This post can also be found in “The Dialogue” on my Wattpad page!
*potential spoilers for “The Mute Mistress” if you haven’t read it*
Chazlin Sullivan. His character is no enigma– at least not to me. And not because I wrote him.
Time and time again, I receive questions concerning Chaz’s “story”. With proximity to Trish, few people ask about her history (or future) than his. I was actually being generous; the ratio is almost non-existent… it’s that little.
I’m curious as to why. I can’t think of a time where I have been asked about Nellie’s story or even Laura’s. What about Chandni? To me, I feel they are more interesting yet their trials and tribulations or existences are less popular– in fiction– in comparison to “the abusive man”. Without trying we can find a story about a boy/man who dehumanizes people, especially women. But stories about single mothers (not looking for a man) trying to make ends meet or the woman who finds out she can’t bear children or simply an Indian woman require way more digging and hashtag queries.
Why are we, as a collective, still so fascinated with the abusers who don’t mask their abuse? In fact, many of these characters’ acts are public and deliberate in the fiction and to the reader.
I’ll be frank: there isn’t a single thing about Chaz’s character that is redeemable in “The Mute Mistress”. In fact, in this intentionally cliché story, I never intended for him to be a rectifiable character.
But is there a demand to have his story as a means to sympathize with him? To give him the humanity he lacks? If so, why? Why is there a higher demand to know more about Chaz than Trish or any other character in the story?
My questions surrounding Chaz’s demand exist because I have yet to encounter a single soul that has ever asked me for the story of an equally problematic, but female, character: Karen Burke.
The floor is open: