Thread: Slavery on Pern
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Old May 27 2008, 12:13 PM   #20
Cherlyn
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Tulsa, OK; somewhere in Mundania
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Default Re: Slavery on Pern

I read the books. I've read the thread. You all point out ambition. Education.
I read of an instance that there were 'hill folk' who didn't care for 'Harper nonsense'. They would rather be ignorant of the coming danger, their rights, and basic education. Yes, there is rotten luck due to illness, injury, or catastrophy. Some wish to just float through life and inhabit the poor caves. Even prisoners have their job.
All children in holds with permanent Harpers are encouraged to attend class. The same for children who get to see the itenerent Harper. That is what a Journeyman is trained to see - the aptitudes of the children and to set up the appropriate opportunities. A person need not be a drudge. They don't have to be if they can do something else. Of course a little drudge work wouldn't hurt anyone - and to get larger tasks done it is often mandatory. But for those, like Camo, a chance to do something - even setting with the Uncles and Aunties - will free up someone to pursue what suits their abilities. If you say a child operating the spits can show ambition to rise up from the their drudge station, why were they left there in the first place? The Harper was either lax, or the Holder was ruthless indeed. Even one who rises up from their position may set off to offer their services elsewhere. Even if there were no Harpers, a Craftmaster or Journeyman would have the right and need to get any child who shows an aptitude for any skill and send them where they fulfill their gifts. About the only way I could see this stopped are by parents. Even then a child can leave.
I say that in a hold that has a proper Harper and good management, there would be few drudges. Drudge work can be good punishment for the occasional trespass. Even those not required elsewhere had to be on groundcrews.
My take is thus: for the holds that have good holders, those who can learn and have skills will find their place while those that were born without a gift are given training for what ever they can do.
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