So I have been convincing my friends to read obernewtyn (it's been a success too!!) and one of my friends asked a question I didn't really have a good answer to. How come everyone in the land is literate? I mean most books aren't allowed. And it's always been a tool of oppression to keep common people uneducated. Has anyone ever asked Isabelle abou this? Thoughts?
Books were only banned recently which was why Henry Druid revolted, so people kept their literacy, the scribing most don't have bar the councilmen and Herders, but Obernewtyn teaches it
Only beforetime books were banned. Herder books are quite ok.
there's one point in The stone Key where its mentioned by the novice Elkar that his master taught him to read even though it was forbidden.
But was that specific to Herder isle because they didn't want them to be as aware of the changes they were making to their lore?
Though it does seem surprising that so many are literate as doesn't Dardelan also make a point about wanting teaching centres for children all throughout the land? Which would imply that the majority of at least Elspeth's generation and younger would be unable to read unless specifically taught by their parents before the book burnings.
Though at obernewtyn at least it's likely that they could have taken that into their own hands when Rushton took over. And it is likely that the rebels required it to communicate so they would have learned as well... And the Druid liked books, so would he have taught at least some of his followers? That would account for most of the major characters anyway...
Was this posted on Isobelle's wall recently too, or am I just seeing double (sleep deprivation can do that, I hear...)? What I mentioned there is what Ashalinde mentioned above; Dardelan talks of Obernewtyn offering reading and scribing classes to folk who come up to Obernewtyn shire, as well as lessons for Talented people to improve their talents. Which suggests that not everybody is literate.
I do wonder if the orphan home offered reading and scribing classes, though - of Herder/Council approved books? Or if Elspeth and Jes learned to read from their parents (which is more likely).
Yeah, it was, Min. I remember seeing it too. Figure maybe Miky is the same person?
And I think another part of the reason why we don't come across many illiterate folk in the books is because of the kind of people Elf interacts with aren't actually usually your typical every day land folk--like she literally avoids them for the most part, on account of being a misfit. Instead we meet the rebels, and not just any rebels, but generally those who are further up in the chain of command--those who would need to know how to read and write. Same goes for the Gypsies even . . . Though I honestly believe pretty much all gypsies, probably even the half bloods, would learn how to read and write in their own communities, if only because it would be another kind of 'eff you' to the councilmen ;) And as everyone else has said, Obernewtyn would teach it. It's not just the teknoquilders who appreciate the value of learning and knowledge there, after all--they are just the ones that are most crazy about it.
I think also the Sadorians would have made a point in becoming literate in Landish (is that what we call it?) because they threw off gadi. We're told several times that they only sing/chant gadi, nobody learns to read or write it. But writing things down occasionally would still be useful, so they needed to have a language to do so with (I'm assuming Cassy and her lot would have taught them Landish/urolish, which explains why the cut-off Sadorians speak the same language when the two cultures find one another).
Oh yeah that was totally me on facebook :-)
I was just reading the Farseekers where Elspeth goes to the library in the ruins. I noticed that she not only marvelled at the thinness of the pages, but also wondered about how the scribes got the letters so neat and uniform. So that sort of implies to me that books are handwritten. Which would make them so rare and precious. People like Henry Druid had access to all the beforetime books, which would have been mass-produced, but I don't think this is the case for herder-issued books.