Reaper Man Discussion **Spoilers**

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Re: Reaper Man Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby Bouncy Castle » Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:55 pm

It's a hamster.
Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.

The rest of us are a bit crap.
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Re: Reaper Man Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby Tonyblack » Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:54 pm

alicenanjing wrote:There are some clues in the text that point to the new Death being an Auditor, even if it is not explicitly stated that he is so. First, when the wizards perform the Rite of Ash-Kente, the "answering service " that turns up instead of Death is an auditor - grey robe, empty. Later on, before Bill Door confronts the new Death, they congregate around them, seen by Renata Flitworth ( "If she jerked her head quickly and peered out of the tail of her eye, she could see small greyclad shapes hovering around the walls.
The Revenooers, she thought. They’ve come to make sure it all happens.")
And when Bill Door and the new Death fight, the new Death uses "we" instead of "I " and his robe is empty, just like the Auditors' ( " We do not listen. The reaper does not listen to the harvest.
We will not make the same mistakes."
"The new Death raised his cowl.
There was no face there. There was not even a skull.
Smoke curled formlessly between the robe and a golden crown.")
Personally, I think these small hints are there for the purpose of telling the reader that the new Death is in fact an Auditor to whom has been entrusted the job of playing the part of Death "properly". Just my opinion, but for my part, I think that it's a case of "walks like a duck, quacks like a duck"...

But that would require the Auditor to become an individual and, as soon as it did that, it would cease to exist.

I think it's more likely that the new Death is still forming - trying to find its shape. It got created because there was a hole to fill left by the original Death.

Apart from anything else, Death is shaped by living beings - the Auditors despise life as it is too chaotic for the world of order that they want. They' rather there was no personification of Death at all.

I can see what you are saying about the Auditors being very much in evidence, but that doesn't make the new Death one of them. If anything it is the personification of progress through mechanisation. The new reaping machine is the future - a terrifying future in some respects. It will mean the loss of jobs and the death of communities, even if it is a more efficient way of harvesting.

In the Mall story we see the Urban Death, but in Bill Door's story we see the Rural Death. In many ways it is akin to the start of the Industrial Revolution. :o
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Re: Reaper Man Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:13 pm

:lol: Didn't have Terry pegged as a Luddite :laughing-lettersrofl:
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Re: Reaper Man Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby swreader » Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:08 pm

I quite agree Tony that the new Death is not an auditor. He is "called into existence by DEATH's temporary retirement" (see the Companion). He has an exaggerated notion of his power & position (because he has not got the eons of experience of humanity that DEATH has), The New Death sees himself as a ruler (hence the crown) and takes obscene pleasure in the idea of "killing" DEATH. He cannot understand that Renata (or anyone) could want to give up part of her lifetime to allow DEATH (Bill Door) to defeat the New Death.

I'm not so sure that I buy your the discussion of "Rural Death" and the "Death of Cities", though. I think that while the Mall form is a parasite that attacks cities, what Terry is doing with this creature is rather different. Ordinary people (even Dibbler) seem to be mesmerized by the "music" that the Queen is playing. They, like the wizards, are essentially helpless in the face of this predator. And raisindot, I totally disagree with your assertion that this mall thing has been "done to death." Terry is doing considerably more with it than just parody.

The Wizards react to the absence of death and the problems it causes or allows like a bunch of adolescent boys--full of "yo's" and wanting to zap the baskets, or something. Wisdom is sadly lacking in the wizards--and the way they end up in the mall is an appropriate revelation of their characters. What is significant is that the only creatures (with the possible exception of the Librarian) who are able to see the mall for the predator it is are the "undead" types. They work out how the mall is created and by themselves begin to destroy it. (The count pulls the "plug" on the Queen, and things go rapidly downhill from there.) And they show concern for others (rescuing the wizards) and Windle is willing to "die" to stop the Queen. It is only with Ludmilla's prodding that the wizards go back to get Windle out--and it is Schepple (the bogeyman) who allows them to escape the destruction of the Mall. This is not as simple as "Urban Death" though it's possible to see Malls as such. This is much more about the nature of humanity and how foolish the "wise" can be.

