exchanges between dave and davesprite always really got to me. his casual conversations with himself were hilarious, of course, but they also implied an incredible amount of character growth. hussie writes a lot of this phenomenon in homestuck, specifically in regards to the two knights- showing their struggle for identity quite literally through having multiple timelines interacting directly with one another. it embodies everything that comes into play when establishing yourself as an individual, exploiting the frustrations (moreso the case with karkat) and acceptance (moreso the case with dave) that happens when you self-actualize. the first two scenes i picked showed him agreeing with himself, which i found really touching because, in a way, it depicts him coming to terms with himself and admitting that he’s a pretty funny guy. in the later two, he’s both moving on - leaving a part of him behind- and defending himself against enemies at the same time. if that’s not growth, i don’t know what is. the fact that he’s protecting himself (rather than having his buddies save him like everyone else) and kind of abandoning his childhood through letting davesprite go just shows how he’s learned to depend solely on himself for the most part and his independence strikes me both as very beautiful and very, very sad.
Yes! Dave’s whole arc is completely chock-a-block with symbolism… I think significantly more than any other character’s. And I love it.
I think that panel is especially poignant in contrast to this one, a little bit later which uses the same image:
And I think together the two panels are really illustrative of Dave’s relationship with his own vulnerability. He spends a lot of energy, obviously, hiding his vulnerabilities from other people… but his own internal relationship to what he perceives as his vulnerabilities is another matter entirely and one that I think is really interesting.
Of course… I’m of the opinion that Dave’s postering and tendancy to be emotionally withdrawn are defense mechanisms, and one’s Dave employs because on some level he feel so vulnerable and defenseless. A lot of that comes from growing up in a physically abusive environment, plain and simple, but in Dave’s case it’s also kind of a self-perpetuating cycle. He’s stuck with it now.
Which is why I love, love, love these two panels. Basically… behind all his communication bullshit, Dave is completely conflicted about his attitude towards the parts of himself he sees as liabilities. And on some level he’s torn between just wanting to cauterize his vulnerabilities and eliminate them, and between being fiercely protective of them because they’re such a fundamental part of who he is.