Stormrunner1730

Kaladin's Mental Health Depiction Appreciation

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Personally RoW messed up on this, Brandon felt he had to tone back Kal because 2020 and all but I feel that without whatever was there Kal just didn't feel right. There was a dissonance there that wasn't there in WoK, and I'm kind of upset by it.

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28 minutes ago, Frustration said:

There was a dissonance there that wasn't there in WoK, and I'm kind of upset by it.

Would you feel like expanding on that?

We’ve had several perspectives on this book wallowing too much in the actual experience of depression, but I get the impression from you saying Kal was toned down that you think it didn’t go far enough in its depiction. Or that you don’t see circumstances meriting Kal’s reaction. And I’m sure I’m misinterpreting, either way.

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14 minutes ago, Kyn said:

Would you feel like expanding on that?

We’ve had several perspectives on this book wallowing too much in the actual experience of depression, but I get the impression from you saying Kal was toned down that you think it didn’t go far enough in its depiction. Or that you don’t see circumstances meriting Kal’s reaction. And I’m sure I’m misinterpreting, either way.

In WoK I felt Kal, truely felt it, in RoW, it was kind of just said. Which really bugged me, if it had been up to me there would have been more time dedicated to showing us Kal's mental state, it felt more like I was watching someone else feel things instead of feeling it myself, Kal seemed like a secondary character in his own chapter which was disapointing.

Edited by Frustration
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On 1/18/2021 at 7:07 PM, Frustration said:

In WoK I felt Kal, truely felt it, in RoW, it was kind of just said. Which really bugged me, if it had been up to me there would have been more time dedicated to showing us Kal's mental state, it felt more like I was watching someone else feel things instead of feeling it myself, Kal seemed like a secondary character in his own chapter which was disapointing.

Completely agree on wanting more time dedicated to the mental state, but I suspect it would have been overkill for a lot of readers. Partly because of exactly where I felt differently than you did, that it seemed to me like these chapters did an excellent job of sucking us down into Kaladin’s clinically-depressed fugue state.

Thanks, I hadn’t figured out what about these chapters felt so true to life for long-running depression to me, but I suspect it’s exactly what you said: that it felt more like watching somebody else feel things instead of feeling it myself.

That’s what it feels like, to me, to be in the almost-apathetic state where inability to sleep effectively, horror from impotence in the face of friends being hurt, and the crushing weight of everything, all compounded over months leaves you distanced from yourself. Like you’re left kind of watching your life numbly instead of doing and wanting and feeling things.

It’s nicely accentuated by the moments of incomprehensible pain from his nightmares, the constant self-doubt and -castigation, and the erasure of self in order to function to perform his duty when needed. I can see where it might feel more like these scenes were telling about depression than showing us Kaladin’s experience with depression, but that felt real to me.

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I loved it myself and found it resonated with me. Kaladin overall I just find an amazing character and I love him and his arc, I think it's a really good thing.

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I have zero real life experience with depression but I’m 100% in support mode irl for people that need treatment esp our Vets. Kaladin works my nerves to the ninth degree though...I can’t get excited when he does something balling because I know afterwards he will spiral down again for a few hundred pages. Him and Shallan are just exhausting characters to read in these very large books getting hammered over the head over and over again. I had no issues with Vin in Mistborn but those two characters are just hard to get behind in SLA.

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on the bright side, both shallan and kaladin it seems have for the most part gotten to the peak of their mountain, and won't get hammered anymore.

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Personally I loved Kalidan's mental health struggles in this book. As someone who struggles with depression, his experiences hit me hard. I think that for some people it might be overkill to have him so depressed, but it really makes me feel, and I appreciate that. The scene where he breaks down in his room gave me chills, because I've had the exact same thing happen to me. I love when Adolin and Syl come in to try to help, and eventually get him to go out. That's one of my favorite chapters, I love the friendship between those two. Admittedly, because of how I relate to it sometimes reading those parts can be hard, but I also love the depth of which he feels. 

The scene where Hesina convinces Lirin to ask why Noril has painted the glyph on his head resonates with me so much too. Noril explains that Kal gives him hope, he feels that because Kal can get up every day and fight, so can he. That's really the main reason I love these. Because I see him push forward, with the help of friends, and come out stronger at the end. It is so so powerful for me, because I see his pain, but I feel hope that I can feel happy again too, and push through like Kal does.

The part with Tien made me cry, because it impacts Kal so much. Tien gives him hope and love, and Kal finally allows himself to feel that love. And the next part with Kaladin saving Syl was also so beautiful, that chapter is probably my favorite in the book.

Anyway, that was super long, but those are my feelings.

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