Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Part 1, Chapter 8 - I'm Serious, the Window "Bites" Him

The "Great Village" where "thousands had lived" was obviously another one of those myths, like "monsters." But he would look for it nonetheless.

So if he doesn't believe in it, why is he... forget it, let's keep moving.

Jonnie has come across some mounds of dirt and grass during his journey, and one has a rectangular hole in it. Investigating, he discovers that the "mound" was hollow. So...

He bent over and started to crawl into the mound.

And the window bit him!

You thought I was joking last time, didn't you?

Yes, Jonnie has cut himself on some glass shards in the window frame. Mostly, I'm wondering why "bite" was the best way he could conceptualize this accident. Surely he doesn't think the window contracted and chomped on him? Hasn't he ever brushed up against a thorny bush or splintery piece of wood before? Stupid caveman.

And yes, he is awestruck by how sharp the glass shards are, which all but confirms that his people never figured out metalworking in a thousand years.

After removing the window's "teeth," Jonnie safely enters the mysterious mound and finds nothing but obviously worked walls and piles of rust. And to keep this chapter from being a complete waste of time, he also discovers some mysterious shiny discs bearing the same "bird with spread wings and arrows gripped in its claws" emblem as the badge he found in the "tomb."

Jonnie exits the ruin and sagely informs Windsplitter that he has found a "god house," where "they stayed while waiting to take great men up to the tomb." He is awed that the gods were capable of building (triumphant fanfare) walls!

Oi. He's just making up mythology as he goes along, isn't he? Has there been any indication that his tribe thinks the gods required rest stops on their way to stuff stiffs in the "tomb" in Highpeak? And why does a people who remember God with a big G still believe in a lot of gods with a small g? And why is it so hard to belive, if you're living in a village which certainly didn't happen by accident, that maybe humans can build structures?

Then again, everything we've seen about Jonnie's people indicates that stacking bricks on top of each other is far beyond their comprehension. Log cabins are one thing, but stone? Hubris.

It's worth noting that this is the first chapter in which Jonnie is just "Jonnie" instead of "Jonnie Goodboy" or "Jonnie Goodboy Tyler." This may be because he's mostly referred to as "he," and his actual name only pops up nine times over two and a half pages, even though he's the only character besides Windsplitter in the chapter. Or maybe L. Ron's finally realized that calling your hero "Goodboy" kind of detracts from his gravitas. Or maybe this is symbolic of how teen rebel Jonnie is no longer a "good boy." That'd be sort of clever.


We end just above the bottom of page 28 of 1083. Next chapter, Terl goes joyriding, we actually get some useful exposition, and L. Ron Hubbard is racist.

Back to Chapter Seven

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