Mordion/Tess

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Thu Mar 9 09:07:59 EST 2000


Some time ago, when we had the Tess of the d'Urbervilles thread, Philip
commented that having read all the posts about Tess, he thought that most
of what had been said applied to Mordion as well.  I found this
fascinating, but wasn't quite sure I got it fully, and thought it was a
dead cert that someone else would, and would respond.  Didn't happen, but
the thought has been simmering around on the back-burner since then.  Last
Sunday in Church we sang a hymn which has the line "Suffering Servant,
scorned, ill-treated", which really convinced me to try to figure this out.
So, after some thought, these are the  possible connections I've come up
with.

Tess, Melissa said, had continually been acted upon, been the victim of
other people, and never fought back, until the end when she kills the
villain.  So this is one similarity with Mordion.  As the Servant, or the
Servant-in-training, he was being used, blamed unfairly for things he
hadn't been responsible for, and generally forced into doing things he
didn't want to do.  In the end, when he has confronted his memories, he's
finally free to act against the Reigners.

Next, I think Melissa said that Tess had "given" her sister to Angel in an
attempt to take care of her, and there's a similarity with Mordion in his
attempts to take care of the other children being trained.  (I'm least sure
of that one though.)

Possibly, the comment that Hardy really loved Tess, and it makes her
suffering all the harder to read, would also correspond.  IMO, Mordion's
suffering (and the evil of Reigner One), is worse than anything in other
DWJ books, including the "adult books".

And finally, the one Jesus-image Melissa accepted in the book, was of Tess
- in that everything she suffered was not her fault.  That certainly
relates to Mordion also.  Hence the "suffering servant" line seeming so
relevant.  This would only seem to relate to that one aspect of
Tess/Mordion, for me at least, so I'm certainly not suggesting that Mordion
is a Jesus-figure throughout, any more than Tess is.

This is the best I've been able to come up with.  If I'd waited until I
felt it was "right", it would probably never have been sent.  So now, with
any luck, Philip will explain why that isn't at all what he meant, and
Melissa can say that she never made any of the points I've attributed to
her, and possibly I'll end up with some true understanding of all this! :-)
At long last.


Hallie
hallieod at indigo.ie






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