Week 3 Blog – Close Reading – The Men of Seggri

The excerpt from “The Matter of Seggri” is written from the view of Merriment who has traveled to Seggri with Kaza from another planet in order to conduct research. Merriment and Kaza separate in order to observe life as a female and male in the Seggri society. Merriment has not heard from Kaza since their separation and is concerned for his life. So she sets out to try to obtain information about him with her native companion; a woman named Skodr. On their journey, Merriment asks Skodr what life is like for men. Merriment then comes to the conclusion that life for men is “miserable” in that they have no freedom of mind or body. That is wear the excerpt begins.

Men are mentally restricted in that they are not allowed to learn. They cannot gain, “freedom of the mind.” The idea of mental freedom is beautiful. The beauty of this statement adds to the tragedy that men are not allowed to have it. Merriment learns from Skodr that learning is considered, “very bad for men: it weakens a man’s sense of honor, makes his muscles flabby, and leaves him impotent.” This idea that learning makes a man worthless is further emphasized by the shockingly hysterical statement that, “What goes to the brain takes from the testicles.” In a society that values men that are physically strong and sexually capable, this would indeed be considered a bad result.

Men are restricted from learning, but are required to be physically and sexually competent. They are forced to show their sexual prowess by physically competing for the “fuckiers.” This casual use of the obscenity ‘fuck’ adds emphasis and shock value to this sexual role assigned to men. Men are merely objects of physical entertainment. They are the prostitutes and “sires” of this society and are paid for “fucks.” The course nonchalant use of describing this adds emphasis to the concept that men in Seggri are treated as nothing more than animals to breed and sport with.

This brief excerpt clearly shows how the men of Seggri are oppressed. The course and simple use of langue makes this concept pop and stick with the reader. It clearly shows that to be oppressed physically and mentally by society makes for a miserable life.

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