[LMB] CVA : Chapter 20 : Pause before the Storm

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Wed Apr 10 00:49:40 BST 2013

> From: Elizabeth Holden <azurite at rogers.com>
Some snippage
> Gwynne said:
> > I liked the parallels between Shiv and Simon - each of them is trying
> > to watch out for the interests of the child/stepchild that they care about.

> Is that what Simon is doing? ?I thought he was trying to solve a mystery for its own sake. Trying to prove something to himself, perhaps, about outsmarting opponents.?

He has several goals at once, I think. There's several conversations
with Ivan (during the dance in the park, and when Ivan and By go to
visit) that he's definitely encouraging Ivan, and pleased with his 
deductions. He's almost in a teaching role, nudging a promising 
apprentice. There's definitely the mystery, outsmarting, appeasing
boredom and regaining his faculties going on there, too.

> > And, above all, for me the turning point in the book and in Ivan's life 
> > is when he goes with Tej to the dig-site. Not being pushed or forced, 
> > but willingly, and aligning with a new loyalty. (Not the Arquas, but Tej.)

> I see this as Ivan acting as he always has: coming to save the person he cares about even though he doesn't want to, even though he knows it's dangerous, even though no one is listening to him.

Up till now it's been Miles, or something associated with Miles, for the
good of the Empire. This time it's Tej, for love of her. 

> >?Ivan was facing a very strong, real (and, as he noted, totally rational)
> > fear. This time he's doing it for Tej.??
> He's doing something he doesn't want to do, with real danger involved, for a compelling reason. ?In this, he is acting very like Miles - very like all the Vorkosigans. ?Especially in motivation: he's doing it for a specific person, not for abstract ideals.

Most of the time, Miles is doing things he wants to do, and then justifying
them. Miles is having a glorious time. Ivan doesn't see danger as a stimulant.

> > Ivan has often been called on to do non-bystanderish things because
> > of patriotism or family loyalty (both often the same thing), but this 
> > time it's his choice, his loyalty to Tej. His new family feeling.?
> I think it's that he has included Tej and her family in his definition of his family. ?He feels no less loyalty to Miles, Gregor, and his mother. ?He just feels he now has a loyalty to Tej and the Arquas, whether or not he approves of their goals or methods. (He often disapproved of Miles' goals and methods.)

Good point. 

> Would he have fought for her against her family, if it came to that? ?I think so. ?But he hasn't felt the need to draw that line, which is interesting in itself. I see a parallel here with the acceptance of Mark by Miles, Aral, and Cordelia: an ex-assassin with multiple personalities and a troubled past and a money fixation, but they accept him warts and all, because he is theirs. ?Ivan doesn't approve of what the Arquas are doing, but he's often done things he didn't want to for the sake of family - most particularly his mother. ?

Another very good point.


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