Friday, January 05, 2007

Bad Guys

Here is Triss' latest Rob Roy narration. As you can see, she has gotten into the story:

Rashleigh and Frank met in the hall. R told F that Diana was betrothed to Thorncliff and that R couldn’t become a catholic priest. This really didn’t endear R to F and he arrived at dinner sulky.

RASHLEIGH IS A BAD GUY! When Diana heard about it, she told F so. She said that R was just wicked and that he was very cunning and that he could fool anyone. I don’t think I like R any more. He’s, like I said in December 1, “a mysterious evil sort”.

This is getting weirder and weirder. NOW this fella named Father Vaughan, an intimate of R’s, has been introduced into the picture.

I had the idea that Diana knew Rashleigh was a bad guy, but Triss seems to think Die had just found out about it. I think Die has known for a long time, though, and has only at this point revealed Rashleigh's evil ways to Frank.

We are reading so many "bad guy" books this term. Here is Rashleigh, and we have Richard III (Shakespeare's Richard, who is definitely a bad guy), and the pigs in Animal Farm. At least the good guys in Rob Roy seem to be attempting to thwart evil, which is more than we can say for the good animals of Animal Farm or the people in Richard III. In Shakespeare, we just finished reading the part where Hastings is slain practically in the middle of his self-admiring proclamations of how he and Richard are hand in glove. I just about choked at this line:

His grace looks cheerfully and smooth this morning;
There's some conceit or other likes him well
When that he bids good morrow with such spirit.
I think there's ne'er a man in Christendom
Can lesser hide his love or hate than he;
For by his face straight shall you know his heart.

I suppose I shouldn't editorialize in the middle of a reading, but I just had to add a scornful "NOT!" at the end of that line. Of course, the poor man figured it out by the end of the scene.It is hard to believe how ignorant (willingly?) are the people around Richard. Not the common people or the children, of course. Only the ones who have something to keep and something to hide and something to defend. They are not thinking clearly about right and wrong and why things do not make sense, but are only posturing to save their hides, thankful they are in favor, and not the ones being beheaded.

In contrast to these sad stories, today we read about the Apostle Paul getting in trouble with the Jewish authorities in the book of Acts. Paul was not one who stood back and tried to blend in. He said what the Lord commanded him to say, and he was not afraid of trouble. In this chapter, the high priest instructed his thugs to smack Paul across the mouth. Paul called him a whited wall, and asked him how he dared to do something unlawful as he stood there trying to judge Paul by the law. Then one of the other leaders reprimanded Paul for disrespecting the high priest and Paul said, "I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people." Paul said what needed to be said, but he also showed respect for authority, "saluting the uniform" when he couldn't honor the man wearing it.

Paul then confused the leaders by letting the Pharisees know that he too was a Pharisee and was being persecuted because of the hope and resurrection of the dead. This caused the leaders (Pharisees and Sadducees) to quarrel among themselves, and the captain of the guard rescued Paul and brought him back to the castle. Later, Paul's nephew came to him with news that some of the Jews had vowed to kill him, and he informed the captain of the guard, who managed to send Paul to the governor and relative safety (also a nice place to preach to Felix, his wife, and assorted centurions). Paul knew he needed to submit to authority, but he also understood how to use his wits and appeal to the next higher earthly authority when necessary.

My favorite part of the story (and this is the part that keeps it from being sad) is when the Lord comes to Paul at night, before he is moved to the governor's house, and tells him:

Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

This is the reassurance that God has a plan, and He is in control. When confronted with bad guys doing bad things, we need to pray and find out what the Lord would have us do. This is not the same as bowing your head and trying to ignore the way things are. Sometimes we will be powerless. A lot of times we will be. But I know Who has the power, and we can pray to Him. We can also use the brains God gave us to figure out how to glorify Him through our trials and make things better by His grace. We don't want to be blind dolts anxious to secure our place in the sun, whichever side comes out ahead.

(I'm not sure where I am going with this, but all these ideas jumbled together in my mind today and I actually had time to type them out, so I will go ahead and post them.)

Additional note: After sleeping on it, I realized what all these bad guys have in common. There is almost always a bad guy in a story, but these particular bad guys have a lot of intelligence and cunning. So we are dealing with a lot of intelligent, deceptive, cunning bad guys this term.


Anonymous said...

I found your blog through MOMYS. You're reading Richard III? Do you use Ambleside? We are reading Richard... only just started this week.

Animal Farm is schedule for future years... just wondered.

I think I'll save your blog as a favorite. Seeing you are a CM fan. Ü Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

OK -- I'm not all together blond... just have my moments, I guess. I see your blogger ring now. Ü Nice to meet you. I'm an AO user too. (First year for me -- AO1 and AO4). We LOVE it.

Mother Auma said...

Good to "meet" you, Jennifer! We are doing Year 0 (and a half), Year 3 and Year 6 this year. We started a couple of years ago with Years 1 and 4.

Anonymous said...

I realized that Die had known about Rashleigh being a bad guy for a long time when I read that part. What I meant was "when Diana found out about Frank finding out about Rashleigh". Sort of confusing.

And most of the Redwall villains (actually all of the ones I've read) are extremely smart. That's why they're the principal bad guy.

Triss of Redwall

Mother Auma said...

Oh, I don't know. Clooney the Scourge was just plain mean. In fact, part of the reason he was defeated was because he was so greedy and mean that he got careless. He wasn't as cunning as, say, Richard, who convinces people that he is on their side, even while planning their untimely deaths. Clooney was out-and-out-evil, not seeming-kind-but-in-reality-evil.