Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Dubious Hills questions

I was rereading The Dubious Hills (again) last night and wondered about some things I hadn't noticed before. I still think it's a really good book with a bittersweet (but open) ending.

These questions of mine are bound to be at least a little spoilery.

1. Why does Mally seem to give Arry particularly useless answers when everyone else seems to know what she says about everyone else? Does Mally think (know) it's better for Arry's character for her to search on her own, even though she never finds the answers, or is she just teasing her? Or are the questions Arry asks truly outside of Mally's province?

2. I noticed, perhaps for the first time, Halver's line about the intelligence being unable to make a choice. Every other time I've read the book I thought that Arry had good reasons for wanting to stay the way she was, but now I wonder how much truth was in what Halver said. Even the choice Arry makes at the end doesn't seem directly related to the choice Halver wanted her to make. On the other hand, it seems Halver made the choice he wants everyone else to make, so what he said can't be entirely true. What do the spells really do?

3. Presumably some explanation will be in the sequel (coming out sometime), but why did Arry's parents leave her? I really noticed this time, despite the way she sees herself (or at least the calm, in-control impression she gives from her narrative voice), she really seems to be only barely managing to take care of her little brother and sister.

4. Why is the doubt worse in the morning?

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