Only Revolutions is different, to say the least. One of the main factors for this novel is how you read it – I’ve used the suggested method of reading 8 pages at a time from each characters perspective, and I’m going to go over some of what I’ve noticed so far. Disclaimer: this is my interpretation based on the first portion of each narrative, and is subject to change based on the later portions.
Perhaps the most interesting thing I noticed while reading was the role of gender in the early parts of the story. In many places, it seemed to me that the same events were occurring with female characters in Hailey’s narrative and male characters in Sam’s narrative. For example, page 11 of Sam’s narrative reads: “Two Boys, paddleballing on a hillside, who yelp and reverse with her approach. Such is their abhorrence. Their immediate disdain. But Hailey’s all over These Five Tenderfoots…” (11). The corresponding passage for Hailey reads: “Two girls, Juggling upon the hill, who flush and slip before my stunning allure. Such their adoration. Immediate dependence. But I must go. Even if Five Soda Girls…” (11). Both of these passages continue on with an increasing number of boys (Sam’s narrative) or girls (Hailey’s narrative) appearing every few lines. Then later on, both narratives describe an entity called “New Hope.” The passage from Sam’s perspective: “A New Hope slashes with clacking jaw. Flesh of leprous rot. Hands? No Hands. Peddler. New Hope. Dangerous Meddler….Even licks his lips” (23). New Hope is explicitly identified as a male in Sam’s narrative. Now the corresponding Hailey passage: “A New Hope, yabbling flirtatiously. All circley coy, swinging bubblegum tits. Fingerless too. Most nettlesome. And she even cancans his waist” (23). Again, an explicit description of New Hope’s gender – this time as female. So this recurring trend towards the beginning of the story (I didn’t notice it as much in the later pages) is one of the things I noticed because I read the narratives 8 pages at a time. I’m not sure exactly how to interpret this gender switch between the narratives, but maybe it has to do with the transcendence of gender to a common humanity.
Only Revolutions so far has brought a great deal of factors to my attention: the green Os vs the gold Os, the bolded words, the historical vs futurist dates – unfortunately, I’m having trouble making much sense of it at this point. What I have realized is that in order to make it through the pages of the novel and gain anything meaningful, you have to read for connotation instead of the usual denotation. I’m using all of my past English classes to look for patterns and literary devices as I read, which is making up a vast majority of the meaning in the narrative. It’s an interesting new way to read that I’m still getting used to, and I’m wondering what interpretations will appear as I continue to read.
This cartoon reminds me of the English classes in high school that I was referring to, and also portrays some of the confusion that comes from starting to read Only Revolutions.