Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Cinder Buggy - part 14 - Chapter XX - the turning point

Click here for Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 of my review of The Cinder Buggy.

Chapter XX appears to be the turning point of the plot of Cinder Buggy. The accident/misunderstandings/mistakes of the previous chapters were mostly corrected. The personal stories related to Thane and Agnes became interwoven into both the (1) Enoch v. Aaron plot and (2) the iron v. steel story. On page 183, Aaron's son John realizes the connection and explains it to Thane and Agnes.

I have not mentioned John before because explaining his presence would have given away too much of the plot of the early chapters. While I do not like plot spoilers, apparently Garrett does not mind using them. Garrett notes that the events of Chapter XX "sealed the fate of New Damascus." (p. 188). As became apparent in Chapter XX, the plot will reach its conclusion not by way of accidents or simple misunderstandings, but by the decisions of the characters pursuing their interests and responding to the developing conflicts. Ultimately, Enoch forced the events of Chapter XX and beyond in a manner consistent with his character and his own role in the conflicts. I have always believed that the best plots result from difficult choices made by the characters. In this case, it appears that the underlying conflicts will be resolved by those choices and will not be diminished by mere accidents.

While I am glad that the plot will not depend on accidents and misunderstandings, I remain disappointed that the plot developments reflect only personal (albeit important) disputes instead of broader philosophical issues. The broader historical landscape is painted using this story as a brush, but this story is not influenced by the historical landscape in the way that a Randian story would be so influenced. Click here for part 15.



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