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Damon Salvatore: the real villain of TVD

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As someone who has rewatched the Vampire Diaries more than once and has shifted their view of one of the main characters (Damon) multiple times, I feel well-versed enough in the media to write a critical essay. I will be addressing the following issues within this work: Damon's mistreatment/abuse of women (specifically Caroline and Andie), his obsessive behavior when it comes to Elena and Katherine, as well as the fact that Damon kills people for no reason throughout the series (which ties into his obsessive behavior).

Firstly, I will be examining Damon and his tendency to abuse women. When Damon meets Andie, he uses her as a distraction to avoid thinking about his obsession with the 17 year old girl his brother is dating. While Andie is not in too many scenes as a whole, it is obvious that Damon compelled her in such a way that she ignores everything bad he's done both in general and to her. On-screen, while bathing with her, he tells her that he kills people and then proceeds to compel her so she is not afraid of him. He then bites her and from this scene on, she wears a scarf to hide the bite marks from him feeding off her, and she is also compelled not to tell anyone that he fed from her. While he seems to have some sort of moral crisis and sends Andie away and tells her not to come back, it obviously does not undo the trauma he would have caused Andie had she been truly aware of what was happening to her and what he was, let alone if she had turned and remembered things that were compelled away.

Now we cover the big topic: Damon abusing Caroline. He takes advantage of a 16/17 year old human girl who is insecure and upset about always being the second choice for everyone. She sees a mysterious guy who actually gives her the time of day, unlike the people she cares about, so she goes home with him. During the sex that occurs, between a man who was in his 20s when he was turned into a vampire and an underage girl, Damon bites Caroline and frightens her. Caroline wakes the next day scared and confused. She realizes what Damon did and tries to leave but he stops her and attacks her again when she tries to fend him off with a blood-stained pillow. At one point during the first season, Caroline asks, detached, if Damon is going to kill her and he says "Mm-hmm. But not yet".

He uses her to collect information about Bonnie and Elena, as well as continuously using her as a blood-bag. Again I would like to stress that Caroline was an underage girl that was being used for sex, blood, and information by a vampire whose physical form was in his 20s while he had been alive for over 100 years. Not to mention the fact that Caroline herself, after she turns, refers to Damon's treatment of her, "I remember how you manipulated me, you pushed me around, abused me, erased my memories, fed on me".

In normal human situations, someone who consumed alcohol or drugs (which alter your mental state) would be considered unable to truly consent to sexual activities. So, for those who have continued to believe that Damon did not at any point rape Caroline, or Andie for that matter, what would be the big difference between getting drunk/high and being unable to consent vs. being compelled to have good feelings about someone/ignore their wrongdoings and then "consenting" to sex? I have similar feelings to those that I do about Andie and Caroline when it comes to Elena turning and being sired to Damon, (i.e. he says she can't drink from blood bags, she is unable to do so, so why would his having sex with a newly turned Elena be any different?) but that's a whole 'nother essay.

The next topic: Damon's obsession with Katherine and Elena. I sincerely believe that Damon's 'love' for Elena is based on Katherine rejecting him and Elena looking exactly like her. Damon spent 145 years being obsessed with Katherine and the rest of his life being obsessed with Elena. In episode 1 of season two, Damon asks Katherine to (essentially) tell him that she truly loved him, and when she doesn't, he goes to Elena and tries to do something similar. And, of course, the correct reaction to the 17 year old girl you're into saying she loves her boyfriend (your brother) is to kill her brother in front of her because you're feeling angsty! 

Obviously it would suck to hear that Katherine never truly loved him, and that he wasted 145 years being obsessed with saving a girl who loved his brother more, but leave Jeremy and Elena out of it. Additionally, Damon, after learning Katherine wasn't in love with him, has the ever occurring impulse to hurt Katherine whenever possible (like showing her her dead family while she's on her death bed, or constantly bringing up the fact that Stefan has moved on). I don't have too much more to say about this topic, but honestly Elena should have questioned Damon's relentless pursuit of her and whether it had anything to do with Katherine.

Finally, I'm going to discuss Damon's violent/homicidal behavior throughout the series. It should be noted that during these occurrences, Damon had his humanity in tact and so there is no using the "he didn't have emotions! he wasn't entirely aware of the effects his actions would have!" excuse. ALSO: I am aware that this is a vampire show and they will kill people, but his reasoning is so ridiculous and at least the other antagonists do it better.

In season one, when Lexi visits Stefan for his birthday, it is during the point in time when Damon recently came to town and began killing people (with the knowledge that there was a vampire-killing council in Mystic Falls). He decides that the best course of action is tell a member of the council (the Sheriff) that he knows of the vampire who has been causing problems in town. He uses this opportunity to get all suspicion off of him, and kills Lexi, his younger brother's only friend through the years. She looks rightfully shocked and betrayed when he stakes her.

During the previously mentioned confrontation between Elena and Damon (where he tries to kiss her and have her admit her "feelings" toward him), Elena's brother walks into the room and is ready to intervene if necessary. Damon grabs Jeremy by the neck, pins him to the wall, and snaps his neck. It was extremely lucky that Jeremy was wearing the family ring that brings you back to life if you're killed by something supernatural. It is confirmed later that Damon had no idea that Jeremy was wearing the ring and could have potentially permanently ended the life of the younger brother of the girl he's obsessed with.

The angsty rampage of Damon's that really sticks in my brain is at the end of season five, when Katherine (in Elena's body) breaks up with him. After telling Katherine-Elena that he needs her because she is "the best influence" on him, to which Katherine-Elena replies "I don't want to worry about what's going to happen every time we get in a fight, or if we break up again" (a very valid criticism of the relationship), he uses this break up as an excuse to kill one of Elena's friends from college. I'd like to point out the following quote from Damon, after the break up: "You see, Elena thinks I'm a monster. You know what? She's right". He uses any excuse to be as shitty as possible to those around him. If he were able to function without whatever woman he's obsessed with at the moment, he wouldn't need to "justify" his actions with "Oh nooo she thinks I'm violent :( I'm gonna be even more violent and reassure her stance on me!!". 

Just for fun, I'm also going to point out the toxicity of Damon and Elena's relationship (after Katherine is killed and Elena is back in control of her own body). Elena finds out Damon killed Aaron and decides to shift blame from her boyfriend to Katherine:

Damon: Katherine didn't do this. I did! I thought you broke my heart, so I ripped open Aaron's neck: THAT is how much control you have over me. 
Elena: And I'm still here! That's how much control you have over me! 
Damon: Listen to us! This is toxic! We are in a toxic relationship, Elena! I just killed your friend and you find someone else to blame! 
Elena: You want me to blame you? Easy! Done! You screwed up, Damon. Again! 
Damon: Thank you!
Elena: You put me in a position where I have to defend you, again, where I have to bend my morals, again. Where I have to go against every single thing that I believe in, again, because I love you! 

Okay! Thank you for reading this essay that is entirely me projecting my hatred of Damon Salvatore and my unfortunate similarity to Caroline Forbes. I hope that I explained my points well enough, and if anyone has any questions about any points made, please feel free to comment!