A Bad Girl Feels The Burn ||>
TITLE: A Bad Girl Feels The Burn
SUMMARY: An answer to Essay Question #4
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While Buffy and Faith dance at the Bronze in the episode Bad
Girls, the song "Chinese Burn" by Curve plays in the background.
This song, through the use of the symbolism in the lyrics describes
Faith's situation up to the episode and effectively foreshadows
her eventual decline into evil and madness.
There were three stages to Faith's decline. Her introduction,
where we are greeted with her wild, yet fun appearance. We know
that she walks a very fine line, but she hasn't really gone overboard
yet. This situation is explained by the first stanza of the song:
She burns friends like a piece of wood/ And she's
jealous of me because she never could/ Hold herself up without
a spine/ And she'll look me up when she's doing fine/ Because
the rage it burns like Chinese torture/ She's just someone's favourite
daughter/ Spoilt and ugly as she willingly slaughters/ Friends
and enemies they're all the same/ They'll burn her name/ And crush
She feels things more deeply than most people, her emotions are
intense and she feels jealousy and rage more often that the other
white hats, as it "burns like Chinese torture." However, she still
retains some identity as a good guy, but she simply needs to feel
as good as or better than Buffy. Faith becomes jealous of Buffy
because she can "hold herself up without a spine," or simply that
she has the support of everyone around her while Faith feels alone.
When Faith accidentally kills Alan Finch, she falls from the fine
line she had been walking previously into confusion. She has no
idea who she is or whether she should be good or evil, so she experiments
with both. This is also reflected when Curve plays the second part
of the song:
She'll break a promise as a matter of course/ Because
she thinks it's fun to have no remorse/ She gets what she wants
and then walks away/ And she doesn't give a fuck what you might
say/ Because it cuts her up like Irish mortar/ Mother's pride
is what we taught her/ Soiled and petty as we happily taunt her/
Friend or enemy we're all to blame/ She'll burn us bad/ She'll
flaunt her flame/ She'll make us remember, remember her name
She starts to cease to care about anyone and everyone. As she "breaks
a promise as a matter of course" she looks at what she has done.
There were no horrible ramifications for her actions; she sees life
as unimportant, that others are there just to serve her "because
she thinks it's fun to have no remorse." "She gets what she wants",
as her "want, take, have" attitude (Bad Girls) gets worse.
Meanwhile, she still struggles with what she has done. The more
that the Scooby Gang fails to realize what is going on, the more
"soiled and petty" she becomes. Because of her jealousy for Buffy
(Enemies), she finds an increasing need to "flaunt her fame,"
and to show everyone that she is the best slayer at whatever she
wants to do.
She could have been saved at this point, but circumstances forced
her into her third stage -- that of insanity and her dedication
to the black hats. This was the stage that led to her destruction
by Buffy, who in the end, became both her friend and enemy, adding
to the meaning of the last part of the song:
If she sits still like she knows she could/ She
could win this game and be the queen for good/ Save herself up
for the cream of the crop/ Then she'll look us up when she's ready
to stop/ Because the rage it burns like Chinese torture/ She's
just someone's favourite daughter/ Spoilt and ugly as she willingly
slaughters/ Friends and enemies are all that came/ To burn her
name/ Crush her flame/ We're all to blame.
This is perhaps the most symbolic of the three stanzas. The first
four lines describe her ascension with the Mayor. If she "sits still"
and does what he wants, then she "will be sitting at his right hand."
(Enemies) And the rage in her by this time at all the members of
the Scooby Gang does burn like "Chinese torture", as does her desire
to kill them. As the Mayor's "favourite daughter" she "willingly
slaughters" until Buffy, her "friend and enemy", came to kill her,
or "crush her flame." The last line, "We're all to blame," describes
the blame that can be attributed to the circumstances that the Scooby
Gang let interfere with their need to save Faith. In particular,
during "Consequences," when Wesley kidnapped her from Angel, he
worsened her descent into ruin. This line describes how the problem
The song captures Faith's personality and actions in a nutshell,
from which it has not been able to break free. The real tragedy
of the human spirit that the song relates to is a parallel to the
tragedy of Faith, the waste of her potential as a great slayer and
a dynamic person who could have saved the world right along with
- Bad Girls
- "Chinese Burn" by Curve