meaning and story 2

Saturday, February 5th, 2005

Susan Gibb in her journal writes of Visitation

Each event or complication, usually involving something that the invaders have either damaged or destroyed, is met by passive reaction both on the part of the protagonist (narrator) or the other characters who are his neighbors. They allow themselves to be taken over, simply because they can’t agree to come to some sort of major confrontation with the aliens who claim to be gods–and this may be the real meaning of the story, if you care to search for one, because other than “eyes with a golden tint,” the description offers little to mark them as very different than humans.

I included Visitation in the line up because the story is short, clearly arc’d, big in scope, and pleasantly ambiguous. It has one of those endings that just rings true–i.e., “it feels like the right ending given what’s been told.” That doesn’t mean it “tells” a truth, a human truth, even though it may.

How do we respond to and rationalize the strange? How do we respond in the face of the ambiguous? How do we respond in the face of change and aggression? Are we sheep? Are we tigers? Why, at the end of the story, do the people rip at each other?

Ah ha!


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