Hexwood again

Jacob Proffitt Jacob at Proffitt.com
Wed Feb 6 16:15:13 EST 2002


---Original Message From: Sally Odgers
> I think you're right. DWJ people are very much *themselves*,
> and quite a few are born into destinies of some kind. Only
> she might be looking at the notion, sort of sideways, that
> what doesn't break you will make you stronger.
>
> Before I ever read Hexwood, I wrote a book about a
> genetically engineered young man who was bred and trained as
> a "recovery agent". He was brought up believing he owed
> society for creating and keeping him. When I read Hexwood, I
> found definite echoes in Mordian.

One of the things I find so attractive about DWJ is that she doesn't shy
away from complexity.  People are incredibly complex.  Attitudes and
attributes are informed by a lot of different elements and I think she
does a great job reflecting that.  Not just environment vs. temperament,
but other things like personal choice (and effort).  Someone mentioned
Christopher Chant and he's a good example.  He has environment and
temperament, but also displays choice.  All of that rolled together
makes for the character who is still sometimes kind of arrogant, but who
tries not to be.

So (to bring this back to Hexwood) for Mordion, I think that he resisted
the environment, not just because his temperament was different, but
because he made the choice to resist.  You could argue that choosing to
resist his environment is a factor of his temperament (and I'm not
entirely sure you wouldn't be right).  But I think that one thing I get
from Hexwood is that choosing to alter yourself from who you currently
are, though hard, is possible.  The reason I think choice breaks off
from temperament is that changing yourself, well, changes yourself--i.e.
the exercise of your will to change can alter the effects of both
environment *and* temperament.

Maybe that is why I'm so attracted to DWJ.  People make choices that
aren't necessarily required by their background (environment *or*
temperament).  DWJ characters act as free agents (to borrow sports
terminology), informed by circumstance, but taking responsibility for
their choices.  The most poignant example being Homeward Bounders, but
really, this figures into all her books (that I can think of off the
cuff).

Jacob Proffitt


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