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Lord Foul's Bane Chapters 7 & 8
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know where the idea came from that I disrespected anyone elses opinion about the rape of Lena. I seem to recall that I agreed mostly with what others had posted and only put forward some of my own thoughts. I totally understand and respect other peoples thoughts and ideas in this thread and only expect the same in return. I believe that I have been open minded about what others have written. Unfortunately I haven't been afforded the same luxury as my posts have been mis-quoted and taken out of context.

I don't care if my posts are dissected and discussed... I do care if they are turned around and made to say things that I did not say. I have apologised if I caused offence to anyone in what I have written and I have tried to explain my point of view so that it can be better understood. That no one understands it is does not matter all that much to me, although I always dreamed of having someone in which I could openly discuss these books as I found them so compelling.

In some ways I think that my views show an amazing regard for Lena as a character. I dont put her on a pedestal, and view her as an iconic, virginal symbol of purity. After all... SRD didnt write many pure human charcters... his characters are well known for being flawed and so all too human. I dont view her as a wraith, pure but blindly going through the motions of the celebration of spring to her doom into the darkness that awaited her after the rape. She was not just an empty vessel put in the path of Covenant to rape, with no humanity of her own... or a victim, defined only by the crime that was commited against her. I see her as a whole character... an oh so human character with all that that entails... her right to make choices that lead to good or ill. That I look at what she did befor durring or after the rape only means that I think she is worthy of looking at as a whole not just as a victim.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2004 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

judith wrote:
sky... HONEY....

Quote:
If you have an open mind you may benefit from all views not just those that foster your own opinion..


right back at ya!!!
That was not actually intended as an attack .. but was tempered imo .. with i intended no wrath upon you my dear Wink simply by virtue of disagreement Wink

Quote:
Anyway... I happen to believe that it is very important that justice is blind. Have you ever known anyone who was wrongly accused of rape? It does happen. And if defence attorneys didnt discuss the actions of the victim in their case then innocent men would be incarcerated purely on the words of victims.It is necessary in all crime to look at every motive and every action... innocent or not... to find out the facts in the case. Finding the truth... in my opinion,is the fastest way to JUSTICE!



I am sorry I dont really think I understand what you are saying here. Finding the truth is always going to be the most direct route to a just outcome .. makes sense to me too Wink lol .. but that "truth" is not predicated on factors which are more aptly those that would go to mitigating ones sentence as opposed to founding a conviction.


Quote:
I never said that Lena was to blame for the rape.
Actually you did .. I believe you coined it that Lena "was not entirely blameless" to be correct. And this was the sense of the subsequent posts to yours as well. but alas they are now gone.

So are you saying you no longer hold that view? If so then we are in agreement Smile .. Otherwise if you are asserting that Lena was "not entirely blameless" and as another poster puported Lena as being "partly to blame" hopefully you can appreciate the intent behind my initial post.

Quote:
That was not my point. My point was... in Lena's innocent way she put herself in a possition of danger. She did not do it on purpose... she was innocent. I did not mean that she commited any crime... she was innocent. All I meant to do was to look at her actions leading up to the rape and how they affected what happened and why it happened at that particular time.

If her actions are deemed "innocent" which indeed they were .. then she can not bear responsibility for what happened in TC's rape of her person.


judith wrote:
Quote:
I dont believe anyone ever suggested that the rape was premeditated .. I know I never did.


really?
umm .. Wink yes really Very Happy
judith wrote:
Quote:
However, TC's response was not without the vital element of his own volition! It was yet a choice .. a choice he made in response to his anger at the temptation of health and vitality. A choice he made under his own volition to act wrongly! To commit a crime!


Isnt that just a fancy smancy way of saying that he chose to rape Lena.
yes I guess it is .. Asserting TC made a choice does not imply it was a premeditated "plan" or "action". A choice is a choice .. TC made it .. for a range of reasons no doubt ..

Quote:
Doesent that act of making a choice mean that he thought about it and then acted on it? I dont think he made a choice... I think he acted without thinking, followed the impulse of his own body with no thought at all.
one can not act per "rape" without making a choice to do so. The act of rape requires intention. In order to rape another there must be a choice involved.

judith wrote:
Quote:
FYI .. very few rapists actually "do time" .. most are not even reported .. and many get reduced sentences of "indecent assault" etc.. Many rapists get away with their crime .. and for those who are reported, taken to court and found guilty and convicted .. and then given a term of incarceration .. may well not be tolerated on their release .. but I wager with Privacy Laws as strict as they are today .. many are absorbed back into society with the rest of society none the wiser but I am sure there are some who meet with resistance.


