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Uncharted Territory
Registered: 03/23/2011
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Re: (SPOILERS) Argumentative Analysis of Joel; or, my incredibly unpopular opinion about the ending

Jul 9, 2013

falcon0365 wrote:

semper_fi_1999 wrote:

falcon0365 wrote:
I would question your own experience with parenthood. If you knew the first thing about it, you definitely wouldn't be making assumptions about somebody else's authority on it.

And no, Joel is not a parent anymore. He says it himself. "You ain't my daughter, and I sure as hell ain't your dad."

Also that's one hell of a snap judgment to make about humanity. The same kind of snap judgment a cold killer would make. Don't forget, Tommy is among those people who don't deserve it.

Actually I would argue the exact opposite due to this statement.  It was at this point in the game that I KNEW without a doubt that Joel was beginning to feel connected to Ellie in a father-daughter relationship.  The ONLY reason you would try to say something like that in a heated argument is to attempt to hurt the other person by denying the actual relationship that was being developed.  Joels denies this so adamantly that it is obvious the exact opposite of what he said it true.  At this time Joel is still being selfish and wanted to hand Ellie off because he didnt want the relationship to continue to progress.  Joel seems to be a man who does his best to rebuff other ppl and remain as alone as possible....probably thinking that if they die he would be as weak as he was when his daughter died and he never wanted to feel that way again so he turned inward and shut down his emotions....however just because he shut down his emotions that doesnt mean he feels no compassion.  He was obviously distraught when Henry killed himself and he was also upset when he found the kids under the blankets in the sewer or the little grave with the bear.  He has compassion for those he feels are "innocent".  The only enemies you face until the end are the soldiers and then the hunters (besides the infected which I think noone has any issues with eliminating).  The soldiers seem to be trying to keep a tight reign on a tyrannical regime while hunters kill people just to see if they might have something that the hunters want.  Joel admits to doing this in the past but does not go into it any further......is it possible that his conscience would not longer allow him to do those same things?  He is by no means innocent himself and he admits it.  But he does seem to have a heart for those who truly are innocent. 

 

I am not trying to deny that fact that Joel is a killer.....he obviously is willing to do anything to survive at a seconds notice.....but I also dont think he is quite as bad as you are making him out to be.  I mean honestly if Joel was truly a "villain" then why bother with taking Ellie anywhere?  He could have easily gone with tess and taken out any remaining fireflies and taken their entire load of guns....completely ignoring Ellie and this entire story altogether.  But did they?  Tess and Joel proved that they have the abilities to do this.  But they didnt....they were instead smugglers who lived by some code of honor by smuggling items for payment and building a reputation as being the "best in the business"......but if they wanted they could have made more by taking out their clients and getting both of the goods and keeping everything.  However thats not how they worked.....in the beginning Joel confonts Tess thinking that the goods they were smuggling were taken without payment (indicating this has happened in the past and they were wary of the fact that no everyone was a honorable as them in this business). 

 

In the end I think you rush a little to quickly to judge Joel as the villain.  I think the main point was that Joel was a survivor who did things that he regrets but feels a little justified in doing just to survive. 


(last contribution before I take a break because I feel like this deserves attention)

 

1. You're right in the sense that if I had taken significantly longer to construct my argument, I would have probably tried to avoid using sensationalist words like "villain." I did this in order to make a point about the nature of his character, which I feel, if you stack everything up, ends up ultimately more on the bad side than the good side. But yes, this is definitely about justifications for things. We're given a look at the judgment call Joel makes, and we're essentially invited to make that call ourselves. I still favor an argument in which Joel made the wrong decision, but I suppose I'll yield and admit that it's not the only right answer.

 

2. I do agree that he said those words to Ellie in the heat of the argument, but they're still true. There may be a relationship developing between them, but in the end she's still not his daughter and he's not her dad. He doesn't have the same obligation to her, but by the end of the game he feels like he does. This is a complicated issue to deal with, and I contend that the answer can be found by looking into Ellie's character and determing what she would have chosen to do about the cure. Again, not the only right answer, but I feel like there is more evidence supporting the fact that she would want the surgery than evidence supporting she wouldn't want it.


