I’m gonna go back and say, “It fits the pattern of abusive homes” here, Walky is clearly playing the combination “Good child” and “Mascot”. Sal is clearly the “bad child” (not really bad, just how her role worked out). Linda is abusive, folks. she’s infantilized her son and alienated her daughter. I could almost suspect there’s alcohol or affairs involved here, but it’s also clear in something else;
Sal is the responsible one. (actually, come to think on it, she was in “It’s Walky!!” too). David…david has been shielded from consequences from day one, while also being prevented from taking risks or encountering them on his own.
thus, his emotional development is STUNTED, as is his other developments. Sure, he’s got high native intelligence (both the Walkerton kids do) but his parents clearly didn’t provide him the mental and emotional tools to actually USE IT, and worse, they’ve blocked him from the natural process of trial-and-error, channelling him into a perpetual man-child who will, most certainly, need a ‘safe space’ if he ever stops being (Deliberately) oblivous.
In a way, it’s actually an inversion of the usual relationship-the Brother is the passive one, the one who seeks attention and praise, while the Daughter is the assertive one who’s toughened up enough to be functionally an adult (early, even) and accepting of consequences.
It’s like Linda didn’t bother to tell Walky ‘don’t touch, it’s hot’ because Sally already grabbed it and burned her hands.
My step-niece was in a similar position when my sister married her current husband. The result has been that said step-niece doesn’t contact her family (except her step-sister-and then, only rarely) and is a fully-functioning adult, while my ‘blood’ niece is 26 with a kid living in my sister’s basement with her husband rent-free.
Sal may be a bit of an ass, but she’s FUNCTIONAL-she has sense, she measures risks rationally, she knows how to survive. Walky DOESN’T, here’s my prediction, if this followed “Rule of Natural Consequences”;
Sally will graduate from college, if she wants the degree, and move into a career. Walky…will go home to his parent’s house, and live there until they die, working an occasional part-time, low-demand, low-skill job until he’s too old to successfully temp, at which point, she might take him in when mom and dad kick the bucket.
because he’s still using the coping skills of an infantilized child, while Sal has a full suite of functional judgement, including the understanding that actions DO have consequences.
Dumbing of Age