In the world you live in is there no sexual offenders lists? No freedom of information act. No jungle drums or grapevine??? I agree that it is a bad thing that few rapes are reported, that few rapists do time. But perhaps that has alot to do with the fact that 90% of rape kits are never even reviewed. Alas I live in a very imperfect world.


Those on a sexual offenders list are only made publically available where those offences have been made against young children. Privacy laws restrict the free flow of this kind of publication. It is an imperfect world to be sure Sad

There is a lot of social stigma levelled at rape victims that affect report rates. This is indeed an imperfect world .. where victims of heinous crimes should feel fear and retribution for alerting authorities to harms committed against them.
Quote:
If you would re-read my post I think you will find that I did not say that lepers were rightfully shunned. I also believe it was adhorrent the way they were treated.


ok will re-read it ..

judith wrote:
Much as the lepers of old they are shunned by society... and rightfully so.



mmm .. from this sentence written by you did i aqcuire my impression that you did say that lepers were "rightly shunned" Wink

You can see how I may have confused what you may have "really" meant.


judith of the book wrote:
Troy to Covenant discussing the councils view of the crime that Covenant had commited...They made excuses for you. They told me that not all crimes are commited by evil people. They told me that sometimes a good man does ill because of the pain in his soul. Like Trell. And Mhorum told me that the blade of your Unbelief cuts both ways.


I think this quote is brilliant

I have always viewed TC as a living paradox .. no different to any human .. we are all flawed and all capable of as much evil as we are good.

Each day we walk a fine balance determined only by the choices we make.

As to your last post I do not acuse you of anything .. so I dont really know why you feel to defend yourself. I not once misquoted your posts .. when referring to any poster I copy and paste precisely what that poster has written ..

I am not interested in a personal attack .. I am discussing the issue of the rape of Lena .. I do however happen to have fairly strong views on this subject as you do it would seem Wink

It is inevitable in such situations that there will be opposing views .. and imo that isnt an undesirable eventuality. It makes for more robust debate .. and forces us to be more acute in our thinking.

I have not once intentionally or heaven forbid maliciously ..
misrepresented your views. Are you saying you wish to be able to discuss the books openly but do not want to discuss them if you are not agreed with?

Inherent in a discussion board is "discussion" .. "debate" .. the intent is not to take an adversarial stance .. but by discussion seek to explore the breadth and depth existent in any issue.

I have not set about to offend you .. I have set about to dispell the view that Lena is "partly to blame" for the rape perpetrated against her and subsequently set about addressing those issues that have annexed themselves to that discussion.

peace.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2004 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

..

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The more I look back on things, the more I begin to realise that Lena's entire family is mentally ill. I'm quite certain Lena herself was not all there in the head. At first, I thought that maybe that's how the characters in the author's fantasy functioned. But the further I read, the more I understood that Stephenson's characters are intended to be real and believable in every way, and not seemingly "enchanting" and endlessly benevolent, as Lena was. In the world we know, her actions justify a crazy person. Her mother was also quite insane (hating Covenant more due to his inability to protect some sprights than raping her daughter, and eventually becoming obsessed with the guy). Trell seemed a little crazed to me because he nearly went psycho at the end of book two. You can always say that it was due to his severe loss, and such is probably correct. Nevertheless, his behavior was all too strange. I'd say that by looking at the parents (as well as Elena), the girl was definetly crazy in certain ways. This is to say that, had Lena not been mentaly deranged, perhaps "things" wouldn't turn out in the same way.

Of course, there really is no use. The act would have happened either way. You can almost say it was purposefully put there to symbolize Cov's badness.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2004 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blue_Spawn wrote:
The more I look back on things, the more I begin to realise that Lena's entire family is mentally ill.

No, not mentally ill. That's unfair I think.

Rather, they are average people who, being only average, could not withstand Thomas Covenant.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2004 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Certainly Trell, Atiaran and Lena were mentally healthy prior to their encounter with Covenant, but afterwards - well, we know that Covenant's actions had disastrous effects on that family. And of course Elena was not sane, that much is clear.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2004 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blue_Spawn wrote:
In the world we know, her actions justify a crazy person.


her actions?? When she met TC for the first time? Before being raped? Her naivity and eagerness to assist TC surely arent evidences of a crazy person? If we are talking the TPTP I would say yes Lena was definately disturbed in her obsession with TC then .. but then she was probably suffering post-traumatic stress or something similar .. following the rape!

