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2023.03.25 05:21 nitnittheawesome In Defense of Heather Duke

When I first watched Heathers: The Musical, believe it or not, I fucking hated Heather Duke. My favourite character back then was Heather Chandler, because she’s a mythic bitch. Then, I realised I hated Heather Duke because she was too much like me.
But that’s not the point. My point is, Heather Duke is considered by many to be an extremely hatable character. The purpose of this essay is not to convince you to like Heather Duke more; it is just to defend some of her actions, as stated in the title. Though many of Heather Duke’s actions were inexcusable, she is ultimately one of Heather Chandler’s victims; an example of the victim becoming the bully. Most of this essay is written with the Off-Broadway production in mind, as well as the movie.

Heather Duke has a personality

Let’s start from the very beginning. While it is true that we have about 2 hours of musical content and 1 hour and 44 minutes of movie content to go off of, as well as deleted scripts, much can be gathered regarding Heather Duke’s personality.
Veronica describes Duke as having ‘no discernible personality, but her mom did pay for implants’. It is proven further on in the musical that yes, Duke does have a personality; a personality is defined by the Oxford dictionary as the combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual's distinctive character. Duke is far from having no discernible personality; hell, you could even argue that Duke is the most in-depth character in Heathers.
The most prominent example of this is Duke’s interaction with JD before ‘Kindergarten Boyfriend’, Duke immediately knowing that “I now know thee, thou clear spirit” is from Moby Dick, and that’s not even the whole quote. Duke is shown to be an avid reader in the movie as well; reading Moby Dick even while playing croquet and in early drafts of the script, referencing The Catcher in the Rye (“Yeah, you know Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye wouldn’t put up with their bogus nonsense.”).
I read The Catcher in the Rye recently, and it’s a coming-of-age novel from an unreliable narrator perspective. The main character, Holden Caulfield, has a very warped worldview, classifying people as ‘phonies’, smoking and drinking while underage, his most notable trait being his red hunting cap; a physical manifestation of his different thinking and uniqueness from others. I interpret Duke liking this novel as her relating heavily with its themes of angst and alienation, often picturing herself as being alienated from the Heathers; with Chandler shown to treat McNamara better than her, and even treats Veronica better than her (to an extent). And as another Reddit user mentioned, curiosity is a sign of intelligence; her willingness to seek new information such as books makes her an extremely intelligent character (even managing to find a quote from a book with 135 chapters immediately).
I almost forgot to add how Duke runs the yearbook; and running a yearbook committee requires qualities such as good leadership abilities, good teamwork skills as well as a high level of creativity. High schools do not just let random people run their yearbook committees; unless Duke bribed the faculty to give her the position or intimidated the student body into electing her as yearbook committee head. In the movie, there’s a scene that Dennis, Peter and a random girl are discussing the yearbook regarding Chandler’s suicide, and the fact that Duke is allowing it to be included in the yearbook (as the head, despite not being in the scene itself) shows that not only is she a somewhat competent head, she also knows what’s best for the yearbook and what isn’t.
Duke comes up with many snarky remarks throughout the musical, some taken directly from the movie version of Chandler (“What? It’ll give her shower nozzle masturbation material for weeks!”) which implies how she models her behaviour after her though she does come up with her fair share of snarky remarks herself (“We all didn’t kiss on the kickball field!”, “Here comes the cootie squad! We should-“, et cetera).
Duke is insecure, described in the Off-Broadway script as being ‘the whipped beta dog of the three Heathers. Deeply insecure.’ A good example to show her insecurity is in the OOBC bootleg of ‘Beautiful’ on YouTube (Alice Lee is an amazing Heather Duke), when she tells Veronica “Of course, you could stand to lose a few pounds.” she grips her stomach area, heaving deeply as if she’s disgusted by herself, reflecting her insecurities on Veronica, but regains her composure quickly. Another Reddit user pointed out how Duke seems to adjust the bottom of her blazer after being placed in a situation out of her control; and control is a very important aspect of her character, which I will also be going into when talking about her eating disorder. After Duke gets SA’d by Ram in ‘Big Fun’ and suspended by Mrs. Fleming after ‘Lifeboat’, she readjusts the bottom of her blazer, and I do think this is symbolic; reminding her that after everything, the one thing she has control over is her body and her weight, which is why she specifically readjusts the area of her blazer covering her stomach.
Lastly, Duke is the only character in canon confirmed to have a disorder; bulimia nervosa. While some of you may argue that “JD has antisocial personality disordePTSD!” or “Veronica is depressed!” they are not confirmed. The diagnostic criterion for bulimia nervosa in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-V) are:
While Duke’s bulimia is mentioned only once throughout the whole musical in ‘Beautiful’, and twice in the movie where it is shown that she started to make an attempt to normally after Chandler’s death (no, you can’t recover from bulimia instantly), it shows a lot about her character. The act of binge eating itself has a sense of lack of control, as stated in the DSM-V. It goes so far that during binges, individuals tend to eat foods they would otherwise avoid; continuing until they are uncomfortably full. The DSM-V states that experiencing multiple stressful life events can precipitate onset of bulimia, and bulimics tend to be ashamed of their eating problems, which can be triggered through multiple factors like interpersonal stressors, negative feelings related to body weight and body shape, boredom, et cetera.
Why am I telling you all this? Because Duke’s bulimia is a product of her insecurity. Heather Duke hates the way she looks; if she didn’t, her mom wouldn’t have paid for implants. Also, the minimum age to get breast implants in the USA is 18; implying that Duke’s mother and Duke got it through illegal means. Heather Duke mafia arc?! Bulimia is also seen by bulimics to be a way to maintain control over their own body. They believe that even if they can’t control anything else around them, they still have complete control over their own body; which is what leads to the development of an eating disorder. Duke wants control; shown by her jealousy of Chandler as well as her taking initiative to obtain the red scrunchie in the musical after Chandler’s death. When Duke doesn’t have control, she uses unhealthy coping mechanisms like her bulimia and phrases to reassure herself (like when JD blackmails her, she says “Nobody cares about the past. Nobody cares about Martha Dumptruck.” and it has a vengeful, angsty intonation to it; as if she’s saying it to reassure herself, perhaps?).
In conclusion, Heather Duke has a personality. She is highly intelligent, snarky, insecure, aching for control over her own life and the lives of others’. Which leads me to my next point.

