Regarding knowledge, the author from ‘Noughts and Crosses’, Malorie Blackman, has chosen to raise the problem of racism. Her dystopia descibes a world where the Black people have the power and the Whites are their slaves, and a dramatic love story takes place between the daughter of the -black- Prime Minister and the son of a rebel leader. Blackman questions the reader : how far would you go with accepting someone’s differences ? How far can you see beyond them ?
She has a very special style of writing, poignant and thrilling, and the word choice is always carefully picked considering who is thinking. She presents the perspectives of the main characters, and that emphasizes the idea of ‘perception’. Once you’re in the character’s head, he gets suddenly so normal, and the hero is not a hero anymore, he’s just human, and the murderer, he’s just human, and the friends, they’re just human too. “D’you ever wonder what it would be like if our positions were reversed?’ I ask. At Jack’s puzzled look I continue. ‘If we whites were in charge instead of you Crosses?’, says the rebel leader’s son in the book. It’s an interesting quote that plays with the fact that it actually used to be this way – the Blacks being slaves of the Whites.
The cover of the book is perfectly chosen : there’s the Blacks on top, and there’s the Whites, but nothing is ever completely black or white, there’s compromises. It reminded me of another famous symbol, the Yin and Yang.
I truly am emotionally attached to books, and reading about Yeshey of Bhutan and Thomas Pettit, who have diametrically opposed points of view, I obviously tend to go with the first one : don’t step on a book ! They’re more than just pages put together, they have a strong symbolic meaning. We’re talking about communication, sharing ideas and beliefs, the old ‘Google’. It used to be my number one source of knowledge, but with the Internet growing exponentially, it’s not so true anymore… And well, if the Guttenberg Parenthesis happens to be true, I still don’t believe the concept of books is going to die ; we’ll just find some other way of spreading our knowledge and experience.