I Ate'nt Dead -- or That Which Does Not Kill Us Makes Us Stro nger

Rowland, Jennifer A B jennifer.rowland at ic.ac.uk
Tue Sep 17 05:31:43 EDT 2002


> Ven wrote:
> > The reuniting of sundered parts of a personality
> > or a person. This is common in Dwj, is it a
> > personal motif?

I'm not sure if this is a different thought, or just expressed in a
different way, but I think dwj's interest in identity could be thought of as
characters being masked- other people choose what they appear as, (or they
choose to hide part of themselves) but by the end of the book they have
removed the masks and are fully rounded.

Spoilers





So Sophie is in hiding as an old woman/oldest of three, but lets herself be
a witch and happy at the end. Mordion is horribly cramped into the Servant,
but the Bannus removes his constraints, and by making the Reigners into
characters, makes them show their true selves as well. (Mordion is also a
very strong case for the resurrection idea, I think).

Dorian wrote:
> [re "Drowned Ammet"]
> Glancing at the ending of this one, the thing that struck me 
> was that Mitt seems to be - or be becoming - Undying right there, when he 
> tells Jenro to look after Lithar "until I come back", and Jenro accepts
this 
> bargain.  This seems to tie in to both the death/resurrection and the 
> sacrifice themes; Mitt the mortal dies here, to be instantly resurrected
as 
> Mitt the Undying.

I read this more mundanely; that Mitt was accepting responsibility for the
Holy Islands, that he would fight for a new king and then come back. (ISTR
somewhere (I could well be wrong) that it says that M didn't realise he was
undying until later- until he didn't start aging.) But it's still a
sacrifice (of autonomy), and accepting change, just not as monumental a one
as in your reading.
> >
> > The Time of the Ghost -- The heroine, the ghost
> > is hovering between life and death throughout the
> > book, in the end she and her sisters and all
> > those involved with whatsername (with one,
> > important, exception)  are freed of the
> > consequences of their gifts and she gets her life
> > back.
> 
> I rather see this book as our heroine being, in a sense, dead 
> for most of it.  From the time she swears herself to Monigan, she's dead -
and
> interestingly, this is one instance where someone *doesn't* 
> save herself; it's her sister's trick that grants her resurrection.

This makes a lot of sense. 
I think the sister is sacrificing herself for the ghost- but it's a trick
sacrifice, which is fair because of how Monagan tricked the other givers.
The ghost also discovers her true identity through the course of the plot,
and finds a way to take off the servant-of-Monigan mask.

Jennifer

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