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 Post subject: Shepherd-Sunderland: What's In A Name?

Missing since: 21 Jul 2003
Notes left: 11979
Last seen at: Nova Scotia, Canada
So I was doing some research the other night on the Garden Of Eden and I came across an interesting tidbit of information.

One of the geographical locations often mentioned as being a candidate for the location of the ancient Garden is a place called Sundaland, a region in southeastern Asia near the South China Sea.

I don't think I need to point out the obvious similarity between Sundaland and Sunderland. From this line of thinking, we have a possible hidden meaning behind James' last name.

James and Mary viewed Silent Hill as a kind of Paradise, which is literally what Eden supposedly was. If Silent Hill is where the God of The Order originated, then it is possible that humanity began there as well. This could also make Silent Hill itself a kind of Eden within the mythology of the series.

That aside, though, the main focus here is on the viewpoint of James and Mary as the town being a sort of personal Paradise.

If there is meaning behind James' name, what then of Mary's maiden name? Obviously, Shepherd is another word that is highly associated with Christian symbolism and imagery. It is often used in association with Jesus, the Good Shepherd, but it can also encompass the general idea of caring and guiding loved ones, keeping them from straying into danger.

If you put Shepherd-Sunderland together, you get "the one who leads into Paradise". James returns to their Paradise, Silent Hill, seeking his shepherd, Mary.

However, further elements from the Garden of Eden story can be incorporated into understanding of this parallel. Satan, in the form of the Serpent, tempts Eve into eating from the Forbidden Tree of Knowledge, which results in the expulsion of the pair from Paradise.

We do not know the nature of Mary's disease, but due to the highly sexualized nature of the imagery thrown at James in SH2, I believe that the nature of Mary's disease might be an STI of some sort, or some sort of fictionalized sexual disease. This may or may not have been brought on by infidelity on the part of Mary or James. However, it is also likely that James simply visited Heaven's Night while on vacation with his beloved while they were in Silent Hill, an act of sexual indiscretion nonetheless. We know James has a history with the strip club. Perhaps the forces behind the power of the town are punishing James (and Mary, as an extension of punishing James) for this indiscretion, and have expelled them from Paradise into a hellish new reality. James partook of the Fruit of Forbidden Knowledge, and they have paid the ultimate price for it.

Shepherd-Sunderland then can be seen to mean "the one who leads to temptation, which ends in the loss of Paradise". Is it Mary, then who leads to temptation? Not exactly. It is Maria who quite obviously acts as a sort of Serpent, intent on seducing James and ultimately destroying him. Whether or not her creation and actions are intentional on Mary's part to punish James, she is at the least related to Mary on some metaphysical level, making her ostensibly Maria Sheperd-Sunderland.

These two very different interpretations of Mary/Maria's name also make sense within the already dual nature of the character(s?). This also connects with their first names. Mary is commonly associated with purity and good intentions, as a connection to the Virgin Mary, another Christian figure. While Maria shares the same ultimate origins as the name Mary, the variation is more commonly associated with a wilder, more sexually liberated sort of woman.

One final note: the name James means "to supplant", which means "to replace". James Sunderland, then, can mean "he who seeks to replace Paradise". James could at least subconsciously appear to have this very goal, through replacing Mary with Maria in the "Maria" ending.

_________________
"I dreamt last night I saw you
A single spark explosion negotiating with the dead
By the bright lights in some ICU on my chest you put your head
and said "There you are.
There you are.
There's my heart..."


Last edited by Droo on 04 Apr 2009, edited 1 time in total.

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Historical Society Historian
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Awesome. Simply awesome. Once again, I'm blown away.

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I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


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Missing since: 21 Jul 2003
Notes left: 11979
Last seen at: Nova Scotia, Canada
Why thank you. :)

_________________
"I dreamt last night I saw you
A single spark explosion negotiating with the dead
By the bright lights in some ICU on my chest you put your head
and said "There you are.
There you are.
There's my heart..."


