While reading Part 4, one pattern seemingly stood out to me. The usage of italics happened multiple times apart from the section that begins each new Part. As I was reading through the section of Part 5, I was keeping a close eye on trying to find italicized areas. There were a couple, but nothing in comparison to Part 4.
Examples of the pattern from Part 4:
- “russalkas and baba yagas” (page 208)
- “…he was shaking” (page 210)
- “‘This is viriditas,’ which was Latin for ‘greening power’” (page 211)
- “There should be no such thing as fate: Ralph Waldo Emerson” (page 216)
- “Perhaps only a certain kind of persona had been selected to the colony” (page 221)
- “…and now he could not remember why he had fought so passionately to be chosen” (page 222)
- “My God, what were they? Nothing explained that, nothing explained them” (page 223)
- “A suggestion of a smile in the voice, which Michel did not recognize” (page 226)
- “…kami, which was the spiritual energy or power that rested in the land itself” (page 229)
From the examples, its pretty obvious to see that italics can be used for various meanings. In examples 3 and 9, the italicized words are unfamiliar words most likely created by the author. They are followed by their definitions. Example 1 mentions two unknown words but unlike examples 3 and 9, there’s no definition. Example 2 is an action, so the italics give an emphasis on that said action. The author may have done this to make the readers feel and imagine the shaking themselves. Example 4 is a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, the only quote mentioned within Part 4. I’ve pondered over why the author may have used the italics in example 5, but I really can’t think of a reason. When I read the sentence, I feel myself reading the word “persona” almost in a sarcastic tone. I suppose this is because each character is vastly different and they don’t fit into one persona mold. Examples 6, 7, and 8 each are passages that emphasize feelings or emotions. Example 6 shows a personal struggle of Michel and his homesickness. In example 8, Michel portrays his, I would say depression, for being apart of the Mars mission. He no longer understands why he’s there nor why he was chosen to be a part of the mission. Through Part 4 it was really easy for me to feel Michel’s homesickness and it reminded me of some times in the past I definitely felt it for myself.
Even though these examples share an overall pattern of containing italicized words, the reasons behind the italics differ. I can’t point to a main reason as to why the author used the italics in Part 4 of the book.