WHY JOYCE BROWN IS A REALISTIC CHARACTER AKA WHY THAT SHOULD BREAK YOUR GODDAMN HEART
I WAS GOING TO JUST UPLOAD SIMPLE FANART WITHOUT MUCH OF A DESCRIPTION BUT THEN I REMEMBERED THAT ALLEGEDLY IN THE WALKYVERSE/DUMBIVERSE FANDOM THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO THINK JOYCE IS NOT A REALISTIC CHARACTER AND APPARENTLY SHE’S A TWO-DIMENSIONAL SATIRE OF CHRISTIANITY?
LISTEN HERE YOU LITTLE SHITS WHILE I EXPLAIN YOU A THING:
for real tho I’ve said it a thousand times, but I relate to Joyce so much, ESPECIALLY Dumbiverse Joyce (which is why I’m VERY EXCITED to hopefully do her voice justice in the up-and-coming Dubbing of Age project).
Joyce loves people a lot. She loves spending time with them, but it’s not uncommon for her to say something incredibly uncalled for or off-the-wall.
She’s a sweet girl, but doesn’t understand how to be sensitive to issues outside of the bubble she was raised in.
This strip is so indicative of how the Fundamentalist Machine works. Everything has a black and white solution. Going to a questionable party? Just have faith. Parents are divorced? Just make them fall in love again. Doing poorly in school? Just go get a tutor! ___ is a sin? Don’t do it!
Joyce THINKS she knows a lot about how the world works, at least from a textbook view (being told HOW x y and z work, and that x y and z are bad or good), but she hasn’t been exposed to the gray areas in between. And as is so sadly common in the Fundamentalist structure, when you’re surrounded exclusively by people who share your views and don’t get to challenge them…
"concern for one’s soul" festers and takes the place of EMPATHY, which is the whole goddamn point of this write-up.
Joyce wants friends so badly, but for the first time in her life is surrounded by people who DON’T share her views, while being hours away from home.
Take spiritually impaired empathy combined with the demanding “SAVE THE WORLD” burden placed on Christians at large, and the clusterfuck that is Joyce becomes self-explanatory.
And taking all of THAT into consideration, this is probably one of the most heartbreaking strips in the story so far:
Joyce has a hard time relating to people (because of her upbringing), and deep down she knows it.
me too Sarah :(
Anyway, all this to say, Joyce isn’t the only one who was not only RAISED with impossible standards of morality, but EMBRACED them desperately as a symbol of identity.
OKAY I LOST HALF OF THIS POST FOR WHATEVER REASON BUT LET ME SUMMARIZE.
Joyce is simultaneously driven and anchored down by a crippling FEAR.
It’s the fear that drives zealots to picket funerals.
It’s the fear that bullies many people into the abstinence-until-marriage philosophy.
It’s the fear that fuels every extremist Christian that pleads with you to surrender your soul.
Because every day they’re petrified by the whisper in the back of their mind that makes them say:
I’ll say it again: Joyce isn’t alone.
Five years ago, I was Joyce. I went to an internship at Teen Mania Ministries (skipped right to the controversy section because that’s where most people end up anyway), full of Joyces. Some of them are married and having kids. Still Joyces.
I happened upon a group of ex-Joyces that had attended this “school” and they helped me realize the bullshit I was taught. Most of the Joyces from this school have heard what the ex-Joyces have to say, and aren’t quite convinced.
It takes a lot to break out of everything you’ve known your whole life, something that is a constant see-sawing source of hope and devastation.
Not that Joyce’s story as a character needs any validation, seeing as how the AUTHOR OF THE WEBCOMIC WAS A JOYCE HIMSELF.
So pretty much my point is that JOYCE IS A VERY REALISTIC AND UNDERSTANDABLE CHARACTER.
And that fact alone is very, very sad.