The hedgehogs

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eva01isbae
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The hedgehogs

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Postby eva01isbae » Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:05 pm

You know, one of the things in Evangelion that spoke to me the most was the theory of the hedgehog's dilemma, and the role the AT field plays in it. Most people simply use the hedgehog's dilemma to describe the relationship between Shinji and Misato, but it's really the whole center of the series message. The idea that all of our misunderstanding and suffering is caused by the division of our consciousnesses is closely tied to the hedgehog's dilemma. Replace the hedgehog's spines with the AT field and presto! you get a philosophy on human relationships. I find it masterful how this seed is sown so early in the series almost in a throwaway line, and yet the entire reason behind the human instrumentality project is to resolve the hedgehog's dilemma once and for all by removing the AT fields (spines).
The theory is displayed by nearly every character in the series. Every character has a conflict with every other character. No one truly understands another person completely. There are no "soul mates." Even Gendo struggles against his wife by trying to force Eva 01 to sync with the dummy plug, even though it's being refused over and over. Fuyutski and Gendo seem to be closely knit, but we constantly see Gendo override Fuyutski's decisions. No matter how close characters seem, they are still in conflict. We also see characters hurt each other more as they grow closer. This is best shown by Shinji and Asuka. When they first meet, they only slightly care what each thinks of the other. But as they fight side by side, talk more often, and live together we see their thoughts start to carry more weight. They give up their casual snide banter for words that carry more of an edge, criticizing each other's natures rather than their actions. This constant beating drives Shinji to the breaking point, so that he feels he isn't worth anything without Asuka telling him otherwise. She's become someone close, and her spines are dug in so deeply that he can't move without her letting him. That closeness causes him immense pain, to the point where he won't even fight back when Seele's soldiers are hunting him down or intervene when Asuka fights the Eva series. However, once Asuka's AT field is pierced by the Lance of Longinus, Shinji snaps out of his stupor and hops into Eva 01. Her AT field is no longer conflicting with his. Her spines have been removed from his soul. He is not free of the pain, as the wounds remain, but he is free of what was holding him down. At first he feels liberated, but when he sees Eva 02's destroyed body he feels Asuka's absence. A piece of his soul is gone and he realizes it. Feeling this liberation followed by this sense of loss may even be part of why he rejects instrumentality. He felt the release of having someone's spines removed from him, but the pain of its loss is worse in his mind than the pain of being tormented by its presence. Knowing this makes his decision to reject instrumentality make much more sense. Why would you reject a world where Rei sits naked on top of you and talk to you about nice things? Because you want to exist? That's a little weak on its own. But knowing firsthand the pain of losing someone's soul when they were close enough to hurt you is a much more plausible explanation in my opinion.
I might not have made any sense here, but it's just an interesting opinion I wanted to share. I could be wrong and Eva does allow for tons of interpretations, so let me know what you think. :shifty:

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Re: The hedgehogs

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Postby NemZ » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:31 am

Paragraphs, please? I'm not reading that as-is.
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Re: The hedgehogs Bl

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Postby Alaska Slim » Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:17 am

View Original Posteva01isbae wrote:You know, one of the things in Evangelion that spoke to me the most was the theory of the hedgehog's dilemma, and the role the AT field plays in it. Most people simply use the hedgehog's dilemma to describe the relationship between Shinji and Misato, but it's really the whole center of the series message. The idea that all of our misunderstanding and suffering is caused by the division of our consciousnesses is closely tied to the hedgehog's dilemma. Replace the hedgehog's spines with the AT field and presto! you get a philosophy on human relationships. I find it masterful how this seed is sown so early in the series almost in a throwaway line, and yet the entire reason behind the human instrumentality project is to resolve the hedgehog's dilemma once and for all by removing the AT fields (spines).

The theory is displayed by nearly every character in the series. Every character has a conflict with every other character. No one truly understands another person completely. There are no "soul mates." Even Gendo struggles against his wife by trying to force Eva 01 to sync with the dummy plug, even though it's being refused over and over. Fuyutski and Gendo seem to be closely knit, but we constantly see Gendo override Fuyutski's decisions. No matter how close characters seem, they are still in conflict. We also see characters hurt each other more as they grow closer. This is best shown by Shinji and Asuka. When they first meet, they only slightly care what each thinks of the other.

But as they fight side by side, talk more often, and live together we see their thoughts start to carry more weight. They give up their casual snide banter for words that carry more of an edge, criticizing each other's natures rather than their actions. This constant beating drives Shinji to the breaking point, so that he feels he isn't worth anything without Asuka telling him otherwise. She's become someone close, and her spines are dug in so deeply that he can't move without her letting him. That closeness causes him immense pain, to the point where he won't even fight back when Seele's soldiers are hunting him down or intervene when Asuka fights the Eva series.

However, once Asuka's AT field is pierced by the Lance of Longinus, Shinji snaps out of his stupor and hops into Eva 01. Her AT field is no longer conflicting with his. Her spines have been removed from his soul. He is not free of the pain, as the wounds remain, but he is free of what was holding him down. At first he feels liberated, but when he sees Eva 02's destroyed body he feels Asuka's absence. A piece of his soul is gone and he realizes it. Feeling this liberation followed by this sense of loss may even be part of why he rejects instrumentality. He felt the release of having someone's spines removed from him, but the pain of its loss is worse in his mind than the pain of being tormented by its presence.

Knowing this makes his decision to reject instrumentality make much more sense. Why would you reject a world where Rei sits naked on top of you and talk to you about nice things? Because you want to exist? That's a little weak on its own. But knowing firsthand the pain of losing someone's soul when they were close enough to hurt you is a much more plausible explanation in my opinion.

I might not have made any sense here, but it's just an interesting opinion I wanted to share. I could be wrong and Eva does allow for tons of interpretations, so let me know what you think. :shifty:


There are at least two events that your are omitting in this theory.

First, Shinji was in a "stupor" in EoE because he had recently killed Kawrou; someone who had only been nice to him. It was, on one level, a revisit of pain surrounding Toji's sister; even in the course of supposedly doing the right thing, he has caused others to suffer, and he can't process this. Of course, being unable to help Asuka in 22, and her disappearance soon after had an effect on him as well, but she didn't enter the forefront of his mind until he felt he had no one else to turn to.

Misato was "compromised" after coming onto him, Rei was scary, and his other friends had left the city. He was not turning to her out of some beaten-spouse syndrome. He had decided that she was just the least-awful option.


Second, Shinji broke from his stupor because EVA-01 acted. EVA-01 broke through the Bakelite, and offered Shinji to get inside. Many point to the timing to suggest that EVA-01 had intentionally held back on its activation until EVA-02 had been destroyed, possibly to set off Shinji's meltdown.
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