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Brookhaven Receptionist
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Missing since: 30 May 2007
Notes left: 959
Last seen at: a dead cloverfeild...
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but due to the highly sexualized nature of the imagery thrown at James in SH2, I believe that the nature of Mary's disease might be an STI of some sort, or some sort of fictionalized sexual disease.

Well the if disease was fatal then why didnt james get sick. He would have been sick about the same time if it was a sexualy transmitted disease. I like youre theory, its well thought out. There are just some aspects that seem to be a little of a stretch. I just dont think the sexual imagery in the game really indicates at all that mary was sick with a sexually transmitted disease.

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Missing since: 21 Jul 2003
Notes left: 11979
Last seen at: Nova Scotia, Canada
I think it's possible that Mary was in the dormancy stage of syphilis, and was noninfectious as a result. She could have had it from before she met James.

For the sake of this analysis, though, I think it's safer to say she has some inexplicable fictional disease that is sexual in some fashion.

_________________
"I dreamt last night I saw you
A single spark explosion negotiating with the dead
By the bright lights in some ICU on my chest you put your head
and said "There you are.
There you are.
There's my heart..."


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Brookhaven Receptionist
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Missing since: 30 May 2007
Notes left: 959
Last seen at: a dead cloverfeild...
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She could have had it from before she met James.

they are married and she has been sick for three years.
Quote:
I think it's possible that Mary was in the dormancy stage of syphilis

Quote:

For the sake of this analysis, though, I think it's safer to say she has some inexplicable fictional disease that is sexual in some fashion.

But on what grounds is it a sexualy transmitted disease.

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Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only try to realize the truth. There is no spoon.


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My Bestsellers Clerk
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Missing since: 14 Apr 2006
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Last seen at: Old Silent Hill
I have always thought that Mary and Harry's wife both caught whatever infected the town in the 1700's when they built Brookhaven

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Now the dream of this life must end, and so, too, must the dreamers within it.


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Brookhaven Receptionist
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Missing since: 30 May 2007
Notes left: 959
Last seen at: a dead cloverfeild...
I was also under the impression that the disease had something to do with visiting silent hill. Or maybe traces of the plauge that swarmed silent hill years ago.

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Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only try to realize the truth. There is no spoon.


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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 09 Dec 2007
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Idea: Could it possibly be that Mary, at a young age, had been raped?

This could explain several things, really, if the disease she had was really something sexually-transmitted, like syphilis. It could account for her being so reserved and non-sexual... as well as James' frustrations with her sexually, even though he loves her. It's very common for rape or molestation victims to be uncomfortable with loving, consentual sex... and if indeed it was dormant syphilis, there's still a slight window of oppourtunity there for James and Mary to have sex maybe only a few times... still unhindering to her reserved nature.

It could also account for James' interaction with Angela ... hmm. Actually, this brings up a totally new theory.

*goes to post*

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Brookhaven Receptionist
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Dont you think if that were true there would be something or even anything that would have indicated mary being raped. I just dont see it. Or maybe even if james had had sex with lady maria. He would have I dont know had sex with maria during the events of SH2

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Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only try to realize the truth. There is no spoon.


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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 21 Jan 2007
Notes left: 66
I don't think Mary's symptoms really line up with syphilis all that well. Also, syphilis is not likely to be fatal anymore.

As for the Mary being raped thing, I'm not sure that's a conclusion we can draw.

James's sexual thoughts are beaten into you with a pipe, usually swung by a bubblehead nurse. Angela's crawl across the floor at you. Humor aside, the game is blunt about such things, and there is no real mention of such an experience in Mary's past.


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Brookhaven Receptionist
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Missing since: 10 Apr 2006
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I know this is off topic, but what exactly was Mary's disease? I mean we hear about it, that she died of it supposedly... but what exactly was the disease?

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Missing since: 21 Jul 2003
Notes left: 11979
Last seen at: Nova Scotia, Canada
We don't know what it is. It's left purposefully vague.

