Chapters Why do you fight? Black Morning Glory
We get some meat in these chapters. But not in my sense, but in story sense.
Eragon wakes up to Yoda's alarm clock. He's very sore. He goes about his ablutions but that's not our Thesaurus Raped word of the day. He goes to Yoda who asks him what Saphira learned and he answers. And then Yoda notices that Eragon isn't up to par.
"As the dragons departed, Oromis observed, "Your voice is rougher today, Eragon. Are you sick?"
"My back hurt again this morning."
"Ah. You have my sympathy." (341)
And then they go train. Yoda uses some lovely high language to describe the fact that they're going to spar, "Cross our blades" he says. They spar, or cross their blades, and Eragon is outclassed. Twenty minutes into the fight Yoda starts looking sick. Eragon tries to take advantage of this and his back starts to spazz and he collapses again. This time he doesn't faint, he's conscious through the entire time. I still call faint and that's five times. When he recovers he's upset about the fact that his tunic is all messed up.
Saphira expresses her concern for him and he snips at her and tells her to leave him alone.
Yoda is very bland about this. Asks him if he needs healing. Eragon says no. Yoda says, okay go meditate about ants. The amount of concern that Yoda exhibits for Eragon's well being is amazing. Eragon has a serious issues with his back. This should be looked at. If Yoda is truly wanting Eragon to become a wonderful dragon rider, he should be examining Eragon's back with his magical skills and not sending Eragon off to watch the ants. After all he's fainted five times from this problem. And fainting isn't really something you want in your chosen hero. Especially in battle.
Instead Eragon contemplates Ants. He's amazed. I begin to think that Paolini has an ant fetish.
Then he goes back to Yoda and describes what he witnessed. Yoda says that he's learning and they have lunch. It's vegetable stew. Eragon really wants some meat. Something he could sink his teeth into. Instead of asking for some meat, he asks why he's being made to meditate. He wants to know if there's more to it than understanding the doings of the animals and insects.
Yoda tells Eragon that he's not using his brain and that it's a human failing. That they don't use their brains unlike Elves. He then starts talking with Eragon about the potential dangers that he'll face, mainly from other magic users. And he basically tells Eragon that he has to be conscious of people all the time. Basically he needs to be reading people's minds all the time. Their privacy is less of an issue than not dying. And apparently Riders weren't taught to read everyone's mind until the Riders were sure they could resist the temptation not to do it. It's an invasion of privacy but you'll learn what drives people. I'm not sure if that's a fair exchange.
Then Yoda asks him what the most important mental tool that a person has. Eragon guesses determination and wisdom. Both wrong. It's Logic.
As he explains,
"History provides us with numerous examples of people who were convinced that they were doing the right thing and committed terrible crimes because of it. Keep in mind Eragon, that no one thinks of himself as a villain, and few make decisions they think are wrong. A person may dislike his choice, but he will stand by it because, even in the worst circumstances, he believes it to be the best option available to him at the time. (page 350)
This entire argument feels like it's coming from somewhere that Paolini has read before. After all, we've seen that he doesn't seem to follow it himself in his writing. Of course this could be argued that the people making decisions aren't thinking logically because they aren't trained to do it because they're simply human and don't know better. They aren't as enlightened as the elves who know this. Moving forward, Eragon is asked why does he fight the Empire.
"As I said before, to help those who suffer from Galbatorix's rule and, to a lesser extent, for personal vengeance."
"Then you fight for humanitarian reasons?"
"What do you mean?"
"That you fight to help the people who Galbatorix has harmed and to stop him from hurting any more."
"Exactly," said Eragon.
"Ah but answer me this, my young Rider: Won't your war with Galbatorix cause more pain that it will prevent? The majority of people in the Empire live normal, productive lives untouched by the king's madness. How can you justify invading their land, destroying their homes and kiling their sons and daughters?"
Eragon gaped, stunned that Oromis could ask such a question -Galbatorix was evil - and stunned because no easy reply presented itself. He knew he was in the right, but how could he prove it.
So, what basically just happened here is that Yoda told Eragon and us the readers that the king is doing a good job. Most people in the Empire are happy and healthy. The Empire is running, something that couldn't happen if the King was doing a bad person. Or insane. So, obviously it's Eragon who has the problem here, because he's so insistent that the King is Evil. Eragon is told to ponder this question and get a convincing reply.
