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Do characters easily forget life lessons they learn?


RainbowMau
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I say it because it seems like they learn life lessons in one episode and they repeat the same mistakes in another, let's review:

 

- Pinkie Pie learned not to judge others rushedly with Zecora, then she judged Princess Luna and the bakers in the train for supposedly eating the cake.

- Fluttershy defeated her fear to dragons in "Dragonshy", then she was scared to watch the dragon migration a season later.

- Spike learned not to be rude with Owlowiscious in season 1 and he was still rude to him two seasons later.

- Twilight learned not to worry for nothing in Lesson Zero, then she overworried a lot when she met her future "her".

 

Am I forgeting any moment?

 

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I say it because it seems like they learn life lessons in one episode and they repeat the same mistakes in another, let's review:

 

- Pinkie Pie learned not to judge others rushedly with Zecora, then she judged Princess Luna and the bakers in the train for supposedly eating the cake.

- Fluttershy defeated her fear to dragons in "Dragonshy", then she was scared to watch the dragon migration a season later.

- Spike learned not to be rude with Owlowiscious in season 1 and he was still rude to him two seasons later.

- Twilight learned not to worry for nothing in Lesson Zero, then she overworried a lot when she met her future "her".

 

Am I forgeting any moment?

Fluttershy has a phobia and borderline personality disorder. It would be like if somebody with arachnophobia killed a spider in their house once and then freaked out when they saw one the next day. You can't learn your fears away.

 

With Pinkie, wasn't she just acting anyway? And even so, this time she had a reason vs Zecora she really didn't have a reason.

 

Is Spike rude to Owlicious? I'm pretty sure it's just for that stupid who joke.

 

Twilight in lesson zero didn't learn not to worry necessarily. Even so, like Fluttershy, this is an integral part of her personality. You can't change this really, although you can control it. And I would say she's gotten better with it since then.

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The way I see it, no one becomes perfect after one random happening. If that does happen that is very rare. For that matter, no one ever becomes perfect. One might learn a life lesson from something but many things can determine if you are able to use the same logic or make the same mistake, perhaps in a different way.

 

The fact that the characters can learn but also still make mistakes makes them more relatable in my opinion. I am sure many of us have learned a bunch of random stuff but we still make mistakes, right?

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Well, you have to remember this is an episodic show, they cannot reach full development within one episode, or the entire show would be for nought.

However, in the earlier seasons they did often forgoe retaining even the most base of the principals they had learned (save for Twilight, who grew quite nicly through s1-3). But they have grown in marginal incriments over the course of the series, but you cannot just solve their personal flaws within a couple of episodes.

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It takes more than just a single lesson to get over some flaws. Fluttershy isn't going to just get over her phobia of dragons just because she dealt with it once. She's also not suddenly going to be some social butterfly just because she's learned about dealing with her shyness. Like she said in Filli Vanilli, "Baby steps"

 

 A lot of the mane six's problems are deeply ingrained into their personality. It's a slow process learning to deal with these. Twilight learning that breathing trick from Cadance didn't mean she wasn't ever going to panic again. They can learn how to deal with these things over time, getting better at it slowly, but those problems might still pop up again. You can actually see the improvement too. Do you really think season 1 Flutters would have been able to deal with Discord? Season 2 Twilight would have been way too much of a nervous wreck to handle being a princess.

 

 Of course the show is also episodic, and the writers aren't perfect. So sometimes characters do seem to forget or take a few steps back.

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I don't think the point of Dragonshy was that Fluttershy had overcome her fear of dragons, it was that sometimes people can surprise you with what they're capable of. She didn't overcome her fear, she just got so mad when she saw her friends hurt that she could forget her fear for a short time.

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Well, characters don't just automatically change like that.

In fact, it makes them more real (to me) that it takes a long while for them to fully learn a mistake even if they might act the exact same way as before.

 

I do believe some lessons change them greatly and we can see that in them, but it still might take a bit of time and everyone acts differently to a situation/person.

 

And I would've excused anyone from that cake bit, no-one knew who ate the cake so accusations go everywhere even if they're not true.

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Imagine that we are watching ten separate 'Hero Journey' stories unfold (The Mane Six, Spike, and the CMC). In any complete character driven tale there will be internal conflict, with variations of said conflict manifesting differently. At the end of the Journey the Hero will have faced and addressed these conflicts and have changed. That change doesn't necessarily mean the character will have fully overcome the internal conflict. Each character has at least one (some several) hamartia like characteristics. The only think that prevents it from being a full blow hamartia is that we expect them to overcome them in some way, at some point. Perhaps never fully (Fluttershy may be situationally addressed - and as the writers have said through her - 'Baby Steps'). Some may be able to come a long way at first glance, only to have specific triggers regress them (Applejack's stubbornness manifesting dramatically in Season 4 when Family and Farm are threatened comes to mind). This is actually a realistic approach to the simple storytelling within the show as we all have attributes and personality flaws we constantly struggle to overcome. Be it pride, selfishness, arrogance, etc. There is no magic 'Good Will Hunting' moment in real life where Robin Williams tells you that it isn't your fault. 

 

Also, there are times when I see people suggest that Fluttershy is still afraid or Pinkie is still prideful and dependent, and on and on. I mentioned above that he flaws may manifest differently, when presented with different challenges. Party of One Pinkie vs Pinkie Pride is an example of what I mean. She was still dealing with a similar internal flaw of being needed and knowing that you are important and have a purpose in others lives. That doesn't mean that she didn't learn from Party of One. Quite the contrary. Her reaction to both situations was distinct enough to show she may indeed have learned one lesson, but needs to learn another. Pride has a lot of ways it can manifest. :)

 

We are not at the end. And even when we do, a few characters may still have some work left. The Heroes Journey and Baby Steps. :yay:

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