Mitt (A bit muddled)

Alex alex.mb at
Fri Sep 15 09:08:09 EDT 2000

Kyra said:  "But I think that DWJ really meant to give us the feeling that
he could grow up to be
his father - completely cynical but not really taking any joy even in his
cynicism, doing things without having any kind of emotional center.  Yes,
Mitt realizes he is going along this route and decides to change.  That's
admirable and good.  But his change is just too gradual for me to get to
like him by this point."

I absolutely agree with the first point of this: Mitt could have become
debased like his father and that's the irony of his relationship with the
Free Hollanders. He's involved with them because he and his mother intend
that they should get revenge upon them but they provide Mitt with a kind of
security that he had lost with the so-called dealth of his father. However,
I really like Mitt though he certainly sin't sympathetic at times. I would
disagree that the change in him is gradual; The  book seems to me to be
about how things are perceived and because of that we see most of the
characters in several different ways and that continues in the Crown of
Dalemark (bloody Hobin and Hildy). This idea that there are different ways
of seeing characters and events occurs within Mitt and the other characters
too.  It's very difficult for everyone to know whom they can trust because
almost everyone has a secret agenda or because their reputations precede
them as with the problems around Ynen and Hildy's father (Navis?) and Mitt.
Both of them have preconceived ideas about one another; both of them are

As well as this there are different reasons for doing things and there are
choices to be made and what you are as a person determines the final choices
that you make. Mitt could have become like his father but he agreed to
return to the Holy Islands in peace and that demonstrated a strength in him
because part of him remained so very angry. (Especially as his father was
treated by the islanders with respect even though he was transparently a
manipulative villain). He and Hildy with all of their spite and resentment
are very similar characters but Mitt manages to overcome his resentment
whereas Hildy remains hard and embittered and, like generations of her
family before her, used her social position to assert her superiority and
deny her feelings of inferiority: the only good thing about her is her
relationship with Enblith (can't remember her nickname). Mitt, however, has
been shocked into seeing what he was becoming. First of all he saw his
young-old face and that had an effect upon him; secondly he listened to and
felt a sympathy for Ynen and Hildy as they spoke to one another about the
joys of sailing (he had to pretend to be harsher than he was); and thirdly
he found that he hated Al and all he stood for despite him having, in
theory, more in common with Al than with the two aristocratic children. Mitt
never exploits people like Al does: he is always exploited by others and
comes out stronger for it. This theme continues in the Crown of Dalemark

I think his resentment of his mother is justifiable as she gives him far too
mich responsiblity and also forces him into danger. He perhaps expresses
this in terms of resentment of women because this justifies his negative
feelings about her - she can't help it because she's a woman so that means
that she's not being deliberately unfoar on Mitt.

No, Mitt is one of my favorite characters along with Polly (who I'd like to
be) and Tanaqui.


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