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Author Topic: Trula Twyst (Jughead's nemesis)  (Read 1299 times)

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DeCarlo Rules

Re: Trula Twyst (Jughead's nemesis)
« on: November 12, 2017, 06:30:13 AM »
Psychoanalysis of the people you know is probably not considered "normal" for any teenager, but that's Trula's thing. If any more proof were needed, for no particular reason on her part (it's not because she decided she didn't like them, or wanted revenge against them or anything) in "The Opinion Maker" (JUGHEAD #176), Trula decides to try an experiment in social modification to change what other people think about Betty and Veronica. Her interest is purely scientific, just to see if she can do it. I leave it to anyone to decide if that's "normal" or not. Yet in her own strange way, Trula's really a nice girl. When she offers Jughead a place to stay temporarily at her house, she doesn't do it (as Jughead is expecting) hoping to get anything out of it, it's done because she's sympathetic to his problems with his own family.

Trula's not like the other teenagers we know in Riverdale in that she's from a single-parent home. Her mother is an independent career woman, a successful psychologist and author, and Trula's the only character who has shown a strong desire to follow in a similar career path to her parent. Trula probably has a need to prove that her self-image isn't dependent on a relationship, like her mother, regardless of her interest in Jughead. She doesn't let her emotions rule her thoughts. Trula probably thinks the only thing necessary to get along in life is to understand how other people think and why they behave the way they do.

The thing about the Trula-Jughead relationship that's most fascinating is that it's more complex than that between any other two characters in Riverdale. Jughead considers her his archenemy, but Trula doesn't feel the same way about him. She LIKES him, as a girl. When Jughead describes her as "trouble", that's REALLY what he's talking about. For the most part, Jughead doesn't avoid girls because he's scared of them. TRULA actually does scare him, so by demonizing her he's putting up a front. But even though Jughead considers her his archenemy, he never once considers NOT buying her a Christmas present, something that boggles Archie's mind.

As a psychology student though, Jughead's unique mindset fascinates Trula endlessly. NOBODY else can figure Jughead out. Oh, they may THINK they can. Certainly every single person he knows is aware of his weakness for food, which is so much of an autonomic knee-jerk response that it comes up constantly in stories. But everything else about the way he thinks... no. Not even Archie, really, and he's his best friend. They can recognize a few general behavior patterns they've seen over and over again when it comes to Juggie, but they don't really understand the WHY of his behavior, like why Jughead would expend 5 times as much energy avoiding work as he would if he just gave into the situation and agreed to do the work. It's not the energy it takes to do the work. If you can talk him into something, he'll do it, or at least try to do it, as he agreed. But once he's decided he's NOT gonna do something, no one and nothing will change his mind, and that becomes a matter of principle for him.

When it comes to girls, there have been some that have pursued Jughead, but with Ethel, he merely has to avoid her, outrun her, or trick her in some way. If Juggie looks panicked sometimes when she's chasing him, it's merely the adrenaline of the immediate pursuit. Sometimes he relents and feels sympathy for her, when he sees how hard she tries, and decides to give her a break. What Trula manages to do that no other girl ever has is make Jughead expend a goodly portion of his thoughts thinking about HER, worrying about her, wondering what she's going to do next, and figuring out how he can resist falling prey to her traps. The one thing he CAN'T afford to do is avoid thinking about her. So to him, she's his "archenemy". After the original "Target: Jughead" story, Trula is never quite as aggressive in targeting Jughead, and maybe it's because she just feels like she's got too big of an advantage over him.

On one level, Trula is to Jughead as Jughead is to Reggie. Jughead can ALWAYS whoop Reggie's mental butt in a battle of wits, because he's figured out exactly what makes Reggie tick... how he thinks. And Trula can do the same to Jughead, which is what scares him. For every time Jughead swears up and down that Trula will never make him do this or that, he winds up doing it anyway. This is why Trula is the only girl who scares him, and what makes her his "archenemy" -- that she somehow understands Jughead's psychology better than he understands himself, and can get him to do things that he's consciously promised himself he won't do, so it feels like he's betrayed his own principles and acted in direct opposition to his conscious choices, or at least something he recognizes that he's against doing in principle.

At some point in the series of Trula stories, Jughead's paranoia over her becomes a bigger instigator for stories than anything Trula sets out to do. Jughead can figure out how Reggie thinks, because Reggie's a guy. Jughead has some idea of his own that he thinks he knows how girls think (most of which is just the negative stuff he hates about Veronica), but he actually has no clue how they really think, because he's not even interested in knowing -- girls are too alien to him, and he's never really bothered. What's the point? He's never considered he'd have any use for that information, so he's never even tried. And that's his great weakness when he comes up against Trula. He'll try to predict what she'll do, but he'll never ever actually attempt to understand her -- because he can't put himself in her place. It's simpler for him to believe there's no reason other than that she's just trying to torture him. Whether his brief time as her houseguest resulted in any change in his way of thinking is anyone's guess, since that's (almost) the last we've seen of her, but he should at least be grateful for her help.

All of the above, of course, refers specifically just to the "Craig Boldman Jughead" and how he behaves in those stories. It's just not possible to incorporate all that other stuff from the early '90s (to say nothing of the earlier stuff from the 1950s and 1960s) into a consistent character.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 03:22:31 PM by DeCarlo Rules »

 


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