Conrad's Fate (with spoilers)

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Mon May 16 09:39:26 EDT 2005


Paul wrote:

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>On which note: is there anyone else who didn't believe for a moment
>that Uncle Thingy was telling the truth about Conrad's karma?
>Maybe it's just that I've read a lot of DWJ before (avuncular figure
>who doesn't really have one's best interests at heart being a
>recurring theme, particularly in the Chrestomanci series), or maybe
>it's just that one should never trust anyone who feels the need to
>*tell* you when they're being honest, but I was on to him from the
>word go.

Whenever Harold Wilson puffed on his pipe and said "to be perfectly frank
and honest with you" I *knew*, even as a small child, that what he said
next was not going to be actually true, it was going to be something that
sounded good but was without real content.

These Wicked Uncles might make marvellously successful politicians, perhaps.

OTOH, I can't really blame Conrad for not spotting it: he's been being
brainwashed.  After every time the subject of his karma is discussed by his
uncle, he has accidents:  "but the truly nasty part was that, each time, I
thought, I /deserve/ this!  This is because of my crime in my past life.
And I felt horribly guilty and sinful..."  Would you bet that his uncle
isn't influencing him with magic to be clumsy, and have the accidents, so
that he'll believe what he's been told?

Let's face it, eight- and nine-year-olds don't really have much power
against determined adult abuse.  They do seem just to accept that what is
done to them is the norm, and that it is their own fault somehow.  What I
find remarkable is that Conrad *does* notice that his friends at school get
pocket-money and skis and things without having to do all the household
chores and earn them.  Not such an idiot after all, that boy, perhaps.

Minnow


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