Doing your duty isn’t necessarily doing the right thing!

Upon thinking about CogCore’s protagonist, Quade, a rather prominent theme and idealism, from Aldous Huxley’s After Many A Summer, popped into my head. After a search through the book I found that the relevant section resides in chapter Eight and in my copy the pages in question lie on 77, 78.

The section I’m referring to is a memory of Hansen, “a very decent, kindly man: one who would be shocked and indignant if he saw you hurting a dog”. Within this small section Hansen is described as acting out of his ‘kind’ character as he does his duty, and in fact what he is told to do. In the story Hansen runs some orange groves for Mr. Stoyte, and Hansen’s main priority is to make the groves as profitable as possible which has a knock on effect of mistreated workers. Hansen by nature should care for the workers and want to help them, but instead as he is told to make the most money he opts to pay them little wages and let them live in poor conditions.

When confronted with his judgement Hansen states that it is different. He believes that due to this being his job he only need consider the workers as a function and not as humans. So the maltreatment isn’t direct and therefore isn’t the same as mistreating someone personally.

In reflection to Quade this is relevant because it depicts the idea of hierarchy and control by power. Quade is a tool for Dagon and therefore no matter what he does he won’t be acting himself in a personal way. This means that he could act completely out of character and still believe that he isn’t doing anything wrong. As with Hansen, he is acting on Stoyte’s command therefore Stoyte is to blame not Hansen.

Really in my concept there are a lot of characters that fall into this category, of Dagon’s pawns: Cain, Quade, and Leon are all directly under the influence of Dagon.

With Quade though, he is the only one unaware of this control, he instead believes that the control comes from his duty to serve Caribbea his hometown. This is why we see a change in him within the narrative as he becomes free of that control as he joins the people of Paragonia to help them rectify their lives. This change of character however still resides within Dagon’s control.

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