The only reason I brought it up is to address the "Temptation" side of the argument. However, James' attending Heaven's Night alone is enough of an indescretion (albeit a mental one) that I believe it alone serves the Temptation issue.

_________________
"I dreamt last night I saw you
A single spark explosion negotiating with the dead
By the bright lights in some ICU on my chest you put your head
and said "There you are.
There you are.
There's my heart..."


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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 09 Dec 2007
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Dont you think if that were true there would be something or even anything that would have indicated mary being raped. I just dont see it. Or maybe even if james had had sex with lady maria. He would have I dont know had sex with maria during the events of SH2


Quote:
As for the Mary being raped thing, I'm not sure that's a conclusion we can draw.

James's sexual thoughts are beaten into you with a pipe, usually swung by a bubblehead nurse. Angela's crawl across the floor at you. Humor aside, the game is blunt about such things, and there is no real mention of such an experience in Mary's past.


Honestly, the thing about discussing Silent Hill topics is the fact that, in absolute possible truth, we haven't really been told that much straight from Team Silent's/Konami's mouth. We have the Book of Lost Memories, and a few kind of 'official' plot analyses from the individual who wrote the strategy guides. The rest is complete speculation and guessing on the fan-base's part.

True, some of it might be obvious to stick together... some things might just fall into place and we can rightfully assume that's what Team Silent was thinking (short of one of us being telepathic), but most of it is probably just downright wrong, or coincidence, but that's what we're here to talk about... and it's always fun to theorize about things that even Team Silent probably never even thought of (for example, a couple older, 'wacky' theories: James being Angela's brother... Angela being Alessa... etc) or meant. Otherwise a) this would be a very boring forum, b) there would be no one here, because the same crap would be discussed over and over (part of why I faded into nonexistance last time) or c) both.

I recommend pulling the sticks out of your bums and just enjoy theorizing. Who knows? You might like it. ;)

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Woodside Apartments Janitor
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Missing since: 22 May 2007
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Drew, this is amazing. Its making me think very much, and my thinking has also made me realize something else. Keep in mind that this may be kind of a stretch, but I believe it fits nicely with your explanation.

You made the connection of Jesus the shepherd to Mary Sheperd-Sunderland. In Christianity, Jesus is said to be the path to paradise. According to your explanation, Mary is also the leader to paradise. I think it is safe to make a connection between Mary Sheperd-Suderland and Jesus Christ here. This leads me to my main point of thought: Laura.

The name Laura is known to represent the Laurel plant, which also has heavy symbolism in the Christian religion. In Christianity, the Laurel is known to represent the resurrection of Christ, who is also known as the way to paradise.

James strayed from his shepherd to paradise (Mary), and is now attempting to subconsiously replace her with Maria. Laura could be acting as a guide for James back to his "shepherd", or Mary. I don't think Laura represents resurrection in the sense of Mary coming back from the dead, but rather a figurative resurrection of James' path to paradise.

In other words, Laura acts as "the resurrector of the way to paradise."

Wow, my head hurts.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 27 Aug 2003
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Well, see Sunderland has an obvious meaning without anything Biblical thrown in...

>I recommend pulling the sticks out of your bums and just enjoy theorizing. Who knows? You might like it.

Unless the theorizing is totally off the goddamn mark, sure, we'll enjoy it. But since there's nothing you can even use in the game(s) or Konami-released information to even help back up your statement, your remark is totally uncalled for because your theory falls flat on its face.

Theories are great as long as they can be SEEN and make any sort of sense. Otherwise we could just go around and say that Eddie really is the white version of Eddie Murphy and none of you would be able to prove me wrong because it's a ~*theory*~ and thus, any theory can be accepted. No. It really can't.

Also, the beauty of forums is that people aren't going to blindly accept every notion you create just because it's a theory and the game is leaving a lot up to speculation. Get used to trying to find ground to stand on with your ideas.

