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Career of Evil Chapter 37 and 38
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12/17/2017 - 11:09 am

About Robin accepting Matthew back, I felt that her disappointment with Strike was directly responsible for it. Disappointment both on a professional and personal level, although I am not sure if Robin at this stage can differentiate between Strike and the job. Professionally, she felt that Strike was deliberately sidelining her or even may be contemplating removing her from his office. This feeling kept gnawing at her thoughout CoE and added to her overall misery and confusion. Her past experiences and the fear of losing the job clouded her understanding of Strike's intentions/behaviour towards her. And on a more personal level, though she is not ready to acknowledge it yet, Strike's relationship with Elin(Robin is constantly wondering/worrying if Strike would marrry her or move in with her without any indication of serious involvement on Strike's part and also compares herself with Elin) makes her resent him more. So, hurt and unsure about where she stands with regard to Strike, Robin decides to fall back on Matthew and end the painful uncertainty.

P.S. Just finished CoE and had to vent a bit. Although I am very late 🙂 This site has some very interesting and insightful posts.

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07/18/2017 - 6:33 pm

DonnaN said
I am loving this conversation. Thank you for your responses. These are deep things to consider and someone who has suffered trauma: The recovery is tricky and lengthy if you recover completely at all.

The thing is, when it comes to Matt, I don't think he sees himself as an abuser even though we do. Not that I approve of his treatment of Robin, I think he is just a selfish individual who was encouraged to be that way as he was growing up.

What do you think?  

I realy hope the girl doesn't mind that I copy/paste her post...

So I recently finished all the Strike novels and have been digging through the tags and have been interested to read other people’s perspective on Matthew’s actions. Apparently I am one of a small number of people that interprets his actions as emotionally abusive.

To me (and based on Robin’s narration which may be inaccurate) Matthew is an abusive partner that keeps Robin in a toxic relationship. To double check whether my criteria for spotting abuse were accurate I checked a couple websites for Red Flags to look for and I found this list that was quite helpful when evaluating Robin and Matthew’s interactions that we see.

Psychological abuse can look like:

1. Humiliating or embarrassing you. ✓ (Making Robin hang out with Matt and the woman her cheated on her with is like him and sarah privately/secretly humiliating Robin without her knowing)
2. Constant put-downs. ✓ (He is also giving her grief about not making as much money as him)
3. Hypercriticism. ✓ (He is definitely hypercritical of her job with Strike)
4. Refusing to communicate.
5. Ignoring or excluding you.
6. Extramarital affairs. ✓ (He was sleeping with Sarah for MONTHS)
7. Provocative behavior with opposite sex. ✓ (We only see flirting once in the bar but how often does he do it “off screen” at work or whatever?)
8. Use of sarcasm and unpleasant tone of voice.
9. Unreasonable jealousy. ✓ (Constantly exhibiting jealousy when Strike is mentioned, Robin mentions work even in general terms, jealous when she does online research for work, every time she gets a call or text from Strike no matter how mundane they really were. etc.)
10.Extreme moodiness. ✓ (When they are hanging out with Sarah, Matthew is in a good mood and it changes the instant Sarah brings up Robin’s work, I’m sure there are others but I don’t have the books on me for reference)
11. Mean jokes or constantly making fun of you.
12. Saying “I love you but…”
13. Saying things like “If you don’t _____, I will_____.” ✓ (When they were split up and his last text was a threat that if she fooled around with Strike, then they were REALLY over. As if it’s really been Matt’s decision the whole time and Robin doesn’t have a say)
14. Domination and control. ✓✓✓ (See above comment. Also using her laptop and checking her internet history, reading her emails, DELETING HER VOICEMAIL?!?! Also I’m almost positive that Matt likes them hanging out with Sarah Shadlock BECAUSE it bothers Robin)
15. Withdrawal of affection.
16. Guilt trips. ✓ (he guilt trips her about work all the time, every time she is home late, every time she uses her computer to do things related to work, when she takes calls about work after work hours)
17. Making everything your fault.
18. Isolating you from friends and family. ✓ (Matt still hangs out with Sarah Shadlock and co. but never encourages Robin to make her own real friends. He never seems to offer to introduce her to anyone he meets through work and the only friendship she has made with Cormoran he is actively working against that friendship)
19. Using money to control. ✓ ✓ ✓ (The constant comments about how she doesn’t make as much as him and therefore owes him for him supporting her)
20. Constant calling or texting when you are not with him/her.
21. Threatening to commit suicide if you leave.

