Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Extrovert and Introvert in Easton's Boy Shattered

https://www.amazon.com/Boy-Shattered-Eli-Easton-ebook/dp/B07JB2CB84/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1541522971&sr=8-3&keywords=eli+eastonEli Easton's Boy Shattered is a very good book in many ways. One of those ways is the depiction of the same-but-equal main characters, Logan and Brian.

Logan is an outward planning extrovert. Brian is an introspective introvert. They complement each other. Yet their relationship also provides relationship tension.

Logan's reaction to the school shooting is to objectify his experience, to see it almost as something historical, something he can make sense of. Fix. Use. He was affected by it, tremendously. He handles his emotions by asking himself, "Okay, what do we do about this?"

In the world of labels, Logan is an agentic extrovert.

Brian is the warrior poet. He loves to keep physically active, to run with the ball (quite literally, as a basketball and football player). He is also highly introspective. Granted, his introspection is enhanced by his near-death experience. But he was a pondering type of guy beforehand.

It makes total sense that in the long term, Brian would become a detective (think a much younger Frank Reagan who hasn't yet been forced into the political arena) while Logan would become a talkative political activist (think a more liberal-leaning Mike Baxter).

Easton does an excellent job depicting the tension that could arise between such personalities, even when they get along. The position, Why do you have to go out there and involve other people? versus Why can't you see that what we went through does involve other people? is well-rendered.  And goes a long way towards explaining the fall-out between C.S. Lewis (affiliative extrovert) and Tolkien (introspective introvert).

Logan and Brian succeed in large part because they maintain the objective ability to step back and ponder the other person's perspective. In complete honesty, I'm not sure I totally believe that high school students could be quite so objective. The older-by-ten-plus-years Bones and Booth, yes, especially since Logan is Booth's extroversion plus Brennan's logic while Brian is Brennan's reserve plus Booth's "gut".

I hate to say it, but I rather think Brian and Logan would break up in college.

Then get back together!! Soul mates, dude. And if someone wants to argue that their high school experience forced them to mature faster than usual, I would be cool with that.

In sum, it's gratifying when a romance writer can capture not only a gripping external problem but a realistic internal problem that doesn't rest on either extreme inner distrust or extreme inner anger. Logan and Brian can solve their differences, if not immediately, then eventually.