Pronunciation Guide

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

“J” is for justify and join

Whew, I have been struggling to come up with an idea for “J.” I’ve been debating since my last post. Since I am tired of not being able to move on, I’m just going to do something. It might be lame, haha! Sorry, I tried.

“J” is for justify and join

Many of my characters do things they have to justify to themselves, and oftentimes to others as well. The question one must ask them is, “Does the end justify the means?”

Honestly, a lot of them say, “Yes.”

Siserah is a great example of this. In the name of protecting the innocent people of his town, he hurts innocent people in his town. The death of a few preserves the lives of the many. It’s warped, it’s terrible, but in his mind, it’s a necessary sacrifice. He is so focused on the end that he can’t allow himself to see how violently he’s undermining his own goal in the present.

Masrekah is another great example, though his is a bit more difficult to judge as evil. If he doesn’t appear loyal to Siserah, he’s dead; but to be loyal, he must do things he hates. He must be something he hates. His goal is to try to make up for the bad things he’s done, yet to do it, he must continue to do awful things. While he also believes the end justifies the means, he does not expect to see that end unscathed. Actually, he doesn’t really expect to live to the end at all. Instead of sacrificing others, like Siserah does, he takes from himself. Repeatedly. And it rips him open every time.

Sorek is another one. He’s good, but he’s gray. He lies. He manipulates. He kills. He takes whatever he wants. He is all about freedom, about ridding the world of the regime he hates. He justifies his actions because he feels there is no other option. The quote, “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster” captures Sorek’s struggle well. Every step he takes toward ending the Huls makes him, in his mind, more like them. Yet like Mas, he sacrifices himself, becomes something he hates so that others may be free.

For Rab, the end – freedom for her and Ari from their mother – absolutely justifies the means. She does whatever it takes to protect her sister, and that’s a pretty honorable thing for the most part. But it’s in the smaller things where she justifies wrongly. She speaks harshly to people, especially Mas, and she doesn’t feel bad for it for a long time. She clings to her preconceived notions of people and convinces herself she’s in the right. She refuses to listen to those she has issue with, and she justifies it by blaming them for being _____. (Rude, liars, previously bad, etc.)

Ari ends up facing a horrific situation with her choices stripped to almost nothing. At least nothing good. Her survival depends on what she is willing to justify. She does whatever it takes in the inn, but she carries that mindset out with her. She’s all about survival, and as long as she survives, she doesn’t really care what it costs.

On the other note, my characters end up in some very life and death situations. In those moments, to survive, they often have to join with other groups – not just other rebel groups, but enemies. This also falls under a bit of a “justifying the means” thing. Even among those committed to the same basic goal, there are different ideas of how to go about it. So…expect a lot of conflict. =)

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