Eli as seen by other characters

For discussion of John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel Låt den rätte komma in
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lombano
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Re: Eli as seen by other characters

Post by lombano » Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:50 pm

Aurora wrote:As for the vampire's blood drinking being the equivalent of sex for humans, personally I blame poor writers and directors
'bigging up' that aspect as a way of making them appear to be sexual predators rather than just predators full stop.
QFT - ironically enough, the vampire as a predator appeals to more basic, primeval fears and emotions than sex - after all, absolutely all human beings experience hunger, from infancy to old age, which isn't true of sexual desire. And there is the fear of becoming a prey - also more universal as a basic instinctive fear in the sense of food than in the sense of sexual abuse. The blood-drinking can be made sexual, but eating food can also be made sexual for that matter.


Maybe the review's author is overtrained to look for sexual abuse - apart from based on the film alone it being clear that Eli is 'for real' and not just looking for a Hakan substitute, as several people here have pointed out, you really can't get more asexual than a castrated prepubescent child. Eli is many things, but just about the one thing he is not is sexual.
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Re: Eli as seen by other characters

Post by genie47 » Sat Jul 25, 2009 2:19 am

lombano wrote:The blood-drinking can be made sexual, but eating food can also be made sexual for that matter.
Someone did describe a cheesecake I made to be "orgasmic". :lol:

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TΛPETRVE
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Re: Eli as seen by other characters

Post by TΛPETRVE » Sat Jul 25, 2009 4:37 am

Salad Fingers, anyone :mrgreen: ?
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Re: Eli as seen by other characters

Post by gary13136 » Sun Aug 09, 2009 8:44 pm

cmfireflies wrote:http://cureofars.blogspot.com/2009/04/r ... ne-in.html

That's the link. Apparently I misremembered, it's not so much a review as it is an analysis of film with the central idea of Eli as a sexual predator. Also, there's some Christian imagery thrown in. I really don't want people to start arguing about the merits of the analysis. I merely brought it up because it illustrates how people have wildly different interpretations of the film.

This review is actually more intelligent than the average "OMG this movie is about homosexual pedophilia because Eli is a boy!" rant. Although the basic points of the arguments are nothing new. I got the feeling that the reviewer actually liked the film and then started to think about the implications of the ending. Unfortunately, he or she didn't give any concluding thoughts.
I remember reading this blog quite a while back. The fellow was obviously obsessed with the idea that Eli was a pedophile. It was a more intelligent rant but, alas, still a rant. I tend to be wary of those who insist they are right and everyone else is wrong. I just don't see the pedophilia element in Eli. Not at all.
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stormbringer951
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Re: Eli as seen by other characters

Post by stormbringer951 » Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:21 am

Particularly because Eli is also mentally as well as physically 12 years old. It's a good "different take" on the film, but not one I think fits extremely comfortably.
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Re: Eli as seen by other characters

Post by dongregg » Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:43 am

lombano wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:26 pm
genie47 wrote:Oskar says when he was questioned what is in the box at the end on the train.

"A little of everything."

That is what Eli is a little of everything. Murderer, thief, lover, angel, etc.

Yep, that line sums up Eli perfectly. The epilogue is brilliant, with that line and the final 'Maybe when you're young.'

I love the whole Eli as an angel theme - 'hardly one from Heaven,' yes, but also not truly from Hell - and earthly angel, if that makes sense.
Ah lombano, you really have a knack.
“For drama to deepen, we must see the loneliness of the monster and the cunning of the innocent.”

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Re: Eli as seen by other characters

Post by PeteMork » Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:02 am

@dongregg: I see you've been doing a bit of WTI treasure hunting. :D But I'm glad you resurrected this thread. I found it interesting because it says almost as much about the other 'characters' as it does about Eli. :think:
We never stop reading, although every book comes to an end, just as we never stop living, although death is certain. (Roberto Bolaño)

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Re: Eli as seen by other characters

Post by sauvin » Mon Nov 18, 2019 8:34 am

Yeah, it's been a little while since I've eaten. Couple of days, maybe. Hmmm, what sounds good? Some ravioli stuffed with goat cheese and seasoned shredded beef, lost in a pool of a creamy garlic, parmesan and Asiago cheese sauce, buried with a few different kinds of cheese and baked to a golden brownish perfection, along with a really nice Chianti, maybe? Wouldn't that make the stomach rumble and get the juices flowing?

On an irreverent side note, I sometimes wonder if Eli has a preference. As sharp as her other senses are, maybe type AB negative has some overtones and undertones and a particular kind of finish that type O just can't match? Maybe she likes staying in northern Europe because southern Europe eats too much garlic?

I remember scanning the "analysis" referenced earlier in this thread (can't be bothered to reread it now), and I remember being unimpressed for the same reason somebody else mentioned in this thread: "Did we actually watch the same movie?" Except possibly at a metaphorical level, I can't see Eli being a sexual predator. Granted that different people will see different things in the movie (and novel) - we've certainly seen a variety of different takes just on this board - and granted that it's certainly possible for Eli to have a mechanical or empirical understanding of sexual attraction and how to exploit it as a part of her survival arsenal, I firmly believe that anybody who sees her actually seeking sex as a primary goal is just straight up missing the story's natural foundation.

I remember seeing one of those "demotivational" posters on the Web that featured prominently a generously endowed young woman in a tank top standing in a living room. The shirt was thin, and she clearly wore nothing underneath it. The caption said (something like) "Can you spot what's wrong with this picture? (yeah, right, first thing you noticed was the crooked picture on the wall behind her, uhuh, sure.)" It's been a while since I've seen it, but it was something to this general effect. I can't speak for the ladies, but as a man over the age of (ahem, um, nine?), I can promise the very first thing I noticed was not the crooked picture on the wall.

Does Eli derive sexual gratification from having a long overdue meal? Does she make noises like "om nom ommommnom MmmmMmm" as she enjoys it? Maybe, but I see no reason to suggest that the essential nature of that gratification would differ in any way from what any other twelve year old kid under similar circumstances would experience.

My impression is that a lot of people who write some of these "analyses" won't spot that crooked picture on the wall right away. Many of them won't ever see that crooked picture.
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Re: Eli as seen by other characters

Post by dongregg » Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:46 pm

Never mind any sexualized aspects of Eli in the novel. I think rather of the patient who sees sex in every inkblot. The shrink suggests that the patient is obsessed with sex. The patient responds, "Me? You're the one with the dirty pictures!." I.e., LTROI is a mirror in which we see ourselves.

But I will instead share my first impression of Jocke's death. I felt relief that Eli was slaking her thirst. The novel and film both show her in distress, with Oskar lucky to be spared. "Everyone talks about Eli's drinking; no one talks about her thirst."
“For drama to deepen, we must see the loneliness of the monster and the cunning of the innocent.”

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Re: Eli as seen by other characters

Post by a_contemplative_life » Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:21 am

I agree that the reviewer gets it wrong about Eli, mainly because he applied a trope found in the broader vampire genre to Eli without really thinking carefully about some of the unique aspects of her character. I do think that Eli has an understanding of sexual desire and her capability to manipulate it to her own ends. This is brought out in the novel in the dynamics of her relationship with Hakan.

As for blood preferences, the most we know about that is from Hakan’s inner monologue in the novel when he goes to the forest to find a victim... he excludes an older man in part due to his age. There is also a concern that there be no delay between the kill and consumption.
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