How WandaVision Shows Us the Danger of Self-Deception

How WandaVision Shows Us the Danger of Self-Deception February 9, 2021

The Disney Plus series WandaVision has been a rollercoaster ride of a show. From the humble and rather slow-moving neighborhood stories at the beginning, it has escalated into an engrossing adventure.

At the heart of it all is the unnatural albeit understandable power play exhibited on the part of Wanda Maximoff. Wanda experiences immense emotional pain because of the wanton devastation which Thanos wreaked during Infinity War. Specifically, it was at the hands of Thanos that her lover Vision was destroyed.

The loss of her beloved brings out of Wanda two similar reactions: vengeance, which we see at full capacity in Endgame; and self-deception, the repercussions of which we are seeing as they play out in WandaVision.

Vengeance seeks to inflict pain on another for an injustice they did. The victim wants them to share in some of her misery. But lying to yourself is just as unhealthy. Self-deception only deepens one’s own pain and unnecessarily extends it to others.

Unfortunately, Wanda has exhibited both these traits, but I think self-deception is really at the forefront of what’s going on in WandaVision.

Lying (that is, acting in a way that avoids a known truth) is a violation of conscience. Wanda finds herself living a lie. What is more, she recognizes that what she has orchestrated is unnatural. In the latest installment, “On a Very Special Episode…,” we see Wanda and Vision’s boys – Billy and Tommy – come to terms with the loss of their dog. The conversation that ensues seems to stir up contention within Wanda as she wishes to make her children’s happiness complete – but simultaneously explains that death is in the natural order of things and shouldn’t be reversed.

Billy and Tommy.

WandaVision is primarily a commentary on loss. Its different characters respond to this human feeling in different ways. Wanda, while rebuking any extreme behavior on the part of her mourning children, has candy-coated her own sense of loss. But since she acknowledges this is wrong to her children, this means she is violating what she knows to be right and just.

If Wanda is the one pulling all the strings behind the scenes of her own broadcasted family drama, she is intentionally clouding the intellects and wills of the people in the show. This would include Vision, the one whom she loves. If she is responsible for the web of fantasies the entire town is being forced to live out, she is also responsible for denying Vision the right to exercise free will. Her self-deception doesn’t just affect her; it has serious repercussions on others as well.

This portrayal does a good job mirroring what sin does. It doesn’t just hurt the sinner, but it hurts those who are innocent of that sin. Sin injures our relationship with others – and it injures our relationship with God. Lying to ourselves brings about further loss and injury.

Wanda needs to rediscover hope. It is with hope that we realize death and loss are not permanent. With this and all the intrigue that the plot and characters present, WandaVision promises to continue building into a thoroughly entertaining program.

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