Heather Chandler’s abuse

Many people speculate that Chandler is an asshole to Duke because she knows that Duke will go batshit crazy on McNamara if Duke gets the power (like she did after ‘Lifeboat’) and hence keeps Duke on a tight leash. In actuality, she does not just keep Duke on a tight leash. She abuses Duke, both physically and mentally. Chandler’s physical assault is shown in ‘Candy Store’, before her riff where Duke wails vocal ad-lib and Chandler fucking pushes her. It has come to the point where people don’t compare how good each individual Chandler’s riff is, rather, people compare how far each individual Duke gets pushed. Under no circumstances should you ever push someone to the ground, let alone your friend or someone who is part of your clique. That’s called bullying.
And if I could list every single instance that Chandler mentally/verbally abuses Duke, I’d be here all day. Which I already am. Some examples include:
This is way too much for a 17 year old to handle. When Chandler says “Grow up, Heather. Bulimia is so ‘87.”, it’s also implying that they knew each other since/before 1987. Which is even more fucked up considering Duke has been constantly taking abuse from Chandler for 2 years or more. The worst part is, if Duke wants to remain a Heather, she can’t do anything. And she’s not allowed to do anything. Or she’d become an ex-somebody, and we all knew the consequences of that in the actual musical. After 2 years (or more) of suffering, what do you think Duke would do? It’s human instinct to feel like shit if you were abused like this. And instead of getting swallowed up by her pain like McNamara did, what did Duke do? Lash out at others. But before I go into that, I’ll go into a small sub-section.