Rape victims who fail to receive appropriate counselling are often deeply affected by the act of rape. Arguably, evenmoreso when the perpetrator was someone trusted by the victim! But rape victims are not homogenous entities .. the extent to which the affect of the betrayal and sexual violence effects one maybe experienced differently by another.

Blue_Spawn wrote:
Her mother was also quite insane (hating Covenant more due to his inability to protect some sprights than raping her daughter, and eventually becoming obsessed with the guy)


The wraiths were sacred to Lena .. and ofcourse she was upset by their destruction .. but for Lena they represented the last straw! She restrained her anger as is expected for one bound by the Oath of Peace .. To her as an inhabitant of the Land .. and even moreso as a once student of the Loreseraat .. it was appropriate to restrain her private feelings (anger and expressions of violence) in the course of retaining her allegiance and feality to the Oath of Peace. Which was also akin to sacred to her and the people of the Land.

I do not for one moment believe she cared more about the destruction of the wraiths than the rape of her daughter .. These two events cannot be compared .. and do not compete well with each other for importance ..

Lena never displayed "disregard" for her daughter. She loved Lena as did Trell ..

Blue_Spawn wrote:
This is to say that, had Lena not been mentaly deranged, perhaps "things" wouldn't turn out in the same way.


I am not sure what you mean by Lena being "mentally deranged .. and what "things" wouldn't have turned out the same had this not allegedly been the case?
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One must not forget TC is reconciling with the idea he is losing his mind.

In his real world, he chose life (or perhaps only living in a biological sence) over sucide after learning the consequences of contracting leprosy, but his continued survival depends on his diligence of Visual Surveillance of Extremities (VSE) since damaged nerves as a result this desease no longer provides warning signals of an injury. He is trainned to believe there is no hope of recovery and must accept this fate in order to survive. Being a former successful writer, this transformation must have required extreme determination almost to the breaking point.

Suddenly he experienced a transportation to a place that should not exist.
Most logical thinking people could not accept such a place moreover an extreme cynical personality such TC, who are very unlikely to believe in anything outside the laws of physics. Moreover the allurement of the such place appears to be a direct attack on his survival !! The hurtloam has caused nerve regeneration in places he has not felt in long time and Lena is considered responsible for this major assault. The combination of his rage against her attack on his sanity, the sexual allurement (note that this recovery is not a simple viagra boost, but a sudden nerve regeneration) with the momentary release of his vigil regiment resulted in these actions which he later deeply regreted, eventhough this event never existed. One of SRD themes is that "guilt is the greatest motivator" and this crime was a major motivator in many ways.

I think SRD intention in TCTC is to not only describe in the detail the range emotions of his characters, but also generate strong emotions from the reader (apparently very successfully). I suspect these book's would actually make decent supplementary reading in a college psychology class exploring human behavior in extreme settings.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good Post

Ah, brazenly stepping into the Lena/Covenant debate. Welcome to the Watch, Hoerkin! I agree, the Covenant books would make for good classroom study, but, as I've said elsewhere, I don't think the intellectual elite want their rarefied halls of academia to be tainted by "populist entertainment" like Fantasy. They probably don't consider fantasy to be a legitimate or serious form of literature, or at least not serious enough to be worthy of scholarly study.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bah, anything should be open to scholarly study.

Welcome indeed, Hoerkin. Here's hoping that you'll find many places to share your opinions at the Watch.

Damn, I really must start paying more attention to these dissection threads, some great posting happening here. (Plus, it'll give me that moral edge up on MatrixMan again. Wink ) Laughing

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am currently re-reading LFB and I have to say I have a new understanding of these first chapters.
I surprisingly feel a lot more compassion and understanding for TC, though of course his actions are in no way forgivable. I don't even think he was thinking 'oh the Land is a dream so I can get away with what I want' when he raped Lena. The anger and seeming lack of remorse was because he knew of no other way to handle his own emotions and feelings of disgust directed at himself. He was trying desperately to find some way to justify it with his unbelief but couldn't, as we see later on in the trilogy when, no matter how much he tries to neil his unbelief home, this is the one thing he cannot turn away from.

As far as Atiaran's forebearance is concerned, she initially chose not to as she was only leaving judgement up to the Lords. This was partly because she believed TC needed to deliver his message and letting Triock kill him would have prevented that. She later 'gave up her vengeance' because she believed that she herself had failed and had in a way, contributed to many of the evil occurences on her journey with TC. Perhaps in a way she blamed herself for what happened to Lena?

