So, in the course of the rehearsals, I had decided subconsciously that we all (or at least I) hated Vati right away and would sympathize with Little Karl, him being a poor young boy being scolded by his mean father.
But it occurred to me the other day that it makes more sense if the Devilish Children immediately assume that Vati is correct, and consequently we'd immediately assume that Little Karl is an asshole. This is why we take it upon ourselves to torment him with education.
It's okay for the audience to decide that Vati is an asshole, but we children must think of him as the proper way to be. Vati's cold demeanor and strict adherence to proper society's rules is what we believe we ought to strive for, and the bad things happen when we break the rules.
|"Devilish kinder are not tolerated in civilized society."|
What we get when we do this is a society of prisoners teaching each other, and the wardens – adults, in this case – become absent and irrelevant. Can't say at this point whether the absence begets the irrelevance, or vice-versa; for now, though, it doesn't matter. The important part is that we children teach another child how to behave the way we believe is correct. (Think "Lord of the Flies" here.) We don't try to escape, and we don't cry up about our own innocence. Because when you assume your own innocence...you make an ass out of you and me. (Right? Right.)