It seems to me that Terry may be experimenting here with the kind of themes he will use much more effectively in later books (such as Thud!) where the Deepdowners (who are so sure they are right about everything ) are shown to be totally wrong--fools in fact.

More than any other book, I think, Reaper Man shows us that DEATH is somehow on humanity's side--as will later be demonstrated in Thief of Time.
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Re: Reaper Man Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby alicenanjing » Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:52 am

Well, if the new Death isn't an Auditor, then why does he always speak in the plural, if not in order to avoid becoming an individual? I don't know how it looks in the English edition, but in my book the lines spoken by the new Death have exactly the same characteristics as the ones spoken by the Auditors. And the Auditor acting as Death's answering service, and the Auditors congregating to show support at the confrontation, certainly demonstrate the fact that the new Death, on the off chance he is not, in fact, an Auditor, is certainly their creature. IMHO.
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Re: Reaper Man Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby LilMaibe » Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:07 am

alicenanjing wrote:Well, if the new Death isn't an Auditor, then why does he always speak in the plural, if not in order to avoid becoming an individual? I don't know how it looks in the English edition, but in my book the lines spoken by the new Death have exactly the same characteristics as the ones spoken by the Auditors. And the Auditor acting as Death's answering service, and the Auditors congregating to show support at the confrontation, certainly demonstrate the fact that the new Death, on the off chance he is not, in fact, an Auditor, is certainly their creature. IMHO.


I would say the new Death was made with some input from the auditors in 'order' to avoid the 'same mess' to happen again.
And of course Death is after all, various deaths. Possible all deaths are like that in the beginning
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Re: Reaper Man Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby stripy_tie » Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:27 pm

LilMaibe wrote:
alicenanjing wrote:Well, if the new Death isn't an Auditor, then why does he always speak in the plural, if not in order to avoid becoming an individual? I don't know how it looks in the English edition, but in my book the lines spoken by the new Death have exactly the same characteristics as the ones spoken by the Auditors. And the Auditor acting as Death's answering service, and the Auditors congregating to show support at the confrontation, certainly demonstrate the fact that the new Death, on the off chance he is not, in fact, an Auditor, is certainly their creature. IMHO.


I would say the new Death was made with some input from the auditors in 'order' to avoid the 'same mess' to happen again.
And of course Death is after all, various deaths. Possible all deaths are like that in the beginning


DEATH certainly seems a lot more uncompromising in CoM, Mort and the earlier books in general and i think it's mentioned (possibly by Susan?) later on that much of his current genial character was acquired relatively recently.

I think that the new Death's character is more of a reflection of the increasingly industrialised disc that he is anthropomorphized into rather than any conscious effort on the part of the Auditors.
Last edited by stripy_tie on Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Reaper Man Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby stripy_tie » Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:34 pm

alicenanjing wrote:Well, if the new Death isn't an Auditor, then why does he always speak in the plural, if not in order to avoid becoming an individual? I don't know how it looks in the English edition, but in my book the lines spoken by the new Death have exactly the same characteristics as the ones spoken by the Auditors. And the Auditor acting as Death's answering service, and the Auditors congregating to show support at the confrontation, certainly demonstrate the fact that the new Death, on the off chance he is not, in fact, an Auditor, is certainly their creature. IMHO.


It can't be both Death and an Auditor, just like a radiator can't also be a piece of toast. They're mutually exclusive things. The Auditors might prefer it over the original DEATH but that in no way makes it one of them.
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Re: Reaper Man Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby Tonyblack » Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:37 pm

When the Auditors approached Azrael about getting rid of Death, it seems to me that Azrael knew that they were on a hopeless mission. There's a suggestion in the text that Azrael was bored and already knew what would happen if Death was removed - another Death would be created to try to fill the vacuum. Things die - that's erm . . . life.

