prosperity and obedience
President Neverbend sees a correlation between a society’s prosperity and its obedience to the rule of law. We kind find Creon, the ruler of Thebes in Sophocles’ Antigone, expressing a similar view. This would not be the only similarity between the two rulers; see commentary for Chapter 2 for a possible connection between Neverbend’s name and advice given to Creon in Sophocles’ play.
Source: Sophocles, Antigone 666-676.
a meeting had been held in the market-place
The opposers of the Fixed Period meet in the market-place to discuss public matters. This has a Classical ring to it as it was very common for Greeks to discuss public matters in the agora or for Romans to meet in the forum, which were both open market-places. [KS 2012]
Neverbend is growing frustrated with his son, Jack, as Jack becomes one of the leading vocalists against the Fixed Period. Neverbend considers the possibility that he might have to punish his son for his civil disobedience, but concludes that he would not be able to “ape the Roman paterfamilias,” the male “father of the family” who held considerable legal and cultural authority. For instance, Titus Manlius Torquatus had his son executed for fighting against the Latins without permission, even though his son had fought bravely and successfully. President Neverbend knows that he would not be able to take such an action against Jack. [KS & RR 2012]
Neverbend attempts to remain obdurate in his beliefs by recalling a number of “great men” and what they accomplished in spite of the opposition they faced. Socrates is at the head of Neverbend’s list. Socrates was condemned to death by his fellow citizens, but his ideas shaped the development of Western philosophy. Socrates’ exceptional dedication to his ideals is evidenced by his decision to obey the laws of his city and drink the hemlock as dictated by the court. [KS & RR 2012]
Neverbend expresses his grief that Crasweller, who is so healthy and still fit for society, has to be the Fixed Period’s “first martyr.” Neverbend does not invoke the idea of Crasweller being a “martyr” in the Christian sense of the word; instead, Neverbend utilizes the original meaning of the Greek martyr, “witness.” Neverbend views Crasweller as a witness or testament to the greatness of the Fixed Period. [KS 2012]