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Did Christine know she'd been hypnotized?

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Did Christine know she'd been hypnotized? Empty Did Christine know she'd been hypnotized?

Post  Countess of Rothes Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:55 am

MarySkater and I have been going round and round on this issue today, so I thought I'd throw it out to you all. What do you think? Was she aware of the fact that Erik/the Phantom had mesmerized her? She remembers a few things...but does she realise the full import of how much she was under his control?

And while we're on the subject; did Leroux want Erik to be capable of hypnotizing people with his voice, or is that something that the stage show and fanfiction has overlaid onto the character, so that we now see it as an integral part of him whether Leroux was indicating that or not?


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Post  LadyCDaae Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:59 pm

Interesting question!  I think that while adaptations tend to emphasize this aspect a bit more than the original, Leroux definitely does indicate in several places that Erik's voice can have a hypnotic effect on people:

"I can not tell you the effect which that music had upon me. It seemed to command me, personally, to come, to stand up and come to it. It retreated and I followed...." ~From Chapter XII, "Apollo's Lyre"

"I had no sooner put off from the bank than the silence amid which I floated on the water was disturbed by a sort of whispered singing that hovered all around me. It was half breath, half music; it rose softly from the waters of the lake; and I was surrounded by it through I knew not what artifice. It followed me, moved with me and was so soft that it did not alarm me. On the contrary, in my longing to approach the source of that sweet and enticing harmony, I leaned out of my little boat over the water, for there was no doubt in my mind that the singing came from the water itself. By this time, I was alone in the boat in the middle of the lake; the voice—for it was now distinctly a voice—was beside me, on the water. I leaned over, leaned still farther. The lake was perfectly calm, and a moonbeam that passed through the air hole in the Rue Scribe showed me absolutely nothing on its surface, which was smooth and black as ink. I shook my ears to get rid of a possible humming; but I soon had to accept the fact that there was no humming in the ears so harmonious as the singing whisper that followed and now attracted me." ~From Chapter XXI, "Interesting and Instructive Vicissitudes..."

So yes, I do think there's canon basis for the idea.  As for how much Christine knows/understands...she assumes she'd been drugged during her abduction, and certainly does recognize that her judgement has been compromised.  I think it's a matter of interpretation of how much that is mesmerism and how much is straight-up emotional manipulation.



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Post  ya-chai 2 Sat Oct 18, 2014 5:26 pm

I'm glad to see an excellent topic like this come up and wanted to add my two cents. At first I was inclined to agree with the consensus that Erik is able to hypnotize people with his voice. Now I'm not so sure. I think Erik's voice is more hypnotic, meaning people are mesmerized by the sound, but that is all. For example, Daroga isn't mesmerized into throwing himself into the lake. He's mesmerized enough to stop and listen to the sound and then look for it. It's then that Erik pulls him in.

In Perros, Christine tells us the music tells her to come to it. I think she's in essence saying the same thing. The music is enchanting and so she goes to it. But when she gets to it, Erik cannot control her with it. He has to use drugs to get her down to his house.

I wanted to ask this. Do any of you think that Christine might have been able to hypnotize herself with the sound of her own voice?
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