[LMB] Ekaterin - real or construct?

K Kuhn kknolte at ecity.net
Sat, 22 Nov 2003 17:38:18 +0100

Debbie wrote:
> >---->I think I start to have a problem with her later in the book not
> >because of the character herself, but from a CRAFT standpoint with the
> >novel.  Every other Vorkosigan story is a masterpiece of character-driven
> >storytelling.  <snip> I'm left with the feeling that Ekaterin came from a
> >recipe card:  "Take one part cool reserve to appeal to the Vor in Miles,
> >sprinkle with dark hair and above-average height, mix in a half-cup of
> >slightly wilted personal honor, chop in a plot-device whereby she shows a
> >perhaps uncharacteristic initiative under fire, and half-bake for the
> >length of one novel."  Voila, a made-to-order woman for Miles.  <snip>

> I think you're underestimating all that went into making Ekaterin.  Yes,
> all those elements are there, but look closely at her husband.  Tien is
> more than just a jerk.  Tien is Miles Gone Wrong.

Interesting argument.  Mind going into more detail as to why, if Tien is
Miles Gone Wrong, Ekaterin is still willing to marry him at the end of
the book?  (For reference, I think I'm more on Winter's side of the
argument rather than yours [1])

My problem is, if Tien is Miles Gone Wrong, Ekaterin's willingness to
jump into marriage with Miles at the end of ACC, even after he's abused
her trust a few times (digging into her private files in Komarr while he
was her guest, pretending to be just a 'friend' while plotting ways to
make sure she marries him) rather diminishes Ekaterin to the point where
she's not a match for Miles after all, just someone who falls for
manipulative bastards and lucks out this time, rather than that she's
learned a lesson and found someone who's not a manipulative bastard.

Sorta I start thinking what the answer would be to a "Dear Ann Landers,
I've just gotten out of a very bad relationship with a man who
emotionally abused me. I've found this new guy, and he's a lot of fun to
be around, but he has abused my trust in him a few times already.  He
tells me he's really sorry, he won't do it again, and he wants to marry
me as soon as possible.  Should I marry him?" letter, which makes
Ekaterin look like the kind of heroine who does dumb things but wins
because the plot says she will, rather than the kind of heroine who is
smart enough to figure out what will make her happy and goes for it.

[1] ACC gave me the feeling that Ekaterin kept trying to escape and live
her own life, but the Author kept rewriting the plot so the only way
Ekaterin could prove she had taken charge of her own life was by
deciding to marry Miles, no matter how often he screwed up.