Obviously, they don’t fit everything on the list, BUT 12 out of 20 is a pretty strong indication that Matthew is emotionally/psychologically abusive towards Robin!

Credits to: somelettersfromnoone from tumblr

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07/18/2017 - 4:36 pm

I am loving this conversation. Thank you for your responses. These are deep things to consider and someone who has suffered trauma: The recovery is tricky and lengthy if you recover completely at all.

The thing is, when it comes to Matt, I don't think he sees himself as an abuser even though we do. Not that I approve of his treatment of Robin, I think he is just a selfish individual who was encouraged to be that way as he was growing up.

What do you think?

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07/18/2017 - 11:28 am

honoraryskywalker said
Sorry for the double post.
Her new job is finally letting some more of the "real" Robin shine through. If she manages to find the strength to get rid of Matt once and for all, I think her relationship with Strike (even just their friendship) can really help her heal. Because he sees her for who she is, he alies and praises her and he encourages her to learn new things... This is slowly rebuilding her self-confidence.

Marriage to Matt would be destructive. I hope JKR stops this Madness in the first chapter of Lethal White.  

I like how you analyze things! And you are right in your first post and in this one too!
Cormoran I think it was in the second book The silkworm after meeting with Matthew that he came to the conclucsion that Robin in order to be with Matthew can't be herself! She is always thinking what might upset Matthew or what Matthew likes and doesn't give much credit to what she wants! The most recent thing I remember is that with her wedding shoes, she doesn't buy them for some reasons one of them is that she would be taller than Matthew at the altar and he doesn't like that, she wanted those shoes but gave them up as she did for many other things in the past! Τhe only thing she fought for was her job! I can't imagine a life like that and I wish Robin even in the last second would see that and doesn't go through with the wedding (even if I still consider this the most unlikely scenario) because being married to Matthew will destroy any progress she made while being around Cormoran as you well said!
Cormoran doesn't want her to change or she being someone else around him, he likes her for who she is and does not prevent her from progressing as a person and a professional, he even encourages her to discover parts of herself that she doesn't know she has!

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07/18/2017 - 5:59 am

Sorry for the double post.
Her new job is finally letting some more of the "real" Robin shine through. If she manages to find the strength to get rid of Matt once and for all, I think her relationship with Strike (even just their friendship) can really help her heal. Because he sees her for who she is, he alies and praises her and he encourages her to learn new things... This is slowly rebuilding her self-confidence.

Marriage to Matt would be destructive. I hope JKR stops this Madness in the first chapter of Lethal White.

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07/18/2017 - 5:54 am

I'm not a psychologist, but I think Robin probably suffers from the low self-esteem that is sadly such a common consequence of abuse and trauma. Sexual assault leads to strong feelings of humiliation and shame because it violates the victim's physical and psychological intimacy at the deepest level. Often this feeling of being somewhat "dirty" or "damaged" is accompanied by an unconscious sense of guilt,as if the assault were the victim's fault or the victim deserved it. And then there's this sense of losing control of your life, which in Robin's case is made even worse by her dropping out of college (which, in turn, she did as a consequence of the trauma...) Unconsciously, Robin probably feels that the abuse has permanently damaged her, that she's somehow worth less now. Of course, this exposes her to further abuse (see Matthew).
I agree that there are "two Robins": one who, at a rational level, understands that Matt's behaviour is wrong... and one who, at a much deeper, emotional level, thinks that Matt is kind of a hero for still wanting to be with her who's so broken, and who can't accept to lose him because that would mean further instability in her life.

It's a scarily realistic portrayal of a situation many people face every day. I can't even think about it.

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07/16/2017 - 10:39 am

DonnaN said

I don't disagree with you at all. I don't think he was emotional about the wedding. I think he was being manipulative and a spoiled child trying to get his own way. There is a whole phycology why victims of abuse give in to men like Matt. I can't really explain it but you can see it in Robin. It is like two different sides of her is fighting for control. Strike see's it and despite this battle she is having, stills has very strong feelings for her. I think Matt has feelings for her too but they are always governed by his manipulation and what he wants. It is if he believes Robin owes him something.

Anyway, we shall see in Lethal White.  

