Silenced: Chapter 4, Part 1: Subordinates

Paul arrives in Bern, and gets into a snide little conversation with his driver.  Unusually for the Underground Zealot series, it is the other person who instigates things, not Paul:

“So this is Doctor Stepola.  The expert.” [Emphasis Jenkins]

Paul decides to play nice by playing dumb, with expected results:

“Hey, maybe you can tell me something.  How did Bern get to be the international capital?  I mean, Switzerland makes sense, but why not Zurich?”

“Bern is the capital of Switz–” the driver said.

“Sure, but–”

“Have you been here before?”

“To Zurich, but never to Bern.”

“Then why would you say it shouldn’t be the world capital?”

“I didn’t.  I was just wondering–”

“The minute you set foot in our city, you disparage it?  Zurich is bigger, so Zurich is better?”

You were wondering, Professor?  Try reading a book.  The driver may be a jerk, but Paul is being a condescending ass.  The driver is not his tour guide.

Anyway, I’m bored of this scene, so let’s pop over to Jae, who’s bored, too.  Jae is just not cut out to be a stay-at-home mom.  This was alluded to in Soon, and driven home here.  She just cannot find anything to occupy her time while the kids are at school.  I know this makes Jae a very bad future-RTC wife, but I can understand.  After all, Jae has spent the last ten years in a relationship with emotional abuser Paul, who has probably managed to keep Jae from forming any lasting friendships.  At least twice in this book, Jae alludes to having friends, but we never meet them or learn anything about any of them.  I have a feeling that she’s so lonely that she is imagining her acquaintances (probably her kids’ friends’ parents) to be her friends.  Paul has also spent eight years telling her that she’s stupid and incapable, so she probably hasn’t cultivated many hobbies or outside interests.  Very typical of emotional abusers: keep them from being focused on anything but the abuser, make them feel useless alone.  It’s apparently worked.

Jae also has a graduate degree in economics, and says that she misses the adult interactions of an office setting.  Again, not something a good RTC wife should feel, which I guess proves that Jae needs to accept Jesus into her heart so all those nasty feelings of discontent can be repressed, as they should be.

Jae calls Ranold to vent, which I guess shows just how lonely and friendless she really is.  Ranold is full of praise for Paul and tells Jae that he may be in Europe for many weeks.  She is made even more upset by this realization, but then Ranold makes Jae an offer she probably could refuse, if she wanted to: come to Washington, D.C. for a month or two, with the kids, and be a temporary “numbers person” at the NPO.

WILL Jae take the job?  WILL Paul get along with the leader of the world?  Stay tuned!

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Posted on August 13, 2013, in Books, Silenced, Soon. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. And once again, we see how these books reflect the narrow present-day world-view of RTCs. In Athieastopia, there would not only be no reason for Jae to stay in an unhappy marriage, there would also be no reason for her not to have some kind of employment – even if its only the part-time working-from-home type. But for RTCs, easy divorce and working moms is evil and immoral and you can’t have the hero involved in anything like that!
    And why would Jae have to travel all the way to Washington anyway? Working from home would be very easy for a degree-educated person doing “numbers work”; she could do it over the internet.
    Although…. I don’t recall seeing any mention of the internet or computers yet. So does this Athieastopia have the internet?

  2. The Zurich conversation is amazing. It’s set up like a regular exposition scene, but it turns on its head into anti-exposition. Two characters are discussing the setting, acting as proxies for the reader, only to reveal that neither knows the answer to the question that has been raised. I actually feel less informed about the world of Soon after reading it.

    (The reason the capital is not Zurich is because this world’s Illuminati game was won by the UFOs and not the Gnomes.)

  3. Didn’t Ranold hate Paul’s guts by the end of the last book? What ever happened to that?

  4. Ivan, I think one trend present in Jenkins writing (at least as presented by Ruby and the Slacktivist) is that continuity is roughly non-existent. Events happen, but are not necessarily related to other events; they neither cause nor are caused. Similarly, characters undergo experiences that should lead to development, but do not develop. Characters only change as a result of the needs of the author in service to his self-insert Gary Stu.

    It’s like Alice in Wonderland, but that was supposed to be trippy.

  5. “So this is Doctor Stepola. The expert.” [Emphasis Jenkins]

    You know, that reminds me of how L&J all but put “So this is Captain Steele” in front of Rayford’s name every time it shows up in Left Behind.

    Jenkins seems to be very big on using proper titles – but only when such honorifics are held by his “good-guy” characters. Supreme Commander Leon can just go pound sand for all L&J care, insofar as Rayford’s lack of respect for him shows through in every way possible.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Round Up, September 1st | The Slacktiverse

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