The Fifth Seasons’: Could We Survive?

In The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin,the most fascinating Geological concept within The Fifth Season is the Fifth season themselves. In the world of N.K. Jemisin’s first book of her Broken Earth Trilogy: The Fifth Season, Jemisin tells of a world called the Stillness that is ironically, often moving, not even on a good day (7). This world of The Fifth Season seems to have a tragic history of geographical disasters from earthquakes to volcanic eruptions and beings who are literally rock. A  Fifth season according to Jemisin is a long winter initiated by seismic activity or a large-scale geographical alteration. Terms like shake, crack, shock, lava, aftershakes, and ash alongside brief descriptions of the previous seasons mentioned within this story. In chapter 21, end with a description of The Madness Season that was caused by “[t]he eruption of the Kiash Traps, multiple vents of an ancient supervolcano” and it is noted this same Ancient volcanic eruption being responsible for the “ TWIN season believed to have occurred approximately 10,000 years previous”(411). In the season of Madness and the same can be assumed for the Twin, being caused by the same eruption “[resulted in] ten years of darkness…devastating in the usual Seasonal way, but resulted in a much higher than usual incidence of mental illness.”(412). Throughout this novel Jemisins notes how these extreme seasons in the Stillness are particularly hard to survive that. According to Nur and Burgess, “Large earthquakes can have far-reaching effects on societies, and
could, given the right concatenation of factors, lead to catastrophic
changes in a region. Of particular interest are sequences of several
large earthquakes that occur closely spaced in both geography
and time, and can affect a very large region over the span of a
few decades.”(9)The  few points at which Jemisin chooses to tell about the variety of these seasons in their realistic unrealism speaks volumes about the people who are actually surviving these seasons. The extent of their power or power in strategy allows  for their survival.

It is not until the very end of The Fifth Season encompassing its first appendix, “Appendix 1 A catalog of the Fifth Seasons that have been recorded to and since the founding of the Sanzed Equatorial Affiliation, from most recent to oldest”(Jemisin A1). In the appendix there are 12 seasons, to which Jemisin included descriptions of each yet only included a few such to end some chapters. The naming and giving detail to these seasons seems purposeful to the reader by Jemisin in giving further insight on the power involved in getting through the theme. Holistically throughout the “The Fifth Season”  the use of geographical terms references to earthquakes and their actions and moreover the movement of the earth and rocks seem to set the tone for the place of the Fifth seasons. Show how encompassing the movement  of the earth is over the life of the beings within Jemisin’s world especially In the Stillness. Exploring the extent of which I’ve noticed the effect of geological concepts of natural disasters that make up the Fifth seasons, and harsh climate on who has the real power in Jemisin. 

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