Posted by Jock on February 03, 2009 at 21:51:02 user Jock.
In Reply to: Re: Volunteers found (was Volunteers needed)! posted by Peter Ceresole on February 02, 2009 at 19:08:55:
Well Peter, your solution was the most elegant - in the sense of being conformant with the largest number of observed
rules - of all those sent to me. And an earlier post of yours was the inspiration for this thread!
Adam commented that if his life had depended on it he would have argued that it was a trick question. But of the 14/17
who only supplied one answer, though many shared their reasoning, only one person admitted to having any doubts.
This tendency to analyse things in this world according to a binary logic is a very human trait. Take AR's position with
respect to the Russian Revolution, some have asked, 'Whose side was he on?' expecting to come up with only answer -
'the Bolsheviks' or 'the Brits' But, if we leave our own prejudices aside, the truth that emerges is much more complex.
The Mastadon's dilemma in SW where Don feels a split loyalty between the S&As and the eels is a neat AR tutorial on
the shortcomings of a binary view of the world.
In SD the GA seems to be the ultimate embodiment of evil - demanding that the A's return punctually to Beckfoot for
mealtimes and reducing Mrs Blackett to tears. But even here, AR is teaching us - as when Titty drops the Voodoo doll
into the flames - that in the case of the GA at least, the end does not justify the means. By the time we get to PM, AR
has Dorothea share with us some of the GA's thought processes and, by the end of the book, the GA and Nancy reach
a new level of understanding. Dorothea's soliloquy, In a novel white is white... is relevant here.
But I'd like to sweep all considerations of the weakness of a binary view of the world and its ills aside and look at AR
and cultural context. More tomorrow!
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