Parallax

Moral Miscalculations of Mr. Sanderson in Oathbringer

165 posts in this topic

27 minutes ago, Parallax said:

 

@Pathfinder You did misrepresent my position. I have not said: "Dalinar is irredeemable, that is an objective fact" or something to the same effect. . 

It was the first post that started this entire thread. I have quoted you below (highlighting for Honorless)

On 9/25/2019 at 11:40 PM, Parallax said:

This is my first "real" post and it is a criticism, however the issue has been bothering me since I finished the book sometime ago and I have not seen it really addressed.

The problem is what Dalinar did in Rathalas make him irredeemable, particularly when you contrast his heinous act with that of other villains in Stormlight Archive. Consider Amaram, what is his initial crime? Killing the four remaining soldiers of Kaladin's crew and destroying Kaladin's life, that is (quite literally) orders of magnitude less severe than Dalinar's war crime. Dalinar is lucky nobody survived his atrocity to avenge the thousands of civilians who burnt to death. You could make the same argument for Moash, even Sadeas' betrayal at the Shattered Plains is less troubling than Dalinar's mass slaughter, after all Sadeas' victims were armed soldiers in a battlefield not innocent civilians in their homes. There are other smaller problems with Oathbringer but this issue really spoiled the ending of the book for me.  

 

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All three of the things I said are true. It was Odium's plan, it will be addressed further in another book, and Dalinar has already.paid.rhe price.

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@Parallax

To save time of me re-typing the entire post, I have copy pasted it below

 

 

 

5 hours ago, Pathfinder said:
On 10/20/2019 at 5:15 AM, Honorless said:

I did not feel that the OP framed it as an objective moral stance, but even interpretation of someone's phrasing can be subjective so that isn't going anywhere...

I am not sure how these quotes were taken out of context:

 

On 10/19/2019 at 7:14 PM, Parallax said:

2. So let's assume what Dalinar did is in fact redeemable. The question becomes what did he do to redeem himself? Nothing. We are supposed to cheer for a character who has committed the greatest onscreen crime without any actual accounting for that crime. This is the first problem.

3. Others have made the suggestion that Dalinar will redeem himself in the future. At the end of a redemption arc you have self-sacrifice or the creation of a hero. Having a hero and then having him go through a redemption arc doesn't work. This is the second problem.

4. We know there is a one year time jump at the beginning of Stormlight 4 and that Dalinar doesn't feature prominently in that book. Any reckoning for what happened in the Rift would be a major turning point for Dalinar so I can't imagine it appearing until Stormlight 5. So basically the reader has to set aside Dalinar's war crime for more than a book (the last part of Oathbringer all the way to Stormlight 5) not worrying about Dalinar's guilt.

5. In Oathbringer Brandon makes us worry about Dalinar's soul because we think he might have killed a 6-year old, later he does something far far worse and the reader is not supposed to question the hero and whatever happened to the worst crime he committed? This is the third and most serious problem. 

6. Those three problems are not my personal opinion, they are problems of how Brandon has structured his story. 

 

On 10/19/2019 at 6:34 PM, Parallax said:

1. The perpetrator drinking himself into oblivion doesn't count as dealing with the crime, particularly when he magically gets over his crime without doing anything to redeem himself. Looking forward by the end of Oathbringer Dalinar is pretty much over his atrocity as well. 

2. Sanderson can write his story however he wishes, I am pointing out problems and issues with internal inconsistency of his story. 

This is not about Honor specifically. Let me paraphrase: "Whatever Dalinar had to do to atone for the Rift should have happened before he summoned Honor's Perpendicularity. became the hero of the story and the leader of the forces of good."

This is a valid point raised by @ChickenLiberty as well. However it still has the issue that the reader has to cheer for war criminal in the Battle of Thaylan Field.

Dalinar thinking about his crime doesn't really count and Evi's unintentional murder is nothing compared to killing of an entire city full of people. 

 

Quote

You are misrepresenting my stance. 

