It’s funny how in life there are so many shades of grey (and I’m not talking about the saucy book). Everyone has their own justifiable motivations for their actions, not matter how crazy, noble or misguided they may be, and that is pretty much accepted.
In stories it is quite different. We always get shown the motivations for our main protagonist which, depending on how much we buy into them, can be the difference between liking and not liking the character. But rarely do we get a true insight into the motivations of the antagonists of the story, or if we do get their reasoning, it is often skewed or intentionally shown to be flawed in comparison to our hero (even the anti-heroes).
So what got me thinking about this whole perspective thing; Slater bugs. My ranunculus (thanks for the name Elizabeth) are in the process of being eaten. On closer inspection I found them to be covered with slaters who almost turned to me and smiled, drunk on the life juices of my lovely flowers, before turning back to gorge themselves of magenta and red petals. It seems so clear; they are the enemy and we have chemicals to get rid of them.
Only problem is, I owe a debt to slaters.
In year 12 we used to have to do a Biology extension which made up something like 15% of our overall grade. We had all semester to do it, so naturally I left it to the weekend before it was due to get started. I had no idea what to do, so I went outside and saw what I had to work with. All I could find was slaters. Lots of slaters.
I collected them together and put some in boxes with lights, some in boxes with wet leaves, some in boxes propped up next to the heater. I gave them an hour each and then plotted on a grid where all of them were.
It shouldn’t be a surprise, slaters don’t like light, they do like leaves, and they don’t like heat. I knew that before I started, but all good scientific experiments start with a hypothesis to be proven so I had one, and proved it. I got an A for that assignment. Without slaters I might not have even had anything to hand in. So the way I see it, I can sacrifice my three pretty ranunculus as a kind of ‘thank you’.
But even this tale has not given you the entire story. You know how things are from my perspective, and from the slaters’ perspective, but has anyone stopped to think about how this story appears from the perspective of the ranunculus?