[DWJ] Cart and Cwidder Cwestion

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Thu Mar 22 11:44:06 EDT 2012


> > Melissa wrote:
> >
I wonder whether Clennen had any idea that his wife
> >despised him. He's so full of himself that I'd bet on him not getting
> >it--which makes him more despicable in my eyes.

> >I also think that Clennen didn't know how to use the cwidder's powers,
> >and would guess that he believed the cwidder only got Lenina for him
> because his love was so true and meant to be.  His character is a lot
better if
> this is true. But I don't understand why he is MORE despicable if he
doesn't
> get how Lenina despises him. 

I don't mean that he's objectively more despicable, just that I consider it
despicable to be so unaware of your surroundings that you don't understand
how you're negatively affecting the people in your life, particularly the
ones you say you care for. That is, he could be a bad person for
deliberately making Lenina care for him against her will, and/or he could be
a bad person for being full of himself and hurting her because of it.
Clennen basically depended on the cwidder's magic to make everything right,
as if marriage were something that didn't require effort to make work. Maybe
Lenina was never going to actually love Clennen--I'd bet on not--but true
love doesn't take the place of hard work. Still, we don't see the maybe-20
years that led to this point; maybe Clennen gave up on wooing Lenina after
years of coldness; all we know is that Clennen either doesn't know or
doesn't care that Lenina dislikes him, and I'm not sure whether to give him
a pass on that even if he had pure motives at the start.

And it just occured to me: say the cwidder's spell lasted at least long
enough to produce Dagner; why did Clennen and Lenina go on to have Brid and
Moril? If Lenina was in thrall for that long, that's a fairly powerful
spell, but it really seems as if it only worked for Clennen long enough to
attract Lenina in the first place (because it sounds as if he was sort of
surprised that it worked even that one time) and I have a hard time
believing that Clennen could get anything that powerful out of the cwidder.

Esther:
> >I don't think it's child abuse to take kids on the road with you,
> >either -- in general, that is.  I wonder if it is here, though.  Clennen
is doing
> very dangerous work.  I don't think he was only endangering himself.  The
> people he's spying on and working against are ruthless and there's a big
risk, I
> think, that if caught, his family would be considered accomplices, not
> innocents.

True. And given that Kialan's brother, still young, was executed, they
probably wouldn't have made allowances for Brid and Moril. Which lends
credence to the "Clennen is a selfish and self-absorbed person" but also
allows for the "Clennen cares more about freedom fighting than about
individuals" theory.

Melissa Proffitt




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