"I'm protecting you" theory

#1emuriiPosted 4/24/2012 6:52:32 AM
(SPOILERS, obviously)

Playing through for my second time, I've developed another theory on Catherine's controversial "I'm protecting you" line.

I think it might be about the ants. We know that Catherine is afraid of the ants, and we know that the ants are emissaries of the Witch. The ants come out of the mouths of the dead men. I think this interpretation requires a much deeper understanding of Rapunzel than I have at this point, but embracing the theory that the Witch is Ishtar (rather than Katherine), I think that Catherine may be trying to protect Vincent from Ishtar.

This would also shed a new light on some other things, such as why Catherine is spending so much time with Vincent even though she's supposed to be seducing other men (both protecting him from Ishtar's ants because she loves him and also trying to avoid luring more men into Ishtar's trap).

I've liked other explanations I've read listing Katherine as what she's protecting him from, but I think this is an interesting interpretation as well.

Thoughts?
#2bond007106Posted 4/24/2012 3:14:26 PM
Are you high?
Neither Ishtar nor Katherine is the Witch. The Witch is another character (whom I won't name if you don't know yet), but more importantly the Witch is a red herring. She's not important to the plot.
The ants aren't particularly important to the game, either. The stuff Lindsay and Martha say about them (that they are messengers of witches, and that they come from the mouths of the dead men) should be taken with a pinch of salt. The main purpose of the ants in the game is a purely symbolic one. In dream analysis, ants mean that there is pressure to conform in your social or personal life, or that you are dissatisfied with your current situation.

You're really over-analyzing Catherine's "I'm protecting you" line. The simple answer is that she thinks she's protecting Vincent from a life of drudgery and disappointment under Katherine's thumb.
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http://myanimelist.net/animelist/kunino-sagiri
#3Mana_RunighaPosted 4/24/2012 9:07:34 PM
Exactly as bond has said. The game explains everything pretty neatly. You can have your own fun with interpreting the game how you want, but if we are talking about established canon, then no.
#4emurii(Topic Creator)Posted 4/25/2012 6:46:08 AM
bond007106 posted...
Are you high?
Neither Ishtar nor Katherine is the Witch. The Witch is another character (whom I won't name if you don't know yet), but more importantly the Witch is a red herring. She's not important to the plot.
The ants aren't particularly important to the game, either. The stuff Lindsay and Martha say about them (that they are messengers of witches, and that they come from the mouths of the dead men) should be taken with a pinch of salt. The main purpose of the ants in the game is a purely symbolic one. In dream analysis, ants mean that there is pressure to conform in your social or personal life, or that you are dissatisfied with your current situation.

You're really over-analyzing Catherine's "I'm protecting you" line. The simple answer is that she thinks she's protecting Vincent from a life of drudgery and disappointment under Katherine's thumb.


Woah, the trolls came out so fast!!

You clearly are determined to view the entire game as a linear, easy to digest story. If you want to do that, then that's fine! But this game is not that. At all. They invite you to interpret and reinterpret and analyze and overanalyze again and again in this game. Did Catherine and Vincent ever even have sex in the first place? Did Katherine actually not experience any of 8-1, or did she just forget it? Or did she remember it? There is a lot to look at.There is a LOT of symbolism and cross-interperability between Rapunzel and Catherine as the main story. There are a LOT of analytic threads on this board if you go back into the old posts. Simmer down! No need to insult people, bro.

Now that that's out of the way...

1.) I know that Erica says she's the Witch, but isn't THAT the red herring? They try to play it off like the Witch isn't important, but really it's just a mechanism of drawing you into the Rapunzel game if you aren't playing it already. Rapunzel is a highly complicated mechanism that serves both (a) to allow you puzzle practice, which is not even needed considering all of the replayability of Nightmare mode they afford you, and (b) to allow you to explore the Catherine story line by establishing a fable as a backdrop for literary analysis. The Witch is, IMO, one of the most important and interesting characters in the entire game, precisely BECAUSE we are never given a satisfactory answer as to who she is and what she represents. Again, I need to finish the Rapunzel story, so I can't really discuss this without input from someone who has. But, saying that the Witch (and the ants) is "unimportant to the story" is to miss the literary value of the Catherine narrative in its entirety. This game is too well-planned; there are no lines "to be taken with a pinch of salt."

