NOTE: This was posted by swreader not Tonyblack.
kakaze wrote: poohcarrot wrote:
I think the person who really saved the world was the female version of Time - Lobsang/Jeremy's mum. As she could see past, present and future, she knew the auditors would stop time. She made sure that her children were born at the right time and place, and be old enough to be involved and save the world by uniting their bodies. She did it all so she could retire with Wen and live in a little "cottage".
But, since the auditors, Jeremy, Lobsang, and Susan are all unaffected by time, then Time would not be able to see them. All she would know is that Time would be trapped and time would then stand still, not what would actually happen or who would cause it to happen or be trying to fix it.
Marrying Wen and having a son because she can see the end of the world coming up would be like Darwin noticing that the finches on the Galapagos Islands are different than on the Mainland and thereby theorizing the structure of DNA.
Pooh, your romantic theorizing is "lovely and romantic" but you forget this is a novel--not an alternate reality depiction of a world. Terry is writing a novel here. The real question is what function do Wen and Time (as the Mother serve). I think a much more valid answer is that they are necessary parts of the story and function as the "back story" of the main plot. They are used, for example, to "explain" the development and function of procrastinators, and to further explore some part of Terry's theories of "time" (the constant destruction and creation of the Universe by Time). Only incidentally do they provide a pleasant "ending" for two characters whose function is simultaneously huge but relatively minor.
Kakaze, there is no reason to believe that Time (as the Mother) cannot see immortal figures. In fact, DEATH does, at times, see other immortals (as in Hogswatch). This is part of the narrative causality; it gives a reason for DEATH to bring Susan in to help him. DEATH has already saved the world in earlier novels. This particular anomaly is required because to the extent that Susan and Lobsang/Jeremy are alike, he shouldn't be able to see her either. It's a literary device for splitting the novel into two plot-lines, and giving DEATH a different role in the novel. There is every indication that DEATH has no trouble seeing Famine, Pestilence, or War, and he has long conversations with both Soak and Chaos. That is his function in the novel and the battle with the auditors.
But it is through the other plot line that Pratchett explores the nature of time--and that requires a different set of characters.
There is a danger here of forgetting that this is a novel, with a satiric basis--not a depiction of an alternate reality (as some of the fantasy/sci-fi authors do). And in a way, it is a mark of Pratchett's genius--his characters are so well developed and realistic (if occasionally quite odd) that we tend to think of them as real inhabitants of our world, rather than literary creations of the literary Discworld.
The real questions we need to think about are questions like "Who/what is being satirized in the creation of the auditors and why does Pratchett think this mind-set is so dangerous?" or "Does Susan's teaching suggest that humanity can learn to use our brains to see reality rather than what we want to see?" There are many others, but this is really a longer post than my shoulder is happy with.
Thanks for all the good thoughts, everyone. I get very frustrated in reading your discussions especially of this novel because this is one of my special favorites in the Pratchett cannon.
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."