Jake: (laughs) I'm just saying you don't make friends as
easily as... uh, some people.
Turns out, it’s actually pretty easy to move when the dynamics of
their previous social location play out in a predictable fashion:
Daria’s vapid and conventionally attractive sister Quinn instantly
identifies with the popular Fashion Club as Daria settles into her
familiar status as an outsider. Daria eschews mainstream trends
through her trademark combat boots and glasses and subsequently
finds sardonic solidarity in Jane (her multiple ear piercings, grungy
outfit, and dry conversation style communicates the
countercultural harmony between the two). Daria and Quinn’s
initiation to Lawndale demonstrates that place no longer matters
in the context of the high school subjectivity; the act of “copy and
paste” for the symbolic representations of each sibling produces
the same social dynamic in a decentered suburbia. The diverging
experiences of each sibling highlights the importance of identity
construction in the realm of the social; given that their material
relationship to the world is identical, the contrast between the two
serves to delineate their symbolic differences.
Unpacking the episodes “Through a Lens Darkly” and
“Quinn the Brain” establishes the comparative frame for the
nature and implications of “user’s choice” identity formation. In
“Lens,” Daria undergoes a temporary transformation by
substituting her glasses for contacts while Quinn takes on the
social position of “nerd” after stumbling into an accidentally
brilliant English essay. Daria, in a conversation with her mother,
initially resists the symbolic meaning behind the act of discarding
her glasses:
Daria: We've had this
conversation before. You
think if I get contacts I'll
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