I: THE HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN
Orphan as Other
As a fictional and fantastical construct, the Orphan’s life is an ideal, an impossible other. Like all heroic protagonists, the Orphan is a vehicle through which we experience triumphs, hardships, emotional vulnerability and radical trajectories too difficult or painful to pursue in our own lives. However, unlike other types of heroes, the image of the Orphan emerges as authentic emotion and authentic self without a requisite “heroic quest”. The genuine experiences of the Orphan are legitimated by the very essence of being Orphan. In the narrative of the Orphan life pain and suffering are immediately justified and inevitably resolved.
Through an empathy with the Orphan we can experience the potential to discover our own unique strengths and estimable weaknesses. We each spend our lifetimes in pursuit for a definitive identity. But this journey can be daunting, challenging and lonely. The Orphan is not dissuaded by the alienation of loss inherent in differentiating oneself from others. The Orphan is born of loss and transforms the void into agency. Rather than be discouraged by a desperate search, the Orphan never ceases to want.