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Brookhaven Receptionist
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Missing since: 30 May 2007
Notes left: 959
Last seen at: a dead cloverfeild...
Quote:
Honestly, the thing about discussing Silent Hill topics is the fact that, in absolute possible truth, we haven't really been told that much straight from Team Silent's/Konami's mouth. We have the Book of Lost Memories, and a few kind of 'official' plot analyses from the individual who wrote the strategy guides. The rest is complete speculation and guessing on the fan-base's part.

True, some of it might be obvious to stick together... some things might just fall into place and we can rightfully assume that's what Team Silent was thinking (short of one of us being telepathic), but most of it is probably just downright wrong, or coincidence, but that's what we're here to talk about... and it's always fun to theorize about things that even Team Silent probably never even thought of (for example, a couple older, 'wacky' theories: James being Angela's brother... Angela being Alessa... etc) or meant. Otherwise a) this would be a very boring forum, b) there would be no one here, because the same crap would be discussed over and over (part of why I faded into nonexistance last time) or c) both.

I recommend pulling the sticks out of your bums and just enjoy theorizing. Who knows? You might like it.

I reccomend you make a convincing arguement that is beleivible. If you dont I or someone else will call you on it EVERY time. I dont have a stick in my ass I just dont agree with a theory that has little to no basis behind it.[back on topic]
Quote:
You made the connection of Jesus the shepherd to Mary Sheperd-Sunderland. In Christianity, Jesus is said to be the path to paradise. According to your explanation, Mary is also the leader to paradise. I think it is safe to make a connection between Mary Sheperd-Suderland and Jesus Christ here. This leads me to my main point of thought: Laura.

I was also curious as to what james the apostle might represent in the the world of silent hill. I cant remember much about him other than he was killed by the hands of a sword. Maybe someone could help me out :?:

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Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only try to realize the truth. There is no spoon.


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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 09 Dec 2007
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Unless the theorizing is totally off the goddamn mark, sure, we'll enjoy it. But since there's nothing you can even use in the game(s) or Konami-released information to even help back up your statement, your remark is totally uncalled for because your theory falls flat on its face.


Quote:
I reccomend you make a convincing arguement that is beleivible. If you dont I or someone else will call you on it EVERY time. I dont have a stick in my ass I just dont agree with a theory that has little to no basis behind it.


*laughs*

Man you guys are impatient... ;)

I haven't even POSTED my theory yet and already you're making assumptions. Awesome.

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Historical Society Historian
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Not impatient, just debating. I was just refuting your claim that people had some type of problem if they were contesting your idea that has little ground to stand on. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but so far that's the case.

But this thread isn't about your non-existent thread. So, for the time being, let's talk about something else, okay?

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Just Passing Through
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Okay. Now that I've gone through the forum to see if this has been touched on at all in some way, I can post. It seems as though it has, in a fashion... so it means I don't have to post as much (or make a new thread) as I initially was going to post!

Anyhoo. My theory here is strictly in response to Drewfus' theory, and the thought that Mary may have been raped when she was younger, perhaps contracting some sort of disease. I'm simply explaining how it could be signified in the game to the point of probability, especially where STDs are concerned. I might be going off on a tangent, especially since I'm with the whole 'ancient disease' theory in terms of what Mary actually contracts, but this is fun and I'm going to post it anyway. ;)

People have probably heard about the Angela/Eddie theory 'Two Sides of One Coin'... where Angela and Eddie are representitive of two sides of James' conciousness: The guilt-ridden concience (Angela), and the concience of the killer (Eddie). This theory can work either way in terms of whether or not Eddie and Angela are real people, or just figments of James' subconcious... (as they are merely two sinners that reflect James' situation), albeit, to fit with Drewfus' idea, you'd have to twist around one little thing...

Instead of Eddie representing only one side of James' subconcious, he would be instead the side that is James' subconcious. Angela, however, would be representitive of Mary's subconcious.

Stick with me now, I'll explain...

