in Fixed Period

Chapter 07 – Columbus and Galileo

Caesar, Gauls, Britons, Romans

Neverbend is reminiscing about the days before he entered politics, when he was a businessman and quite happy with his life.  Once he began to govern Brittanula and legislate the Fixed Period, he had to deal with political enemies.  He compares himself to Caesar, whose enemies ranged from those in foreign nations, such as the Gauls and the Britons, to political opponents in his own Rome.  He imagines that Caesar’s political difficulties, much like his own, kept him from being happy.  Caesar was eventually assassinated and overthrown from his dictatorship, so this reference may be foreshadowing Neverbend’s removal from office.  [CD 2012]


vi et armis

Neverbend is pondering ways in which he can bring Crasweller to submit to deposition.  He believes it impossible, either because of the law or popular opinion, to deposit Crasweller vi et armis, “by force and by arms.”  This is a Latin legal phrase that describes a trespass or assault involving the use of force or weapons. [CD 2012]

Source:  Garner, B. A., and H. C. Black. Black’s Law Dictionary. 8th ed. St. Paul:  West Group, 2004.


Caesar and Gaul

Neverbend is considering what his reputation will be if he enforces the deposition of his friend, Gabriel Crasweller.  Many on the island of Brittanula have already called him cruel because of his support of the Fixed Period.  Neverbend compares his reputation of cruelty to Caesar’s conquering of Gaul for Rome.  Caesar would have been thought cruel by the Gauls for waging war against them, but Caesar would have thought that he was bringing civilization, or progress and sophistication, to a barbaric country.  Like Caesar, Neverbend will be thought cruel for enforcing the Fixed Period, but in his mind he will be bettering his country.  [CD 2012]


Romans and filial disobedience

Jack Neverbend’s opposition to his father’s belief in the Fixed Period is one of the president’s main sources of frustration.  He wishes to force Jack into submission, to make him at least be silent about his disapproval of the Fixed Period.  Neverbend compares the respect he demands to the respect due the Roman paterfamilias, the male head of the family who had complete authority over his wife’s, son’s, and daughter’s bodies.  “Filial disobedience” is punishable by the paterfamilias, and President Neverbend seems to think it within his rights as a father to punish his son to some extent.  Yet, he feels compassion for his son, doesn’t believe he is capable of being so harsh to him, and speculates that even the Roman paterfamilias couldn’t have punished his own son very severely.  This may be a way of drawing attention to Neverbend’s usually unmovable adherence to the dictates of the law, especially in regard to the Fixed Period.  He can’t bear to punish his son, but he can euthanize his best friend since it is the rule of the land.  [CD 2012]