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Old November 5 2008, 10:56 PM   #45
SLWatson
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Re: Arc of the Wolf: Distant Horizons

Gibraltar wrote: View Post
Yeah, as youíve presented him, I almost wonder if Scotty doesnít have a mild and undiagnosed form of Aspergerís Syndrome or autism? His reaction to new and unfamiliar situations (the dental exam foremost among them) would seem to indicate that heís wired differently than most others.

Continued excellence in your writing, making this character a joy to read about.
First: That's a wicked awesome observation! Honestly, I'd never even considered that angle! I've written this more with psychology in mind, and that one hadn't crossed my mind, but it's a neat thought.

And now, a discourse on psychology! Time for me to ramble again. Sorry.

I dunno if I'd go so far as to say that he's even mildly autistic, if only because there's a lot more psychology to it than physiology. Think about it: It's already established by now that he was left to fend for himself quite a bit of the time. Neglected, really, though not to a degree where he didn't learn language or that sort of thing. But he definitely wasn't socialized terribly well -- the very first people that babies and children learn about interaction from are their parents and family members. And in order to really start reaching out into the world and not being afraid of things, you have to first have the certainty that you have support behind you and a stable home base to retreat to. Curiosity is innate in children, and he's no different, but if you're constantly wondering if the people who should be caring for you and protecting you are even home, it creates a messy tangle in the supposed-to-be-simple mind of a child.

It's a bit like Maslow's Hierarchy -- the pyramid of survival. Physiological needs always come first, because while you're worrying about those, you can't worry about much else. He got pretty adept at watching his own back fast; one of the things going for him that might not pretain to others being that he's extremely adaptable (a good and bad trait, depending) -- he's a survivor, and by this point it's still a pretty prominent part of how he views the world. What's a threat, what isn't, how to potentially deal with those threats. Except, because he was left to learn all this by the school of hard knocks, he handles it all very primitively. Never was taught that there are better ways to handle a scary situation, or something new, he automatically defaults to instincts and those instincts are feral instincts.

Still, though, he's got a lot going for him, too -- he's very smart. And he's very hard-wired for mechanics, not just in the sense of understanding how things go together and work, but also being able to really get things in a full-sensory way. Pretty much his whole world, he views with all of his senses.

You can see pieces of this early psychology even much later on in TOS canon. One: Scotty's hyper-responsible, which he learned early when his basic survival was pretty much in his own hands. He takes threats to his ship and crew seriously, and is very vocal about it when he thinks his Captain's about to do something ill-advised, regardless of the mission objective. Two: He's not exactly all that good at expressing himself; That Which Survives is a good example of him not being able to find the right words to convey this 'something's not right' feeling to Spock. It's also a good example of instinct, being sensory and being very aware of how all those things come together -- he knows something's wrong, he KNOWS it, even though almost all of the instrumentation disagrees with him, and even though Spock (who has literally heightened senses) can't feel it. And he's right. And he's proven right.

There's a whole lot more there... I could spend hours talking about the psychology of this one character, nevermind any others. If you haven't guessed, I have a pretty keen interest in how nature and nurture works to make people who they are, and fanfic is a great way to explore that.

But for now, I'll spare you more rambling. I've gone on longer than some of my fics are by now. Thanks again for a really interesting notion, as well as commenting and reading!
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