[LMB] Bujold and the Mama
M. Haller Yamada
thefabmadamem at yahoo.com
Sun Dec 15 04:09:45 GMT 2019
Fabulous mothers. I think the Bujold mothers are a strong
reaction to the "normal" fairy tale (or just plain literature)
piece where they are missing.
As a writer, it can be easier to have fewer characters to
juggle, so orphans are popular -- orphans also have
built-in sympathy, and if a writer doesn't squander it, can
give the character a little more running time to develop.
(But a writer often squanders it. I've become allergic
to the mopey character in the first act who feels so
sorry for herself/himself, and orphans often seem to come
in that flavor in fiction.)
Some readers also can't handle a large cast of characters.
You know what's really nice? There are just so many women
in Bujold's books. There are plenty of mothers, good, bad, and just
trying their best. But there are plenty of characters who never will
be mothers, and they are just fine, living their best lives.
And there are some really good fathers in Bujold, as well. Lots of fairytales
have fathers, but they are cold, stand-offish, demanding and sometimes
an outright rival. About the best of the bunch is the father who "protects"
his daughter by sending her suitors off to do impossible tasks. Does she
want that kind of protection? The story doesn't usually say. But, it seems
like the father does send off some notable goons and ditzy boys (off to
their deaths, usually, but still, away from the princess).
The dads in Bujold have hard choices. From son-murderer (via interplanetary
war) to poor Kou, who had to adjust his dreams from a collection of top
officers to a more motley, civilian crew of son-in-laws (who, as has been said,
were quite high-powered in their own way and really a fair trade).
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