Foreign rubble

I’m interested in how taken Luswage Amini is by the “rubble near the Opera House” that is “[o]bviously…from somewhere else” (47). First, it’s interesting that she can tell the pile of stuff is foreign even before she recognizes that many of the items display non-Ravickian names, which serves as proof for her assumption. Also, I think it’s noteworthy that she feels the need to sift through it, to measure and classify it as “large” and “dusty” (48), and to sort it into piles (52). She admits she’s “stuck” there (51). Finally, she concludes the section by recognizing, “I was trying to find both death and life in [the rubble]” (52). While this is certainly a partial answer to the question “Why is she so interested in this pile?” it doesn’t tell us exactly why. Why does she care so much about life and death? And why does she think she’ll find it in the pile?

I think it definitely has to do with the depopulation of Ravicka. In Ravicka, there are hardly any people left to even create a pile of rubble like this, and with no one around, Luswage probably does feel a lack of “life and death” – a lack of human process. This pile – as foreign – is unfamiliar, but it does represent the existence of human process, which is familiar (though largely absent from Ravicka). So, perhaps she’s “stuck” there because she feels familiarity – some sense of home (even within something foreign) – during her travels (her walk).


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