Well this got out of hand and way longer than anyone could ever be interested in reading. That’s more or less fine since the primary goal of these is as an exercise and to force me to think about the things I read more deliberately, but of course ideally I’d still like people to read these things so in the interest of not scaring people away, I've divided this into 3 sections. I’ll also take this opportunity to to warn you that in order to talk about the things I want to talk about, I’ll have to spoil pretty much everything, so reader beware. Literally the first sentence is going to spoil the entire book.
The third question I had, which I have less of a grasp on, is: Why do the clones put up with it? I feel like I know some of why. but it’s hard to understand. I think a lot of it has to do with information control. Since they are in the care of the system from day one, the information they have is highly controlled. They learn about themselves and their role very slowly, and in the books words “know without knowing” or learn about things in such a way that it “seems like [they’ve] always known”. They aren’t presented their life as an option, it’s just the way it is. Think of places like North Korea. I’ve caught myself thinking “Why don’t they just leave?”. But they largely don’t even know what the world is like outside of their borders. We, as humans, have an incredible ability to roll with it, and this is a kind of perversion of that virtue.
As they get older they do get a bigger picture of the state of things and their purpose, and yet they still follow the movements. Some of that I can accept as momentum, but I think some of it is fear of the outside world. Fear because it’s new and unknown and fear because of public perception of clones. They can’t exactly get jobs, or live normal lives. Not unless society is setup to allow them to, and it isn’t. They also do have some weird sense of purpose or duty. This is literally what they were made to do. Some of them want to be good at it. “Completing” (dying) after only a couple of donations is seen as almost shameful. It’s just troubling to me to think of being capable of that kind of rolling over. But honestly, when I think about the problems I have with my life and career right now, it’s not that different. I just keep going through the movements, out of momentum, out of fear of breaking out, and out of a sense of duty to the people I work with.
Man writing this stuff out is crazy. I literally did not make that parallel until right then. I’m always surprised how much there is once I start unpacking. I also feel much more strongly about the book after really giving it the time to fold out in my mind. I’m realizing even more now how critical doing this kind of dissection is, especially in a book like this where these these ideas are quietly backed into, so you almost don’t notice enough to take pause. Taking time to think! It’s magic!