Josef & Sarah

Josef & Sarah

Postby Catmoon » Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:48 pm

Update: I originally started this post because I was looking for some insight to get over writer's block. I have now figured out my story direction so I turn this over to the rest for their continued use. Note the first few pages may have some discussion that doesn't fit with the new topic title, please disregard them because the original thread was more to look at all sides of the situation. Now it's for the J&S shippers, since they didn't have their own thread yet and I'd already started this one.


Okay, I need to have an in-depth, impartial observer discussion of Josef and Sarah. I know there are Josef/Sarah shippers out there. And I want to believe in it, I've been trying to get into that space... but I just can't. It's just not happening for me.

(And yes, those who are reading my current story will recognize the issue I'm dealing with now, so this might thread be considered a spoiler)

I know that we don't know much about her personality. All we have to go on is her "thoughts" from her diary entries. I've read some great takes on what her personality could have been, but I don't seem to be able to "make something up" that resonates with me. I am only able to go by what I saw. To me, she was a young girl who was madly in love, and believing in the romantic happily-ever-after that could conquer all obstacles. She seemed very caught up in the romance of it all.

Then I look at the Josef we see today, and I just can't see them as each other's type. He is hedonistic, self absorbed, and ruthless (yes I adore him). I don't believe that his personality changed drastically as a result of the situation with Sarah. I tend more to see it as he himself described: "Love can show you a part of yourself you never knew existed." I think he too was caught up in the romance of it all. If she woke up tomorrow, could he give up the lifestyle he loves so much to be that sweet faced grinning boy we saw in the flashback? We saw him be himself with Simone, the total naughty boy. Would Sarah be okay with all that? Or am I typecasting her? 1955 was a very different time. Had he really explained everything involved in being a vampire to her, or did he also expect love to make everything okay? I really wish we knew more of what he told her. It might have helped if there was a line added about how he "showed her all the dark sides of the life, but she still wanted to be with me," or something to that effect. I don't know...

I'd be really interested to hear opinions from some of the Josef slaves out there who know him so well.
Last edited by Catmoon on Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:52 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Josef & Sarah (impartial discussion)

Postby francis » Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:48 pm

My take on Sarah is that she must have been a bit "out of character" for her time to be attracted by Josef or to even meet him. Remember he met her in central station asking for a light. Well behaved girls didn't smoke in public in 1955, and would never ask a stranger for a light. In my mind she was cocky, independent, to do something like that. And to be with Josef, she had to go somewhat against her father. To notice that Josef was a vampire ("She knew and she didn't care" is what Josef said) she must be perceptive, curious, thinking out of the box. If she could imagine being with him she must at least have been ready to leave her home, her lifestyle, the idea of a housewife staying at home and mending the kids. Josef must have talked about relocation with her, about fledgling hunger, about leaving her family. I can't imagine he would have turned her and then elope with her without her knowing what she got into. It sounded (in his short lines in SB) as if he tried to get her to wait, but she had none of it. So I imagine he told her all the perks and all the dangers before turning her. With all of his faults, I think he would be honest to his love.

I think his hedonistic life got "worse" if you can say so after Sarah. I can imagine him leading a rather pompous lifestyle before her, in LA, where he lived earlier (Jean Harlow). We don't know when he relocated to NY, it could be that he met Mick after coming back from NY, or he met him shortly before NY in Mick's first year with Coraline.
Maybe his lifestyle in New York was very different, rich yes, but either Sarah was okay with the concept of freshies or he lived on a different kind of food there. Maybe he was ready to give it all up, but when she didn't come out of it he told himself "Heck, why do I bother?".

There are some brilliant Sarah stories that take the little information we have and build a picture of a lifely young woman with very different perceptions of life than her peers.
Try "Picking up the pieces" and "The Dare" by Carisa, and Pollyanna by MemoryofTrees (not on this board though).
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Re: Josef & Sarah (impartial discussion)

Postby wpgrace » Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:59 pm

It's a great question Cat... She did have a bit of the romantic princess looking for her knight attitude, in that diary. The love will conquer all thing. But then, isn't that what the more jaded Mick finally decided to go with at the end of Sonata?

I kinda agree with francis that, while she probably did have some youthful romanticism going on--and while HE probably, after 350 years, found that kinda thrilling, to BE the knight for a beautiful young girl-- she also was more perceptive, confidant, and forward than many girls of her generation... I think she was "a good girl" but not an innocent. She had a clue and knew how to follow the clues.

