While analyzing the way that my group accomplished our blog post, I at first thought to compare the experience to use-castes and the ways in which members of different castes make specific contributions to their comms. Upon revisiting the thought, however, I realized that the teamwork and collaboration that took place while crafting our post was more reminiscent of Syl Anagist’s tuners.
As I’m sure everyone realized when Dr. McCoy read some of our comments aloud during class, my group’s form of communication might have been a little silly, especially when out of context with the rest of our work. I think the actual post came together quite well, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg, as they say. There were a lot of layers, collaboration, and bouncing of ideas beneath the surface. That’s why I think the tuners work as a metaphor so well. While they can speak and communicate verbally, they also have a form of communication that passes by under the surface. The other inhabitants of Syl Anagist are completely unaware of this. The tuners, therefore, are able to warn and protect each other in earlier chapters of The Stone Sky, and eventually carry out their plan to destroy Syl Anagist when they are meant to activate the obelisk gate.
What makes the tuners and my group both so productive and in sync, I believe, was commonality. Not only were all of the tuners created in the same way, sharing a commonality of past (as I’ve explained in this post), but they also share a common purpose and a common goal. I think that the collaborative work we did on my group’s blog post worked in a similar way. Each of us had knowledge of the trilogy, and our research in the early stages of the drafting process also meant that we had similar levels of knowledge about the event we were discussing. Our common goal then, to create a blog post, was yet another reason that we were able to work so well together. All of these pieces fit, and we were each therefore able to grasp the ideas that everyone put forth and to play off of them the same way that the tuners communicated and shifted while attempting to activate the obelisk gate.
But while each of us share those situational commonalities, we also each put forth our own views and thought processes. In The Stone Sky, we learn that each of the tuners (now stone eaters) have found a different path and have different aims. Hoa (Houwha) is motivated by his love for Essun and therefore tries his best to help her in any way he can, but Steel (Remwha) is tired of his very long life and tries to end the world because of it. While their differences hinder them, it wasn’t difficult for me to see both sides of the coin, and I think that multiplicity of perspective allowed me a better understanding of the story that was told. Similarly, the different views of the event that my group picked and our different insights into Jemisin’s trilogy meant that our blog post could be more explorative and subjective. (And also more fun.)