Monday, January 7, 2008

Quarter 2 Outside Reading Week 6

Part I
"My opinion is that you should stay. My opinion is that it would be disastrous for this country if you left." (354)

Significance: Every day of the four months that David has remained in Kutar, the locals in charge of the government have looked to him expectantly, hoping that the American representing their greatest chance of aid would have answers that would help to end the current crisis. However, David has failed each and every time; he has never felt that he was in a position powerful enough to make a difference in the Kingdom, until the most recent letter from the U.S. arrived. It described how the U.S.'s lack of involvement and their order to the Kutaran government not to negotiate with the rebel terrorists was the result of a clerical error. Enraged, David filed his resignation from the Embassy, and undermined the order for the king to leave, instead telling him to do what David knew was right.

Part II
In this most recent section, not much has changed within the city on a political scale, though on personal levels, there has been a little shifting around as the fog of winter, the Ajira Takharan, settled in a dense blanket that shrouded people and buildings from sight. Two of the men David befriended during his stay in Kutar, Nigel Mayhew, and Stewart McBride, have been killed at the hands of the rebels; Nigel while walking alongside David to the palace, and Stewart when he crossed over the ridge into Rebel hands in a search for knowledge. Also, David and Amira Chalasani have become a couple, which seemed inevitable from their first meeting; the author Scott Anderson made it very clear from the initial encounter that she was the only attractive woman he would mention, and that her role was certain to be the chief love interest. Despite the losses of two friends, her companionship makes David seem far less alone; early on in the book, it was just him and his thoughts, fears, and hopes. The loneliness emanated straight off the pages in Anderson's words.

Another thing that has arisen at this point in time are the bad guys; it was quite clear in the beginning that the rebels were the evil trouble makers, but now, as David has discovered, there is corruption and deceit throughout Kutar. This newly realized element seems to make the situation much more real, and not just a book. It had seemed that there was a piece missing, and i actually feel like i have a greater understanding of the situation now then i did previously. At Paolo's shipyards, there is an enormous smuggling center, where people shuttle in vast quantities of goods that vary from the elegant, to the mundane, such as toothpaste. Even in the army that is supposed to be protecting the city, the General Kalima is profiting, and to continue doing so, he must keep the war going. He tortured and killed rebel teenagers in a successful effort to provoke the rebels, who had been nearing negotiations with the King of Kutar.

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