other supes, so it's not surprising that they see Sookie, who is mostly human, as way beneath them. Niall's got to be using her for something or else I can't figure out why he wants anything to do with her. If he had a relationship with her just because he genuinely loved her, he would have a relationship with Jason too.
I think Eric, Pam, Bill...the supes that know her think of her as human. But I also think by and large the supe community in general consider her one of them, a supe too. She is other, special, set apart from the humans. I think that is why they talk about her on the internet, and that is why she is the only human invited at Dracula Night, or the Were contest and no one thinks twice about it. So to vamps that only casually know her or Were's or hot shot people, she is one of them. Ultimately, I think she will figure this out instead of straddling two worlds the way she has been, I think she is going to realize she is already firmly in the supe world for good, whether she chooses to be or not. Maybe that is the greatness, she is the Super Sookie Human Supe - say that ten times fast. ;)
I'd venture to say that most people think their "whatever they are" is, in general, the best. Then, you learn, you travel, etc. and you realize that you have more in common with "others" than you thought/knew. It's called growing up. I think that's exactly what Sookie is discovering/learning in this series. And you also learn that some will never think anything than they and theirs are best (I see this being the Fae in CH's world, unless Sookie and her 1/8th blood saves them from themselves. :) ).
Vamps: Take Pam, for instance, I'd say in this last book (her loss), she's probably adjusted her thoughts about humans a lot since being turned into vampire so many years before. And Eric - here's a guy that is ALL vampire. He's surrounded by the vamp's political world, the were world, etc. Yet, he's changed enough to blood bond with a human (granted a special human, but still a human).
The interesting aspect to me as I write this may be that Sookie is actually the exception to the rule in her human case. I think before the Supes were around she generally disliked her life as a telepathic - freak, crazy, weird - human. She just wanted to be normal and was willing to take crap from people (Arlene, anyone?) to have a feeling of normal in her own world. I sincerely doubt that she would put up with Arlene in any form at this point in the series.
I think it's amazing that Sookie has much empathy for humans period, especially because it seems the people in Bon Temps have mostly disgusting and morally-repellent thoughts, lol. I think there is much more kindness in the world than Sookie has apparently been subjected to. Another reason I love Sookie.
Here's a question I always wonder about when we talk about the Sookieverse: What exactly is humanity anyway? Is it a predisposition towards empathy, altruism and cooperation? If it is, I don't see that humans are particularly good at it, at least not an overwhelming majority of them. We've seen the humans in the series be as monsterous as the monsters. That kind of makes you wonder about how much "humanity" humans have.
Lady B makes a good point. Our current S is new and improved with much better self esteem. This allows her to expect more loyalty, respect, and kindness from friends. She is one human who has definitely benefited from the sups revealing themselves.
And following KCS's thoughts, let's look at the first SVM villains: The Ratrays. The guy who killed Adel. FOTS. The sex parties. The residents of BT shun S for her "difference". Her brother is a self-centered, ignorant, small-minded putz. CH does not write kindly of the humans as she portrays most as evil, murdering, selfish, lieing, prejudiced jerks. The only nice one, Terry B, is brain damaged! So far the only honorable characters have been S, Adel, E, and Pam. (Sorry BLs, Bill has not yet redeemed himself IMO)
IMO CH has done that shown that vampires and humans are really not all that different. Yes, there are some instinctual differences, but a lot of their actions are the same. Humans aren't violent as often as vampires probably because they can get injured and die more easily. Plenty of the humans in Sookieverse don't seem to have good self-control, just like many of the vampires. Eric and Sookie had a conversation in DTTW where they discussed humans and vampires. Eric had said that all vamps are murders and that a lot of humans are too. The pathetic thing is that humans have reasons that, most of the time, are not as valid for killing. Vampires in the beginning have no choice but to kill; they are born killers. Humans aren't born killers but yet choose to be.
One of the main differences is that vampires don't seem to have the morals that humans do, but humans might have attitudes more like vampires if they lived long enough to experience all of the violence and death that vamps do. In Sookieverse with the invention of synthetic blood, it has made vamps more like humans in a way, because now that vamps have revealed themselves, humans and vamps are both trying to conform to the same social norms. For the newer vamps, they may not develop the same jaded attitudes as the older ones have because they will only know a life where they live side by side with humans. So vamps and humans are different but not in that many ways.
I don't think, in general, that CH's interest lies in the warmer side of humanity, so to speak. I'd have to go back and reread, but my impression of the worlds in which her other heroines dwell is kind of cold and unwelcoming. Esp the Harper Connelly books. People really came off badly there. Lily Shakespeare and Aurora Teagarden, similarly, I can't think of many close friends either of them had.