Mind Control

Art of Prose: feelings

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We love that emotional roller coaster while feeling safe at the same time. That’s the purpose of mainstream fiction. Isn’t it? It’s a vicarious need to feel what another person is feeling while still maintaining the ability to return to our lives. This is the reason why movies, music, and written fiction are such a success – in that order.

Along that emotional roller coaster, we experience real-life feelings of those other people, as if we were right there with them. Unlike a roller coaster, we have stops along the way. You’ve had those times when you feel conflicted? You’ve had those times when the turns you should take in life should be clear, but they’re not.

Our protagonist in essay #12 at also has feelings of ambivalence at times.  Let’s summarise how he feels throughout the story first:

  • Adventurous
  • Cornered
  • Trapped
  • Boxed-In
  • Paralysis
  • Impotence
  • Fear
  • Confusion
  • Curiousity
  • Skepticism
  • Disgust
  • Anger
  • Power

There are probably a few that I missed, but this is pretty much the list – except for one particular feeling.  Do you know which one is missing from here?  This is the feeling that comes into to cause that ambivalence – mainly during our protagonist’s weakest moments.  Have you guessed already?

Got it?


You probably remember the mysterious woman with the ruby painted lips, appropriately named “Esprit Controle.”  She’s not exactly a love interest of our protagonist, but she does ring his bell.

That’s right.  Esprit Controle induces feelings of lust in our hero (?) at his weakest moments.  At one point he felt scared, confused, paralysed, impotent, but when Esprit sauntered in with his refreshment, a kind hand, and a warming smile, all of that negativity was shut out.

In fact, the first thought in his mind was to steal her away – even though she was part of the operation. And what do you, as the reader, feel?  If he actually does this, then he would be justified.  Right?  In a way, you attached that justification to the way he was feeling.  N’est pas vrai?

Our hero was unjustifiably trapped and branded like an animal for no particular reason, so however he reacts in retrospect is open season.  Isn’t it?   Our hero is righteous and justified in doing whatever he has to escape from this bizarre situation.

At the outset, he justifies his feelings by the ignominious actions of others in our minds.   By the same token, he justifies the actions attached to his feelings.

When our hero tours Ellis Town, he has more feelings of confusion and fear than lust, perhaps even disgust when he passes “ye olde spunquellis.”  But when he meets Esprit again, he even gets an amazing testosterone surge that gave him power to knock out armed guards and steal away Esprit.

Was he justified?  You tell me.  Obviously, it wasn’t too smart because she was still part of the operation.  Our hero was just acting on his lust – induced by Esprit Controle.

Tell me.  What have you done at the spur of the moment because of “Esprit Controle?” How were you justified and righteous in your actions?  Did you feel justified because you saw someone in a movie or commercial do the same thing?
I’m asking you this because popular media works very closely with Esprit Controle; she’s an integral part of mainstream news agencies, marketing, advertising, politics, you name it.  She’s the most beautiful person you can imagine – when she wants to be.  Most of the time she’s a dangerous dream – come to life.