 

I understand that you dont agree with Joels decision....wherease I do.  I think this is the beauty of this game.  The choice made is not an easy one.  Alot of people would automatically gravitate towards the choice to kill Ellie for a cure because their thinking (Ellie dying = human race saved) but in using that "formula" you end up making human life not worth very much (this is the same type of argument used to justify eugenics/hollocaust/slavery).  In the end Ellie should have been the one to make the choice (which she is never given by anyone). 

 

But then the whole age/guardianship argument comes into play.  Personally if someone told me that they could cure every sickness in the entire world if they would just kill my son and study his remains I would tell them to screw off and if they even come near my son I will skin them alive and leave them on a post to rot in the sun.  But if you ask my son directly he might say yes to help everyone else....but he is also young.  Should he be able to make such a huge decision at his age?  And then the next question is even if the patient agrees and wants the researcher to kill them for study does that still make it right?  (or another way to state it is would it still be wrong to kill someone even if they agree to be killed for research)

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Big Daddy
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Re: (SPOILERS) Argumentative Analysis of Joel; or, my incredibly unpopular opinion about the ending

[ Edited ]
Jul 9, 2013

falcon0365 wrote:

 


In TLoU, the most obvious truth you're confronted with at the end is the fact that Joel is a terrible human being. 



Do you have kids?

 

 

///EDIT

Ah, I see from another post you do.

 

Then you and I differ.  In this normal, modern, convenient world, there's very little I wouldn't consider doing for my two daughters and grandchild.  And I wouldn't consider myself bad.  Rules are not important when it comes to family.

 

Do you think that, in the past 20 or so years, Joel hasn't come across other young people?  Something about this one changes him.  

 

In a post-apocalyptic, no-holds-barred world?  The number of things I wouldn't do drops to about zero.  YMMV.  The fact that I'd do those things makes me a great person and a fantastic father, not a 'terrible human being'.

 

 

 




The Biggest Lies

5.) The hats aren't the surprise.
4.) Mods knows what they're doing.
3.) It doesn't fit the world paradigm.
2.) I'm not in it for the money.
1.) The player pool will be consolidated.


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Wastelander
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Re: (SPOILERS) Argumentative Analysis of Joel; or, my incredibly unpopular opinion about the ending

Jul 9, 2013
@scootgar
Actually he does.
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Big Daddy
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Re: (SPOILERS) Argumentative Analysis of Joel; or, my incredibly unpopular opinion about the ending

Jul 9, 2013

luctiger98 wrote:
@scootgar
Actually he does.

Yeah, was typing an edit.




The Biggest Lies

5.) The hats aren't the surprise.
4.) Mods knows what they're doing.
3.) It doesn't fit the world paradigm.
2.) I'm not in it for the money.
1.) The player pool will be consolidated.


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Lombax Warrior
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Re: (SPOILERS) Argumentative Analysis of Joel; or, my incredibly unpopular opinion about the ending

[ Edited ]
Jul 9, 2013

By today's standards, yeah, he's a terrible human being. In a post-pandemic future where it's survival of the fittest? No, he's not a bad person. He's doing what he needs to do to survive. Yeah people still have morals, but those immediately go out the window when they're faced with a life or death situation.

Let's put it this way. Lions, tigers, and bears kill, right? They take whatever they want or need when they want. They do this to survive. If they don't kill, what happens? They die. In The Last of Us, people are no longer people. They are no better than animals. They still look like people, act like people, and sound like people, but in the end, they're simply animals.

I'm not necessarily disagreeing with your statements. Some points of your argument I, in fact, agree with. But saying he's a horrible human being is far from the truth when you consider the situation.

Also, has there been a game in the last ten years that can incite this much deep and well thought out debate between people? I don't think so.

 

Also, I'm not sure if it was intentional or not, but Naughty Dog did a immensely wonderful job on leaving every little bit of character development and story elements up for interpretation.

This is fun.

-----------
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Uncharted Territory
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Re: (SPOILERS) Argumentative Analysis of Joel; or, my incredibly unpopular opinion about the ending

Jul 9, 2013

Wrathful_Badger wrote:

By today's standards, yeah, he's a terrible human being. In a post-pandemic future where it's survival of the fittest? No, he's not a bad person. He's doing what he needs to do to survive. Yeah people still have morals, but those immediately go out the window when they're faced with a life or death situation.

