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Archives > 3. Describe the main characters. What were their motivations and how has the past shaped their lives?

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message 1: by Jen (new)

Jen | 1608 comments Mod
3. Describe the main characters. What were their motivations and how has the past shaped their lives?


message 2: by Pip (new)

Pip | 1411 comments Adam Ewing is a lawyer who, for reasons I don't remember being given, is on a ship in 1850. His witnessing of a slave being beaten and his life being subsequently saved by the slave, made him aware of the injustices of slavery. He realises the exploitation of so-called Christian missionaries. He is being poisoned by a supposed friend for his possessions, something he realises just in time.
Robert Frobisher is a bisexual musician who writes to a lover, Rufus Sixsmith, about his life in Belgium as a companion to an aging composer. Having been disinherited he is short of cash so he steals rare books, including Ewing's journal, sleeps with the composer's wife, and falls in love with the composer's daughter. He writes a piece of music, the Cloud Atlas Sextet, then kills himself.
Luisa Rey is a (fictitious?) journalist, who is investigating rumours that a nuclear power station is unsafe. She meets Sixsmith in a lift and he confides his fears about the safety of the plant and his own safety because he has written a report. He is murdered and Rey realises that all potential whistleblowers are being eliminated. She finds some of Frobisher's letters in Sixsmith's hotel room. Her father was a policeman who avoided corruption and she believes she is following in his footsteps. She escapes two unlikely assassination attempts, hears Frobisher's music and realises that she is familiar with it.
Timothy Cavendish has a small publishing company and gets into trouble when the brothers of his criminal client demand payment. He asks his brother for help but his brother commits him to a mental hospital for the aged which he cannot escape. He reads a manuscript about Luisa Rey, escapes finally with some other inmates, found that his secretary has resolved the issue with the criminals and decides that his recent adventures would make a great film.
Somni-451 is a fabricant, a slave bred for the purpose in a Korea of the future. She is made aware of her situation, and watches a movie of the adventures of Timothy Cavendish. Fabricants believe that after 12 years they are retired, but in fact they are recycled. She writes a call for rebellion, is interviewed by a historian, realises she will be killed, but asks, as a final wish, to watch the rest of the Cavendish movie.
Zachry is an old man in Hawaii telling his story in dialect, of his life as a farmer in a community which worships a goddess called Somni. It seems that a cataclysmic event has destroyed civilisation, but a woman from a more sophisticated community called the Prescients comes to study his community. Zachry's son finishes the story by saying that his father told a lot of stories that might not be true, but that he has an orison, some kind of videoconferencing device, which the Prescient brought with her.


message 3: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 4116 comments Mod
Characters as depicted by stories
1. Adam Ewing: 1850, American notary, sees a slave mistreated, is being poisoned
2. Robert Frobisher, 1931, musician, bisexual, writes letters to a lover
3. The next, 1975, is written in the form of mystery/thriller book, Luisa Ray
4. Timothy Cavendish, 65-year-old vanity press publisher
5. Sonmi~451, set in Nea So Copros, a dystopian futuristic state in Korea
6. Zachry, an old man, tells a story from his youth. It is written in dialect. It is gradually revealed that he lived in a post-apocalyptic society on the Big Island of Hawaii
And then we repeat them
5. Sonmi
4. Cavendish
3. Luisa Ray
2. Robert Frobisher
1. Adam Ewing


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