# Difference between revisions of "372: To Be Wanted"

 To Be Wanted Title text: Or so I hope?

## Explanation

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The comic begins with a grainy, pencil-drawing of Megan on a ship. This is a clue that things are not as they appear.

As the point-of-view pulls back in each successive frame, we see that "Megan on a ship" is really a thought-bubble belonging to Cueball, who is sitting at his desk. He apparently is day-dreaming instead of working. Note that this is presented in the standard, crisp format, as if drawn on a computer. This suggests it shows us our "normal" view. (Well, as normal as things get with xkcd.)

However, as the perspective continues to pull back, we see that "Cueball thinking of Megan" is actually a thought-bubble belonging to Megan. In the final frames, the ship sales out of frame. However, since the final frames are in the same grainy pencil-drawing format, it suggests that this is STILL Cueball's thoughts, rather than an actual image of Megan.

The Title Text, "Or so I hope", shows us what this recursion really means: Cueball hopes that Megan realizes that he misses her, but suggests he's not entirely certain she does.

## Transcript

[Megan stands looking out on the bow of a ship.]
[Scene backs up. More of the boat is shown.]
[Scene backs up. The boat with Megan is within a thought bubble.]
[Scene backs up. The thought bubble comes from Cueball sitting at a computer in an office.]
[Scene repeated for the next frame.]
[Scene backs up. Cueball is within yet another thought bubble.]
[Scene backs up. The thought bubble with Cueball in it belongs to the Megan at the bow of the ship.]
[The thought bubble disappears, showing only Megan in the boat.]
[The boat sails out of view.]

# Discussion

The previous explanation was:

The comic is about perspective. The person on the ship dreams of working in an office while the person in the office is dreaming of being on a ship.

The ship and office are perhaps metaphors for freedom and structure. The comic may be trying to convey that those people who have a highly structured life desire more freedom while those with too much freedom desire structure.

While interesting, I felt it missed the boat. --MisterSpike (talk) 05:19, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

Seems that Randall has invented a new rigging system for boats. A triangular foresail on a bowsprit with a large sqaure sail just behind it blocking its wind. The square seems attached to the mizzenmast behind. Wouldn't quite work I don't think. Deliberate symbolism? Kevin McCready (talk) 12:47, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

The foresail appears to be attached in a similar way as jib sails in small boats. Should work well enough if the boat is on a beam reach. RedHatGuy68 (talk) 00:47, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

Random thoughts

The grainy background does not have to suggest something is not right. Randall has gone with different backgrounds several times. I took it to show the difference between how Randall sees a representation of himself and a representation of the girl he likes. He sees himself as a nerd working in front of a computer in a monochrome setting. He sees Megan sailing, wind blowing in her face, full of contrast and texture. I believe he wanted both of them to think about each other.

To be wanted also includes wanting others to be wanted by you. Relationships are cyclic, much like the panels.

On a completely different note, it seems like Megan sailing off screen in the last panel might have something to do with the act of moving on. This is a complete ass pull, but I think it might have something to do with Randall's actual relationship with whoever Megan represents. It is hinted that they broke up. Perhaps Randall is hoping that even as she moves on (sails off the screen), she still thinks about him and knows that he still thinks about her.

Flewk (talk) 22:59, 26 December 2015 (UTC)

Is there any sort of consistency between strips, since it was just two weeks prior that we had a strip of Megan leaving Cueball 366:Your Mom.

So could this entire strip being one of them wishing that had not happened as one of them, it could be either depending on whose thoughts you believe are being portrayed is doing nothing but thinking of the other that they just lost? 162.158.62.231 11:53, 14 July 2017 (UTC)

--MisterSpike (talk) 05:19, 17 June 2013 (UTC) The previous explanation was:

The comic is about perspective. The person on the ship dreams of working in an office while the person in the office is dreaming of being on a ship.

The ship and office are perhaps metaphors for freedom and structure. The comic may be trying to convey that those people who have a highly structured life desire more freedom while those with too much freedom desire structure.

While interesting, I felt it missed the boat.