Wonko the Sane

Nature vs. Civilization

4 posts in this topic

The word cultivation automatically calls to mind the idea of plants, of growth, and of nature. As such, many of us — myself included — have internally made the assumption that Cultivation is something of a wild, primal force. However, I have recently realized that there is a fundamental difference between this interpretation and the actual definition of cultivation; indeed, one might actually say they were opposites.

Cultivation — noun.

  1. agriculture

    1. the planting, tending, improving, or harvesting of crops or plants
    2. the preparation of ground to promote their growth

[*]development, esp through education, training, etc

[*]culture or sophistication, esp social refinement

As can be seen, the term cultivation implies a far more artificial sort of growth than that embodied by nature. In retrospect, this makes sense: one could not exactly call a dense jungle 'cultivated'. Instead, a more careful, guided hand is required. In other words, Cultivation by definition works according to a plan. However, I am far more interested in the second and third definitions. Here we see that Cultivation is not necessarily bound to the growth of life. Thus, rather than playing the jaded and somewhat limited role of the druid god, I feel that Cultivation has a much more wide-sweeping intent: the development and sophistication of all things. By this interpretation, Cultivation is less a synonym for "Nature" and more for "Civilization".

If this has been noted before, or is so obvious as to not require noting, I apologize. I had simply never paused to consider the possibility, so when it did occur to me, I thought I should share it, in case others might have drawn he same unthinking conclusion I had.

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Ruin+Preservation, Devotion+Dominion, Honor+Cultivation. These aren't coincidental pairings. Honor is a neutral -- more ambiguous -- lntent. Cultivation, as you've described, is a positive intent. By pairing Honor with a positive Intent, Honor is given positive focus and becomes a positive force.

The arrival of Odium.provides another focus.for Honor that is negative, requiring those of Honor to fight amongst themselves. This, ultimately, leads to the death of Honor itself and our current state. I like it.

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Good catch, but I think this has already been brought up before. It does fit in with Sanderson using various aspects of a definition, so I agree it is probably going to be all of the meanings.

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It's likely to be both. The gemhearts growing is likely an example of nature cultivation magic and the fabrials a civilization magic e.g. instant communication.

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