Jemisin’s World of Love & Pain: Poetry of Languages

My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops? Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell a story of interconnective worlds and realities that define love and actions as the bases of fuel for the future of their current reality and the next. *Italicized Jemisin

Jemisin prefaced her world to be full of variations, from her first Book The Broken Earth Trilogy: The Fifth Season informs us, how Naturally this land’s people have named it the Stillness. It is a land of quiet and bitter irony. The Stillness has had other names. This is not to say solely because she shares that other names in this work exist, so does the irony of it. Variation is the power of options and varous multitudes of agency. Variation operates to displace necessary equilibriums for survival, and how it correlates to experience in the real world marginalized people and languages in addition to those variations in love. Existing power dynamics are drawn out jokes, with serious consequences. Orogeny itself is the section of earth’s crust that is folded  and unfolded via downward lateral compression to form a mountain range. In a world filled with being called Stoneaters, Strongbacks, Oregenes, Humans, with varied and shared choices within the set of limited or unlimited sets of experiences. A society whose Stonelore, akin to laws in today’s society, identifies with the statement Tell them they must earn the respect which everyone else receives by default. Tell them there is a standard for acceptance; that standard is simply perfection. Kill those who scoff at these contradictions, and tell the rest that the dead deserved annihilation for their weakness and doubt. This line is a reality of the cruel, destructive seasons and interpersonal interactions between beings in the Stillness that guide them forward surviving or aid in their end.  Is quite harsh but realistic is the art that is the experience of the individual, and Jemison on Creating Races expands on her intention when creating the type of beings and their cultures, identity and DNA that will make up the Stillness. In sociology prestige is the personal and social value to an occupation or skill set by social values. Jemsins has the variety and density of difference at the forefront, for the most obviously human group in the Stillness the Sanzeds, the Equatorial region’s people, the Sands (they once had many nations, cultures, and languages, but have homogenized over the 3000 years of the empire) are nothing we would recognize. I did this partly to illuminate just how different the Stillness is; races in our world differentiated in response to environmental conditions, and since the environmental conditions in the Stillness are so different, it made sense that what we think of as racial markers would’ve developed along completely different lines. Difference as a mechanism necessary for the evolution not only for Sanzeds but the Stillness as a whole is fascinating to me for how Jemison’s characters engage with each other and the different ways and languages that exist for character development. 

Physical Languages:

Essen Orogeny Vs Ykka Orogeny

Language operates in Jemisin as a form of socialization for  identifying beings and their power over their shared space. In the Stillness, a world plagued by horrific seasons, “Orogenes call non-orogenes “stills” because they can’t feel the vibrations of the earth. Stills call orogenes “rogers” as a shortened form of orogene that’s used as a slur. It also sounds kind of like “rock.” One orogene later in the series reclaims the word and proudly calls herself a rogga.” Generally very similar to how the N-word operated for a long time and was reclaimed by BIPOC individuals that functions as a term of comradery and reference. In addition to a powerful slur when used by non- BIPOC people in American society today. When our main being Essun, an oregene, defined by their advanced sessapinae, finds herself at a crystal community called Castrima , run by a fellow oregene named Ykka. In this comm ,another name for a community in the Stillness, exist stoneaters, oregenes and humans all in one comm. Very uncommon for this world. Essun was trained in the fulcrum from young by force for being an oregene. When Ykka and Essun meet Ykka is referred to as a feral oregene by Essun, who was trained by experience of the Fulcrum. The fulcrum is an institution run by humans and guardians at which trains oregene, beginning with a unique session that establishes them with a deep connection to the earth. Connecting them to the earth where oregenes are able to both ease and cause natural disasters and seismic events. While Ykka to aid in necessities for survival. Her and her comms survival. Aware that in this world of Jemisin these characters have a greater closeness to death than we have in our current society where we hear more about it than being face to face to it and/or literally part of seasonal changes in the Stillness.  Essun perceives Ykka orogeny, as inferior because she not only did not know any oregenes outside the Fulcrum, that would even be alive plus know how to use their orogeny at that. It is not Essuns fault she is under the assumption that there is any other way to both control and use her orogen. The institution that trained her to control and use orogeny.  April Baker Bell, Associate Professor of the English Language at the University of Michigan,’s book targets and speaks to the problematic nature of standardization and inferiorizing of other ways of doing. In the context of discremination of  Black Englsh by reinforcers White mainstream English and its connection to reality of academics need of an Anti-racist pedegogy. It is at the point that I myself struggled fathoming this is a cycle of discrmination so ingrained into what it means to be educated that both BIPOC and white, students and professors reinforce racist and assimulative standards of academic writing. When “Telling children that White Mainstream English is needed for survival can no longer bethe answer, especially as we are witnessing Black people being mishandled, dis-criminated against, and murdered while using White mainstrean Englsih. Also seen some use the phrase real world preparation for students in all levels of education to further White mainstream English cause. This exact term was explored by the CCCC panel on How do we stop the policing of PoC in our classrooms? The paradox in infantilizing literacy experiences while policing language. Delving into analysis of language such as Real world preparedness and readiness when teaching BiPoc students, white mainstream english. Such language is an assumption that students’ experiences within the Real World are discountable and/or invaluable to academic writings. While BIPOC students discrimination in the real world are reflective in BIPOCs academic experience. From the news it is known the livelihoods of BIPOC is filled with a lack of power. The phrase knowledge is power is known as well yet in academia the denial of power alongside  a power that does not save lives or actually prepare anybody for the Real World we all are already in remains. Acknowledging the complete extent of standards as social constructs and the reality that they have such consequences. To say the reality that things happen and change because  they were  made up to begin with, last long because they are reinforced and held down by the people that these notions most resonate, however provocative define realities. Essun plays a part here in reinforcing the prestige and singularity of her Fulcrum training compared to seen the benefit of Ykka experience.

