Good Omens Question #18 - He Never Asked For It To Be Done

by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

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Good Omens Question #18 - He Never Asked For It To Be Done

Unread postby Liz » Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:11 am

On page 326 (hardback) (324 in paperback) Adam indicates that he doesn’t want the end of the world to happen:

IT HAS BEEN DONE, said Death. He leaned forward a little and stared eyelessly at Adam. It was hard to tell if he was surprised.
“Yes, well,” said Adam. The thing is, I don’t want it done. I never asked for it to be done.”
Death looked at the other three, and then back to Adam.
Behind them a jeep skewed to a halt. They ignored it.
I DO NOT UNDERSTAND, he said. SURELY YOUR VERY EXISTENCE REQUIRES THE ENDING OF THE WORLD, IT IS WRITTEN.
“I dunt see why anyone has to go an’ write things like that,” said Adam calmly. “The world is full of all sorts of brilliant stuff and I haven’t found out all about it yet, so I don’t want anyone messing it about or endin’ it before I’ve had a chance to find out about it. So you can all just go away.”


What sort of statement do you think Gaiman and Pratchett are making here?
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:59 am

My first thought when I read this passage was it is about free will and possibilities. Adam is exerting his free will to ignore what is "supposed" to be and alter the expected outcome. He is also saying that man has unlimited possibilities and potential due to his free will and his imagination.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Betty Sue » Thu Aug 24, 2006 11:43 am

Agreed, DITHOT. And I like how he is so positive, doesn't mention negative things, but the 'brilliant stuff' he doesn't want to miss. I love that such profound words are spoken in such a child-like way. :cloud9: I think that G & P might be saying we could all benefit by retaining our child-like innocence and by taking life as it comes and dealing with it. "Out of the mouths of babes..."
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Unread postby Endora » Thu Aug 24, 2006 12:03 pm

There is nothing cynical at all in Adam, as you say. Perhaps that's what defines the child like quality we admire in him.
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Unread postby nebraska » Thu Aug 24, 2006 12:39 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:My first thought when I read this passage was it is about free will and possibilities. Adam is exerting his free will to ignore what is "supposed" to be and alter the expected outcome. He is also saying that man has unlimited possibilities and potential due to his free will and his imagination.



I like this answer. To be honest, I had no idea how to respond. :-?

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Aug 24, 2006 12:58 pm

Betty Sue, I like that thought about the childlike innocence. :cool:

nebraska, I'm sure there other interpretations out there ready to be posted!
:zoner:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Raven » Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:26 pm

Welcome back Liz! Or are you posting from DL??

When I first read this passage, I was dump struck. I felt like saying duh... of course you can change your mind. Maybe T and N felt like saying just because it is written (in the bible) or anywhere you can and maybe you should change your mind. Change can be a good thing as in saying no, to the end of the world.

I know this is out of context but I remember an advert for Oprah and it was about changing your mind, and how women feel obligated to follow through with decisions they made in advance. It would not be the end of the world if you felt like saying "no I changed my mind".

just my early 2cents, maybe I need more coffee?

Raven
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:20 pm

Isn't that the old saying...it's a woman's perogative to change her mind? Change can definitely be a good thing, especially where the end of the world is involved. :-O It is interesting that women are more likely to follow through, not surprising maybe but interesting! :lol:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Bix » Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:28 pm

Good answers, all. I really like your point, Betty Sue, about how positive Adam's refusal to carry out the plan is. And I think that is part of the message the authors are giving us: There's always more "brilliant stuff" to come, if you look at it that way. We're never finished - reading, learning, feeling.

Raven wrote:I know this is out of context but I remember an advert for Oprah and it was about changing your mind, and how women feel obligated to follow through with decisions they made in advance. It would not be the end of the world if you felt like saying "no I changed my mind".
This is a good point, too, Raven. I think adult women have an especially hard time with this (at least some women in the South do!), while the prepubescent Adam can just say, " Hey, wait a minute. I didn't have anything to do with all this and I don't like it and just stop right there!" - and expect it to happen.
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Unread postby Veronica » Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:51 pm

DO NOT UNDERSTAND, he said. SURELY YOUR VERY EXISTENCE REQUIRES THE ENDING OF THE WORLD, IT IS WRITTEN.
“I dunt see why anyone has to go an’ write things like that,” said Adam calmly. “The world is full of all sorts of brilliant stuff and I haven’t found out all about it yet, so I don’t want anyone messing it about or endin’ it before I’ve had a chance to find out about it. So you can all just go away.”


I have to say I didnt finsih this book. I found it hard to follow at first & then became interested in the Black Dehlia & started that one but reading this board everyday has made me want to go back & read this book to pick out the meaning behind it all. sometimes it is almost better to read a book after these discussions. lol

now on to my opinion....

Just from reading this statement I find it meaning to me that just because someone says its so doesnt mean it is so. Just because it is written that doesnt make it right or wrong. I think What Adam is saying that we should go get the best of life before its done & anything that gets in your way can just GO away.

In the Time of Your Life.... Live!
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if it's not, then it's not the end.

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:54 pm

Veronica wrote:
I think What Adam is saying that we should go get the best of life before its done & anything that gets in your way can just GO away.


:cool:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby nebraska » Thu Aug 24, 2006 10:25 pm

"I have to say I didnt finsih this book. I found it hard to follow at first & then became interested in the Black Dehlia & started that one but reading this board everyday has made me want to go back & read this book to pick out the meaning behind it all. sometimes it is almost better to read a book after these discussions. lol -- Veronica


I have to agree. I can't tell you how many times I wished I could go back and read a book with the fresh insights I received in the discussions....if only I had unlimited time and energy!!!!!!!! The people in this book club add so much to it all. A second reading would be a different reading.......alas! my life doesn't allow the luxury right now.

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Aug 25, 2006 8:16 am

I agree V and nebraska. I always learn something here after I have read the book. So much to read so little time! :banghead:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Liz » Fri Aug 25, 2006 3:58 pm

Hi all. I’m back home now and trying to catch up. I couldn’t get to that computer much while on vacation. Raven, I did post this question from DL, but then had to run off and see Jack, Barbosa, Davy Jones and their effects upstairs one more time. This was pretty cool. :-O

Image

Sorry. I digress. Back to the question….

Veronica’s answer comes the closest to what I think the authors were trying to say when I read this passage. Just because someone says it’s so, doesn’t mean it is so. It makes me think of how people keep doing things the same way just because someone years ago did it that way or believe certain beliefs just because they have been passed down for generations. I think the authors are advocating that we always question or at least have an open mind. I think, though, that probably they were trying to make all of your points, Noodlemantras. :cool:

I agree with Nebraska in that I look forward to all of your “fresh insights” because all of you enhance my understanding of each book. :highfive:
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby Gypsylee » Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:04 pm

nebraska wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:My first thought when I read this passage was it is about free will and possibilities. Adam is exerting his free will to ignore what is "supposed" to be and alter the expected outcome. He is also saying that man has unlimited possibilities and potential due to his free will and his imagination.



I like this answer. To be honest, I had no idea how to respond. :-?


I like this answer too. You know me.......I get brain farcts when I have to think too deeply. But I'm here!!! Reading and checking things out. I'm being a little more consistant lately, even if I am going backwards from 20 to 18.

Enjoying the discussion ladies :cool:
"In the time of your life, live....so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it." Saroyan


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