It's hard to disentangle myself from my identity. I've read similar stories: In these stories Earth has usually stagnated and never solves any of the current sociological problems. I didn't find any of the characters compelling, nor were any of the descriptions of the colony or society especially interesting. It was a meh concept with meh execution. I have a terrible memory especially for books I've read. I don't know if other people experience the same thing, where you read mysteries and most of the time don't remember who the killer is and why they did it, but that happens to me more often than I'd care to admit.
When It Changed
I'm sure this is a very hard to believe statement, especially when you compare the story to some of the others we've read i. It took me longer than I'd care to admit to figure out the narrator's gender. Then I tried to figure out how step-siblings could possibly have characteristics from both parents. I couldn't, so I just kept reading.
I managed to realize the narrator was female before one of the men from earth called her by name, but just barely. This reminds me of something that happened last week — I was traveling to another city for work, and heard that one of the sitting members of council had died. My coworker and I both assumed the councillor was male because they were in a position of power.
I'd like to think I'm an equal-opportunity thinker, but I guess I still have some work to do.
When It Changed Summary
I also appreciated that the men came to a planet full of women, announced that Earth had achieved gender equality, and that it would be better for all the women if earthlings helped them out. And by great I mean laughable. And most importantly, they do not vie for their attraction, or reward their posturing with any signs of an attraction of their own. In the encounter between the men and the women of Whileaway, only the former consider themselves, and only themselves, to be fully and simply people.
Across this gap of dehumanisation, neither equality nor true connection are possible. Definitely adding it to my list…. It recasts the stereotypical survive on an alien planet narrative in distinctly appealing feminist overtones. Not directly related to either her story or your review, I think the premise that the appearance of men leads to instant patriarchy is flawed.
When it Changed - Joel Sternfeld - Steidl Verlag
I mean, right here on Earth, in Norway and Sweden most men made themselves scarce for a few centuries pillaging other places. The women pretty much ran things at home. Otherwise the women would not have reacted so strongly to being belittled by four new arrivals on their planet, who are essentially at their mercy, even if their behaviour suggests otherwise….
Good interpretation and interesting replies. What do you make of the reference to Faust and to the last line in italics and caps, For-A-While.
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The end line must relate to the name of the place they life, Whileaway, so is Russ just reiterating the fatalism of the piece, that this feminine utopia will end soon? But again, I only see how this is a restatement of her wish for this moment not to pass and her fatalism that it will. Does it go any deeper than that? Hey, thanks for the comment and sorry for taking so long to reply!
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What you suggest — that the quote is a reiteration of the fatalism that runs through the story — sounds right to me, especially in light of the last paragraph: All good things must come to an end. You are commenting using your WordPress.
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