2.) Your dream analysis point is really interesting! I think this goes to the Ishtar point even more sharply. I haven't played through the Ishtar ending, so I'm not sure exactly what she says, but it seems that she's particularly targeting those dissatisfied people, doesn't it? I'd be curious to read the two Catherine novels, as I imagine that would shed more light on this topic.

(Ran out of character count! On to post 2!)
#5emurii(Topic Creator)Posted 4/25/2012 6:46:33 AM
3.) You say the "simple answer" is that she's protecting Vincent from "a life of drudgery and disappointment under Katherine," but isn't that all interpretation as well? ;) There is no simple answer, because the line doesn't make sense in context.

As audience members we know that Catherine has known about Katherine this entire time (or at least, we can make a pretty solid assumption). But from Vincent's point of view, in context, Catherine shouldn't know about the state of Vincent and Katherine's relationship. She's supposed to have JUST found out about her. Yet, the line "You really should not leave me -- I'm protecting you" implies that the protection has been ongoing. In my view, it implies something a little bit more than just protection from Katherine.

Catherine is a succubus -- she knows that what she does isn't holy. She never makes any claims to have been protecting Steve, or anyone else she's seduced. In her True ending, Catherine admits as much when she says "I might have to do what I did to you to other guys." My gut is that this refers to an affliction rather than the sex. (If I had the Japanese line I could make a definitive call, but based on the translation it's a little ambiguous.) Therefore, Catherine is making an exception for Vincent. I think this "protection" has to imply something more than just her usual modus operandi of seducing unhappy men.

...So no, I'm not high, if that's what you're asking.
#6Mana_RunighaPosted 4/25/2012 5:14:06 PM
Hope you never read a mystery novel, bro. Red herrings are thrown in for the sole purpose of throwing you off. There are no loose ends in the story mode.

*SPOILERS FOR WHAT YOU HAVE NOT COMPLETED*









Rapunzel is the Witch. This is more in line with what Catherine really is and not the actual story. Ishtar is looking for a new consort and this story is nothing more than a tool for her to find that: YOU. She could care less about those who are miserable and has a fetish for those who can climb those block towers quite well.

8-1 was all a dream. There was never a confrontation with Katherine/Catherine. That was made clear in the game and it is unnecessary and pretentious to think otherwise about that scene.

Catherine had nothing to protect Vincent from other than a dull life with Katherine. Her job was to break up the man's current relationship, but we do not know the exact details of what she was doing with men like Steve. Yes, she likes Vincent more than the others, but the "I'm protecting you" line has no significance as far as I'm concerned. We can analyze it all we want, but if Atlus won't clear it up (which they won't) there is no point in getting worked up over it.

Catherine is not a deep, deep story. It delves more into relationships and metaphors than most other games, but it has a linear story. The only thing that changes throughout the multiple playthroughs is Vincent's thinking and then the eight endings where you choose chaos, law, or freedom. Everything is explained and it is made clear by the end. Everything is in a tight package with very little room of interpretation. People want things to have more meaning than what is actually presented, but sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Sometimes ants are in your house because you left sweet food out for them.

tl;dr: if you are going to be throwing in elements of the story like the Rapunzel game and Ishtar's motives to create theories, it would really help your case if you knew what they are. No need to call a bond a troll when they are legitimately discrediting your theories and no need to insult their intelligence when they back it up with concrete and credited evidence from the game.
#7emurii(Topic Creator)Posted 4/26/2012 3:44:05 AM
Mana_Runigha posted...
Hope you never read a mystery novel, bro. Red herrings are thrown in for the sole purpose of throwing you off. There are no loose ends in the story mode.

Sis here. o/ I know what a red herring is. I disagree with you!

Rapunzel is the Witch. This is more in line with what Catherine really is and not the actual story.

Oh, this is interesting! I really need to complete Rapunzel mode. :(

Ishtar is looking for a new consort and this story is nothing more than a tool for her to find that: YOU. She could care less about those who are miserable and has a fetish for those who can climb those block towers quite well.

I know the Ishtar storyline as I've had it spoiled, just not specific dialogue components. You don't think the 4th wall breakage is an invitation to interpret even further? Midnight Venus' explaining the subtext of the story is like, the hugest invitation.... what narrative gives away all of its secrets?

8-1 was all a dream. There was never a confrontation with Katherine/Catherine. That was made clear in the game and it is unnecessary and pretentious to think otherwise about that scene.