I have quoted you word for word. Don't really see how that is misrepresenting your stance. You are presenting absolutes. Then stating that because the book does not match your absolutes, they are objective problems that Brandon messed up. You can totally not like the novel. To each their own. But the fact that we disagree on interpreting the book says to me it is a discussion point, and means how Brandon wrote it was successful. The objective fact that I, as well as many others, can disagree with you on a wide range of topics you brought up, from minor to fundamental, for very well reasoned reasons, speaks to it being an opinion. Does not mean you are wrong to dislike it, nor does it mean I am wrong to enjoy it. But just because you did not enjoy it, does not make it objectively bad and requiring re-writing. That was my point. 

You have stated what you deem is wrong with Sanderson's novels. You have stated what you deem is the way for Sanderson to fix it. Unfortunately I personally do not see either occurring. The solutions you listed were:

1. Sanderson rewrite the book. He struggled with deciding to alter a few sentences of the end of Words of Radiance. I highly doubt Sanderson would rewrite an entire book.

2. Have a survivor of Rathalas confront Dalinar. It is continually hammered home that there were no survivors. Also of all times a survivor popping up now? Personally, it makes no sense. 

 

But at the end of the day, both those points are my opinion. I personally highly doubt either of those will occur. But you are free to hope and desire those changes. 

Edited 4 hours ago by Pathfinder

 

 

 

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@aneonfoxtribute If it was Odium's plan why is Dalinar responsible at all? If he has already paid the price why does he have to do so again in the future?

@Pathfinder And the question remains, when did I say "Dalinar is irredeemable, that is an objective fact" or something to the same effect??

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23 minutes ago, Parallax said:

 

@Pathfinder And the question remains, when did I say "Dalinar is irredeemable, that is an objective fact" or something to the same effect??

Maybe if I bullet point it:

1. Quoted your first post where you stated Dalinar is irredeemable. Full stop.

2. Quoted you reiterating your arguments where you said that even if we assume Dalinar did redeem himself, which as per your original post, you stated he did not:

   a. He did nothing to redeem himself. Full stop. 

   b. Redemption arcs do not work. Full stop.

   c. The reader is required to ignore the war crime. Full stop

3. You then stated that those three problems, "are not your personal opinion, they are problems of how Brandon has structured his story"

 

So, if something is not being stated as an:

1. opinion:

2. hypothesis

3. conjecture

 

Then it is being stated as fact. Otherwise could you term what you stated? Because I can find no other definition for it at this time. Hopefully that clarifies things. 

 

edit: also not to nitpick, but you literally stated it is not an opinion. Google or anywhere what the opposite of opinion is, and it comes up as fact. One is personal and subjective, the other is objective. 

Edited by Pathfinder
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@Pathfinder The three problems I raise are different from "Dalinar is irredeemable, that is an objective fact".

Back to the three problems, these are objective issues with the book: Dalinar does nothing to redeem himself with respect to the Rift, redemptions arcs work in a specific way, and the reader is supposed to overlook the Dalinar's war crime precisely because Dalinar hasn't done anything to redeem himself. Also these are questions about narrative structure and what happens in the books, they have nothing to do with morality. 

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21 minutes ago, Parallax said:

@Pathfinder The three problems I raise are different from "Dalinar is irredeemable, that is an objective fact".

Back to the three problems, these are objective issues with the book: Dalinar does nothing to redeem himself with respect to the Rift, redemptions arcs work in a specific way, and the reader is supposed to overlook the Dalinar's war crime precisely because Dalinar hasn't done anything to redeem himself. Also these are questions about narrative structure and what happens in the books, they have nothing to do with morality. 

Just so I am on the same page. Even though the very first thing you posted in this thread was that Dalinar is irredeemable, full stop, then you are not stating it as fact. Even though the title of the thread you started states "moral miscalculations of mr sanderson in oathbringer" you are not stating this has anything to do with morality, and even though you stated again the issues you have with the book are objective, you feel I have misrepresented you. Well those three problems in my opinion are not objective, and are not facts. So my personal point still stands. I wish you luck with your theory. 

Edited by Pathfinder
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8 hours ago, Parallax said:

just saying something is my opinion is not an argument. If you think Dalinar has done something to redeem himself then please specify Dalinar's redeeming action(s).

Man, although I do think that Dalinar has done things to redeem himself, my personal thoughts on that are entirely orthogonal to the point. What's important is that many people feel that he has done such things, and therefore claiming that he hasn't as an objective reality, and not just your opinion, comes across as really arrogant, and most to the point, has no hope of being a persuasive argument towards people who disagree with that premise, and will only serve to antagonize everyone else. 

