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swhitt's picture

Who's the villain?

I like the way the Kingsolver novel plays with each character's perceptions of villainry. Are coyotes a threat to the farmer, is the modern aggressive farmer a threat to the ecosystem (and thereby himself), is the Widener family hostile toward Lusa or vice versa, etc.? Beyond the buckets of misunderstanding, each character speaks as if they are choosing the most moral path, while in reality they may simply be choosing the lives that best suit them and weaving a justification after the fact.  If this is the case, they are all tricksters to some extent, primarily tricking themselves. My question then becomes: which is better, to be an unwitting or intentional trickster?  I'll argue the latter, although our society tends to assign sinister qualities to these folks (not without reason, although perhaps narrowminded/short-sighted-ly).


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