Heather McNamara’s ignorance

Heather McNamara is not an innocent cinnamon roll. She is equally as bad as every other Heather; just that she is redeemable. As Janis Ian/Sarkisian once said, “There are two kinds of evil people in this world. Those who do evil stuff and those who see evil stuff being done and don't try to stop it.” And it is safe to say that McNamara falls under both categories.
She doesn’t try to stop Duke or protect Veronica when Duke spreads the rumor that Veronica had a threesome with Kurt and Ram; instead, she actively encourages it! In Blue (Reprise), she sings “I hope she rinsed it!” and actively joins in the singing in the West End production’s ‘Never Shut Up Again’.
Heather McNamara is a follower. She’s a lot like someone I know; she follows what the most influential person wants, and goes with it. After Chandler died, it was Duke. And before Chandler died… you guessed it!
You may argue that McNamara told Duke “Maybe you should see a doctor, Heather.” but that is kind of a given…? Someone with bulimia, as stated earlier, would not be open about their eating disorder at all. That is extremely shitty advice to give someone. She could’ve agreed with Duke, could’ve stood up for her or at least tried to interact with her or help her up when she was pushed down; but she didn’t (I think in the West End production she did? I’m not sure either; it looked more as if she was pushing Duke into place which is an even more asshole move to do). Naturally, Duke would associate McNamara as one of the people who wronged her, as well as Chandler. And when McNamara poured her heart out to TV cameras during ‘Lifeboat’… well…

Justifying Heather Duke’s actions

…Heather Duke was not having it. Many people take notice of the “And every morning on the bus I feel my heart beating louder and faster and I’m like ‘Jesus, I’m on the freaking bus again because all my rides to school are dead…’” and then they look at Duke’s line in ‘Candy Store’ (“And get in my Jeep!”) which could be interpreted many different ways. And I like to think that Duke walks to school because bulimics tend to overexercise in order to lose weight (especially considering Heathers occured in a relatively short time frame), but as I said, it could be interpreted many different ways. Bulimics typically have to go through cognitive behavioural therapy (or they can just… recover from their own, but it takes time) but that’s not the point. My point is, Duke didn’t necessarily refuse to pick McNamara up. It’s just a theory. A musical theory.
After ‘Lifeboat’, where McNamara is stuck in a trance-like state, Duke rushes towards her, confronting her. And here’s where everyone forgets that the TV cameras are still recording; why would Duke yell at someone who is suicidal on TV cameras? She wants control. She craves positive attention. The last thing that Duke would do would be to make herself seem like an asshole on national television. The whole sequence seemed as if it was out of rage and pent-up anger more than anything; it was almost immediate after ‘Lifeboat’ ended. Her tone was not dissimilar to Chandler’s before ‘Dead Girl Walking’; both extremely indignant. And here’s where some people also forget that ‘Shine a Light (Reprise)’ happened in McNamara’s head and Duke didn’t actually tell her to go kill herself. I interpret ‘Shine a Light (Reprise)’ not just as McNamara imagining Duke telling her to kill herself, but subconsciously encouraging herself to kill herself. Why would Duke use Mrs. Fleming’s song? In essence; Duke lashed out at McNamara in rage. It seemed more of an outburst rather than a premeditated action.
Sure, I can’t justify Duke spreading the rumor about Veronica having a threesome. I admit that Duke is an asshole for doing that. Which is why I like her. What I can somewhat justify is Duke usurping Chandler’s position as head bitch.
Duke had always been in Chandler’s shadow; and in this case, always been beaten up by Chandler. Naturally, what she’d want to do is issue a final “fuck you” to Chandler by firstly, usurping her position, her red scrunchie, raiding her locker, and blowing her boyfriend (I believe that’s in a deleted part of the movie script where she blows David. But people with EDs typically don’t participate in sexual activities because of their body image issues). Duke wanted to take what Chandler didn’t give her, and she wanted to make others feel how Chandler made her feel. Her actions were out of vengeance and rage.
After ‘Kindergarten Boyfriend’, Duke attempts to get Veronica and McNamara to sign the petition, and when Veronica tells her that “We were avoiding you.”, Duke lets out a gasp of bewildered betrayal. This implies that Duke didn’t understand the consequences of her actions (which again, I can imply that Chandler did it to her so many times that she thinks it’s okay) which is so fucking sad. Which also further leads me to believe that Duke lashed out at McNamara out of rage.


