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View Diary: Dear bigoted lady I work with: (151 comments)

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  •  You can blame this one on Heinlein himself (0+ / 0-)

    He left skin color out of his descriptions, then sprung it on the reader in the above scene. Trying to trick a possibly bigoted reader into identifying with a brown protagonist? If you didn't read carefully you would miss that detail.

    "Nothing happens unless first a dream. " ~ Carl Sandburg

    by davewill on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 02:31:52 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  That scene's pretty early in the book, though (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      madhaus, davewill

      and our protagonist doesn't describe herself physically at all prior to that, except by implication (such as how men find her sexy).  The only way we even know that she has the short hair illustrated in the picture is from a scene far later in the book, where she expresses her ignorance of hairstyles by saying that she's always styled her hair by cutting it off when it gets long enough to get in her face.

      I don't think it was a trick, tbh.  Heinlein very seldom described his first-person narrators with anything like hair color, eye color, height and so forth, unless and until it was relevant to the plot -- and sometimes not even other characters they interacted with, either.

      ... of course, he did get quite a lot of "stealth" people of color in his books that way.  The first hint we get that Manuel O'Kelly Davis's family (in The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress) isn't entirely white is when Earthside bigots react negatively to "the range of color" in his family photo.  The only color description we get of any member of his family before that is a mention that one of the women is blonde; we're already identifying with the Davis family long before we hear that detail.

      So maybe it was on purpose, now that I think about it.

      (On the other hand ... just how carelessly would you have to read to miss that?  Because Friday's skin color actually is a relevant point there.  Unlike, say, the notoriously and widely missed color detail about Rue in The Hunger Games.)

      •  That mention above is the only one I can remember (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Batya the Toon

        and it isn't really ALL that integral to the plot. The fact that she's genetically enhanced, and is outraged enough about the bigoted treatment of her adopted daughter is the real driving force.

        Anyway, I suspect that illustrators and marketing people don't really read the books...Although I would have thought the Heinlein would have had to approve the cover art.

        "Nothing happens unless first a dream. " ~ Carl Sandburg

        by davewill on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 09:34:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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