Let's put it this way. Lions, tigers, and bears kill, right? They take whatever they want or need when they want. They do this to survive. If they don't kill, what happens? They die. In The Last of Us, people are no longer people. They are no better than animals. They still look like people, act like people, and sound like people, but in the end, they're simply animals.

I'm not necessarily disagreeing with your statements. Some points of your argument I, in fact, agree with. But saying he's a horrible human being is far from the truth when you consider the situation.

Also, has there been a game in the last ten years that can incite this much deep and well thought out debate between people? I don't think so.

 

Also, I'm not sure if it was intentional or not, but Naughty Dog did a immensely wonderful job on leaving every little bit of character development and story elements up for interpretation.

This is fun.


I cant find anything wrong with what you said here.  I think this is more than a GOTY title....its a Game of the Decade title.  I dont see any game I have played nor any games that are upcoming that compares to what ND has done here. 

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Lombax Warrior
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Re: (SPOILERS) Argumentative Analysis of Joel; or, my incredibly unpopular opinion about the ending

[ Edited ]
Jul 9, 2013

This video sums up my side of the debate in a matter of 15 seconds.

 

 

To quote Ellie...

 

"The world’s been hard on us…hard on him. Joel’s done some terrible things. He tells me that on this journey, you either hang onto your morals and die, or do whatever it takes to survive…"

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Monster Hunter
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Re: (SPOILERS) Argumentative Analysis of Joel; or, my incredibly unpopular opinion about the ending

[ Edited ]
Jul 10, 2013

To quote Ellie...

 

"The world’s been hard on us…hard on him. Joel’s done some terrible things. He tells me that on this journey, you either hang onto your morals and die, or do whatever it takes to survive…"


That is a really good quote that sums up one of the major themes of this game, and I wish I had found it first. Good find.

 

There are different meanings to take from this quote, and I'm saying that in some cases the right choice is to hang onto your morals and die. You can't survive forever, and at some point you've got to start thinking about how you want to meet your death.

 

To clarify for the people addressing the milieu of a post apocalyptic world and what I would do for my family: I still don't know, but I would indeed change. I'd probably kill if I had to, definitely if it were immediate self defense, I would do that even in this world, but I doubt I'd feel good about it. It wouldn't make me feel like a good person or a good father, it would make me feel like a killer, in either world. I'd certainly lie and steal and maim. But when you bring the possibility of a cure into the equation, when you say "here is a chance to reset things and give everybody a second chance, but it's going to take a huge sacrifice" I can't find justification for self preservation after that. Even if it's only a shot. Especially in a world where there's a good chance you're not going to meet your death in a dignified, meaningful way: You'll almost certainly die violently and meaninglessly, and if it doesn't happen to you you'll probably be watching it happen to the ones you care about. In light of this, the opportunity to eradicate the infection that was instrumental in establishing this world in return for sacrificing your life seems like a pretty attractive alternative.

 

Also when I say Joel's a narcissist I'm not actually trying to diagnose him with clinical narcissism. I'm just trying to point out that he is self-concerned to the point that it allows him to justify murder. Of course we all have narcissistic tendencies, but If you bring it down to its essentials, it could be argued that the ultimate manifestation of narcissism would be elevating your own concerns so high that it results in allowing literally the entire world to perish. I don't know, maybe I'm just using the wrong verbiage. And keep in mind, it is not my intention to discredit the influence Joel's world has on this tendency. Hell, the world we live in right now influences us the same way and causes us to have narcissitic tendencies, see my own testimony from a few posts ago. It's just a matter of thinking about where the line should be drawn. 

 

I draw it at denying the entire world a chance at survival, even in Joel's world. Sorry, I love my family, but my wife my kids and I aren't more important than that. I'm just not that romantic. We're four against the rest of existence. In this world I'd go to incredible lengths to defend them as I do now. They come first. But in Joel's world, if we had a chance to restore a normal existence for countless others at the cost of our lives, I think I'd strongly urge them to consider it. That might sound harsh, but I don't see how it's any harsher than the alternative.

