[LMB] Cordelia's uniqueness

Jaye orchestra at wingedharper.com
Tue, 19 Feb 2002 14:49:55 -0800

Kathy -

>dumped her.  She had become more self-confident in her ability to lead the
>expeditions she was in charge of, which apparently were really hot stuff if
>Enrique is to be believed.
         From a "socially awkward" young adult to someone skilled enough at 
personal interactions to elicit cooperation from a group of "Betan 
intellectual prima-donnas" as Captain of her ship is a huge leap. I'd 
figure that she'd taken the correspondence courses and some at-home 
command-school seminars to be eligible for command, but perhaps hadn't yet 
succeeded in applying them in her own life. (Speaking from school teaching 
experience, there is a questioning process, in fact, that one needs to go 
thru to determine when it's okay to use those skills in a non-leadership 
relationship and when to refrain!)
         I get the feeling she was still struggling with that when she met 
Aral, and that kept her mainly in her commander role except with family. 
She seemed very fulfilled career-wise, but I sensed a deep loneliness 
underneath. Her remaining awkwardness would have maintained her fear of 
reaching out socially. Of course, every commander is lonely on the job. She 
_has_ no "peers" on the ship.

>and Barrayaran.  Kareen never knew her as pure Betan, so had somewhat of a
>warped perspective of what Beta means or stands for, at least until she
>went there to study.
         Her thought, _Check your assumptions. In fact, check your 
assumptions at the door._ from _Barrayar_ tells us that she is willing to 
accept that not everything she thinks is reality. If you've met people like 
that, they're very ... interesting... to be around. For others who check 
assumptions, very comforting, if startling. For those who don't, they can 
be extremely unsettling and at times terrifying.

>sure it was pretty hard on the aristocracy to get used to her too.
         Sure was for Vordarian, at least!!!!! Can't say she didn't give 
him fair warning about the dangers of annoying her.
         One wonders how many others' comfortable (to self) and 
manipulative, domineering, or downright destructive attitudes and behaviors 
experienced the axe of Cordelia's annoyance during the Regency period!

>after the rebellion, when she was put in charge of Gregor lock, stock, and
>barrel, there was probably no question that she was committed to Barrayar.
         Her commitment started when she took Oath to him when Ezar died. 
The last tie to Beta broke with a snap audible only to her. From there on, 
she was wholly Barrayaran in loyalty.