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Reflection of The City & The City

I began reading the city and the city over break and I grew to find the first couple chapters very interesting. I really enjoy crime and mystery books so off the bat, I was intrigued by the story about Borlú. The main thing that I was focused on was who killed Mahalia, what happened to her and why? I was hooked on the entire murder case and while I was reading I would predict who had done it. One of the main parts of the book that was most interesting was the second part. The second part was when Borlú went to Ui Qoma and introduced more characters and more parts to the murder case. It was also leading to the climax of the book. As I explore more of the texts and after the mini-discussion, we had in our first class of Univ 112, I really wanted to deep dive into the book and have my questions unanswered. Throughout the book I was confused on how Borlu could not cross into the UI Qoma, why is there such a division between the two cities and why is breach a huge problem. The breach was a huge unanswered question in my head throughout the book, it wasn’t explained in the best way and I was always confused about why they made it such a big deal. Why was Mahalia’s body left for breach, why couldn’t her parents at least take her body? I think the huge large issue that the text is trying to address is the unnecessary division between the two cities, what the two cities reminded me of was the Berlin Wall during the Cold War. East Berlin and West Berlin were independent, they progressed differently as did Ui Qolam and Beszel. During the Cold War, they were separated by their different viewpoints and I believe maybe that was similar to what had happened in the book between the two cities. At the end of the book the Unifs were trying to unite the two cities, I believe that was the main idea. There was no orciny, that was just a myth people were trying to believe to not confront the problem of division between the two cities. Overall, the book was very interesting and I will be rereading it to be able to understand all the messages China Mieville. The most difficult part to read for me was the ending of the book, Mieville introduced many characters at once and I got completely lost. I will really take more time reading this book a second time to really grasp any larger issues I have missed.

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  1. foxkc6 January 18, 2019

    Your comparison of the divide of the cities to the Berlin Wall was something I had not even thought of, but is definitely a great connection. Especially since this novel is apparently supposed to be set within Europe. I was confused about the concept of Breach as well. It was never really clear to me when I was actually reading the book, but in class discussions with peers it became a little more clear to me. Breach, to me, is like a metaphor for the government in our modern society. They can not often be seen but they are always present, and a large dictator for our lives

  2. ruhlew January 18, 2019

    I love your comparison to the Berlin Wall during the Cold War. I hadn’t thought of that and never connected the two but it is a perfect example. I also agree with you on the fact that enjoyed the first few chapters as well because I like crimes and thrillers, and the first few chapters were setting everything up so I had lots of questions. but again back to the Cold War comparison, I feel that is perfect because in the book it is set as if there is a wall in between the two cities. They are so separated that if you cross into the other city you breach, and in the Cold War you were not allowed to cross the Berlin Wall.

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