Self-assuredness has never been my strong suit. Doubting myself has always been second nature and I feel as though that stems from a lack of identity in a way. My writing pieces have usually always been prompted by others. With the removal of a deadline or a definitive course, I was left to design my own set of guidelines. This demanded that I create a voice for myself and set a cohesive tone for the rest of my work. In theory, it seems relatively simple but in practice, you begin to realize that to establish yourself as a writer you must first establish yourself as an individual. I felt like the opening band at a show, the one nobody knows and no one came to see. But to overcome this feeling of obscurity, I had to continuously put myself on the line.
“Childhood is a nonconsensual experience”
Dr. McCoy managed to summarize the feeling of futility felt throughout our childhood years in one simple phrase. Most of us have felt some degree of regret or fruitlessness about our childhood. There are parts we wish to change and some we wish to relive. Yet, despite whatever our backgrounds may be, there is always this sense that we didn’t control as much as we wanted to. Childhood was perhaps our most vulnerable time. We did not have the choice of entering this world. We were not briefed or prepared for whatever was occurring here. Instead, we were thrown into the world and forced to face the present. Continue reading “The Choice in Living”
A father’s presence contributes to the development of a child. They are the first introduction to males that a child has. Specifically, the emotional connection they have to their daughters plays a vital role in the establishment of their self-esteem, mental health and the ability to interact. Jija’s connection to Nassun has always confused me. Jija’s fear for the orogene race led him to take the life of his only son. Yet despite being as enraged and violent as he was, Jija refrained from attacking Nassun and fled with her instead. This need to spare his own daughter is daunting in light of the traumatic event that occurred just previously. It is a display of the strong emotional connection within a father/daughter relationship.
We tend to have a specific image of a character in our head when we read. Often enough, despite being told exactly how the character is supposed to look, we create our own version of them. Sometimes we model them after other characters we’ve fallen in love with or even people we know personally. While reading the trilogy, Innon was a short-lived yet impactful chapter of the story’s development. My brain automatically linked him to Maui, the heroic and charming figure that has recently been made popular.
Queerness has always been categorized by a degree of nonconformity. The term has previously been used to define what’s perceived to be strange. Yet, the strangest aspect of this is not the object or individual to which this term is given. In fact, the most unusual part of this is the public’s inability to perceive a change in normality as progress instead of a threat. Usually, when queerness enters literature or film, there is a common plotline for all characters. The importance of their existence is centered around their sexuality. Writers choose to not give a character a solid arc or personality and opt out to produce two-dimensional fillers. Jemisin has refused to fall into that tradition and instead has written queerness as a normal ideal rather than a defining factor.
“Queerness is essentially about the rejection of a here and now and an insistence on potentiality or concrete possibility for another world” Continue reading “The Future Is Queer”
Revelations occur in the strangest of moments. Right in the midst of my procrastination, as my attention span struggles to grasp on my work, I tune into my roommate’s video that’s playing in the background. “That’s not something I’ve been trained to be attracted to” flows from her laptop. She’s watching another episode of BKCHAT NYC, as she usually does. This time on the topic of race and attraction. I was halfway through writing another blog post when these words resonated with me.
“That’s not something I’ve been trained to be attracted to”
Remember the very first blog post I made? Probably. not, but it was centered around Māori mythology and the idea of primordial parental figures. In all honesty, the post was meant as a basis for a thread of connections I’m currently trying to unpack. There were times where it might have seemed contradictory or lacking, so I’m here to explain somethings before I start. I said that Jemisin takes inspiration a lot of different cultures. This inspiration isn’t appropriation, but rather a reference point for growth. Her blog post about creating races clearly states she isn’t interested in using other people’s beliefs or traditions for personal gain. See the rest of my findings as a plausible origin for what we’ve read instead of a concrete backstory. Continue reading “Children of Malice”
Current culture attempts to reclaim detrimental terms and repurpose them into those with positive connotations. Today’s generations manage to find relevance in and even identify with the once constrictive labels. Throughout Jemisin’s work, we see the orogene race being categorized as a secondary race. They have continuously been bred as weapons, made instruments for the Fulcrum’s institutionalized agenda. The term ‘Rogga’ was imposed on them by the stills and guardians as a slur.
Jemisin’s work within “The Fifth Season” is a dedication to the unwritten ideas of countless cultures. Through her world-building, Jemisin is able to repurpose and rewrite existing myths and ideologies into the unique place that is The Stillness. This will be an ongoing series of blog posts that will attempt to bring light to the references and links that Jemisin makes. Continue reading “How the World Came to be”