The abuse of power and blurred consent we see all throughout our lives

The abuse of power and blurred consent we see all throughout our lives

In N.K. Jemisins, “The Fifth Season”, we see many forms of blurred consent and abuse of power. In the novel the Fulcrum rules over all of the people of the world; if you don’t follow their rules then you are exterminated before you can cause them problems. While the Fulcrum abuses their power, the Orogenes are the people who suffer. The Orogenes have powers connected to the earth, and if those powers are not used in a safe way, it can be detrimental to the safety of everybody. To maintain their control over the world the Fulcrum forces the Orogenes to do many things including hard labor and forced breeding. The abuse of power and blurred consent in the novel can also be seen in real life pertaining to the building of houses and buildings on dangerous land. Abuse of power and blurred consent can be seen all around us in real life as well as the novels we read; we can see this in, “The Fifth Season”, with forced breeding and hard labor, and in real life with letting people buy houses or build houses on dangerous land. 

In the novel, “The Fifth Season”, written by, N.K. Jemisin we meet a character named Syenite who is an Orogene. She works for the Fulcrum and she is a breeder. To be seen as useful she is forced to breed with other orogenes to produce babies for the Fulcrum. “He inhales to start shouting, she has no idea what but she doesn’t want to hear it, and before he can she snaps, ‘I’m here to fuck you, Earth burn it. Is that worth disturbing your beauty rest?’” (The Fifth Season, page 69) Syenite is instructed to breed a baby with the ten ringed Orogene named Alabaster. Throughout their journey it is made clear that both parties don’t want to have sex, but it is a mutual understanding that they have to follow orders. In chapter eight of the novel we find out that Alabaster has had many children and often does not get to see them when they’re born. Later on in the chapter Syenite finds out that the reason Alabaster quiets all of the little shakes he feels is because he wants to give the node maintainers a break from their duties. And when Syenite questions this, she is shown the horrors that the node maintainers are put through. Not only are the node maintainers forced to quell all shakes in their surrounding areas, but they’re also put to sleep during this process. It also comes to light that many of the guards and bystanders at the node station often assault the node maintainers while they’re asleep and helpless. These scenes with syenite, Alabaster, the Fulcrum, and the node maintainers clearly show abuse of power and blurred consent. The Fulcrum is abusing their power by forcing the Orogenes to breed. The Orogenes know that if they don’t obey then they will be punished and lose their rank. And the node maintainers lose their free will and are sexually asaulted.

While we clearly see abuse of power and blurred consent in the novel, we also see it in real life. One common instance we see these in is construction, and house buying. Oftentimes people will buy houses and be informed by landlords that it is a perfect home in a perfect location. But buyers are often misinformed. There are many cases when people will pay a lot of money for homes, and then later on through disasters find out that they bought a house on a natural disaster hotspot. Through the texts in class we have seen the destruction that earthquakes and volcanoes can make. In the video titled, “Kilauea Lava Flow Activity In Lower Puna May 19, 2018”, we can clearly see how destructive lava can be. In the video we see the lava flowing very quickly. We also see dead trees and fire all around the area. According to the center for research on the epidemiology of disasters, natural disasters affect 218 million people each year, and claim over 68,000 lives per year. So when realtors act in bad faith and sell people houses knowing that these people are gonna be living on natural disaster hotspots, it becomes an abuse of power. Many people who buy these homes don’t know that they are in a bad place until a disaster occurs. 

In both, “The Fifth Season”, and in real life we see many instances of power abuse and blurred consent. In the novel Syenite and Alabaster are forced to breed a child with each other. And while they became free for a short time, the Fulcrum still came back and while trying to survive lost their baby in the process. And in real life house buyers are often manipulated by realtors who abuse their power and are money hungry, this often leading to many people losing their homes or their lives.

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