Friday, 14 September 2012
Narratives And Their Conclusions
These four Anderson novels each have a foregone conclusion: the triumph of good over evil. Three Hearts And Three Lions does not describe its climactic battle, just the hero setting off to it. Operation Luna ends with a battle against demons. In each individual skirmish, a good guy dispatches a demon until the demonic survivors flee. Hardly surprising. In Black Easter, James Blish simply reverses this conclusion: the demons win Armageddon.
Worlds' End tells different kinds of stories with a different kind of ending. The "handsome cabin boy" ends her story by saying that she will continue to masquerade as a boy as long as she can:
" '...for now - - you can call me Jim.' " (p. 90)
Brant Tucker narrates from the first word and we assume that he directly addresses the reader. To our surprise, on the last two pages, 161-162, he is seen to be addressing a bar maid in an otherwise empty bar. The conclusion is them saying, "Good night," and him walking away down a dark city street. We are left to reflect on their lives.