so yesterday, when i was looking for the devin grayson article, i stumbled across dick’s wikiquotes page, and naturally i had to read the entire thing. a lot of them gave me feelings, and this was one of them. i incoherently sobbed on a whole bunch of people (“HE’S A BABY. A BABY. YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND”), and it is still giving me feelings right now so i’m going to spam you with them too.
dick is a huge square. he’s internalized a lot of shit and he genuinely buys into it too—the idea of romance, for example, and marriage as a symbol. i think a part of that is probably because his parents died when he was so young, and they’d taught him a lot of that and i think he’d hold everything they’d said to him dear—he wants to make them proud. he’s also a natural idealist, an incurable optimist, and he’s in love with these beautiful ideas of romance and love.
dick generally leads a charmed life, too—he’s the luckiest bastard on the planet, and he manages to skate through an unfair amount of problems with his natural charm. and even with as much as he’s seen, as much as he’s been through, he’s somewhat sheltered, at this point. he’s sort of peter pannish, in a way that he always bounces back to the way he was before. you know what, let me find the quote.
Not the pain of this but its unfairness was what dazed Peter. It made him quite helpless. He could only stare, horrified. Every child is affected thus the first time he is treated unfairly. All he thinks he has a right to when he comes to you to be yours is fairness. After you have been unfair to him he will love you again, but will never afterwards be quite the same boy. No one ever gets over the first unfairness; no one except Peter. He often met it, but he always forgot it. I suppose that was the real difference between him and all the rest.
dick too!!!! dick does that too!!!! dick’s resilient, forgiving, and he never loses sight of his natural idealism, although…i wouldn’t say he goes to the same extent that peter does, like he DOES learn that he can’t trust some people (bruce), and he will fight unfairly if he thinks he has to, and he doesn’t forget anything. but my point is the resilience, that natural childishness, that never really goes away for him.
when something upsets him, i think a lot of the time it’s because it’s not fair—that’s such an incredibly frustrating thing for him. people lacking human decency make him spitting mad, even after years of encountering it. the thing about dick is he’s never going to be jaded; all the indecencies and unjustices in the world still frustrate him as much as they did when he first learned about them.
i also feel like he has this misplaced faith in things, because he has to have faith in something. he had faith in bruce, which was forcefully shattered in an ugly epiphany that still gives him trouble. bruce was his hero, his rock, his savior, and dick does this thing sometimes where he builds people up in his head to make them out to be infallible people, and it sheltered him entirely from the truth—that bruce is incredibly imperfect, and his imperfections hurt people. and once that bombshell was dropped on him, it was this huge moment of disillusionment—stunning, shocking, it practically turned his life on its head. and even realizing ALL AT ONCE bruce’s incredible flaws, he didn’t stop loving bruce—he needed to get away from him, he didn’t forgive him, but he never stopped loving him for a moment. and a small part of dick still believes in that hero his mind created, he can’t help it, even after his eyes were opened.
and he has faith in things like marriage, despite proof that they don’t work out for some people. he has faith in people, too, despite seeing the worst in them almost every day.
i don’t mean to say he never loses this faith in people, in symbols—he does, he did for a long time after devin wrote the worst fucking period of his life—but he always bounces back, no matter what. dick’s resilient, he’s a fucking symbol of hope for so many people in his life, because he’s almost incapable of losing it entirely.