Oct 222012
 

I submit that Ana is a passive-aggressive sadist, delighting in Christian’s emotional pain. Witness the words I have bolded:

I cannot contain my jubilation. My subconscious gapes at me open-mouthed—in stunned silence—and I wear a face-splitting grin as I gaze longingly up into Christian’s wide, tortured eyes.
His soft sweet confession calls to me on some deep elemental level as if he’s seeking absolution; his three small words are my manna from heaven. Tears prick my eyes once more. Yes, you do. I know you do.
It’s such a liberating realization as if a crushing millstone has been tossed aside. This beautiful, fucked-up man, whom I once thought of as my romantic hero—strong, solitary, mysterious—possesses all these traits, but he’s also fragile and alienated and full of self-loathing. My heart swells with joy but also pain for his suffering. And I know in this moment that my heart is big enough for both of us. I hope it’s big enough for both of us.
I reach up to clasp his dear, dear, handsome face and kiss him gently, pouring all the love I feel into this one sweet connection. I want to devour him beneath the hot cascading water. Christian groans and encircles me in his arms, holding me as if I am the air he needs to breathe.

In the game she’s playing, she has has cracked the armor and poked the soft interior. Whatever Christian’s breakthrough may mean for him, it primarily validates Ana for her ability to emotionally manipulate him.

After the shower confession (Ana and Christian’s emotional high points always seem to be in the context of water and bathing), Ana dries him off with a towel. Because of his touch issues, this becomes akin to a BDSM scene, and Ana is clearly getting off on her control and Christian’s reactions.

My subconscious looks on with approval, her normally pursed mouth smiling, and I am the supreme puppet master. His anxiety ripples off his back in waves, but he maintains eye contact, though his eyes are darker, more deadly. Showing their secrets maybe.

A good chunk of this chapter is more class porn, with the Expander buying Ana another car, and the redundant details of music and food. James spends a lot of wordage on very ordinary interactions, which sucks any tension out of the story despite the fact that Leila is out there. What this ultimately comes back to is Ana’s narcissism.

He’s funny, clever, philanthropic, and beautiful, and he loves me.

Christian has rapidly evolved from homme fatale/steelhard man to boyfriend of the year.

As we talk, it strikes me that he’s turned from Hardy’s Alec to Angel, debasement to high ideal in such a short space of time.

James’ sentence structure is unclear here. Is the “debasement” how Christian sees Ana, or the role that Christian plays in Ana’s personal drama? Does he idealize her, or is he her ideal? It’s this confusion between self and other that underlies the problem of this story, showing that Ana wants Christian to speak the language of feelings, but has no actual empathy for him.

Of course, the Expander owns a giant sailboat, and he takes Ana on to it for a cruise. Ana makes flirty and obvious comments about ropes.

Apparently nobody introduced EL James to scene break, and we can’t just skip over all this boring stuff. At this point, I’m begging for Leila to show up with a concealed weapon, or even a leaky water pistol, just so I don’t have to put up with any more of this one-percenter wealth porn.

Ana’s subconscious speaks up, adding a welcome fly to all this cloyingly perfumed ointment.

Yes, you’re a lucky bitch,  my subconscious snaps. But you have your work cut out with him. He’s not going to want this vanilla crap forever . . . you’re going to have to compro-mise.  I glare mentally at her snarky, insolent face and rest my head against Christian’s chest. But deep down I know my subconscious is right, but I banish the thoughts. I don’t want to spoil my day.

The steelhard version of the Expander comes back when he takes her below decks for ravishment. Again, very vanilla. No kink, no Leila, no red pencil to excise about half of this chapter.

  2 Responses to “The Curious Kinky Person’s Guide to Fifty Shades Darker: Chapter 9”

  1. at least it seems like she’s stopped calling her subconscious her ‘inner goddess’. still seems weird that she has interactions with characterizations of herself seemingly at least once a chapter.

  2. So far ever single recap (all coming at this series from different angles) have had the recap-writer hoping Leila uses the gun on them, and I can’t help but agree.

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