One of the things that REALLY bothers me about Korra’s training is how the White Lotus Society essentially isolated her and trapped her in the South Pole, and brought bending masters to train her.
And I’m gonna propose that this is one of the big reasons why Korra is so entitled and spoiled the way she is, and why she’s so ignorant and clueless about how things work in Republic City. The White Lotus took the easy way out of training her, physically, and then had the nerve to complain that she lacks restraint and spirituality?
From my understanding of the ATLA universe, Avatars-in-training GO TO THE NATION ITSELF and train among the people there to master the next element. I wrote in my essay on kyriarchy in the ATLA world before, “the Avatar, who trains in all four nations, is taught to understand that each nation has its own culture and way of life.” Just as Iroh has learned from his travels that each nation has different qualities, and you can betcher ass he didn’t learn that by sitting at home in the Fire Nation. Just as Zuko learns about the Earth Kingdom’s perspective on Fire Nation colonialism by traveling the Earth Kingdom and living amongst them.
Building that training ground for Korra also means that the masters have to drop their lives and relocate to the South Pole, just for her. What? What? IN WHAT WORLD do teachers drop their lives, and their duties, and maybe also their students, just to teach ONE person?? And again, I think this really shows in Korra’s attitude, where she’s probably never needed to help around the household of her host, she’s never had to adjust to living among strangers, she’s never had to think about things like money and courtesy of not throwing people onto buildings, she’s never had to think about a WHOLE LOT, except developing her bending skills.
So when she meets the anti-bender protester, of COURSE she’s gonna get all “BUT BENDING ROCKS!” because it’s not like she’s been asked to live for anything else.
It also troubles me because I think one of the functions of the Avatar training in all four nations is that the Avatar also has to learn how to understand, appreciate, and love all four nations as if they were his/her own, because the Avatar is supposed to serve EVERYTHING, and have loyalties to the whole world, to ALL the nations. If you’ve been cloistered away from the rest of the world, and it seems, she hasn’t even been taught much of the world beyond the South Pole, how can you really love it? How can you develop any kind of spirituality that connects you to the world, and thus beyond?
And I mean, it’s still interesting to me, because it reminds me of how school systems today work, where kids basically are stuck in a compound for, what, 12 years? To produce a specific kind of product/worker (just as the White Lotus compound is supposed to act as a cocoon to produce an Avatar)… and then we go out into the world and some of us, particularly coddled middle-class, just can’t make head or tails and make some really shitty decisions and say really privileged things and sometimes even generally act like assholes.