swreader wrote:Terry, in the later books, almost always starts the book with a passage which seems irrelevant, but turns out to be a key to the book. And in this book, the Phoenix (the something that isn't a shooting star) can be injured but not destroyed by evil.
Yep - noticed that 'Prologue-type' bit before too, although without chapters you sort of don't notice it so much. That kind of relates to Terry letting us make our own choices about how much importance we attach to the 'Once upon a Time' scene-setters...
Moving hastily on before somebody starts the 'to have or not to have chapters' debate again
Back to what you were saying about the people of Escrow and why they submitted to the Count's 'new social deal', in some ways you can see the sense in what the vampires are offering, if you also take into account the Count's abilities in sending humans into the trance-like state that he began to put in place in Lancre so they could establish a new blood farm. Maybe the Mayor and leading citizens of Escrow didn't really have much choice in the first instance and once the arrangement was working (for the vampires) then maybe it was least line of resistance in that there were less deaths or abductions. Of course the price itself was humiliating and simply shared the feeding around between even more people, including their children (although it looks as though this was only imposed from age 12 was it)?
I was wondering a few days back, when I mentioned the Nazi's rise to power about how that could have happened/been 'allowed', except of course hindsight wasn't an option there. But in the early 1930's fascism (which was very often coming in on a socialist ticket in that period of depression and unemployment) was indicative of the times and the simple truth was that Germany was rockbottom in terms of national pride and flat broke with rampant inflation due to war reparations (not getting into that too much but bankers of any stripe would not have been standing in high regard with most sections of the population) and so from that perspective you can see a little why Germany, Spain and other countries, including the UK, began to get attracted to the fascist movement. Germany just had the 'best' front man and the best organisation and contacts politically. And Hitler was
a hero back then to most 'normal' Germans by 1936 in some degree.
Why? The simplistic answer is that he gave them back their pride in international circles, so they began to feel like they mattered again after years of economic depression and a really sharp drop in social standards. In Germany, utterly defeated and demoralised, there was an almost inevitable hysterical and emotional desperation sitting firmly on the aftermath of WW1, which eventually led to the terrible global recession and devastating financial crashes in Europe and the USA. But Germany had already
been there done that and because it had sunk so low, a determined political force that appears
to be saying they can raise the nation back up and even higher this time around, will inevitably attract popular support from all levels of society, but especially the poor and unemployed.
Maybe at first it even seemed worth the underpinning thuggery and racial prejudices and crazy empirical posturings. This is where Escrow can be perhaps compared in terms of mindset with pre-WW2 Germany, because maybe they had been so preyed upon, terrorised and literally bled white by the Magpyrs already, that this miraculous, rationalisation of the Count's actually seemed appealing. A win-win situation all around, propped up by the vampires messing with their heads. What it did not
do long term was take away the underlying hatred betweem villagers and vampires - the Mayor was the one of the first to respond to Agnes/Perdita's challenge and died for his trouble. Because of that I'm tempted not
to blame the Escrowians too much for caving in to the Count's pressure, because they were already between a rock and a very
hard place and had little or no defence again the vampires mental wiles.