5 Iconic Traits Buffy Rebuttal: Buffy at War with herself
This article came out earlier this past weekend and it has people debating whether Buffy really wanted to be normal or not. My response is, she wanted both.
We see Buffy, especially in season 1 and 2, who is a girl who wants to be able to be carefree, date, and well, be a normal teen girl. She doesn't want to meet her destiny with The Master. She wants to live, and rightfully so. She doesn't want to worry about vampires, the undead, or any supernatural creatures, but who in their right mind would at the age of 16? The world often rests on her shoulders and she has had enough.
Or so she thinks.
Two specific times come to mind where to the viewer Buffy seems to change her minds. I can sum them up in two words.
Kendra and Faith.
Both times Buffy displays jealousy to the fact there are other slayers. Kendra is a very serious, studious slayer and immediately bonds with Giles over ancient texts and the like, which makes Buffy seeth with jealousy. She doesn't want to be surplanted in the eyes of her watcher, but if her place was taken, Buffy could have that normal life.
When Faith moves into Sunnydale and Giles assumes the role of her watcher (and later Wesley) Buffy exhibts the same jealousy. She doesn't like the attention she gets from Xander (whose advances she has refused), she doesn't like it when her Mom invites Faith over, and when Faith steals her french fries.
I would say that Faith and Kendra being around make Buffy feel less special. She's the chosen one. This is her gig, and then she was faced with an additional slayer twice. It's great to complain about how special you are when you're special, but when you're no longer special, well, you miss it.
Which brings me to my point. No matter how much Buffy wants to be normal, she never will be. She will always know vampires lurk, threatening lives of the unsuspecting. Because she is a true hero, a true chosen one, she can't let this go, no matter how much her heart wishes she could. When her powers are stripped in helpless she is unnerved and wants them back. She's worried maybe they won't come back even though if she lost them forever, she could be normal. She worries about vampires and who is going to take care of them. Buffy is a girl who is at war with herself over her desires and not just her sense of duty, but the well fair of others.
She repeatedly saves people she can't stand or get along with (Cordelia Chase anyone?)
We see this time and time again starting from the first season when she's on a date and rushes to Giles' aid, even though she really put him in that situation anyway. When she's out doing normal things, when she sees something not right, despite what she really wants to do, she charges in and saves someone's life. She can't help it. She's a true hero. Whether she wants to be or not.
I would guess what makes a true hero is someone who does the saving and the slaying even though they really don't want to.