Before starting this assignment, because I genuinely did not know how to start it and needed some time to procrastinate, I decided to look back a bit. I started at the beginning, a very good place to start I am told. Rereading the syllabus for this class was a lot like rereading Jemisin’s novels; I now could see the clues that were being left right from the beginning.
Whenever I hear or read the phrase “for the greater good” it always makes me feel really uneasy. I feel like something about its connotations and many possible meanings just leaves the definition too open for interpretation. Who gets to decide what the greater good is? Who really is it for? Anyone can claim they’re doing something for the greater good, all they’re really saying is that the ends will justify the means.
A big question that I wrestled with throughout this series was how reliable is our narrator? It was something I struggled with more in The Fifth Season more than any of the other books because, up until the end, we did not know who the narrator was. At first he seemed unreliable because he had information he was deliberately not sharing with us, talking about obelisks in the prologue he says that they’re “blurring now and again as if they are not quite real-though this may only be a trick of the light. (It isn’t)” (Jemisin, The Fifth Season, 8). And he does this again when in the scene where Alabaster creates the rift, “When she turns to the man—slowly; stone eaters are slow aboveground, except for when they aren’t” (Jemisin, The Fifth Season, 6). It is all apart of Jemisin’s style of course, she deliberately withholds information from us for a bigger payoff later when it all seemingly comes together. However, because this is her style I was very vary of Hoa for a long time.
An interesting piece of linguistics in these novels, that I’ve been monitoring for a while, is the use of the phrase Evil Earth. The phrase is said by almost every character that lives in the Stillness, generally in moments of frustration or anger. Something else that I found interesting was the different version of the phrase that was said by the Sylanagistine during their moments of frustration; Evil Death. The two phrases are too similar for it to be a coincidence, so I decided to do some thinkING. Continue reading “Evil Earth vs. Evil Death”
In The Broken Earth trilogy Jemisin tackles the idea of heroism in a very interesting way. For most of the trilogy I did not believe that there was a hero in this story. It seemed like The Stillness was too bleak for such ideas. Then in The Stone Sky, in a conversation between Danel and Essun, one of my favorite exchanges in the series occurred.
“‘I know when I see stories being written though.’
‘I… I don’t know anything about that.’
‘She shrugs. The hero of the story never does’” (Jemison, The Stone Sky, 222).
I think that the most disturbing thing from The Broken Earth trilogy is the Node maintainers. Even as we have read the other two books, very few things have shocked me to my core as Syenite and Albastors journey into one. The concept of Node maintainers is very fascinating to me, the idea, however gruesome it may be, that they are at all times affecting the ground around them is a genuinely interesting thought. I tried to think of ways this could maybe be applied to our world and actually found something kind of similar. Continue reading “Nodes and The (Kind of) Real World Equivelent”
“And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die’” (Genesis). Continue reading “The Moon: Jemisons Fruit of Knowledge”
By Denis Hartnett, Jonah Goldstein, Patrick Alexander, Michee Jacobs, Lizzie Gellman, Heather McFarlane, and AJ Jurado
The 2011 earthquake in Tohoku, Japan was a disaster on a scale to which the modern world is unaccustomed. The tsunami following the earthquake caused a number of nuclear power plants in to shut down and deplete. The earthquake rendered a great deal of land uninhabitable in an already limited living space. The after-effects of the tsunami and earthquake affected all aspects of environmental life and caused a tremendous upset of the ecosystem. The 9.1 magnitude earthquake originated a short distance from the coast of Japan, generating a gigantic tsunami wave that collectively caused 15,890 deaths and $235 billion in damages, making it the most costly natural disaster in history. The Earthquake’s preliminary quake went on for 6 minutes, followed by aftershocks that destroyed many buildings and a great deal of infrastructure. This earthquake gave way to a massive tsunami which caused the majority of the near 16,000 deaths. This was not the end of the event however, as the forced shutdown of nuclear reactors in the affected area which led to the meltdown of these reactors and the contamination of those areas by nuclear byproducts. Continue reading “The Deeper Inspiration of Catastrophe”
While combing through all three novels to look for quotes for a blog post I’m currently writing, I took a second to once again look at Jemisin’s dedications. These drew my attention because of how impersonal they are. Generally, book dedications will be for friends, family, or even a funny shout out to the fans. But Jemisin’s are distinctly different than most that I have encountered before. Upon first glance they can be slightly confusing, however, the more you read and the more knowledge of this world that you acquire, the more they begin to make sense. Continue reading “The Art of The Dedication”
There was an idea I had way back when we had our conversation with Dr. Giorgis. I thought out my perception of Earth as “Mother Earth” and why I thought of our planet that way. This idea lead me to rediscover a piece of my childhood that I had left behind. Continue reading “Finding Mother Earth”