I just wrote this whole post out and it was lost. I am completely irritated.
Who is the I that talks? This is the first chapter without context, without framing, and it is a continuation of the story in chapter 1, a traditional tale. We have many voices in this chapter. The inner voice of the narrator, the external voice of the narrator, the voice of the broadcast system proclaiming the treason of our narrators dinner companion in chapter one, we have the voice of new shoes going eck eck eck, we have the voice of the ansible responding to the king’s question, we have the voice of the king, we have the reported voices of scientists who have tried to understand where Genry, the envoy came from and who he is. Madness is a voice.
What do all these voices do? How are all these voices used?
The king is the first person to give the envoy advice. Dont be a tool. He is a tool. Someone once asked me, who am I a tool for. Are these voices tools. In the hand of the king they are. Is information a tool? Genry’s backup plan is to collect information.
We hear about desire and motivation. The Ekumen are motivated by knowledge, trade, community, pleasure, adventure. The king is motivated by fear.
At the end of the conversation Genry realizes that his path here is blocked he must do something new, and so he decides to go elsewhere and collect information. Information In form ation.