With Lena's 'madness' in TPTP, I think she simply retreated into a fantasy world after the rape to try and preserve herself from madness (obviously failing). We see in LFB that she was distraught and crying in pain and terror and was more than aware that what TC did was terribly wrong, but at the time she hid what he had done because she knew the importance of his message. But later on, she seemed to have made up a scenario where she was blessed to bear his child and could see no wrong inhis actions. This may have been preferable to believing someone she thought of as a hero could commit such an abomnable act.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure how well this explanation fits but to me the central point in understanding why Covenant raped Lena was that he was convincing himself that it was a dream.

Now asking whether evil decisions made in dreams are reprehensible or not misses the point imo. The reason why no one is arrested for having murderous dreams is that the only real person in there was the dreamer himself. The rest were empty puppets moved by his imagination/subconscious. No matter what the dreamer did to them he was in the end only playing with his malleable puppets.

Now Covenant decided that he was experiencing a dream. This implies very strongly that this dream is crafted by himself. Now what does he know so far? He is a reborn superhero, he is healthy and strong, and there's a nubile young girl that adores him and believes he'll be her knight in shinning armour and save her Land.

I think it's very obvious that when he's talking about a dream, he's thinking this is going to be a good old wet-dream. There's a little romantic and chivalrous wrapping to it but the thing that really interests him in that moment is sex and love, not being a hero.

Now if this is the case, this Lena girl is not going to cry 'Rape!' or convulse in pain and terror. She's going to be the perfect dream-date (because after all he created her to fulfill his desires, didn't he?) and love everything he'll do to her, have multiple orgasms or whatnot. Maybe he wants to take out his anger at her but so what? Being what he thinks she is she'll suffer it gratefully and ask for more (or maybe not. It depends on what he desires.)

The problem of course is that none of this goes as planned. Unlike ordinary dreams where logic can be bent, here it ends with Lena raped and Covenant shamed. Of course in a way all of his desires are fulfilled. After all Covenant IS their reborn hero, their hope against despair but the people inhabiting this Land are REAL people with REAL feelings and instead of feeling grateful Lena and her family swallow up their own hurt and anger for the sake of the greater good of their Land. It all turns up wrong.

In that sense this small episode in the start of the series is the real proof that Covenant's belief in his disbelief is wrong. It seems unimportant in the beginning but its effects only get bigger and bigger as the series goes along. They are the proof to Covenant that this is not his fantasybut a very real place with very undream-like cosequences to his actions.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lena's reaction as well as those of Trell and Atirian, and then the obvious insanity of Elena, I think were understandable. If you consider that at that point in the history of the Land, the tales of war and desecration were only that, tales. None of them had the personal experiences with that kind of pain and were in no way equipped to deal with any type of malicious act such as a rape. No matter how Covenant may have felt about his actions in what he considered to be a dream or delusion, the people that it affected were in no way prepared to cope with it. Which lead them to their individual struggles and eventual downfalls.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:48 pm    Post subject: Lord Foul's Bane Chapters 7 & 8 Reply with quote

sorry to have resurrected this old thread, but after wading through 9 pages of intelligent and passionate debate I think I'm able to add something to the mix; TC's heinous act marks probably SRD's very first departure from TC's POV in the chronicles; right at the point where TC lashes out to affirm his own disbelief in the Land in the harshest possible terms, we're suddenly given a subtle POV shift to Lena's emotional response to the rape itself; it's not shown thru TC's eyes; here, in two short paragraphs, SRD offers perhaps the first piece of evidence that the Land is in fact *not* a dream; Lena is responding and thinking independently, *perhaps* disproving TC's dream-alibi and giving the reader something to think on (and be dismayed !) :

Quote:
His ominous tone startled her, chilled her. For an instant, her courage stumbled; she felt the river and the ravine closing around her like the jaws of a trap. Then Covenant whilred and struck her a stinging blow across the face.
The force of the blow sent her staggering back into the light of the graveling. He followed quickly, his face contorted in a wild grin. As she caught her balance, got one last, clear, terrified look at him, she felt sure that he meant to kill her. The thought paralysed her. She stood dumb and helpless while he approached .....
Now, she wanted to resist, but her limbs would not move; she was helpless with anguish .... But even as she cried out she knew that it was too late for her.
(emphasis is obviously mine eh ..) so clever of SRD to have cast TC's motives and rationalisations into doubt right at this crucial point; I'd read the book a couple of times before I was struck by the importance of the POV shift at this stage ...
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
sorry to have resurrected this old thread,


Don't apologize; it's great to have so much activity again here in the best part of the Watch!
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aliantha wrote:
These are the chapters that make folks throw the book across the room.


