Monstrous Regiment --why don't I love it?

Moderators: Jason, Toothy, Tonyblack

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Tue Jun 09, 2009 1:38 am

That and a load of blade-bearing, blood-thirsty maniacs (gender undetermined and largley irrelevant in this scenario) bearing down on your hearth and home perhaps - you certainly wouldn't ask them in for tea would you... ?

Fight or flight I believe and don't stick around to find out where they keep their socks :lol:

There are numerous historical instances of female warriors - the Celts certainly had women warriors and Boudicca and her daughters are a notable recorded instance of women leading the Iceni (and squishing Roman-held Colchester, London and St. Albans more or less) in retaliation for getting raped and generally beaten to a pulp in their settlement in Norfolk after being stripped of their territorial rights when Boudicca's husband died - the Romans did not recognise women as co-rulers which was the case with Celtic tribes in Britain at that time.

Anti-war activism is very laudable and I agree Polly should have not got dragged back into the army as a man or a woman, but if you are being attacked on your doorstep, your principles tend not to be respected do they? :(
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
User avatar
Jan Van Quirm
Member
 
Posts: 10485
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:07 pm
Location: Dunheved, Kernow

Postby swreader » Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:54 am

But the feminist element (though perhaps a bit overdone) is important--and suggests that perhaps there would be fewer wars if women (not women pretending to be men) were in charge.


Part of the problem, I think, is that there are few obvious passages that actually state this point specifically--that's not the way Pratchett writes. But the overall "message" of the book, I think, is that Polly (and perhaps Maladicta) have learned something very important from their experiences--that what Polly has learned (see pp 315-316 in British hardcover) is that she is a soldier, not someone to be patronized by a woman masquerading as a man general, and dismissed as "my dear". It is through the efforts of this group of women, and the "ghost" of the Duchess that this war is ended.

On p. 317, the Duchess says that they are heroes who would willingly die for her in battle, but now she demands something more--"You must refrain from dying in battle. Revenge is not redress. Revenge is a wheel, and it turns backwards. The dead are not your masters." Polly, in the meeting with Vimes manages to suggest terms that leave the country some pride, but at the same time silently acknowledges the stupidity of what the war has done to the country.

Some six months later, things are quite a bit better--they have survived the winter. But as Vimes had warned (328-329) Prince Heinrich still isn't the ruler of two countries--but he still wants more. He wants the power and influence of Ankh-Morpork, but he doesn't want to earn them, or grow into them or learn how to use them. He just wants them. And sure enough Prince Heinrich is trying to claim Borogravia again.

And Prince Heinrich must be stopped, so Polly can go back to doing something she has learned from Sergeant Jackrum, and from her total experiences. She has learned that wars need not be fought stupidly. And what she has learned is (p. 352) "The enemy wasn't men , or women, or the old, or even the dead. It was just bleedin' stuipd people who came in all varieties. And no one had the right to be stupid." Not even Prince Heinrich.
User avatar
swreader
Member
 
Posts: 806
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 5:39 pm
Location: Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A.

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:34 am

swreader wrote:"The enemy wasn't men , or women, or the old, or even the dead. It was just bleedin' stuipd people who came in all varieties. And no one had the right to be stupid." Not even Prince Heinrich.


And that's it in a nutshell isn't it? The book is not truly about gender or any 'isms' including pacifism and/or feminism. It's about the ultimate futility of war and aggression and letting people live their lives usefully and in peace...

Sadly how you uphold or 'fight for' that liberty in another matter - I do believe there are times when you have no alternative but to make a stand and maybe fight fire with fire, however morally reprehensible that may be. No easy answer here - and as we see in places like Afghanistan it is the ordinary soldiers who continue to pay the price of this stupid cycle :(
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
User avatar
Jan Van Quirm
Member
 
Posts: 10485
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:07 pm
Location: Dunheved, Kernow

Postby Straw Walker » Tue Jun 09, 2009 1:03 pm

swreader wrote:
But the feminist element (though perhaps a bit overdone) is important--and suggests that perhaps there would be fewer wars if women (not women pretending to be men) were in charge.


Part of the problem, I think, is that there are few obvious passages that actually state this point specifically--that's not the way Pratchett writes. But the overall "message" of the book, I think, is that Polly (and perhaps Maladicta) have learned something very important from their experiences--that what Polly has learned (see pp 315-316 in British hardcover) is that she is a soldier, not someone to be patronized by a woman masquerading as a man general, and dismissed as "my dear". It is through the efforts of this group of women, and the "ghost" of the Duchess that this war is ended.

On p. 317, the Duchess says that they are heroes who would willingly die for her in battle, but now she demands something more--"You must refrain from dying in battle. Revenge is not redress. Revenge is a wheel, and it turns backwards. The dead are not your masters." Polly, in the meeting with Vimes manages to suggest terms that leave the country some pride, but at the same time silently acknowledges the stupidity of what the war has done to the country.

Some six months later, things are quite a bit better--they have survived the winter. But as Vimes had warned (328-329) Prince Heinrich still isn't the ruler of two countries--but he still wants more. He wants the power and influence of Ankh-Morpork, but he doesn't want to earn them, or grow into them or learn how to use them. He just wants them. And sure enough Prince Heinrich is trying to claim Borogravia again.

And Prince Heinrich must be stopped, so Polly can go back to doing something she has learned from Sergeant Jackrum, and from her total experiences. She has learned that wars need not be fought stupidly. And what she has learned is (p. 352) "The enemy wasn't men , or women, or the old, or even the dead. It was just bleedin' stuipd people who came inall varieties. And no one had the right to be stupid." Not even Prince Heinrich.


Thanks SWreader, I'd have liked to be able to express it that well. :)
I think the answer lies in the soil, ooo arrr!
User avatar
Straw Walker
Member
 
Posts: 140
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:09 pm
Location: Dover

Postby poohbcarrot » Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:48 pm

Well said swreader. War is stupid. And people are stupid. (sounds like a Culture Club song) :lol:

So it's not about men or women, but about how power corrupts and how men or women who weald power are quite happy to let other people die for the cause, even if it's a futile and non-existant cause eg; Iraq.

You did very well with your quotes to back up your argument, it must have taken you a long time, unfortunately your last five sentences blew your argument completely out of the water.

But I lost 5 pounds because I thought I was right about grammar, so look on the bright side. 8)
Image
"It's better to belong where you don't belong than not to belong where you used to belong,
remembering when you used to belong there"
-Sneebs
poohbcarrot
Member
 
Posts: 1557
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 4:15 pm
Location: Japan

Previous

Return to Discworld novels

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests