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4/21/2020 3:55 pm  #11

Re: Shejidan Atevi Psychology And Bren's Pov

Shejidan Atevi Psychology And Bren's PovPage 10 of 10Posted: 3:43 PM - Mar 21, 2012bmillsAs is probably evident from my posts here, the great fascination of the Foreigner books for me is Atevi psychology. So here are some things which I'm sure don't have a clear, single answer, but which I've found it interesting to wonder about. 

Banichi and Jago came from Tabini's guard and presumably had man'chi to him, but they later declare that their personal man'chi has attached to Bren. Are they now primarily Bren's and work to further Tabini's ends only in so far as Bren is allied with Tabini? I think that's overstating the distinction, but it is interesting to think about. Of course, they were probably able to make this transition more easily because they were assured that Bren's interests would not diverge from Tabini's. But what if they should at some point? I think it's clear that in a crisis, they'd instinctively throw their bodies in harm's way to protect Bren rather than Tabini (if such a choice had to be made), but what if Bren and Tabini had a seriously policy disagreement? 

Also, their declarations of man'chi to Bren seemed to me to be informal things, almost as if they were embarrassed not about the feeling, but about having to spell out such a deeply felt emotion to the human who, they knew, wouldn't know what they were feeling if they didn't come out and say it. So how would an Ateva normally reveal his/her feelings to his/her new aiji? In the one instance we've seen, Cajeiri and the Taibeni youths, it seemed to be mostly unspoken but obvious to the Atevi involved. 

And with regard to Banichi and Jago declaring for Bren, would they also have been ethically obligated to go to Tabini and announce that he was no longer their personal aiji? 

And if I recall correctly, Algini came from and had man'chi to the Guild, and Tano has some kind of unstated personal reason for having man'chi to Algini, but they have also declared for Bren. What does that mean for Algini's involvement in the Guild in-fighting? If something happened to Algini, what bond would Tano still feel for Bren?Posted: 4:01 PM - Mar 21, 2012BusiferI seem to remember that Banichi said Algini couldn't formally have man'chi within Bren's household; this was in Pretender, after they took the Bujavid back and accordingly after Algini's declaration to Bren (which took place at Tirnamardi). 

Not that it makes things clearer but because it even further questions the man'chiin of that pair.

For the longest Bren thought his personal security had man'chi to him through Tabini but this was before he realised Tano & Algini might not be Tabini's. In later books he muses over how lucky he is for Tabini not taking Banichi and Jago from him when the aiji needs a new aishid. I personally think this might be because Tabini can sense that while that pair do have man'chi to him their primary man'chi is to Bren.

In Betrayer, I think, Bren makes the tactical move of declaring for Machigi. He is extremely worried over how his aishid will react to that but when he brings the issue up with them they answer with confirmation of their association. This move from Bren would, with a high probability, be viewed by atevi as taking a stand against Tabini. Or so I think, because even Tabini gets worried enough to get on a plane to find and re-acquire the paidhi, all the while Bren's aishid having no problems whatsoever with the situation.
Which smells like firm man'chi to me.

But then I'm only a human
Posted: 6:14 PM - Mar 22, 2012bmills
wrote:I personally think this might be because Tabini can sense that while that pair do have man'chi to him their primary man'chi is to Bren.
Hmm. I assumed that Tabini left two of his best agents with the paidhi as an indication that Tabini felt Bren was as vital to the world's welfare as his own survival, but your suggestion also makes sense.
wrote:Bren makes the tactical move of declaring for Machigi. 
That part of Betrayer mystified me, but as we discussed (on another thread?), I think that was an indication not of personal loyalty but of Bren's commitment to being an honest broker for Machigi as well as the other players in the negotiation, and that's why Bren's aishid didn't see it as a contradiction or betrayal. But I could very easily be wrong about that, as I had a very hard time parsing that passage.Posted: 9:54 AM - Mar 26, 2012nekokami
bmills,Mar 22 2012 wrote:That part of Betrayer mystified me, but as we discussed (on another thread?), I think that was an indication not of personal loyalty but of Bren's commitment to being an honest broker for Machigi as well as the other players in the negotiation, and that's why Bren's aishid didn't see it as a contradiction or betrayal. But I could very easily be wrong about that, as I had a very hard time parsing that passage. 
I think you're right, it was meant to indicate that Bren was "working for" Machigi at that point. He said it to convince Machigi, at an emotional level, that he could rely on Bren to represent him in this negotiation. I thought it very interesting that it made Bren feel so queasy to say it. He'd assumed it would just be words to him, but over time he has acquired very atevi-like social reflexes.Posted: 2:54 AM - Jul 09, 2018lynxlaceladyThis whole discussion, long inactive, is one of the best I have found here. Absolutely stunning insights! Being me, I have to express my opinion. I ask your patience.

post #31 bmills
"Cherryh intends the reader to understand that just because Bren believes something doesn't mean that it's actually true. So that got me to thinking, what else does Bren *know* that isn't really true?" 

This is the part that interests me most. One of the untruths that Bren believes is what he was taught on Mospheira about manchi: that aijiin don't feel it. He believes Tabini and Ilisidi use him as a tool -- useful as a sharp knife is useful, but with no more attachment than anyone has to a tool. Throughout the books she keeps on showing us information that we, as readers, can see, but that Bren doesn't. It isn't until fairly late in the series that he begins to understand that manchi does go in 2 directions.
After all, in CONSPIRATOR or DECEIVER Geigi say of his attachment to his aishid and his people "these things are passionate".

post #7 bmills
"I think Cherryh intended man'chi to be an inviolable instinct, but she had to back it off a bit to create conflicts for her characters to resolve. "

I think that is exactly right.

post #10 bluecatship
"Cherryh likes, I think, turning a mirror on human behavior by showing the humans as alien and out of place as the aliens"

I agree. I think that is exactly what she is doing.

post #18 nekokami
"what Cajeri believes he has been learning from Bren (among other people), and through his eyes we can see even more clearly what has been hinted at since the first book. Bren is a born aiji. A Stability of One. He's not an Aggressor, like Illisidi, but that's not the only kind of aiji, as Cajeri notes. If Bren were an ateva, Tabini probably would not feel comfortable having him around. He meets ateva, and no matter whose man'chi they were in before, they quickly become attached to him. From Djinanna at Malguri to the factory workers in Kajiminda to Bindanda on the station to Vejico and Lucasi once they are specifically in his presence for any amount of time, atevi just latch onto him. I think even Machigi falls into this category. He's the one who talks the Edi out of fighting in Betrayer (And let's not forget Algini's little private address in Pretender.) Humans see it, too. .... Bren can't see this about himself. That's part of his charm. He thinks he's the humblest of men, when actually, he walks into a room and takes hold of a situation, and pretty soon everyone is doing whatever he wants. (Fortunately, he's a very ethical person, and aims for the stability and prosperity of the largest community he can possibly identify with. Now he's planning to teach the Kyo diplomacy!)"

I think this is very much to the point, especially regarding scenario-dave's idea about Bren as mini-aiji.

Post #20 bmills
"I think the reason that he's not perceived as a rival and a threat to other aiji is that Bren's own man'chi is not to any individual, or faction, but to the treaty that allows both races to prosper in a shared world. It seems that Bren would even sacrifice Tabini for that greater good, as he was reluctantly ready to attach himself to another leader during that period when it wasn't clear whether Tabini would be able to regain control after the usurpation. "

My ohly quibble with this is that I don't think his man'chi is to the treaty, but to an even wider target than that. I think he is committed to atevi maintaining dominance over their own futures, and to the continued survival of humans. Everything flows from that.

post#27 weeble
"If their primary man'chi is to Bren, then on an emotional level its up to Bren to find a the proper superior. Intellectually, his aishid understand what he is doing, and that it is ultimately going to be to Tabini's benefit. Even if Bren is calling Machigi aiji, apparently throwing the normal chain of man'chi out the window, its temporary because of the situation. I think the conflict causing Bren to worry about his aishid is that he doesn't quite believe he actually HAS their primary man'chi. But, if Bren didn't have their primary man'chi, Banichi and possibly even Jago would have gone back to Tabini's service after he lost HIS aishid. Tano and Algini have clearly told Bren he IS their aiji, but Bren still has blind spots. Personally, I think his aishid know Bren better than he knows himself! They trust him, they understand the idea of the paidhi working for both sides to get an agreement, so they're not going to let that distract them from protecting him."

I agree entirely.

Post #30 bmills
I read that business with Machigi insisting he act as a true mediator, and cll Machigi "aiji" as Machigi deliberately trying to drive a wedge between Bren and his aishid. He had started throwing in elements to unsettle Bred, first with the gun-to-the-head, then finding out about Barb being delivered to his suite, while at dinner, then Veijico. The aiji-thing was only the last in the sequence.

"There's an awful lot going on in that conversation, and the ramifications of it all are not clear to me. But then, this kind of richness and complexity is why I keep reading the Foreigner series over and over again. I think I'm up to 6 times now, and there are still times when I'm not sure I'm getting everything out of those first-book conversations between Bren and Ilisidi."

Absolutely, I agree.

Post #39 bmills
"My first couple of times through the books, I was deeply disturbed by that time in Foreigner when Jago smacks Bren for running the wrong way during the fighting. I had a hard time understanding her motive for being violent toward her semi-aiji/professional charge. How I finally resolved this is comparing man'chi to a human mother's feelings toward her child. Imagine a human mother who couldn't stop a toddler from running into traffic. Upon catching him, she might be so overwhelmed by fear and anger as to give him a smack. .... I'm using a human parallel to understand why Jago might have been so frantic with concern at that moment that she was motivated to swat someone she actually cared about in a positive way. To her mind, he was being off-the-charts crazy"

I think so, too. And I also had trouble with that scene initially.

Post #43 weeble
"original use of 'Paidhi' referred to the negotiator or interpreter acting as an intermediary between the two sides of a dispute, NOT a translator. Over time, the MOSPHEIRAN usage became the equivalent of 'Translator who also regulates the exchange of technology'. This does not mean the original usage on the continent even includes the whole concept of translator, so Machigi is really just asking Bren to DO the job of Paidhi, instead of filling the roll Mospheira has labeled 'Paidhi'."

Exactly.Posted: 10:55 AM - Aug 24, 2018leafI wonder if idealism creates it's own type of aiji? It has seemed to me -as the series has grown that Bren starts off as an expat administrator fascinated by the people he is working with - but is an observer.
Then after Malguri and the events in Invader he becomes less detached and as he becomes more comfortable with his aishid he develops into a champion for the Atevi culture/way of life especially once he and Ilisidi start developing their partnership. But feels a conflict regarding Mospheira. When he becomes aware of the traditional -Atevi definition of paidhi - it seems to help him to settle and resolve so he can honestly represent both sides of the strait without any internal conflict. I get the feeling that he is a fundamentally honourable man, and it is this quality of integrity in his dealings that attracts man'chi. Posted: 7:43 PM - Aug 24, 2018lynxlaceladyLeaf, I think you are right. And that integrity must be what attracted Veijico and Lucasi, since they are too young and inexperienced to understand the big picture.
But for someone like Algini, whose understanding of the whole situation of the world is deep and long, I think it may be something else. Algini is in a position to see what Bren's motivations are. I see those motivations as ensuring that Atevi can control their own destiny (which any Ateva should find reassuring) and the survival of humans. And realistic Atevi would not quarrel with that, as being only realistic and expected.

Leaf, I'm glad to see your comments. I've been desperate for Foreigner discussion.All times are UTC-04:00
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4/24/2020 1:39 pm  #12

Re: Shejidan Atevi Psychology And Bren's Pov

Are you going to set up the different areas, Like the Bu'Javid or The Tashrid?

“The criminal is a creative artist; detectives are just critics.”
― Hannu Rajaniemi, The Quantum Thief
Joined Sep 2, 2009

4/24/2020 2:26 pm  #13

Re: Shejidan Atevi Psychology And Bren's Pov

Kardaen wrote:

Are you going to set up the different areas, Like the Bu'Javid or The Tashrid?

We will probably streamline quite a bit.

     Thread Starter

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