Vitality

While reading The Ravickians, I kept comparing Ravicka to New York City.  Part of what makes New York such an impressive city is the way it swells with people each day (tourists, businesspeople, etc.), providing the city a vitality that would not exist without the constant influx of visitors.  These people provide life for the architecture, filling the offices of skyscrapers, cramming on a boat on their way to see the Statue of Liberty, or waiting for the next train at the subway.  This lack of vitality seems to be the problem, since it’s not the decrease in people that the narrator is concerned with, but the constant number of residents.  “‘Is it very bad?’  He asks me about the news, though he knows the answer as well as anyone does.  ‘Nothing has changed so much, Bezul'” (81).  The fact that it is unchanging is “very bad.”  The static population signifies a lack of life, just as a static line on a heart monitor does.  It doesn’t seem that the architecture in this book is changing, but it does seem like the architecture is dying, having been rendered obsolete.  I always imagine the people arriving in New York in the morning to represent the city taking a deep breath, its lungs (the architecture) filling up with oxygen (people), and exhaling at the end of the day.  

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