She might also have been a bit headstrong and spoiled... only daughter of a very rich and indulgent father... probably used to getting her way and adept in the techniques for winning her way.

She also had courage and determination... she faced down a reluctant vampire. She took a leap. She went against the clearly expressed opinions of her daddy.

Josef? I cannot imagine he wouldn't have had a few very frank conversations with her. He had, no doubt, been worshipped by lovely humans before. But to fall that HARD for one? She musta been interesting and able to keep up. So I firmly believe he painted the real picture for her... that picture being a lovely masterpiece, btw, in his eyes... He was never Mick. He LIKED being a vamp. But he'd've told her the truth about it, without a moment of shame.
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Re: Josef & Sarah (impartial discussion)

Postby cassysj » Sun Feb 01, 2009 4:24 pm

I see Sarah as a woman born too early. I think she was headstrong, stubborn and as others have said more than a little spoiled. But I think just being a woman in 1955 there would have been public deferral to whatever Josef wanted. In private I don't see her demure at all with him. I think she was very young, and naive to what being a vampire really was. I don't believe Josef gave her all the ins and outs because he was raised in an era when you protected a lady from unpleasantness as long as possible.

Regarding his naughtiness. I think Sarah saw some of that. As much as a "man" might let his wife see in the 50's. I think Josef is just more so now because of when we live and the fact that he is the King of his domain (without a queen)

Josef in a lot of ways saw Sarah as his little fairy tale princess. Truth be told I think if the turning had been successful I don't see him leaving her but she may have left him someday. JMO most woman I think leave Josef not the other way around.

If Sarah woke up. I see lots of problems. Sarah has 50 years she has missed and would be angry, confused and finding out Josef moved halfway across the country without taking her (even in coma) I think would infuriate her. How dare he??? He did this and then just leaves me, not fully understanding the agony of seeing a loved one like that. From Josef's perspective I think he would overcompensate and he now has an even more rose-colored picture of Sarah in his head that she could never live up to.

I think if she had turned normally they would still be together today but not necessarily till death did them part.

I don't think they could work now if she woke up and I think Josef would be completely devestated by that.
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Re: Josef & Sarah (impartial discussion)

Postby nutmegger911 » Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:00 pm

Hi Cat,
Gonna post without reading others then go back and catch up.
My first impression is that this may relate to some of Shane's wisdom. You have to change with the times. For vampires it is a survival technique; a challenge that must be met lest they be "outed."

If outwardly you are manifesting all the mannersims of behavior that is socially acceptable, maybe dictated, (in that situation) then inwardly you will begin to develop sympathy for it. In its extreme sense, this might be considered a form of Stockholm syndrome. If Josef is "fitting in" to the 1950's New York society scene, then he could easily fall for Sarah.

Now here comes the tricky part, if Sarah woke up today Josef would definitely have a conflict. While vamps must change with the times, they still will retain some core values. What would Josef's core values dictate? Would he stay with Sarah for the short-term (maybe even 50 years) and take care of her? Would he educate and decide? Would it call back a period he wants to relive? Would survival take over and then regret?

And what about Sarah? She was 21 when she slipped into a coma. At that age many folks long to rebel against their parents' paradigm. The current social expectations would make that easy for her. (Cool! rebellion with a support group!) What if she embraced the new culture and it turned Josef off that she did?
What if she came up to speed and didn't want Josef any more? Maybe she feel emancipated with the new social expectations. Maybe she doesn't like the changes she sees in Josef. Maybe I should just shut up and stop confusing the matter. (OK, now we all know why I'm such a Mick chick. :lol: )

Anyway, those are my first impressions and subject to change after catching up on the rest of the thread.

