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Earthsea fiction
Only in silence the word
[FIC] On the education of daughters (PG) 
14th-Aug-2009 01:39 pm
Drabble & a half, loosely for the prompt 'Everyone is the hero of their own story. Even Kossil'

Once there was a family with five daughters and no sons. When the lady – for it was a proud family that traced its forefathers to the House of Tarb, no less – found herself with child for the sixth time, she prayed to the Twin Gods for a son, promising a daughter in service as a priestess; the lord of the household prayed likewise to the Godking. And when they were blessed with a son, being devout people and not knowing which god had answered their prayers, they dedicated their two youngest, one to the Twin Gods and the other to the Godking. The elder hated her new life so profoundly that she drowned herself in the temple compound well. The younger, on the other hand, flourished.

Thus, before she was six, Kossil learned that the life of a boy was worth both the life and the death of a girl.

11 August 2009
14th-Aug-2009 05:33 pm (UTC)
You already know I like this, but re-reading it made me think of something I've been wondering about before: are Kargish gender roles similar to the Archipelago's? I know there's a hint of this in PoA (something about poor people trying to pass their girl babies off as the Eaten One's incarnation), but their culture seems so different otherwise that I can't help but wonder...
14th-Aug-2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
Interesting thought. 'A description of Earthsea' says the Kargad Lands have 'a stricter social caste system and gender differentiation ("division of labor") than in the Archipelago' -- though I suppose that doesn't necessarily mean that gender roles are similar to those prevailing in the Archipelago, nor to those traditional in western Earth cultures. The government, whether priest-king, god-king or just king, appears to be masculine, as does the army, but there's certainly space for women to predominate in other areas.
14th-Aug-2009 10:11 pm (UTC)
oh, lovely, bitter & pointed.
15th-Aug-2009 11:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Kossil fascinates me, but I find it hard to understand her.
14th-Aug-2009 11:26 pm (UTC)
Your backstory has got me thinking more about Kossil's (apparent) psychology and how she wields her power. Holding only authority delegated by men, she still uses it as fully as possible, and against other women that she sees as weaker than herself.
15th-Aug-2009 11:16 pm (UTC)
As I wrote to Forodwaith, I find it hard to get a handle on Kossil, but when I last reread ToA I was struck by how she's very much portrayed as masculine. I'd love to write more about her, but my stories always seem to stall.
18th-Aug-2009 03:35 pm (UTC)
Oh, I like the matter-of-factness of this. And the last line packs quite a punch.
18th-Aug-2009 03:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I have a lot of Kossil ideas in my head, but I have trouble getting them onto paper.
7th-Oct-2009 11:18 pm (UTC)
Oh, so short but the emotional impact is HUGE. That would be a terrible thing to have to know how undervalued you were so young...
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