Thread: Slavery on Pern
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Old Apr 25 2008, 12:59 PM   #12
Greenrider Dawna
Welladay Whale
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: California
Gender: F
Fan of: Harper Hall series
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Default Re: Slavery on Pern

You are right about the parents. Look at Menolly. What would have become of her had she not escaped her father’s Hold? And yes. The Pernese society is unquestionably hierarchal in structure with people not only divided into crafters, holders, and dragonriders, but ranks within these groups as well.

Slavery was just an impression I had when I read the books. At first I thought it was just me but a few others I have spoken to noticed this as well. In Lessa’s Ruatha, under Fax, I felt that the workers were definitely slaves, especially in how they were described by F’lar in Dragonflight: “Overworked, underfed, scarred by lash and disease…” Of course, that was most likely a special circumstance, one of the ways to point out just how cruel a Lord Holder Fax was.

I suppose the idea of drudge labor was for those, as you suggested, who just needed food and board and didn’t have any particular skills to make them valuable elsewhere. Still, there were examples in some of the books that seemed to hint at ownership: drudges forbidden to attend Gathers (Dragondrums), supervised bathing in Nerilka’s Story, and Thella beating a drudge to death in Renegades with no repercussions are just a few of these examples I noticed. Once again, as has been suggested, the treatment of the workers, and whether or not they could considered “slaves,” most likely depended on the Lord Holder.
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