I've read a post on tumblr about all the reasons why Matthew is abusive towards Robin I would really like to read about why she is accepting all this and if anyone can be enlightening about it, it would be great!
It's true that Robin and Matthew have feelings for each other they have been many years together but I doubt that either of them is in love!

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07/16/2017 - 10:02 am

Caitlin said

I disagree on the "he got emotional" part! I didn't believe for a second that a man like him is so sensitive to cry over a wedding, he just took advantage of the circumstances to get Robin to forgive him! Like many other times he just knew where aim to get Robin around!
I also disagree about she ignoring his deceptive character because during CoE she recognizes many of his flaws (remember when he is asking her to forgive him and runs after her while she leaves for the business trip and hours later he sends her a text and she comments that this is the real Matthew) so I still don't understand how she went on with the wedding even if she forgave him about his betrayal! I know Robin is a kind woman and after what happen to her she needs familiarity and Matthew gives her that but I don't know if a woman in the real world would forgive a man that was cheating on her for a year and a half when she was suffering after such a traumatic event and then he had the nerves to keep her close during all those years and even bring her in Robin's presence to go out like good friends!  

I don't disagree with you at all. I don't think he was emotional about the wedding. I think he was being manipulative and a spoiled child trying to get his own way. There is a whole phycology why victims of abuse give in to men like Matt. I can't really explain it but you can see it in Robin. It is like two different sides of her is fighting for control. Strike see's it and despite this battle she is having, stills has very strong feelings for her. I think Matt has feelings for her too but they are always governed by his manipulation and what he wants. It is if he believes Robin owes him something.

Anyway, we shall see in Lethal White.

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07/16/2017 - 9:27 am

DonnaN said
Chapter 37 Is wedding day for William and Kate. Robin and Matt are at home moving around each other carefully. Robin is using work to not interact with him and considering what they will say to their friends about the end of their relationship. As the wedding starts, Matt sits down next to Robin. He mentions that William and Kate broke up for a while. He is emotional and finally asks if they are really over. Robin gives in and holds out her hand.

I think she is forgiving him for the betrayal. I don't think that is wrong. I do think she is ignoring his deceptive character. Forgiveness does not mean you don't recognize someones character. I don't think she can separate one from the other.

Chapter 38 in the voice of the killer describes attempting the killing of a prostitute. This one survives badly wounded and missing her fingers. Sick bastard!  

I disagree on the "he got emotional" part! I didn't believe for a second that a man like him is so sensitive to cry over a wedding, he just took advantage of the circumstances to get Robin to forgive him! Like many other times he just knew where aim to get Robin around!
I also disagree about she ignoring his deceptive character because during CoE she recognizes many of his flaws (remember when he is asking her to forgive him and runs after her while she leaves for the business trip and hours later he sends her a text and she comments that this is the real Matthew) so I still don't understand how she went on with the wedding even if she forgave him about his betrayal! I know Robin is a kind woman and after what happen to her she needs familiarity and Matthew gives her that but I don't know if a woman in the real world would forgive a man that was cheating on her for a year and a half when she was suffering after such a traumatic event and then he had the nerves to keep her close during all those years and even bring her in Robin's presence to go out like good friends!

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07/16/2017 - 3:23 am

DonnaN said

I think she is forgiving him for the betrayal. I don't think that is wrong. I do think she is ignoring his deceptive character. Forgiveness does not mean you don't recognize someones character. I don't think she can separate one from the other.
 

Interesting. So do you mean that ignore Matthew's deceptive character is worse than forgive him for the betrayal?

I like what you said about forgiveness, i agree with it. Is something important to keep in mind, because when we forgive someone we don't have (or we shouldn't) to close the eyes for what that person done or who that person is.

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07/07/2017 - 5:24 pm

Chapter 37 Is wedding day for William and Kate. Robin and Matt are at home moving around each other carefully. Robin is using work to not interact with him and considering what they will say to their friends about the end of their relationship. As the wedding starts, Matt sits down next to Robin. He mentions that William and Kate broke up for a while. He is emotional and finally asks if they are really over. Robin gives in and holds out her hand.

I think she is forgiving him for the betrayal. I don't think that is wrong. I do think she is ignoring his deceptive character. Forgiveness does not mean you don't recognize someones character. I don't think she can separate one from the other.

Chapter 38 in the voice of the killer describes attempting the killing of a prostitute. This one survives badly wounded and missing her fingers. Sick bastard!

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07/05/2017 - 8:17 pm

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