Human 's possess an innate ability to repeat their actions, emotions, and ambitions because they are unchanging and transcend time. Because literature is a reflection of humanity, good, insightful literature calls attention to common, relatable ground. Although a superficial examination of human nature may portray differences, the similarities are ultimately there under the surface; just as David Mitchell uses the Russian-Doll structure of his novel Cloud Atlas to express the transcendent nature of humanity. Each story, although superficially lacking cohesion, contain underlying elements connecting each of them to one another. Ideals held so confidently with the world are called into question within this novel. What is truth? What is time?
There is one theme within all people that can never diminish: the search for certainty. We all want to be given the right information, and we also want to be right ourselves, but is this always possible? The repeated theme of fact versus fiction shows up within each of the six stories in Cloud Atlas, yet the reader is still left to wonder who and what actually happened. This is also true of daily life; we are presented with new people, events, and information, but it is left up to the individual to decide upon the authenticity. Although Mitchell uses structure/order and themes of his novel Cloud Atlas to express the transcendent nature of humanity leaving the reader with ultimately a positive, enlightened feeling, these same attributes also show the negativity within the consistency of mankind. We all want to be right and know what is right, but we can never be certain of what right actually is because truth is dependent upon where it comes from or w...
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...he reader trust that the events are factual and not exaggerated or even made-up?
Although this method of writing does show Mitchell’s brilliance, this tactic makes an already very thematic complex novel that more challenging to grasp. Not only must the reader make sense of the connections and purpose within the individual stories, they must also battle to understand obscure language that also includes many allusions that only a person knowledgeable in various areas would comprehend without needing to conduct research. For most readers, attempting to achieve only a surface understanding of the novel would be a lengthy, time-consuming process that will deter them from ever getting past the first section. Due to the enrichment one can receive from this novel, a focus more oriented toward a clear presentation of the themes would have been more beneficial and believable.
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