Thursday, May 03, 2007

A great adventure awaits

It seems that DFW spent a lot of time going into the history of the great concavity and how it came about and the politics that surrounded its creation, prevention of refugees, etc. But otherwise we havent seen very much about how the modern people actually behave in response to the fact that there is a gigantic biohazard along the once American/Canadian border. I think we heard about one group of religious people that would venture into the concavity (and not come back) but besides that the rest of the characters seem completely unaffected by its existence. In the earlier parts of the book, the characters made no indication that thousands of miles of land were now uninhabitable. When I first read about the concavity, it took me by surprise, not only because of the nature of the concavity and its creation, but because it didn't seem to fit with what previously had happened in the story. No mentions of feral hampsters, of pollution, of annular fusion.
In this section we finally see a modern recognition of the concavity. When the young ETA kids went adventuring in the tunnels to hopefully find a feral hampster, that was the kind of behavior I would expect of kids who live in a country with a concavity to have. The concavity would sound like an out-of-bounds area filled with mystical creatures and mysteries just begging to be explored. Now of course the kids at ETA do not live close enough to the concavity to go there on their own, but it made sense that they would be very excited about pursuing a feral hampster.
I'm also curious how the government has been so successful (I'm guessing they havent been) at containing the contents of the great concavity. I know they have a big wall, but the concavity's border is, unless I am mistaken, thousands of miles long. Sealing a border that large would surely be a logistical nightmare, and would be a task that would be difficult to do successfully. Still, there have been no mention of giant toddlers strolling around through inhabited cities.



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