Saturday, 19 December 2015

Conflicting Cultures

Over two years ago, I discussed four conflicting cultures in Poul Anderson's The Peregrine here.

On Erulan, there is slavery and cruelty. Three bodies hang from a gallows in a market square. Ilaloa of the Alori comments:

"'There is no need for this endless strife and suffering. But it is still more - right - than that which is in the city Stellamont.'" (The Peregrine, Chapter X, p. 89)

Stellamont is on a human colony planet and thus represents a fifth culture distinct from Sol, Nomads, Erulan and Alori:

Sol, Nomads and Stellamont are human;
Alori are humanoid (see image);
Erulan is human beings enslaving (other) humanoids.

I can only remark that I disagree with Ilaloa. Technology-using urbanites are indeed "...shut away..." (p. 88) from nature but that does not make a slave-owning society better than they are!

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