The new Death is an idea that hasn't been properly formed yet. It doesn't understand the role that Death plays and seems to think that it has power over life.

But as I said earlier - it's not what the Auditors had planned. It's far too showy to be an Auditor for a start. And all they've ended up with is another entity doing the same job that was being done by the thing they thought they'd gotten rid of.

Azrael, in our own world is the Archangel of Death and in the Discworld universe he is effectively Death's boss. He knew all along that you can't have life without death.
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Re: Reaper Man Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby Who's Wee Dug » Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:22 pm

When I was reading Reaper Man and come across Azrael, Aziraphale in Good Omens sprung to mind. :)
He willnae tak' a drink! I think he's deid! , on the other hand though A Midgie in yir hand is worth twa up yir kilt.
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Re: Reaper Man Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby swreader » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:31 am

alicenanjing wrote:Well, if the new Death isn't an Auditor, then why does he always speak in the plural, if not in order to avoid becoming an individual? I don't know how it looks in the English edition, but in my book the lines spoken by the new Death have exactly the same characteristics as the ones spoken by the Auditors. And the Auditor acting as Death's answering service, and the Auditors congregating to show support at the confrontation, certainly demonstrate the fact that the new Death, on the off chance he is not, in fact, an Auditor, is certainly their creature. IMHO.


The New Death is not an Auditor, nor is he created by the Auditors. At the beginning of the book, three Auditors come to the consensus that DEATH must be replaced ("There is a personality. Personalities come to an end. Only forces endure.) They make their case to Azrael, who merely nods. He is the creator of the New Death insofar as it has a creator. But the New Death is a megalomaniac personality who sees itself as ruling. Consequently it uses the royal "we".

We will enjoy this.
ENJOY?
The new Death advanced. Bill Door backed away.
Yes. The taking of one Death is the same as achieving the death of a billion lesser lives. ...
We detect a trick. We do not listen. The reaper does not listen to the harvest.


When the New Death raises his cowl in preparation for the blow, there is no face, no skeleton--"Smoke curled formlessly between the robe and a golden crown." It is because DEATH has taken such an interest in Miss Flitworth that she is wiling to give him some of her time that DEATH is able to grasp the harvest scythe and destroy the new Death.

The striking thing about the way Terry weaves the two major stories together(the Death story and the Windle Poons/mall story} is that those who think only of their own glory and/or enjoyment either perish or are totally enthralled by the Mall Queen. Those (like DEATH and, ironically, the undeads) who are concerned with others are the ones who succeed. Azrael affirms this when he gives DEATH more time because, "LORD, WHAT CAN THE HARVEST HOPE FOR, IF NOT FOR THE CARE OF THE REAPER MAN."

------------------
Edit - Italics are used in both the British and American editions.
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Re: Reaper Man Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby alicenanjing » Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:26 pm

The royal "we". Now that makes sense.
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Re: Reaper Man Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby cabbagehead » Sat Jan 28, 2012 7:31 pm

What I don't understand in the plot of Reaper Man is on what time was the little girl living? At first Bill Door shares his time with her, which allows her to keep living in a coma state, but what happens when he beats the New Death and she goes back to breathing normally? Where did the new sand in her lifetimer come from (surely she has one)?
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Re: Reaper Man Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby Tonyblack » Sat Jan 28, 2012 7:47 pm

cabbagehead wrote:What I don't understand in the plot of Reaper Man is on what time was the little girl living? At first Bill Door shares his time with her, which allows her to keep living in a coma state, but what happens when he beats the New Death and she goes back to breathing normally? Where did the new sand in her lifetimer come from (surely she has one)?
That's a good question - and I don't know the answer.

She certainly seems to have survived. The last we hear of her, Miss Flitworth says that she's sleeping now, normally. And that's it. :think:

Anyone got any ideas?
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Re: Reaper Man Discussion **Spoilers**

Postby Tonyblack » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:15 am

You have just one week to read or reread Lords and Ladies for the discussion starting on Monday 6th February. :)
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