The saddest thing about Heather Duke is that in the Off-Broadway production, she does not achieve a happy ending. She is the only living character in the musical to not have a happy ending (JD reunited with his mom in heaven, Veronica, Martha and McNamara reconcile, the school as a whole reconciled) and instead goes back to being a nobody. She joins a random group and sings with them, showing how it’s so tragic that she didn’t even get to keep what she wanted for so long. Though, in the West End production, she reunites with McNamara and Veronica. But I don’t really like that ending because after what Duke did, I wouldn’t see McNamara and Veronica forgiving her, especially since Duke said that Martha was “Just another geek trying to imitate the popular kids and failing miserably.”
Heather Duke’s actions can’t be fully excused, but she isn’t inherently bad; I believe that her actions were mostly out of vengeance. And that is so relatable. What the fuck.
I like to think that after the events of Heathers, Heather Duke and Heather McNamara went to therapy together, explaining their actions and pushing past their past grievances and turning their trauma bond into a true friendship. But again, it never happened. Unless I write a fanfic about it.
If you’re reading this, thank you for coming to my TedTalk. And I’m so happy you managed to read through my Heather Duke essay. She just like me fr
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2023.03.25 02:25 acs2020 This guide shows which car and year to avoid

This guide shows which car and year to avoid submitted by acs2020 to Lexus [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 01:05 RocketshipMico Our German car made the list.

Our German car made the list.
Do you guys think the RS falls into this category? I mean it is a German made car.
Your thoughts?
submitted by RocketshipMico to FocusRS [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 00:35 Beautiful_Software93 Recall repair available (21 hybrid)

Recall repair available (21 hybrid) submitted by Beautiful_Software93 to ChryslerPacifica [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 23:45 jamamez Thoughts on the Mazda 3 being unreliable?

Thoughts on the Mazda 3 being unreliable? submitted by jamamez to mazda3 [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 22:25 JenVixen420 This guide shows which car and year to avoid

This guide shows which car and year to avoid submitted by JenVixen420 to u/JenVixen420 [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 22:17 wingwraith What’s up with the ‘19 Ascent?

What’s up with the ‘19 Ascent? submitted by wingwraith to SubaruAscent [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 21:21 cheeksarelikepeaches Ram Trucks High Pressure Fuel Pump Recall

I bought a 2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Ecodiesel new from a dealership in 2017. I am the original and only owner of the truck. The truck has almost 121,000 miles. I have taken good care of the truck and done all maintenance and recalls on it that have been needed and I have not modified the vehicle in any way since I purchased it.
In June 2022, I received a recall notice in the mail stating that there was a recall for the High Pressure Fuel Pump (HPFP) in my engine and that I would be notified when I can get that fixed. It has been 9 months since that recall and there is no update on the recall. There is currently no fix for the HPFP and no timeline for when Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) will be starting the recall.
Last Thursday, March 16, I went on a 5 hour drive to visit my family for the weekend. In the middle of the freeway, my truck broke down without warning. I had to get it towed 50+ miles to the closest Ram dealership and luckily I was close enough to my family that someone was able to pick my wife and I up. The dealership opened up my engine to see what was wrong with it. They have diagnosed the engine failure as being a catastrophic failure of the High Pressure Fuel Pump. My truck is bricked. The High Pressure Fuel pump shot metal shards through my whole fuel system. The Dealership says that there is no fix for the HPFP because there are no parts available. They say my truck will most likely sit on their lot for a year or more while they wait for the fix from FCA Corporate. The dealership said they would contact FCA Corporate and see what needs to be done and that I should contact them as well.
I called FCA Corporate today and got a hold of someone. This person told me that I have two options:
  1. Get a loaner from the out-of-state dealership while my truck is "repaired"
  2. Pay for a rental out of pocket and once the truck is fixed, send the receipts to Chrysler corporate to see if they will maybe partially reimburse me.
Obviously I am not going to pay thousands of dollars for a rental. Even a cheap, long-term rental is close to $2000 a month. The dealership says they don't have a loaner that they can give me for that long and over state lines. Besides that, my truck will be parked at a dealership outside for months on end, while the sun beats down on it and the value of the truck continues to depreciate.
My questions are:
Where do I go from here?
Do I need to sue?

