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Ember Nickel
December 16th, 2005, 05:38 PM
If you haven't contributed to the Redwall Wiki (http://redwall.wikicities.com), do so. If you have, then you may know that there's a small...uh...difference of interpretations regarding Sister Amyl's secret.That last word should have been in quotation marks, eh? Anyhow, was the lack of an actual secret a literary flaw, or an intelligent twist to avoid a cliched ending? I personally find it anticlimactic and a letdown, but wouldn't go so far as to call it a flaw.

Josiah the Warrior
December 16th, 2005, 07:32 PM
It was dissapointing. Veeery dissapointing, but there was nothing wrong with it in a literary sense, it was just corny and dissapointing.

Storm Swiftblade
December 16th, 2005, 09:30 PM
Sister Amyl's "secret" was in Loamhedge right?

LordTBT
December 16th, 2005, 09:40 PM
Sister Amyl's "secret" was in Loamhedge right?

Yes.

And I consider it a huge literary flaw.

It says clearly, pg. 103 hardcover edition

"No, sir, though tis not for the want of trying" (Martha to Bragoon)

pg. 327:

"Little do they know I need no cure or remedy. Suddenly I can walk...there was no real need for them to go"

Oddly, this has caused me to notice a larger flaw. Martin told Martha of the "cure", then after they had gone, he told her to save the Abbot. Hypocritical little guy.

It's a flaw because there never was a cure, and it was because Martha never tried hard enough.

This was the poem Bragoon and Sarabando wrote:

"The body is rooled by the mynd
I tell you this be troo
by willpower you may fynd
nort is denyed to you"

But earlier she said it was not from lack of trying. See??

Swordmaster
December 18th, 2005, 03:24 AM
It was cheesy and maudlin. But it was somewhat satisfying. Compared to what it could have been, at least.

Badrang3
December 18th, 2005, 11:27 AM
Here comes one and only Loamhedge fan to save the day!


It's a flaw because there never was a cure, and it was because Martha never tried hard enough.

Not a flaw at all. The whole point was that Martha never wanted it enough. Oh, she tried many times, but kept failing, so after a while, why bother, right? She had generally lost hope in the cause. But then when presented with the prospect of the Abbot being killed, the meaning of walking came true, and Martha found the strength of 10 hares, plus two! The moment you have a cause, you start to try harder.

The whole problem was psychological. All she had to do was believe in herself. Ergo, the whole point of the book.

Now, whether this caused an anti-climax or not... a bit, I guess, but frankly, I think it would have been more cheesy if Saro and Bragoon came back with some miracle cure-all.

Ferahgo the Assassin
December 18th, 2005, 12:04 PM
I found it to be a huge letdown. I don't know about a literary flaw - though TBT's quotes are convincing - but the whole situation was one of the major reasons that Loamhedge fell near the the bottom of my favorites.

Did anyone else think that it was giving a sense of false hope to the reader, also? I can imagine a young handicapped reader getting the impression of "if I try hard enough, I may be able to walk/see/hear/whatever!" from the story, which to me is rather sad. The motif of "anything can happen if you try hard enough" can only go so far, and the whole situation with Martha seemed to have no place in the Redwall universe, where cause and effect are usually pretty realistic.

matthias_fan
December 25th, 2005, 06:55 PM
I found it to be a huge letdown. I don't know about a literary flaw - though TBT's quotes are convincing - but the whole situation was one of the major reasons that Loamhedge fell near the the bottom of my favorites.

Did anyone else think that it was giving a sense of false hope to the reader, also? I can imagine a young handicapped reader getting the impression of "if I try hard enough, I may be able to walk/see/hear/whatever!" from the story, which to me is rather sad. The motif of "anything can happen if you try hard enough" can only go so far, and the whole situation with Martha seemed to have no place in the Redwall universe, where cause and effect are usually pretty realistic.

Ok I agree with everything Ferahgo the Assassin *um* wrote. It was a huge letdown but not a flaw. Although that was one I had to drag myself through it becuase it didn't keep me excited enough. It was not a flaw for sure (in my opion anyway.) Yep, a sense of false hope for sure. :hon:

SpearladyThyme
January 4th, 2006, 09:39 PM
Spoilers throughout:

Sister Amyl's nonexistant secret summed up the entire feel of the book. Loamhedge was not as neatly plotted as the other Redwall books, and the fact that the conflict was resolved (whether the questors knew it or not) near the middle killed most of the tension.

