Dalemark Quartet

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Thu Jul 29 16:36:45 EDT 2004

On Thu, 29 Jul 2004 20:07:22 +0100, minnow at belfry.org.uk wrote:

>Robyn suggested
>>I think Minnow's is perhaps the darkest shade of interpretation; maybe
>>there's a more middle ground? What if the cwidder encouraged Lenina to act
>>on an impulse she had that she might otherwise have resisted? I was
>>thinking maybe heart over head kind of decision. She could regret it, but
>>she's the kind of person that would stick with it even when she realised it
>>was an impulsive mistake.
>An impulsive mistake sounds exactly right, certainly the mistake part.  The
>impulse was not, I think, her own.
>That she goes as fast as go she may and gets married to Ganner on the same
>day that Clennen has been killed seems somehow indicative of where her
>heart actually did lie, or it does to me.

It could also indicate that she'd regretted her impulse and been daydreaming
about how wonderful life would be with Ganner all those years, whether or
not the impulse was generated by the cwidder.  It isn't that uncommon for
people to become dissatisfied with the reality they're living, even if
they're not enchanted.

My problem is that Lenina has always been a cipher to me.  I can imagine her
being compelled by the cwidder to run off with Clennen and continue to live
with him; I can imagine her being seduced, then coming to her senses and
staying with Clennen out of a sense of honor; I can imagine the cwidder
"leaning" on an impulse she was already entertaining, encouraging her to
make a truly stupid decision.  But I can't pick a likeliest option based on
Lenina's behavior, because I just don't get her.  It always creeped me out
as a youngster when she went back to Ganner and seemed to be more interested
in her new man than her own children, whatever her motivations.

Also, the female lead in _Brave New World_ is named Lenina.  Now there's a
crapload of bad associations for you....

Melissa Proffitt

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