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Transcript of Archie Costello
Development & Growth
Timeline of Archie's role
"Anagnorisis originally meant recognition, not only of a person but also of what that person stood for."(Wikipedia)
Archie is the leader of the vigils at Trinity high. His actions lead to lots of problems in the story. As a character he is narcissistic, manipulative, and a sadist. He is very similar to the Joker from Batman in some ways.
Even the teachers see this as his defining moment. When brother Jacques finds Archie he says "Welcome, Archie. I imagine you are the villain here, aren't you?"(Ch.37, P.256). The teachers have known that Archie is mischievous but this is the one time they have solid evidence.
Archie being held against a wall after the room 19 incident.
One way Archie is shown to be manipulative is when he forces the Goober to unscrew the furniture in room 19.
Goober is a sensitive person and when he sees the torment the incident causes to Brother Eugene he starts to break down. "He awoke each morning depressed, knowing even before he opened his eyes that something was wrong, something had gone askew in his life"(P.79, ch 13) Every morning Goober wakes up thinking about what he's done, all because Archie forced him to do something.
Jerry being forced to sell chocolates by Archie.
A sadist is someone who enjoys seeing someone in pain.
Archie expresses this when he
organizes the fight between Jerry and Emile.
The fight causes Jerry to get badly hurt. "The doctor said that Renault may have sustained a fracture of the jaw and there may be internal injuries"(p.258, ch38) Archie organized the fight to happen, he wanted them to fight for his own entertainment.
"Batman: The Killing Joke" cover art
Archie's anagnorisis is, in my opinion, the fight between Emile and Jerry. These scenes in particular define Archie as a narcissist, a sadist, and a very manipulating person.
As a manipulator he convinces the whole school to come to the football field.
Everyone comes to specifically watch the two students fight, this is very sadistic of the students.
Finally after Archie calls Jerry and he agrees Archie states "I can con anybody. I am Archie."(p.233, ch.35). This is a very clear example of narcissism.
Archie and Obie sitting on the football stands, looking down on the field.
Another time Archie manipulates someone is with the student named Emile. Archie makes Emile think he has a picture of him in the restroom when in reality the camera didn't have any film in it. "Suppose I told you there was no picture, Emile? That there was no file in the camera that day.."(P.222, Ch.34)Emile is then blackmailed by Archie into doing assignments for the vigils.
Even Archie's opinion of the raffle sounds sadistic. "You see people are two things: greedy and cruel. So we have a perfect setup here.."(p.241, ch 36) Archie thinks that the violence of the fight appeals to human nature. That's not a very positive outlook.
"Narcissistic people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultra confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that's vulnerable to the slightest criticism."(Mayo Clinic)
Archie expresses symptoms of a narcissist on several occasions. He first expresses this in chapter five when he assigns the Goober to unscrew room 19. Archie draws a marble from a box, if he draws a black marble he will have to do the assignment instead of the Goober. He draws a white marble. "He had won again. I am Archie. I cannot lose."(P.38, Ch.5). He shows an inflated sense of power and confidence, believing that he will never lose.
This causes other characters in the story to not like Archie. They don't like that he thinks he's better then everyone. Obie and Carter take action by bringing the black box to the field in hopes of getting back at Archie for the way he treats people. If he had pulled a black marble he would've been beaten up instead of Jerry.
Archie sees the goober and Jerry at the football field and decides to assign them vigil work.
"The assignment must fit the kid. That's the beauty of it."(Ch.2)
Brother Leon calls Jerry into his office and asks Archie for the vigils help with the chocolate fundraiser.
"..Archie Costello was the vigils. That's why Leon had called him here, practically begging for his help."(Ch.4)
Archie convinces Jerry to fight Emile in front of the whole school. The fight causes Jerry to get heavily injured.
"Welcome, Archie. I imagine you are the villain here, aren't you?"(Ch.37)
Archie tells Emile to beat up Jerry, he later scolds him for including a gang of people in the fight.
"If you really want to get under a guys skin, accuse him of something he's not."(Ch.33)
Archie is losing influence in the vigils and the school. The chocolate sale is connected to the vigils making Archie responsible for the mess.
"If this backfires.. You'll be all done and it wont take the black box."(Ch27)
The Goober unscrews room 19 and Archie is found outside watching the scene unfold. Jerry refuses to sell chocolates.
"I didn't do anything. I didn't promise anything."(Ch.11)