Jack's Role in Nancy Farmer's The Sea of Trolls

Topics: Culture, The Culture, Life Pages: 3 (886 words) Published: January 12, 2013
1995. Writers often highlight the values of a culture or a society by using characters who are alienated from that culture or society because of gender, race, class, or creed. Choose a novel or a play in which such a character plays a significant role and show how that character’s alienation reveals the surrounding society’s assumptions or moral values.

In Nancy Farmer’s The Sea of Trolls, the protagonist, Jack, leaves the remnants of his conservative father’s farm to become a Bard’s apprentice. He is forced to embark on a journey with a crowd that he thought could only exist in his nightmares. In this “fish out of water” scenario Jack learns countless life lessons about the cruel world he never knew existed; at the same time he is able to make a difference in the lives of many people (and monsters) by staying true to what he was taught to believe in.

Halfway through Jacks training he is taken as a slave by the Beserkers. This is Jacks first encounter with a culture entirely different then his own. They pillage monasteries, destroying all the religious items and killing all the monks; they ransack villages killing all the women and children and they never hesitate a second. The believed to be half wolf men do what they were raised to do and they did not think of it as immoral. They believed that they had the right to end a life and take things that did not belong to them. Jack slowly taught them that there is more to living than just that. Jack did not stop them from doing what they were born to do, but he helped them realize that they could apply their pillaging skills in such a way that it could help other people too. "'Most people live inside of a cage of their own expectations. It makes them feel safe. The world is a frightening place full of glory and wonder and, as we've both discovered, danger. Flying isn't for everyone'" –The Bard (449) While Jack was helping them he had an epiphany. He noticed that people believe what they want to...
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