I’m getting into the Magicians quite a bit, especially for a certain undertone that I’m trying to articulate — but not having much luck with. Help an O-Decker out?
First off, maybe I’m reading into it too much, but let’s see.
So let’s skip over the two obvious themes, which is the post-Harry Potter commentary and the addiction allegory, though the undertone I’m thinking about is akin to both.
While the literanazies comment that much of genre fiction is “adolescent” for the Chosen One narrative. This is more of the collegiate version.
Something more like the addition to being the Chosen One ... among thousands of other “Chosen Ones” and the sacrifices you make only validate your alleged uniqueness.
Harvard? Yale? Being in the 10% of special people in country? Bah. That pales in comparison to magic school. Suck on that valedictorians!
Of how you can already see that after the average wizard-apprentice graduate from Brakebills is still headed for a crash of realism out in the magic world.
That they are actually an average magician, but they’ll quickly find justifications to avoid dealing with that realization. I.e. at least they are not hedge witches, or worse yet not one of the little people who have no magic. And if a wizard is willing to keep pushing and sacrificing, they can prove they at least belong if not stand out among peers who stand above everyone else. And how others manipulate that insecurity and ambition.
So it’s definitely a hubris of some sort, but I’m looking for more accurate phrase or word for it.
If it helps, I see this sort of same hubris among the six-figure crowd, doctors and lawyers. In how many of them sacrifice family, health and finances to portray a false sense of success, but it all started back in their schooling and the constant push to be the best of the best ... among a million other alpha types.
I’ll wrap up there, because I’m afraid my metaphors are getting away from me.