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NOV/DEC–The Power > The voice in Allie/Eve's head

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message 1: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 194 comments As we have been offered the opportunity to pose questions to be asked to Naomi Alderman, one question seems to be repeated by many members: Who or what is the voice in Allie/Eve's head?

I myself asked this question along with several other members.

So I thought it might be a good topic of discussion.

My thoughts on the voice:

The voice is God. Pretty straight forward, not so original. The voice is God, speaking to Allie/Eve, wanting a change to occur to the human species and using Allie/Eve to make that change happen. This theory raises some more questions. Why would Alderman, point blank, introduce God as a character in the book? The way the voice interacts with Allie/Eve, it collects on many of the world's religions. I believe it is even said in the book at one point or another that all religions are the same. If the voice is God, is this another underlying message Alderman has woven into the book? Is she marking her stance that there is a God, a creator, undoubtedly?

The voice is a manifestation of Allie/Eve's own subconscious. This would mean that, though feeling she is being propelled by some greater force, Allie/Eve is just following a course set in motion by her own distress and need for things to change. This is supported by Allie/Eve's background and motives as a character. She hates men. Roxy consistently tries to change her mind about the male populace, but Allie/Eve cannot overcome her hatred for what her adoptive father did to her, and, by extension, what all men are capable and, it seems, willing to do to any woman. This theory separates Allie/Eve from the religious aspect of the book, however, and discredits the religion she founds.

Allie/Eve is schizophrenic. I don't know a lot about schizophrenia, so this could be extraordinarily off-base, but the flashbacks to when Allie/Eve first started hearing the voice and how the voice seems to have a mind of its own leads me to this as a possible answer. Allie/Eve is schizophrenic and the voice she hears she thinks is God. This leads to less discrediting of the religion she founds, but is a less satisfying answer to me.

What do you guys think? What or who is the voice in Allie/Eve's head and why would Alderman chose to represent the voice the way she did?


message 2: by Pam (new)

Pam | 1091 comments Mod
Mmmm. I think it's just The Power or Allie's skein talking to her, like a suped up Jimminy Cricket.

Alderman alludes to this the way that D talks to the skein and later Margot 'hears' it, herself. The power has it's own logic and it doesn't stop, second guess, or consider consequences. Like an Id or Ego.


message 3: by Prachi (new)

Prachi Pati | 35 comments I thought the voice in Allie's head was Allie's own voice- just that it sounded more mature and sensible to her- but they were her own thoughts that were brought out or became more focused because of the development of the power within her. All of us have some basic qualities and strengths, yet, it is the way we think and put our strengths into use is what makes us different most of the times. And I felt that it Allie had the makings of being a leader inherently, which was made more prominent by the 'voice' that kept talking to her. However, some passages did seem to contradict this thought of mine, when the voice seemed to a lot about religion, religious leaders in multiple faiths across the world- how did Allie know this, if the voice was hers? It wasn't mentioned anywhere in the book that she liked to read- so maybe that is something to think about:)


message 4: by Leda (new)

Leda | 11 comments I'm not religious so i didn't like the idea that it was the voice of God. At first, I thought maybe it was skein's voice but then i also thought that maybe Allie was delusional, was suffering from a mental health problem. Schizophrenics often think they can hear/ talk to God or to Jesus. I guess it's open for interpretation but to be honest i thought the voice was irritable some times..


message 5: by Yang (new)

Yang Cui | 4 comments I noticed that when I feel my emotions, I can't hear the inner voice; when I am perfectly calm, the voice speaks to me. Perhaps my emotion has learned the language of the left brain and it speaks to me rather than make me feel. Our right brain controls emotions.


message 6: by Ana, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (last edited Dec 25, 2017 06:14AM) (new)

Ana PF | 746 comments Mod
Emma wrote: "To me (admittedly not a religious person), I thought it felt like she was schizophrenic, especially as the voice seems to have its own mind of its own. But I think it was open to interpretation and analysis depending on the different person reading it."

Hmmm. I am religious but I also thought that Allie's voice had strong hints of a mental health problem -one that might have been there from the beginning but that would have undoubtedly been exacerbated by her sad, abuse-filled childhood. Then again, I am a very lapsed Catholic that will sometimes only make sense of stuff when applying a Deist logic, so maybe I'm not the kind of religious person to ask. ;)

I mean, Allie hears the voice. Quite literally. That's not a very normal thing to me. It did make me think, however, of our own personal thinking which may be referred to, in a symbolic way, as a voice of sorts. In that sense, I would definitely relate as I definitely "dialogue" with myself in my own head, as we all do. To me, it feels like an imposed duality of the self -allow me to explain myself! ;) There's an, uh, outer Ana, who is subject to interaction with her surroundings and therefore a somewhat...different version, a demo, if you will, of inner Ana. Inner Ana is the full version of myself, that will have thoughts and opinions that guide outer Ana in the world and ultimately colour her view of it, even if sometimes there has to be a balance.

I've sometimes, prior to reading The Power, anyway, thought like this of this question of the self. In that sense, it does feel like a voice sometimes, if you will. But still, a symbolic one. I agree that it is most likely open to interpretation.


message 7: by Griselda (last edited Jan 03, 2018 01:01PM) (new)

Griselda (graygal) I think it's all of the above.

It could be a mental disorder activated as a coping mechanism to survive all the trauma. It could be a way of her separating herself from herself in order to get comfort, especially since she didn't have a trustworthy adult figure. Which would imply that Allie is extremely intuitive, which she was since she was able to sense fake people. So when she met Roxy and her voice was silent, she found a companion to trust. That's why she was surprised she had a friend.

I, just like Pam, believe that it was the skein. And Allie just happened to be more in tune with her inner self. She didn't always have that voice, and by the time she had the voice, she was aware of her powers. She was also the only one who was able to manipulate her powers to do as she wanted....the power led her to that information. The Power needs a strong host to get stronger.

But towards the end, it just felt too Godlike. I could believe that the skein was able to sense the coming of Roxy since like I said earlier, she seems to be more intuitive than most, and Roxy tends to be the strongest. But then wouldn't she sense the skein alive when she was speaking to Darrell? Unless the skein changes DNA to match, which is possible and that's why people have died from the operation. But then why would Allie's skein bring up Samuel? And why would the skein be so opposed to her reconnecting with Eve unless of course, the skein is still recovering from the trauma of the past. But would skeins even have emotions? Allie's seemed sympathetic, especially to her needs and desires. Which makes sense because, a skein needs a host. But doesn't anger help it become stronger? And didn't that realization help her come to grips with what the skein wanted her to do all along? And why would the skein say I'll see you on the other side? Is the skein a spirit? Was the skein being funny? Was that God saying she would have to face death (like Jesus, maybe? Or in war...we never did hear what happened, we just know the women won).


message 8: by Sierra (new)

Sierra | 42 comments **Spoilers**

While I'm not a religious person, I took the voice to be the devil. Mostly because at the end of the book, when Allie has faced the truth of her foster mom, the voice leaves her, and right after that, which is the last time we hear from Margot, Margot has heard the voice.


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