Thoughts . . . by Mark Rich

. . . scribbled . . . scrawled . . . trimmed . . . typewritten . . . grubbed up . . . squeezed from circumstance . . .

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Puritan Planet, Part II

Carol Emshwiller's "Puritan Planet" is interesting additionally (see previous posting) in that it can be read as a commentary on the masculine hierarchy.

The hero, Morgan, in is a forced-landing situation -- with the landing complicated by the fact that the obviously inhabited world he is landing upon offers him no support for his landing there.

The planet is named Brotherhood.

Morgan reflects on the irony of this name in the face of its uninviting aspect. Later, when in contact with its representatives, he finds himself speaking with individuals who state their concern, first and foremost, for the children of their planet.

Morgan is seen by these inhabitants of Brotherhood as not a "brother" but as a threat to these children. He is seen in this negative light due to his displays of masculine coarseness. Because he is seen as a threat to the children's innocence, he is left to die in the place where he has crash-landed.

The Brotherhood representatives, in other words, give lip service to a maternally nurturing spirit. In their actions, or inaction, however, they demonstrate a brutal, perhaps violent, perhaps masculine character.

Brotherhood is isolationist and exclusionary, rather than open and receptive to outside influences and to possible change.

Cheers ...

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