As far as proof that people feel he's done things to redeem himself go, well, this thread currently contains seven pages worth of proof that people who think like that exist. Some of which I wrote myself.

But, for the sake of being absolutely clear, and with the understanding that I'm doing so because you directly asked me to, and that I don't expect it to prove anything other than 'not everyone shares your opinion on this', here's what I feel Dalinar has done to redeem himself:

  • Recognize that the orders he gave were wrong, and attempt to cancel them.
  • Resolve to never again let himself make a mistake like that.
  • Decide to become a better person; a person who would never have made that mistake in the first place.
  • Spend the next six years holding himself to the highest moral standards he can muster, no matter how impractical it appears.
  • Give up being a killer altogether; only ever fighting in self-defence or as sport.
  • Refuse to overlook the wrongdoings of those around him, even when doing so costs him old friendships.
  • Drag Alethi culture in general into a much less destructive direction by leading through example.
  • Consciously go against his cultural values by choosing to rely on diplomacy instead of conquest, no matter how high the stakes get or how tempted he is to do otherwise. 
  • Apologized to Kadash for making him complicit in the slaughter.
  • Rejected any suggestion that he wasn't responsible for his actions, refusing to abdicate any responsibility or make any excuses.
  • Reacted to a betrayal as grievous and less justified than Tanalan's by offering the perpetuator a second chance, despite the fact that the stakes were higher.
  • Sealed Nergaoul, who directly inspired the slaughter at the Rift and is responsible for the death for thousands of people in the past year alone, ensuring that nobody else will ever walk the same path as Dalinar did.
  • Wrote a book confessing his crimes in their entirety to the world, in order to further take responsibility for his actions and further ensure that nobody will make the same mistakes.

So that's a decent list of good things he's done. And it's not like I'm claiming he's fully redeemed because he did all that, just that redemption is a road that Dalinar has already taken a rather lengthy walk down. And please don't try to, like, nitpick that little list apart point by point, because doing so would be missing my point rather badly; that 'Dalinar has done nothing to redeem himself' is far from an objective stance.

Edited by Gilphon
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@Parallax, buddy, I've defended you thrice on this page, could you listen to me and consider what I am saying now, in return?

Even if there was no point where you wanted to, you did hurt people here. Apologizing would help make the conversation you're trying to have much more fruitful.

@Pathfinder, saw what you did there, thank you for your consideration

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Abit late to the party but i wanna chime in regarding OP's post. 

@Parallax The whole point of Stormlight Archives if not only Dalinar's Story alone is about redemption not justice which is about individuals who made mistakes, those who are broken and those are wrapped by a dark past. It is about the story of making right of the wrongs while still alive that has been done by being a better person and moving past such things anymore to help create a better world. 

Dalinar did countless atrocities but everything about his story is about trying to make right by doing the right things and no longer do the horrifying things he did before. The entire thing about him committing atrocities is completely intentional and something that can't be glossed over for the very reason of making a more convincing case of the theme.

Stormlight Archives is all about becoming a better person no matter who you are. 

At the same time why Dalinar didn't just surrender to the embrace of death that is justice was due to the bigger looming fact that there's a God of Hate who is about to kill everything and nobody is doing steps towards stopping Rayse except him.

If you expected the series to be all about justice(or revenge as those two are entirely interchangeable) then you came for the wrong series. I suggest reading Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie or perhaps any rendition of Count of Monte Cristo or something. 

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59 minutes ago, goody153 said:

The whole point of Stormlight Archives if not only Dalinar's Story alone is about redemption not justice which is about individuals who made mistakes, those who are broken and those are wrapped by a dark past. It is about the story of making right of the wrongs while still alive that has been done by being a better person and moving past such things anymore to help create a better world.

 Not to mention the underlying theme of OB concerning overcoming addiction/compulsion, with Dalinar and the Thrill serving as an analogue to Teft and firemoss. It is very much a story of redemption.

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I'm temporarily locking this so people can cool down as this topic is getting tense. Expect some PMs from moderators for some people soon... Let's just cool down for a while.

Edited by Chaos
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