Then again it would have seemed almost trite for the questors to show up, and with a few words on a scrap of parchment cure Martha.

Does Brian Jacques have the answer to be neatly wrapped up in rhyme? Could he have ended it another way? What if Martha had not regained her mobility? Would that have been such a terrible thing?

~Spearlady Thyme

LordTBT
January 4th, 2006, 09:54 PM
Still, as I said before, why would Martin tell her a cure exists, get people to go risk their lives for her, then while theyre gone, tell her to get up and walk. Big fat waste of time if you ask me.

Josiah the Warrior
January 4th, 2006, 09:56 PM
[Sagelike voice=JtW]Perhaps the journey was the goal, not the end result, but what happened along the way.[/Sagelike voice]

Folgrimeo
January 6th, 2006, 04:05 PM
Still, as I said before, why would Martin tell her a cure exists, get people to go risk their lives for her, then while theyre gone, tell her to get up and walk. Big fat waste of time if you ask me.

My evidence to bring to the thread:

p. 299 - 300

Toran: "Supposin' yore friends an' my brother an' Saro hadn't gone, eh? Things would've turned out totally diff'rent, fate would've cast other lots for everybeast. You mightn't 'ave been at that window in yore chair last night, but those Searats may've changed their plans. Then where'd ye be now, Martha? I'll tell ye, still sittin' stuck in a chair! So don't ye dare say that there was no point in our good friends undertakin' a mission to find a cure for ye, Martha Braebuck!"

It seemed coincedental that Martha learned to walk before the others came back, but perhaps Martin was thinking "okay, since there's no secret, here's Martha's one chance to learn how to walk. It better be enough of a motivator, sacrificing the Abbot's life here." It also seemed strange that Bragoon's short letter to Martha ended up being similar instructions to what got Martha to walk. Imagine if Bragoon came home with "Armel's secret." Martha opens it and probably thinks "Oh corks, this is nothing but the same bloomin' stuff I've been trying for the last five seasons to no success! What does that cad know? *throws down letter in disgust*"

But what if there was indeed a secret? If there was, Martin would have no need to try to get Martha to walk before the others came back. But the secret would probably still say the same thing, and because it would be Armel's word, that might be enough motivation to get Martha to do it.

Sending the others out on the quest was beneficial for another reason: getting Horty and the others out into wild country, becoming experienced. Who knows, maybe the future Abbot wouldn't have been a candidate for future Abbot otherwise without that experience. Er, future Abbess.

Besides, Bragoon and Saro weren't the type to stay at the Abbey, so that's another reason for them to go on the quest for Armel's secret. For Horty and the others to tag along... well... if they hadn't, who'd be the future ruler? Neither Bragoon or Saro, both which did the hard work, because they'd likely leave a day afterwards for more adventure. Even though they said that one time they might retire to Redwall after the quest. Whatever. Can't keep a hungry hare away. Martin must be improvising this stuff as it goes along.

Anyway, in short summary, Martin probably figured nothing would motivate Martha enough to walk unless her Abbot was in danger, and that for that to happen, Bragoon and others would have to leave. If they stayed at Redwall, they'd be keeping the rats at bay, so they might not be able to get to the Abbot, or Martha might think "Bragoon and Saro are keeping us safe, I don't need to keep an eye out". Or that Martin saw forward in time and noticed that, by inventing this quest, it would bring about the right event needed.

But hypocritical, no. Martin saw the opportunity, maybe expected it or created it, and told Martha to take it. Otherwise, like I said, the quest would have been for nothing. Unless Martha's motivated enough by seeing Bragoon and Saro and the rest return that she's ready to do a jig for them. She did promise that (don't remember if it was with or without the secret).


Oh, right, poll. I voted "literary flaw" because, although the book managed to handle it, it was a bit disappointing that there was no secret to begin with. Had there been a secret though, I'd imagine it would have been much like the letter Bragoon wrote.
As for one of the most touching endings ever? No. But it was nice of the otter doing what he did.