Earth Talk

In the world of the Stillness there was a time before the grueling seasons, called Sly Angist, an eco brulistics and solar punk style society. In this community exist Conductors who watch Turners akin to oregenes their role was to weave together those disparate ener-gies. To manipulate and mitigate and, through the prism of our awareness, produce a singular force that cannot be denied. To make a cacophony, a symphony. A Tuner named Kelenli who looked like a human but had an advanced sessapinae. Before the other Tuner died or became stone eaters like Jemisins main narrator Hoa, who navigated Sly Anagist alongside Kelenli. Keleni would [come] to visit us. Individually, so the conductors won’t suspect anything. In face-to-face meetings, speaking audi-ble nonsense- and meanwhile, earthspeaking sense to all of us at once. For when the Tuners do their job they are left [staggering] and must lean on the conductors to make it back to [their] individual quarters. There is a certain leave of care for the other Tuners and weariness  about Conductors knowing such information or about Kehlani actions.

Language operates as a form of communication outside of authority for the benefit of the Turners who have a great connection to the earth like the orogenes of their future. Operates to separate the nature of the beings that the Turners are and the Conductors, akin to human beings, that created and mated with them possibly creating the beings that are oregenes themself. 

Love Languages

Essun & Nassun 

Essun has a daughter named Nassun who also has powers of orogeny like her mother that, throughout the Obelisk Gate and Stone Sky Jemisin’s second and third books of Jemisin’s trilogy. When Essun was a young girl named Damaya, a Guardian from the Fulcrum named Scaffa, broke her hand to grasp if Damaya, young Essun, could control her orogeny which is highly tied to the emotions of the oregene themselves are experiencing. Guardians are supervisors assigned to each orogene, special ability to control orogenes power and a license to kill orogenes if they so deem necessary. Essun, with her own child named Nassun, broke her hand just the same, testing Nassun’s control. Nassun grew a great disdain for her mother by the age of ten, well trained  at this point by her mom according to how Essun was trained at the Fulcrum. Considering this Nassun goes on her own journey, where she kills her own father and develops great appreciation, love for the Guardian Scaffa, the same one who broke Damaya, young Essun’s hand originally,  as a parental figure. With Scaffa, Nassun is “so very glad to have one parent, at last, who loves her as she should.”(179). When Scaffa hugs her tight. In the last book , The Stone Sky, Essun sacrifices herself to help Nassun, narrated by Hoa, a Stone eater hundred of years old, that accompanied Essun to an underground part of Sly Anagist , the original comm of the Stillness.

Hoa and Essun

Hoa is Jemsins thousands of years old. Stoneater, a complex being made of living stone, who narrates the entire triolgy. We find in the end that Hoa is talking to Stoneater Essun about her life when she was an oregene. Hoa gives her the opportunity to know her past and inso to know herself. It is her past that has resulted in her current state of being as stoneater since exhausting the  limitations of her orogeny when using magic to help save Nassun. Thus orogenes are transformed and  many memories are lost in this change. Hoa begins, I have brought you here, reassembled the raw arcanic substance of your being, and reactivated the lattice that should have preserved the critical essence of who you were. A saying on love is to find someone who loves you for who you are and you them. It is important to Hoa that Essun retains the core of who she was before she became a Stoneater. In the Stillness Hoa has no obligation to care for Essun in her transformation, in addition to taking on the responsibility to retain Essun essence. In the assumption that Noa is operating in good faith, meaning having care for Essun on morally good standards for her well being and her consent. Hoa to a reader’s knowledge, leaves open choices for the type of relationship he will have with Essun going forward. When Stoneater Essun asks Why? Hoa wants to be with her. Narractoring still Hoa adjusted [himself] to a posture of humility, with head bowed and one hand over my chest. “Because that is how one survives eter-nity,” I say, “or even a few years. Friends. Family. Moving with them. Moving forward.”.  Hoa’s body language and words implies great genuineness and respect, treating her  in such high regard, as if pledging that together they will survive. Learning the nuances of who is loved and what they did to deserve to be loved? Is unfair to the range of experiences of Jemisin’s final characters’ lives to judge how they love and what that looks like. I am only fascinated by interpersonal relationships that operate within a socially and environmentally violence world.

(Is personhood enough to define actions and provide reasoning enough for opposing actions of beings and still say can love or know love?)

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.