April 22, 2004

Diamond Age and The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

I know it's kind of late to be doing this but when I tried to write it before the site was down....

I really don't expect many comments on this one but I did want to let those who were interested read it... read on if you would like

During class on the 15th we read a poem and tried to tie the question to some one from the Diamond Age... Well when we were in groups I thought that the character that was most like the poem was Finkle-Mcgraw.

But after Jerz said something about what the actual question was "Do I dare/Disturb the universe?" another light bulb went off in my head... My assumption was close. He was trying to change the future in a way (through his grand-daughter) but the people that would most be discribed by this (in my mind) would have to be Dr. X and Judge Fang.

Both of them in some way tried to have a hand in what was going to happen. At first we only saw the way Judge Fang did this, leaving the book with Nell. Then all of the talk about how he was trying to raise a "more perfect" futrue through children. Dr. X's part didn't come in until something was said about the ships of girls.

I ask you... Which really dared to "Disturb the universe?" Just something to think about

Posted by Tam Moon at April 22, 2004 07:57 PM


"...There's also an interesting racial question... it was the white girls that received primers that seem capable of turning them into leaders..."

Wasn't Equity Lord Alexander Chung-Sik Finkle-McGraw adopted from Korea, which would make Miss Elizabeth Finkle-McGraw at least part Asian? Stephenson said she got black hair from his side of the family, but I don't remember him including anything else like her skin color or where her other 3 grandparents were from...

Posted by: Lydia at November 9, 2004 12:22 AM

Dr. Jerz, I didn't think of the racial aspect at all... That's just one more thing to add I guess :)

As for which one Prufrock would like the most and approach... I wouldn't doubt by the way I read the poem that would more than likely be Nell. She did tempt to change the universe.

Anyone else have a thought about this? I'm kind of stumped...

Posted by: Tammy Moon at April 28, 2004 03:59 PM

Just a thought question... of Fiona, Elizabeth, and Nell, which one would Prufrock have been most interested in? Which one might he be most likely to approach?

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at April 24, 2004 07:27 PM

Thanks for that, Tiff. It never clicked that Hackworth illegally copied the Primer for Fiona... Obviously Hackworth knew the value of the book. I think maybe we're giving Finkle-McGraw more credit than he deserves--perhaps he's not the magnanimous person that we seem to have envisioned. Especially concerning the racial issues. Dr. Jerz, I questioned the content of the Primers that Fiona and Elizabeth received in my blog. Care to comment? Could it be that only the original Primer (that Nell received) was meant to change the world through a leader?

Posted by: Karissa at April 24, 2004 11:07 AM

There's also an interesting racial question... it was the white girls that received primers that seem capable of turning them into leaders, while the versions of the primer prepared for the Mouse Army girls didn't. We don't know that much about the content of the other primers, or about what kind of fantasy stories Fiona and Elizabeth may have been told...

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at April 24, 2004 12:45 AM

If you don't mind Karissa I would like to answer one of those questions myself. I believe that Finkle-McGraw wanted just his granddaughter to have this technology. Had he wanted others to be included in it he would not have told Hackworth to keep it quiet, and then Hackworth (who thought that something was going on) wouldn't have produced an extra copy of the Primer to give to his daughter. Also, if he wanted others to have access to the Primer, why then would the "nano war" (I hope that's what it was called) have occured where Dr. X, Hackworth, and Finkle-McGraw were all looking for the missing Primer?

Posted by: Tiffany at April 23, 2004 05:00 PM

hey Tammy,
Karissa brought out a good point about Finkle-McGraws intentions for his grand-daughter, maybe he didn't want his granddaughter to grow up in such a rigid society as the Victorians, maybe he wanted he to go beyond this , while at same time respecting traditions.
Thanks for the blog comment.
Could you response back to this question in my blog:
"How are you liking your education courses so far?"
Thanks! :)

Posted by: Michael Diezmos at April 23, 2004 04:35 PM

Sure, I think Hackworth is just as good of an example as Dr. X. He has more of a love interest in Gwendolyn and Fiona than Dr. X has of an interest in the Han girls.

I like the idea, Tammy :^)

Posted by: Karissa at April 23, 2004 03:28 PM

I wasn't trying to say that Finkle-McGraw was really trying. Yes he changed some one else's universe but that wasn't the point of the poem.

Thanks for the questions, I'm not sure about the intentions of Lord Finkle McGraw. But I'm sure everyone know the intenstions of Dr. X.

Does anyone think that Hackworth, being the "alchemist" would be considered to be, subconsiously, trying to "disturb the universe"? Just a thought... Thanks for the input!!

Posted by: Tammy Moon at April 23, 2004 01:36 PM

I agree with you about Dr. X, but I really don't think that Finkle-McGraw really dared to "disturb the universe." He only wanted to change the fate of one child, whereas Dr. X wanted to change the fate of all the Hun girls, as well as the surrounding communities.

Posted by: Johanna at April 22, 2004 10:34 PM

Do you think that it may have been a little pretentious of Finkle-McGraw to feel that his granddaughter alone should possess the Primer??

Although Dr. X was the vehicle through which the Primer was distributed to the girls, what about the original intention of the Primer--do you think Finkle-McGraw really wanted to have all of the Mouse Army educated by the same means as proper Victorian ladies?

Just a few of my own questions for you and your paper. :^) Interesting connection, Tammy.

Posted by: Karissa at April 22, 2004 09:33 PM
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