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Monster Hunter
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Re: (SPOILERS) Argumentative Analysis of Joel; or, my incredibly unpopular opinion about the ending

[ Edited ]
Jul 10, 2013

scootgar wrote:

falcon0365 wrote:

 


In TLoU, the most obvious truth you're confronted with at the end is the fact that Joel is a terrible human being. 



Do you have kids?

 

 

///EDIT

Ah, I see from another post you do.

 

Then you and I differ.  In this normal, modern, convenient world, there's very little I wouldn't consider doing for my two daughters and grandchild.  And I wouldn't consider myself bad.  Rules are not important when it comes to family.

 

Do you think that, in the past 20 or so years, Joel hasn't come across other young people?  Something about this one changes him.  

 

In a post-apocalyptic, no-holds-barred world?  The number of things I wouldn't do drops to about zero.  YMMV.  The fact that I'd do those things makes me a great person and a fantastic father, not a 'terrible human being'.

 

 

 


But it sounds like the number of things you wouldn't do is already pretty close to zero. 

 

I'd do a lot for my family too, but I don't think my family would think too highly of me if I murdered innocent people for food and supplies, which is what we can infer Joel has done. Tommy certainly doesn't think too highly of Joel for it. If he did you'd think he'd be more grateful for his survival, but he's not. He even declares that he feels like survival wasn't worth it. That doesn't mean he wants to kill himself or not exist anymore, it means now he has to exist with the reality that others had to die in order for him to live, this is one of the reasons PTSD is a common problem among soldiers nowadays because even in extreme warlike survivalist situations, people still struggle with this, killing is a burden for them even when it's necessary. That is a reality of today and it still happens in Joel's world. In Tommy's case, Joel is responsible for that burden.  Imagine how you would feel if your two daughters and grandchild felt that way about you. Imagine what that would say about you as a human being. Remember, in this hypothetical situation, they are telling you, no bones about it, that regardless of what you did in their name, they still hate you for it.

 

Please bear in mind this is only hypothetical and I'm not in any way trying to call you out on your virtues. I just think it's worth considering.

 

Also, the thing that's different about Ellie is the fact that he's stuck with her. If he didn't feel some obligation toward Tess (which she calls him on) he probably would have left her in the beginning. That's not to say that the bond that eventually forms between them isn't genuine, but it's definitely a product of their situation. It's not something Joel was actively seeking, which is why in 20 years he hasn't developed a similar bond with child (of course, that's to say nothing about the fact that the kind of "work" he did probably didn't leave much room for children). He didn't lay eyes on Ellie and immediately think "OMG SARAH." 

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Splicer
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Re: (SPOILERS) Argumentative Analysis of Joel; or, my incredibly unpopular opinion about the ending

Jul 10, 2013

 

 

.. I'm saying that in some cases the right choice is to hang onto your morals and die.

 

Then that would be the end of your genetic line and that goes against millions of years of evolution and defeats our whole purpose: to propagate the human race.

I appreciate your altruism OP but I don't think that is a realistic expectation in the post-pandemic world.

 

..but I doubt I'd feel good about it. It wouldn't make me feel like a good person or a good father, it would make me feel like a killer, in either world.

 

I never get the sense that Joel likes what he is doing or gets pleasure from it. He does what he feels needs to be done. He is hardened certainly by what he has done just like anybody else would be. I don't think a person would have the luxury to really dwell on the horrible decisions and actions they would have to take and get all introspective and expect to keep their sanity and survive.

 

 

 

..it could be argued that the ultimate manifestation of narcissism would be elevating your own concerns so high that it results in allowing literally the entire world to perish.

 

First, I don't see Joel being entirely selfish in saving Ellie. Yeah, is getting happiness out of the relationship he has with her and she fills a void in him left by his dead daughter but I am not going to begrudge him that small bit of joy in a effed up world.

Second, the world is not going to perish. The Human race will adapt and survive, that is what we do and have done for thousands of years.

 

...if we had a chance to restore a normal existence for countless others..

 

What makes you think things would go back to our version of  "normal"? Joel is living in the new normal. Even with a "cure" the population is fragmented, infrastructure is gone. You have these factions and QZ's all fighting for control and resources because that is what humans do, a "cure" won't fix that. I understand wanting a better world or a world that you recognize now but the death of a 14 y.o. girl wont bring that.

 

Raptr Gamercard
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