Annotation Alcatraz Chapter Nineteen
What do mockingbirds have to do with that, anyway?
To make it clear, I actually like To Kill a Mockingbird. However, it was one of the books that people gave me when I was younger that was wrong for me at the time. It’s good to read classics, and it’s good to read outside of the genres you usually prefer. If you like fantasy a lot, try a historical or a mystery once in a while–I think you’ll be surprised.
The problem with To Kill a Mockingbird isn’t that it’s a bad book–it’s that I was given it, then told it was the type of book I should love because of blah blah blah. When I actually read it, I did like it–but I felt insulted that I was told I had to like it. And I like a lot of my favorite fantasy novels about ten or twenty times more than To Kill a Mockingbird–and I think they’re better written, too. So there.
The Lenses of Rashid
I hope the secret with the Forgotten Language wasn’t too obvious. I realize it’s not the most clever twist in the book, since the Forgotten Language was simply hanging out in the narrative, not doing anything useful. Careful readers might have realized that it had to do something in the book, otherwise I wouldn’t have brought it up so often. It’s not a big jump to figure out that the Lenses of Rashid will let you translate things.
However, here’s one thing I bet you didn’t know. The word Rashid refers to an actual place. It’s a harbor city in Egypt, made famous for a certain rock discovered there. In English, we actually pronounce Rashid differently–we say “Rosetta.” So, yes, the Sands of Rashid–and therefore the Lenses of Rashid–are named after the Rosetta Stone, which was the famous stone discovered that helped people finally translate Egyptian Hieroglyphics.
Alcatraz the Leader
This chapter is important because of how it gives rounding to Alcatraz’s character arc. We see him acting decisively here–making decisions, leading the group even though his grandfather is there. He is a natural leader, when he can get over his hangups.
However, one short experience isn’t enough to change him completely. He’s still got a lot to learn. As a nod to this, he breaks the sword by accident when leaving. It’s a metaphoric indication that he has only taken the first step in his journey.
They were dinosaurs–and they were very, veryrealistic.
And, here, after numerous attempts, the dinosaurs are finally useful and important. That makes me so happy. Even if they are going to end up dead anyway.
(Though I’m contemplating finding a reason to let them survive. They really are just too cute to kill.)