A Very Deep Secret

Rowland, Jennifer A B jennifer.rowland at ic.ac.uk
Fri May 11 05:15:01 EDT 2001


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+> >Another question I have is that I never quite figured why Rupert had
+> >such a low opinion of Nick. He is quite convinced that if Maree
+> >doesn't ask for her restoration herself Nick won't do it. As a reader I
+> >wasn't surprised that Nick did do the decent thing   -- he was very
+> >fond of Maree and as he said there were other ways to get what he
+> >wanted.    
 
+> It's not just Rupert either - I checked just now, and it's both 
+> Rupert and Will. Even Zinka when she finds the slave spell in Nick's 
+> room describes him as a "selfish kid".  I agree that this is 
+> puzzling.  
 
+It has the feel of something "intended" but I just can't figure out 
+why. Stan is the only magid unaffected by the "don't trust him" 
+field, but then he's dead. i don't think it can be Janine's doing 
+because it would be a poor trait for an emperor -- making the 
+traditional dagger in the back even more likely. 
++As Jodel says Nick is fundamentlaly decent and selfishness is not 
+neccessarily a bad thing. Nick basically practuises what a friend of 
+mine calls enlightened self interest -- he wouldn't do anything really 
+bad because he knows it would make him feel bad. 

Good point. My thought is, maybe Nick is doing it himself- possibly not
consciously. He is somewhat selfish (like festooning spaghetti everywhere
and letting Maree be blamed) but as someone said earlier, this could be
partly a method of self-preservation around his mother. Maybe he puts out a
field of "I'm selfish, don't bother to ask me for help" in order that he not
be bothered- but if somebody does ask, he will help. A small selfishness
masquerading as a larger one, perhaps. 
Like some morality story where the frighteningly gruff ogre turns out to be
hiding a kind heart, or a vulnerability.
Jennifer
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