(urth) The littlest apprentices
Daniel D Jones
ddjones at riddlemaster.org
Tue Oct 31 06:28:26 PST 2006
On Tuesday 31 October 2006 00:06, Roy C. Lackey wrote:
> That brings us back to Severian's vague memory of breast feeding in a cell.
> As I said before, he knew the woman *must* be his mother *because* she was
> in a cell, *and* he knew "the children the torturers take know no breasts".
> I also said before that some of the women had at least one young child
> (probably only one) with them when they were first handed over to the
> torturers. Those are the children the torturers "take", and that's where
> the iron bar comes in.
This doesn't follow at all. The quote is:
"[ . . .] a breast running with warm milk. It was my mother's breast then,
and I could hardly contain my elation (which might have wiped the memory
away) at having reached back at last to her, after so many fruitless
attempts. My arms sought to clasp her, and I would, if only I could, have
lifted my eyes to look into her face. My mother certainly, for the children
the torturers take know no breasts. The grayness at the edge of my field of
vision, then, was the metal of her cell wall. Soon she would be led away to
scream in the Apparatus or gasp in Allowin's Necklace." (CLAW, chapter
"My mother certainly, for the children the torturers take know no breast. The grayness at the edge of my field of vision, then, was the metal of her cell wall."
I read the "for" in the first sentence to essentially mean "because." "My mother certainly, because the children the torturers take know no breast." He knows it's his mother because she's the only one who ever breast fed him.
He continues: "The grayness at the edge of my field of vision, then, was the metal of her cell wall." This clearly says that IF she's my mother, THEN those gray walls are a cell.
Try as I might, I can't find any interpretation of the plain meaning of the words to support your statement that he knew it was his mother because he was in a cell. The statement about the cell follows, and is predicated upon, the assertion that the woman is his mother.
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