ETA: Many seem to equate rich with spoiled, but that is not always the case. The entitlement many feel oozing from the pores of the wealthy is not necessarily that of "the world owes me one," but more of "I've got it because I'm better at the game than most." That said, they are used to getting their way, if for no other reason than they play the game well. Josef may have been attractive to Sarah because she understood the game, but did not manipulate. I can't see him falling for a manipulator. Maybe she was quite innocent, yet had an understanding of the bigger game of monopoly simply from observing throughout her formative years. I could definitely see Josef falling for someone who understood the strategy and yet had a sense of ethics or innocence enough that it would not occur to her to manipulate for unfair advantage.
Last edited by nutmegger911 on Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Josef & Sarah (impartial discussion)

Postby Lilly » Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:06 pm

I have always believed that Sarah was much more than the tiny glimpses we were given might suggest. She was more than a beautiful face and much more than the innocent young girl her father described. She had to be. The fact that she had this effect on Josef should be proof enough. In 350 years, he had to have seen thousands of gorgeous women. There had to be something about this one that made him offer her a piece of his soul. In my Josef/Sarah stories, (as some have mentioned above) I painted her as being ahead of her time. To me she would have wanted to take over her father’s business – something at that time that would most likely not have been allowed. In my mind, she was also playful, and intrigued with not only the man but also the vampire.

I think that Josef was able to drop some of the masks with Sarah, to be himself more so than with any other person he had met. Why? I’m not sure. Why do any two soul mates come together and complete one another? I do think Josef must have seen qualities in her that made him believe she would make a good vampire. He’s smart enough to know that you can’t just turn someone and then live (un-live) happily ever after.

catmoon wrote: He is hedonistic, self absorbed, and ruthless (yes I adore him).


I’ve never for a moment believed for that this is the essence of who Josef is. I do believe that the self-absorbed, hedonistic Josef that we see in present day is another of his masks. That persona, to me, is more of a protective armor he wears to cover or block out the pain. Not just the pain of losing Sarah – although that’s certainly part of it – but also the cumulative pain of 400 years.
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Re: Josef & Sarah (impartial discussion)

Postby VampFan5 » Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:24 pm

I had a difficult time writing Sarah at first. I kept hitting stumbling blocks and stopped on the current chapter I was working on until she showed up and told me her life story. I see Sarah as a wolf in sheep's clothing. She was a bored spoiled little rich girl who took great pleasure in sneaking out of her father's house each evening to hang out in bars and smoke. My Sarah was in informant for the government during the red scare and snuck into local communist meetings and then reported their activities until she got bored with that. She was not as innocent as she seemed to Josef. She was a mystery and unpredictable and he liked that about her. My Sarah knew of the existence of vampires before she ever met Josef/Charles but she was willing to become a vampire for another reason that I can't say because it would spoil the next chapter of "In The Dark They All Pretend". Josef hid his true nature from her just as she kept him in the dark about who she really was. Josef's memories of her are clouded by the rose colored glasses that we tend to wear when looking back and remembering a loved one that has passed on. We tend to not concentrate on their flaws but on the aspects of that person that made us love them. Josef built up this image of Sarah almost being a saint, his angel, just as Mick has built this myth about Beth being the perfect woman. Just my two cents worth. Hope this helps.

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Re: Josef & Sarah (impartial discussion)

Postby nutmegger911 » Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:26 pm

Lilly wrote:
catmoon wrote: He is hedonistic, self absorbed, and ruthless (yes I adore him).


I’ve never for a moment believed for that this is the essence of who Josef is. I do believe that the self-absorbed, hedonistic Josef that we see in present day is another of his masks. That persona, to me, is more of a protective armor he wears to cover or block out the pain. Not just the pain of losing Sarah – although that’s certainly part of it – but also the cumulative pain of 400 years.


Lilly, I totally agree. Sleeping Beauty is a perfect showcase of this.
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Re: Josef & Sarah (impartial discussion)

Postby Lilly » Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:38 pm

nutmegger911 wrote:
Lilly wrote:
catmoon wrote: He is hedonistic, self absorbed, and ruthless (yes I adore him).


I’ve never for a moment believed for that this is the essence of who Josef is. I do believe that the self-absorbed, hedonistic Josef that we see in present day is another of his masks. That persona, to me, is more of a protective armor he wears to cover or block out the pain. Not just the pain of losing Sarah – although that’s certainly part of it – but also the cumulative pain of 400 years.


Lilly, I totally agree. Sleeping Beauty is a perfect showcase of this.

Josef rarely drops this shield -- even for Mick. (Although I believe Mick can see through it and humors him most of the time.) We first got a glimpse of the "real" Josef at the end of BC, when he was talking about Lola and what it was like to live that long. Mick actually had to shore up Josef's armor a bit by reassuring him that he was "all vampire."

