marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

Foundlings and Orphans

I was on this one.

The many advantages of foundlings and orphans for storytellers.

The adoptee on the panel understands why the stories focus on those who search out their birthparents -- it's not like the content version is a story.  I mentioned Mahabharata, where a woman abandons her son who does not search her out.  In fact, she corners him once with the truth, and he still insists on fighting her other son, although he does say that if he wins, he will take this son's place as her son; she does not tell her other son, whom she actually raised and probably feels more warmly toward her, until after the fight and this son's death.  (What a goose) but the panelist was right about which was common because of the inherent plot, from Romulus and Remus onward.

How they almost always turn out to have high births.  Lowly birth is just about unknown.  Allows all the advantages of wish fulfillment with high birth and the advantages of the underdog.  (Moses is odd, because he gets adopted up.)

Superman and I explained that the myth has changed.  In older versions, Superman was old enough to remember Krypton.  DC did a reset and Superman was so young on arrival that Martha Kent passed him off as born to her during a snowstorm.  (She thought that anyone who would put a baby on a rocketship really didn't deserve to have a baby, so she wanted to ensure that they wouldn't hear of it and get him back.  True, she didn't consider exploding planets. . . .)

The adoptee on the panel was told that she had been left on the steps of the police station with a note saying please look after my baby.  This is apparently a standard issue story regardless of the truth.  An audience member recounted an adoptee who had the same story attached to her decades later, and from China not Korea.
Tags: arisia, backstory, families: parent/child, world-building: inheritance, world-building: social bonds

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