"Unnecessary," perhaps; "pretentious," that's pushing it a little too far. (Are you calling the entire field of literary criticism pretentious...?) I don't think we can dismiss 8-1 out of hand as a dream. There is too much overlap between dreams and reality in this game. We know for a fact that the dreams are often forgotten in this game, so how can we legitimately say that 8-1 was "just a dream"?

Catherine had nothing to protect Vincent from other than a dull life with Katherine. Her job was to break up the man's current relationship, but we do not know the exact details of what she was doing with men like Steve. Yes, she likes Vincent more than the others, but the "I'm protecting you" line has no significance as far as I'm concerned. We can analyze it all we want, but if Atlus won't clear it up (which they won't) there is no point in getting worked up over it.

When does ANYONE clear up the subtext in stories?? This is exactly what's so fun about stories! Gonna have to quote Joss Whedon here: "Homer's Oddyssey was swell / A bunch of guys who went through hell / He told the tale but didn't tell the audience why." (Heart, Broken -- Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog)

If thinking about it is troublesome or upsetting for you, then why are you trying to engage me on it? Just leave it alone if you don't like narrative analysis. "We do not know the exact details"... this is exactly WHY it's so open to interpretation.

(Crap, ran out of space again)
#8emurii(Topic Creator)Posted 4/26/2012 3:44:18 AM
Catherine is not a deep, deep story. It delves more into relationships and metaphors than most other games, but it has a linear story. The only thing that changes throughout the multiple playthroughs is Vincent's thinking and then the eight endings where you choose chaos, law, or freedom. Everything is explained and it is made clear by the end. Everything is in a tight package with very little room of interpretation.

I strongly disagree. Why are there so many rich, interesting analytical threads here if there is "so little room for interpretation"? Why are there two novelizations? (And since when did the Persona team leave a game closed to interpretation?)

People want things to have more meaning than what is actually presented, but sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Sometimes ants are in your house because you left sweet food out for them.

This is a strikingly beautiful analysis, and I think it's the best point to be raised yet in the thread. A good deal of Catherine deals with the themes of paranoia and how we influence situations based on the way we interpret them, and that could play into that aspect. I wish I remembered the placement in the story of the ant scene vs. the ant that shows up as an enemy in the Nightmare.

tl;dr: if you are going to be throwing in elements of the story like the Rapunzel game and Ishtar's motives to create theories, it would really help your case if you knew what they are.

I know ;o; But once I get through all of that, I won't be as deeply involved in the game anymore and I might lose the desire to engage on this topic...

No need to call a bond a troll when they are legitimately discrediting your theories

There was no legitimate discrediting, there was only "don't overanalyze things"... Saying that to someone in the comp lit field is kind of like saying "they're just numbers" to a math student...

and no need to insult their intelligence when they back it up with concrete and credited evidence from the game.

1.) I never insulted their intelligence, I was polite all the way through. I make an effort to be. (Isn't it kind of insulting to say that to someone, when they didn't insult anyone in the first place?)

2.) They didn't back it up with concrete evidence.

3.) If you're referring to my disputing their evidence with my own evidence, don't call it insulting their intelligence, because then you're just saying that their dismissive statement was somehow inherently valuable compared to my attempt to further the topic.

Clearly I won't be getting anywhere with this topic (I wish the people who had participated in the analytic threads back when this came out were still around, but that's what I get for discovering this game so late </3), but if anyone wants to discuss, I'm still excited~ Some interesting things have been raised, even by the people who don't want to analyze the narrative <3
#9Mana_RunighaPosted 4/26/2012 6:11:17 PM
The novels of Catherine might honestly be like some of the novels and other mediums for Persona 4: non-canon and just something for fun while gaining easy cash. I own one P4 novel that is nothing more than slice of life stories. I haven't read the Catherine novels, so I can't be sure, but knowing how Atlus has been in the past, they don't really expand on anything in other mediums. The Persona:Trinity anime is a good example of this. It should be a sequel to Persona 3, but it is confirmed to be non-canon. Japan has a tendency to franchise the life out of anything that does well, so most things that aren't directly from the Persona team, who are busy with P5 right now, shouldn't be looked at seriously. These novels are possibly just fast cash grabs as this the nature of the corporate beast in Japan.

The ants show up after Martha and Lindsey can first mention them. Maybe sooner on higher difficulties, but I think that is related to speed of the blocks and when you meet the Berserk Sheep. The ant scene in Vincent's room is night 5 I think, but it is after Martha and Lindsey can mention them.

