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Cathy Spellman's, The Playground of The Gods is an exuberant novel which
deals with murder in a remote tropical paradise but can further be read as an
illustration of man's ignorance and invasion of nature.
"Do it big, or stay in bed."( Larry Kelly). These are words that Thoros
Gagarian lives by. He is one of the wealthiest men in the world and when
picking his private paradise, only one place on earth could serve his needs and
fantasies. This place is Mora Utu-The playground of the Gods-a green jewel in
the placid blue expanse of the South Pacific, the most luxurious and seductive
private preserve anywhere on the planet. Once his prized-possession has been
found, Thoros immediately ships the island natives to a different island and
brings in his construction crews to hurriedly build his paradise in order to
have it ready for a celebratory visit by 12 of his close friends.
In the introduction to the story, Cathy Spellman makes clear the notion
that the protagonist, Thoros Gagarian views himself as an indestructible god.
Her descriptions of his haste purchase of his Island paradise shows a man for
whom their is no boundaries. His arrogance is further displayed in his building
of his compound.
Spellman's voice of reason comes from a spiritual Mexican couple who are
Thoros's servants. They not only warn but predict of many consequences to the
ignorance to which nature is being shown. “Nature will not permit alteration on
such a scale.”(Emilio, 114).
However, these warnings are ignored by the men who do not appreciate a
bizarre servant couple speaking of things which money can't buy and power can't
control. This is when Spellman's utilization of irony comes into the picture.
A member of the party catches a tropical fever, yet he can't be cured because
the tree which possesses the antidote was destroyed in the creation of the
facility. This is followed by a serendipitous chain of events which is climaxed
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"In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments, there are
consequences."(Ingersoll). This statement indicates the underlying theme of the
novel. Man's ignorance regarding nature is a fatuous fault, for which he will
have to face the consequences. Whether it be in the near future, or impending
on him till the moment where he realizes that his ignorance has not come without