It's evident that James' presence alters the reality in which he sees in Silent Hill. This is evident. We can also see that Eddie's presence alters the reality in which he sees Silent Hill, and Angela's presense alters her reality. It's also evident that these realities intermingle, and intertwine... such as with Mockingbird's theory of Angela's reality being her house (GREAT theory, btw, probably true), and finding dead people wherever Eddie goes, regardless of the fact that wherever James goes, it's absolutely desolate and barren of live (and sane) people. So with Mary being in the town (dispite being in the trunk of James' car, and dead), or at least with her spirit being present in the town (much like how Alessa's projection wandered about), shouldn't we be seeing spots of her reality, too?

Okay, I'm getting ahead of myself. What I'm basically trying to say is: one could theorize that representations of both James and Mary could be found in Eddie and Angela, pertaining to them deeply and personally (specifically in relation to Drewfus' STD theory, and speculative theory of Mary being raped). Not to mention the fact that their crossing realities not only would show (in relation to the theory we are discussing) what was previously stated, but interrelations of backlash specifically from James' subconcious, as it is through his eyes we see.

It's obvious that when we put this into such perspective that Eddie is obviously representitive of James: He's a killer, he denies that he's a killer, he's running away from his problems, uses murder to solve his problems, is a killer because of nurture (outside effects), etc. James eventually 'kills off' this part of his subconcious as he begins to retain memory, and as he begins to owe up to what happened.

But as far as the Coin theory goes, in relation to Angela and James... aside from just the 'guilt' connection... Angela in relation to Mary probably makes more sense if you take into concideration young sexual abuse, or something as such (especially in relation to Mary's reserved-ness, her and James' awkward sex life, why James is so sexually frustrated... somewhat giving reason for why Mary is sexually-reserved). It's quite possible James' interactions with Angela could reflect his interactions with Mary, including the thoughts on suicide (even if the thoughts of suicide only related to having a disease), and not being able to save her dispite anything he could possibly do (from her abuse (Abstract Daddy) or her pain in her disease (which could be representive of the fire-stairs scene, where James cannot help Angela, and she climbs the unending stairs (to death? to heaven?)). Perhaps, if Angela does represent Mary's subconcious, it is torturing James by daring him to 'save her' and to 'take care of her' and to 'rid her of her pain' (like he may have thought he could have done when getting into a relationship with her). Albeit, the aspect of abuse/rape is especially interesting when relating back to Mary.

Often when someone gets into a relationship with someone who has been raped or sexually abused, they usually become very reserved and uncomfortable when it comes to loving sexual relations. They don't like sex/want it but don't want to have it/think they are dirty, etc, even though they are in a loving and trusting relationship, like James and Mary. Not saying that this doesn't take a toll on the other person in the relationship (James), as I'm certain that James and Mary might've been having sexual issues even before she became fully-blown diseased. It's even possible that James and Mary never did have sex. Especially if she had a form of STD. We never really know for sure if they did indeed have sex or not... albeit, it is obvious James was tortured by unsatisfied sexual desire through what we see in the game, especially in the form of monsters...

Perhaps a hint to sexual abuse/rape/STD is why the laying figure spews acidic vomit from a slit on it's body. Or why a monster depicting violent rape (Abstract Daddy) attempts to 'swallow James up' through a slit in it's underside. It almost seems like there would be something grotesque to having sex with Mary, either because of an STD, or because he tortures himself over the fact that perhaps when he wants sex, he feels like an abuser, or a rapist, as she might not respond to sexual advances and/or may even respond to them in a harshly negative fashion. Of course, this would have had quite the effect on James, who loved her and wanted to naturally have sex with her, and probably thought he could get her comfortable with having sexual relationships again.

So, yeah. I could go on, but I think this reply is long enough. Drewfus' STD theory could be accurately viewed with the plotline, but it really depends on how you look at it/how you view the information handed to you. Either way, it was an interesting thing to write about, and I probably could've connected several other things to the idea of sexual abuse ('Essence of Mary' room, Flesh Lips, etc) ... but I'm tired of writing. ;)

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