Back to the topic of Sarah -- I think, for whatever reason, once he admitted his true nature to her and she had embraced everything that he was, he was free to bare his soul.
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Re: Josef & Sarah (impartial discussion)

Postby librarian_7 » Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:24 pm

I do want to join in this discussion, but I want to give it more thought, first, rather than answering off the cuff.

However, I will say, I think Josef's hedonistic behavior--he's had centuries of living an essentially selfish existence, before Sarah--is ingrained habit. She touched something in him (and you know, how many times have you looked at couples and just wondered what they saw in each other?)--we can go on for days speculating about her character, and never know what that was. Personally, I like to think it was her love for him, and her acceptance of his nature, that really got to him, somehow. While with her, he saw a chance for a different sort of life, it didn't work out, and he sought solace and distraction in the ways that had served him well for so long.

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Re: Josef & Sarah (impartial discussion)

Postby eris » Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:32 pm

I think that J/S might be a production of his own mind and memory. Yes, of course he thought enough of her to turn her, BUT they were together less than a year... basically puppy love for a life as long as J's. He cared for her and daydreamed about her FIFTY times longer than he actually knew her. That's plenty of time to concoct a few unrealistic fantasies.

There had to be something he saw in her, and I'm sure her knowing what he was and not caring was a relief, but for all we know he could have spent the last five decades convincing himself he loved a woman he seduced to spite her father.


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Re: Josef & Sarah (impartial discussion)

Postby francis » Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:45 pm

Actually, I see parallels between Josef turning Sara and Coraline turning Mick. How long did Coraline know Mick, did she even think about what he wanted from life, how their future could be? Did they talk about it? She misjudged his character and his outlook on life, or he wouldn't have been this shocked and repulsed, not only until he got over the shock of being turned, but for his whole life.
Maybe Josef misjudged Sarah too. Maybe she wasn't really as ready as she thought she would be, and the shock somehow botched the turning.
And in that case, Mick wasn't really as shocked as he thinks he was. If turning someone who isn't ready means failure, then something in Mick wanted to be turned, even if he didn't know it. Maybe he hates himself for that.

Just speculation of course.
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Re: Josef & Sarah (impartial discussion)

Postby Lilly » Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:36 pm

Image Eris - I'm not that accurate.

Your vision of the relationship is unique -- a trifling with her affections to spite her father. I will say that you often come at things from the darkest angle -- exploring the most troubling side of human nature -- and those twists are what makes much of your fic so compelling and interesting.

But, I give Josef more credit than that here. He's not delusional. He has undoubtedly made many mistakes over 400 years that he has had to deal with . In my mind, Sarah wasn't a mistake that he embellished in his memory. She was a tragedy.
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Re: Josef & Sarah (impartial discussion)

Postby librarian_7 » Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:47 pm

One observation on speculation and interpretation generally.

As a literary scholar, it has come to my attention that if a text--in this case, Moonlight (yes, it's a narrative, and it qualifies as a text in the broad definition)--only allows one interpretation, then it quickly ceases to hold any interest. This is not a question of discovering the "one true meaning" of any aspect of ML, but of exploring the myriad possibilities inherent in the text we have been given to work with.

Is that making sense? It's really not so much a question of "I'm right, you're wrong, unless you agree with me." It's a question of "here's what the story says to me, and if I can support that from the given evidence, I might convince you my interpretation is sound. Or maybe you'll come back with some other angle I haven't considered, and convince me!"

ETA: Didn't know you were in English class, did you? :twisted: :twisted:

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Re: Josef & Sarah (impartial discussion)

Postby nutmegger911 » Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:57 pm

librarian_7 wrote:One observation on speculation and interpretation generally.

As a literary scholar, it has come to my attention that if a text--in this case, Moonlight (yes, it's a narrative, and it qualifies as a text in the broad definition)--only allows one interpretation, then it quickly ceases to hold any interest. This is not a question of discovering the "one true meaning" of any aspect of ML, but of exploring the myriad possibilities inherent in the text we have been given to work with.

Is that making sense? It's really not so much a question of "I'm right, you're wrong, unless you agree with me." It's a question of "here's what the story says to me, and if I can support that from the given evidence, I might convince you my interpretation is sound. Or maybe you'll come back with some other angle I haven't considered, and convince me!"

ETA: Didn't know you were in English class, did you? :twisted: :twisted:

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Actually, I was thinking more like law school. :D
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