Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Moments of Normalcy In Black Rainbow

At the beginning of the novel, Black Rainbow seems as though it could be a story taken from any kitchen. There is no suggestion that the characters are living in a strange utopian society completely different from our own. This introduction lulled me into a false sense of security to the extent that I doubted my own reading when things first took a turn for the unfamiliar. Even once it became clear that Black Rainbow did not contain a society that I would be familiar with, I began to notice intermittent moments of mundane and everyday things that I would consider to be normal. What struck me as particularly interesting was that these pockets of normalcy seemed to coincide with situations that really should have been red flags for our protagonist. Instead of emphasizing the danger or strife, however, the protagonist is drawn into the normal.
            The most striking example of this comes the morning after our protagonist suffers his first encounter with the hunters. His memories are intact and he expects to have suffered some real physical damage from the torture. Instead, he finds that he is completely well and proceeds with his morning. He sees what he wants to see and hears what he wants to hear. He does not listen for doubt, but looks for reassurance in the routine of his morning. He deems his traumatic memories a nightmare. Everything is normal. “ I hummed as I shaved and showered. I hummed as I shoveled down a breakfast of bacon, eggs, sausages, kidneys, tomatoes, toast, and coffee. I sand as I dressed in one of my new suit” (Wendt 63).

            Although the protagonist’s world has changed, he seeks the normal so that he does not need to dwell on the strange and frightening. As a traveler, he is not learning about his surroundings or his own life circumstances because he looks only for what is safe.

No comments:

Post a Comment