A little late to the party I guess, but I guess I'm out of whack because these are the chapters that kept me from throwing the book across the room. I wasn't into Donaldson's style at first and didn't understand the depth of character development he had in mind, so I found the book difficult to get through in the beginning. And I was fully prepared for formulaic story telling and characters with all bark and no bite.

So, when Covenant raped Lena I was disgusted - and thrilled. Not thrilled over rape, but thrilled I was reading an author that was willing to go where the story needed to go. I can't tell you how disappointed I get with books and film that avoid uncomfortable realities that carry thick drama - like the morally pungent nature of rape. People really commit that crime, and it happens alot in real life, and it's disproportionately absent from most of our serious, adult level drama and art.

The thing I like about Donaldson is that he's not afraid to tackle hard subject matter, if that's what the story needs, or calls for, to legitimize and make his story believable, so I can escape. It's hard to escape to a cardboard formula, but it's a snap with Donaldson.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ParanoiA wrote:
So, when Covenant raped Lena I was disgusted - and thrilled. Not thrilled over rape, but thrilled I was reading an author that was willing to go where the story needed to go.

Goodposted! (Or I would if I still could.)
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the reason Covenant raped Lena matches up with the text up to that point. He was trained to be dispassionate, and his impotency, I beleive made that dispassion easier for him. He also was trained to stick to reality and crush his imagination. All of this, I believe was easier to distance himself from and keep a lid on, because of his impotency. Upon arriving in the land, his impotency receeded (potency returned), but, the rest was still there. As his passions swelled inside him, he lost control of his dispassionate nature and ability to crush his imagination, and the right circumstances pushed him over the top. Additionally, it was critical to him to hold onto the thought that the land wasn't real, so for that one split second he lost control of himself, he wasn't actually hurting anyone, it was all a dream. He does realize almost immediately what he has done, and even with believing the land isn't real, he is ashamed of himself and carries that burden throughout most of the Chronicles.

As far as story narrative why it was neccessary, I like the idea of it being allegorical to what Foul has done to the land.

And...Yea, I had to make three separate attempts ebfore I was able to get beyond this point in the story.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 9:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Lord Foul's Bane Chapters 7 & 8 Reply with quote

I'm re-reading the Chronicles for the third time, and also picked up on this point noted by SleeplessOne:

SleeplessOne wrote:
sorry to have resurrected this old thread, but after wading through 9 pages of intelligent and passionate debate I think I'm able to add something to the mix; TC's heinous act marks probably SRD's very first departure from TC's POV in the chronicles; right at the point where TC lashes out to affirm his own disbelief in the Land in the harshest possible terms, we're suddenly given a subtle POV shift to Lena's emotional response to the rape itself; it's not shown thru TC's eyes; here, in two short paragraphs, SRD offers perhaps the first piece of evidence that the Land is in fact *not* a dream; Lena is responding and thinking independently, *perhaps* disproving TC's dream-alibi and giving the reader something to think on (and be dismayed !) :

Quote:
His ominous tone startled her, chilled her. For an instant, her courage stumbled; she felt the river and the ravine closing around her like the jaws of a trap. Then Covenant whilred and struck her a stinging blow across the face.
The force of the blow sent her staggering back into the light of the graveling. He followed quickly, his face contorted in a wild grin. As she caught her balance, got one last, clear, terrified look at him, she felt sure that he meant to kill her. The thought paralysed her. She stood dumb and helpless while he approached .....
Now, she wanted to resist, but her limbs would not move; she was helpless with anguish .... But even as she cried out she knew that it was too late for her.
(emphasis is obviously mine eh ..) so clever of SRD to have cast TC's motives and rationalisations into doubt right at this crucial point; I'd read the book a couple of times before I was struck by the importance of the POV shift at this stage ...


I was really struck by the brief but telling switch to Lena's POV in this chapter, just at the point where is is crucial for TC's sanity to believe his actions are occurring in a dream. Also the pages leading up to the rape itself are unbelievably eerie, the beating wings, Covenant crossing the ill-omened bridge, the feeling that if he crossed to the other side
Quote:
he would not recgonise himself


I initially started re-reading the Chronicles to prepare myself for AATE coming out, but it's amazing how many things I am picking up on as I go.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

True enough, that scene does subtly shift to Lena's POV. But I would also point out two aspects that are also crucial; (a) Covenant is present, and (b) it doesn't reveal anything that Covenant could not see plainly.
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