Orleans (160-234)

It is around this time that I began to believe in the possibility that there would not be any romance within this novel. Fen and Daniel have a very interesting relationship however their relationship does not seem to even come close to anything except mutual survival. Fen is of course a very strong character and has very clear goals as it pertains to the infant. Perhaps the author felt as though having romance within her novel would take away from the strength of her character. In many stories that we read/see that have an apocalyptic element to them we often see people acting with one another in very romantic ways knowing that they could die at any moment. Sherri L. Smith has not added this element into her story and in fact has seemed to have gone in the opposite direction, making the supposed genius Daniel a complete klutz and thereby less appealing. Do you believe that Smith intentionally left out romance from her novel, and if so why?

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One thought on “Orleans (160-234)

  1. It’s difficult to pin down whether or not Smith intentionally left a romance out of her novel, but the novel’s tone differs from others we’ve read in this class as a result. One must ask themselves how a romantic encounter would add to rather than detract from the plot. Previous in class discussions have made it clear that Orleans is saturated with both meaning and plot. Throwing an arbitrary relationship into the mix might over-complicate the narrative within Orleans and distract readers from the larger social commentary Smith is trying to make through her writing. For the sake of diversity, the majority of other novels we’ve had to read for this class deal with love or romance on one level or another. The narratives in both Vorvoulias’ Ink and Butler’s Fledgling demonstrate that love is a force that survives in the face of adversity, but this overplayed trope has more of financial benefit for a novel than anything else. Trying to make a profit and reach a broad audience, the authors of these novels write romances into their work to appeal to readers who might not otherwise pick up a speculative/science fiction novel in the first place. Unlike these novels, Orleans doesn’t necessarily advertise to the lowest common denominator and its narrative is more focused as a result.

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