They have more lessons, this time in writing. Yoda gives him some scrolls to read. Apparently the elves don't have books, but scrolls. In this instance they're behind the humans and their technology, for they're able to mass produce books. Yoda says that they're to help him learn things that he can't vocalize. Eragon wants to know what vocalize means. Eragon, in his point of view has been using words that I constantly have to look up in a dictionary to understand, but he doesn't understand what vocalize means. You do not use words in that you character wouldn't understand if you're writing in their point of view. Just because they're not actually thinking it or speaking it, doesn't mean that it's still not their thoughts. But I've discussed this before with Roran's POV. Yoda gives him the dictionary to read.
As Eragon is leaving, he wants to know when they're going to work on magic. Yoda agrees to teach him some now. Apparently, the rules of magic are even more confusing that we previously thought they were. Now we learn that it's not the words that you use, but the thoughts behind the word. So then theoretically it could be said that you could say, "fire" but be thinking "water" and do something with water, if that's the reasoning we're going with. So, I'm really not certain how the magic works anymore.
They play with water. Doing things with it. Eragon eventually gets bored and wants to say something but he is chary of offending Yoda. Chary is our Thesaurus raped word of the day. It means, of course, wary. It even sounds like it. In fact it conveys the same thing as chary, except that I wouldn't have had to go to the dictionary to double check to make sure I got the right meaning. There really was no need for that word to be there, unless Paolini wanted me to go Huh? while reading the book. He still says something, because he's bored.
So, Yoda binds him in water. Eragon tries a bit of magic that drains him of his energy. Apparently, according to Yoda, he did it wrong. You're not supposed to use a spell that has only two outcomes, successes or death. Instead you're supposed to make it a process that can be stopped when you want it too. They try again, but this time Yoda fails in his strength. Apparently its his sickness that's acting up.
Eragon feels sorry... or we're told that he feels sorry for Yoda. He bows to Yoda, putting his head against the ground. He feels no pain. Despite the fact that his back used to be killing him. He apologizes to Yoda and Yoda says nothing. So, he stays there until Saphira and Glaedr return.
Yoda tells him that they'll have their lessons again tomorrow and that he should, for practice, start talking only in the ancient language. He's also going to be fighting with another elf in the morning. Yoda reaffirms that Eragon is "as good a swordsman as he ever met" and that he only needs to maintain his current skill level and doesn't need to learn anything more. Let us be reminded that earlier Yoda was kicking Eragon's butt and Eragon didn't even get a hit on him. But apparently he doesn't need any more training and Yoda can't teach him any more. I'm beginning to think that Yoda wants Eragon to fail.
As they're about to leave, Saphira snaps at Glaedr's tail playfully. Eragon chides her on this and she tells him to stop being her conscience. Eragon finds this hilarious and almost falls off Saphira while they're flying. Pity he didn't. Anyway he tells her it's only fair that he be her conscience if she's his.
Arya shows up at the tree house and offers to take Eragon out to show him places. We learn that there are only two children in Ellesmera at the time. Apparently budding isn't that great of a process. They go and visit the place where the elves live. It's very pretty. There are great works of art which is apparently all right for the elves to have, but not for the dwarves to have because the dwarves take money away from hungry people and the elves... are hippies.
She shows him a morning glory and says that it's the most perfect and lovely flower. Eragon agrees with her and says that she is too. Saphira is shocked. Arya tells him that some other elf made it for her. Eragon feels embarrassed and in typical thinking about himself fashion is offended that she didn't like his compliments.
So, he leaves, with Saphira explaining to him why it would never work between the two of them. I think she's jealous of her and wants him all for herself.
Back at their tree house, Dwarf shows up again. Eragon admits to having forgotten about dwarf. Thus, once again, proving that he is a non-entity. They talk for a little bit, Dwarf complaining about the elves and the leaves and being drunk like. We do learn that he's engaged to be married. But it's Saphira who asks this, Eragon never thought to ask about his personal life. And that's another point on the disconnected from reality score. After all dwarf is supposed to be his good friend but he's never thought to learn anything about him. Dwarf is a non entity to him and exists only to be the token dwarf on the adventure.
However the best part of this,
Helping him upright, Eragon said, "I think you'd better stay here for the night. You're in no condition to go down those stairs in the dark."
Orik agreed with cheery indifference. He allowed Eragon to remove his mail and bundle him onto one side of the bed. Afterward Eragon sighed, covered the lights, and lay on his side of the mattress.
He fell asleep hearing the dwarf mutter, "...Hvedra...Hvedra...Hvedra..." (page 568)
Okay, apparently I was wrong. There is my kind of meat in this chapter. Also I would like to nominate "Keep in mind Eragon, that no one thinks of himself as a villain, and few make decisions they think are wrong." As the most ironic sentence in this book.
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