Worthing Saga, Day Seven, Chapters 13-15

June 23, 2008 at 4:02 pm | Posted in The Worthing Saga | 1 Comment

The Worthing Saga
by Orson Scott Card
Day Seven Chapters 13-15

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, last time we concluded the *main* part of the novel. What remains are short stories set in the Worthing universe. Today (and next time) we’ll be looking at stories set on and around the planet of Capital. You may recognize some of the names. And you may notice that elements of these stories found their way into the novel.

I’m curious to see what your opinion is on these short stories. I would *imagine* that if you’re like me, that you would like some better than others. I’m always that way with short stories. Still I think they’re important for setting the stage–letting you know firsthand just what life was like before Abner Doon “destroyed” civilization by “destroying” somec and the sleephouses.

In the first story, we see the effect of somec on friendship. Two boys who are growing up together side by side. True, one is a servant, and the other is the son of a rich man, heir to it all, but in childhood these differences seem *almost* trivial. Bergen, the rich one, and Dal, the servant. We see how somec enters society. We see a glimpse of what life was like before. Crove was Crove, it wasn’t yet Capital. The setting is almost rural. It hasn’t succumbed to urbanization. There are trees. There is wildlife. It’s a natural world; a beautiful world that is just right for painting. We see how Somec divides people. It’s a ‘class’ thing; a hierarchy. What do you think of Dal? What do you think of Bergen? What do you make of each of them wanting to ‘be’ immortal? One by living seemingly forever by somec; the other living through his art work? Did you like the analogy between living life by skipping stones and living life by swimming?

In the next story, “Second Chance” we get a fuller glimpse in the back story between Abner Doon and his lost love, his first love, Batta. (Yes, Batta was one of the ones who lost their memory while on Worthy’s colony ship.) Does knowing this about Abner Doon make you love him? hate him? understand him? And what about Batta? Do you think she made the right decision?

In our final story (for today) we meet Arran, the actress, the star. I think this chapter highlights how crazy the society had become. The anything-goes-ness of it. Doesn’t it seem like society has everything topsy-turvy only no one realizes it? Does the “lifeloop” craze remind you of the nonsensical reality tv craze of today? When Card was writing this story, that craze hadn’t happened yet. The following of semi-celebrities around-the-clock. Doesn’t this say “Britney Spears” to you? Or Paris Hilton? People who are only famous for “playing” themselves and partying and being oh-so-dramatic?! Arran isn’t really likeable. I didn’t find her so. But we do get our first glimpse of the TRUE happenings at the sleephouse. How much somec HURTS and how UNCOMFORTABLE it makes the sleepers…only they never know…they never remember.

Which of these three is your favorite so far?

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  1. I’m enjoying these short stories. I’m finding the additional background information really helpful. My favorite of these first three stories was the story of Bergen and Dal. I liked the close friendship between them. I agree with you Becky about the skipping stones/swimming analogy. It really fit these two. Bergen skipping along, a little life, a lot of sleep, a little life…while Dal swam straight through a happy full life. Dal was the fortunate one, not Bergen. Then at the end, Bergen, still alive, finds one of Dal’s paintings in a shop and it is hundreds of years old. I also liked the story about Abner Doon and Batta. He loved her so, and waited for her all that time until her parents were gone. I think she made the wrong decision having her memories restored. The story about Arran and the lifeloops was just okay for me, probably because I’m not a fan of reality TV. It definitely made me think of Big Brothers and other shows like it. I didn’t like Arran. Too bad Ham didn’t realize he was better off without her.

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