II: The Case Study of the Orphan
Once the host’s passage to adulthood is complete, similarities between the Orphan and the adult are less obvious. Because the Orphan always stays the same age, the host must eventually “outgrow” them. However, this is rarely enough cause for the host to abandon the Orphan. The Orphan remains a suitable playmate and mentor for the host into adulthood.
The confluence of child and adult traits in the Orphan’s character cast the Orphan as sympathetic to a host at any age. The adult host identifi es with the Orphan without evaluations of maturity or life experience. Just as the child host emulates the Orphan’s maturity and self-governance, so does the adult host appreciate the freedom and purity of self that is characteristic of the Orphan. This perspective serves as a metaphor for the host to break from the oppression of the hosts own internalized boundaries.
It is significant that the Orphan remains a companion for the adult, and not simply a lens to a nostalgic vision of the host’s childhood. To live successfully with the A of O, the host must continue to see the Orphan as a guide. The adult host must move beyond the trappings of developmental distinctions and classifications: the split self must be reunited so that the double exposure of self and Orphan can move as one.