The game makes it clear 8-1 is a dream because Vincent opens his door and is at the tower instantly, which you can only go to in the dream reality. The game even makes the point that only men are sent to the dream reality so Katherine by no means could actually experienced the tower. Forgetting or not, at this point in the game, the ones having the dream are well aware of the impossible climbing they perform, or like Orlando, struggling but not moving anywhere. Here is that cutscene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYILMabiZX0&feature=relmfu Pay attention to the early exchange with Erica, Toby, and Orlando. Then skip to 11:00 or about 11:17 and Boss will say that only 'gentlemen' are sent to climb that tower. Sorry that it is so long, but all the other videos had player's commentaries over dialogue.

If the game cannot and does not back up Catherine's line, then I can't agree with any means of subtext or significance. I don't find it hard to believe that Catherine is just saying whatever she needs to say to keep Vincent around her finger. Her job is to destroy his relationship with Katherine and she says this when she realizes she has failed. One morning she says she'll either kill herself or kill you if you cheat on her. Within a few days, she's fine with a polygamous relationship so flipping easily. The protecting you line she is saying she while punching the life out of Vincent! Yes, a fine protector she is (domestic abuse, fun times). The only threat Vincent is genuinely facing is the tower game. Is Catherine protecting him from this? No, because he was in it before he even met her and she can only appear to those who are in it. Once Vincent reaches the top with Katherine, her role in his life ends unless he chooses otherwise.

I choose to not interpret things beyond what is presented to us unless there is anything more I can find within the story to it. Just because there are people who choose to view things like this in a linear manner, because we only see a linear story, does not mean you can label them as unappreciative of literature and analyzing narratives. Sorry you will not find the discussion you are looking for here, but go to Atlus's boards and I'm sure there are many there who might be still be interested in analyzing Catherine with you.
#10emurii(Topic Creator)Posted 4/27/2012 3:02:44 AM
First, thanks for being polite and civilized about things. I appreciate that. The internet has run out of that.

Mana_Runigha posted...
The novels of Catherine might honestly be like some of the novels and other mediums for Persona 4: non-canon and just something for fun while gaining easy cash.

IIRC one is a novelization of the game from Jonny/Toby/Orlando's POV, and the other is a sequel (not sure about the canon, but that's true that the Persona team tends to non-canonize other things pretty often) with OCs.

The ants show up after Martha and Lindsey can first mention them. Maybe sooner on higher difficulties, but I think that is related to speed of the blocks and when you meet the Berserk Sheep. The ant scene in Vincent's room is night 5 I think, but it is after Martha and Lindsey can mention them.

Sounds about right -- I'm wondering if the ants showing up in the dream are a reflection of Vincent's experience with the ants in his room, or if they're hanging around in his head because of M&L's comments. I think the ant in the dream may be night 5. (Not sure if there's more than 1 ant at higher difficulties...)

The game makes it clear 8-1 is a dream because Vincent opens his door and is at the tower instantly, which you can only go to in the dream reality.

I know all of the stuff that you mention here -- it also makes it "clear" that Catherine and Vincent slept together, which arguably never happened. Katherine wasn't sucked into the dream of her own accord, but as Vincent's companion in the Cathedral. I guess it depends on if you view the dreams as being actual dreams, or some sort of hellscape to which men are whisked away in the night. This would be supported by their persistent fatigue. I suppose the strongest argument for it being purely a dream would be that Katherine is right there when Vincent wakes up, so she has clearly been awake for some time.

If the game cannot and does not back up Catherine's line, then I can't agree with any means of subtext or significance. I don't find it hard to believe that Catherine is just saying whatever she needs to say to keep Vincent around her finger.

Good arguments in this paragraph, but I can't believe that in the entire game there was only one throw-away line. Every other line makes sense -- this one doesn't. If you construe it as Catherine just saying anything she can, then that makes sense. She's been shirking her succubus duties to hang out with this guy and now he's breaking up with her? Still, I want to take it as an invitation to explore more deeply... Then again, considering the L/C alignment system, it's more than likely that Catherine is just saying anything (as she represents Chaos).

I choose to not interpret things beyond what is presented to us unless there is anything more I can find within the story to it.

I agree, I'm just saying that there ARE things. The whole point of the thread was to look for those things. Obviously you can't have theories without support, but I think if enough people looked, there would be support there. (Or if there isn't, it would be disproven.)