Im happy to answer any clarifying questions in the comments and Ill update the post with them.
submitted by cheeksarelikepeaches to legaladvice [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 21:11 Shahid9s Used Cars to Avoid

Used Cars to Avoid submitted by Shahid9s to Islam_and_Muslims [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 20:20 ninjafork This guide shows which car and year to avoid

This guide shows which car and year to avoid submitted by ninjafork to FocusST [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 19:59 RyantheRaindrop My GTI Lite is on there, the GTI as well but I noticed one of the variants is mysteriously missing from the list... Guess I know what I should upgrade to!!!

My GTI Lite is on there, the GTI as well but I noticed one of the variants is mysteriously missing from the list... Guess I know what I should upgrade to!!! submitted by RyantheRaindrop to Golf_R [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 17:45 AgentOfChaos-uk A UK version of this would be good. I wonder how many are true for cars on this fair isle?

A UK version of this would be good. I wonder how many are true for cars on this fair isle? submitted by AgentOfChaos-uk to CarTalkUK [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 17:26 Woodworkin101 This guide shows which car and year to avoid. Notice Toyota isn’t even on here.

This guide shows which car and year to avoid. Notice Toyota isn’t even on here. submitted by Woodworkin101 to ToyotaHighlander [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 17:14 silvars My first Ultra Red!

My first Ultra Red! submitted by silvars to HotWheels [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 17:13 barftitsmcgee This guide shows which car and year to avoid

This guide shows which car and year to avoid submitted by barftitsmcgee to u/barftitsmcgee [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 17:13 Mcmaster114 Is there any car better than the '95 Corolla (for under 8k)?

I own a 1995 Toyota Corolla DX that recently gave out on me after an ungodly amount of rough miles, and I need a new car. My question is: is there literally anything better than just buying another 1995 Corolla DX?
I've driven many, many other cars through my jobs at various times including: - Multiple early 2000s Jeep Patriots (slow, broke down constantly, boring to drive, and uncomfortable)
So what is there that meets the same beautiful handling, solid reliability, and good gas mileage of the old Corollas? Me and my gf have roadtripped the '95 from coast to coast, took it down bad dirt roads, and pushed it to its limits and it was always a wonderful drive and amazingly cost-efficient.
Any suggestions? My current considerations are basically another Corolla, one of the old Lexus LS or SCs, a cheap Corvette, or some oddball weird things off of Facebook Marketplace. I need to know what else would even possibly fit the criteria. Price limit is 8k, but I'd prefer to stay under 5k. Need to be "roadtrippable", which isn't a hard standard to meet, but excludes soft-top convertibles and excessively cramped cars.
Order of priorities is reliability>>>fuel efficiency>handling>comfort>cost, but I definitely have a hard cap of 8k on cost.
submitted by Mcmaster114 to whatcarshouldIbuy [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 16:49 phil_davis CR 2022 best and worst

CR 2022 best and worst submitted by phil_davis to u/phil_davis [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 15:55 mandrews03 This guide shows which car and year to avoid

This guide shows which car and year to avoid submitted by mandrews03 to BroncoSport [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 15:46 richcournoyer Oh great! This guide shows which car and year to avoid

Oh great! This guide shows which car and year to avoid submitted by richcournoyer to MachE [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 15:42 dontlietomeagain This list of cars with "Worse than Average Reliability" is pretty specific with the models and years. Is it accurate, for those that own these model Mercedes? Seems like mostly later model years too which seems kinna sad.

This list of cars with submitted by dontlietomeagain to mercedes_benz [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 15:35 saucytech Damn it feels good not to be anywhere on this list.

Damn it feels good not to be anywhere on this list. submitted by saucytech to ToyotaTacoma [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 15:32 dunkinnutsdo We have reliable vehicles

We have reliable vehicles submitted by dunkinnutsdo to WRX [link] [comments]