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Thread: Why did Cort tell Roland and Cuthbert to...?

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    Traveler Dalvo is on a distinguished road

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    Default Why did Cort tell Roland and Cuthbert to...?

    Why did Cort told Roland and Cuthbert to spread bread under Hax when he was hanged? My first tought was that he did it so the birds would eat the bread, not the body of Hax, but i don't think is it, if someone know why or think of a reason plz say it.
    Long days and pleasant nights....

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    Ash seeketh embers razz has a spectacular aura about razz has a spectacular aura about razz's Avatar

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    it attracts birds
    which would then feast on Hax.
    kind of like an "add insult to injury kind of thing."
    at least that's my idea
    Beyond the scope of light, beyond the reach of Dark. . . what could possibly await us?
    And yet, we seek it, insatiably. Such is our fate. . .

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    Traveler Dalvo is on a distinguished road

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    No, i dont think so, in the end of the chapter Roland look at the sky and see that there are thousands of birds and think: "So the bread is only symbolic". So i think Cort didn't want to offend Hax, he wanted to give him some honor or something like that...

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    why would he think that?
    Roland was a gunslinger-to-be.
    Hax was a traitor.
    why would he want to give a traitor honor?
    Beyond the scope of light, beyond the reach of Dark. . . what could possibly await us?
    And yet, we seek it, insatiably. Such is our fate. . .

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    Constant Reader Darkthoughts has a spectacular aura about Darkthoughts has a spectacular aura about Darkthoughts has a spectacular aura about Darkthoughts's Avatar

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    The title is quite a big spoiler for anyone who hasn't read the book, so I'll change it

    I have to say that I didn;t understand the significance of scattering the bread at Hax's feet either.

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    Perhaps it's a superstition? Perhaps to offer food for him in the next life because to not is an even bigger insult?

    I don't know..

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    Thank God. I thought maybe I was the only one who never understood this. Every time I re-read the series I analyze it over and over and still can't figure it out.
    Now someone will come in here and explain it and it will be the most obvious thing in the world.

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    I wondered at one time if it had something to do with the fact that birds were referred to as "God's Gunslingers". But that referred to Hawks only, right?

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    Life is beautiful LadyHitchhiker will become famous soon enough LadyHitchhiker will become famous soon enough LadyHitchhiker's Avatar

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    I did find this superstition on the web though:

    When you put a bread with the deceased during the first night after the person died, you will not fear (death) any longer.

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    Perhaps this was a variation of the same superstition?

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    The White! MonteGss is on a distinguished road MonteGss's Avatar

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    I always thought it was to speed up the "eating" of the body. The birds were already there and waiting for the hanging to happen, the bread crumbs were to attract them over faster. So, the insult to injury idea...kinda.
    *shrugs*

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    I researched this for over an hour on the net last night...and got nuthin'!!

    I looked into gallow's superstitions, but they were mostly about the wood of the structure and the hangman's rope supposedly having restorative powers. Infact, being a hangman was quite a popular job because you could make a lot of extra money on the side selling these things

    I also researched crows and ravens, but as they are carrion eaters they'd be unlikely to eat the body until it had rotted a while...perhaps then the bread was used to attract them in the hope that they would roost nearby and wait for the body to decay? That's a variation on Monte's guess.

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    The White! MonteGss is on a distinguished road MonteGss's Avatar

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    Which just shows that we're right.

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    I had always thought, and still do, that Cort simply wanted to put the 2 boys in the middle of the horror of what a hanging is..... by having to go right up to the corpse and scatter the bread under it, attracting in the crows faster - maybe get the crows right in there while they were still scattering the bread!

    I think it was meant as a lesson for them - and wasn't everything a lesson where Cort was concerned. There were mixed messages from both Steven and Cort I think on the whole subject of the boys reporting Hax and his inevitable hanging for it. Was it Steven who said (sic) ".... better all the children in (what was the town?) than this...."!
    I was never 100% sure what they expected. Would it have been better (in their opinion) for Roland to just kill Hax? ... or to not report him at all?... the former seems more likely.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonteGss View Post
    I always thought it was to speed up the "eating" of the body. The birds were already there and waiting for the hanging to happen, the bread crumbs were to attract them over faster. So, the insult to injury idea...kinda.
    *shrugs*
    Quote Originally Posted by ManOfWesternesse View Post
    I had always thought, and still do, that Cort simply wanted to put the 2 boys in the middle of the horror of what a hanging is..... by having to go right up to the corpse and scatter the bread under it, attracting in the crows faster - maybe get the crows right in there while they were still scattering the bread!
    I agree with both of you.
    It was such a good lesson Roland and Cuthbert had to face it as much as possible. They couldn't miss it... the best lessons are the ones you start to roll. Or I don't know how to say it.
    They were sent there to face what they did. One day he is your friend... on the other he is just a betrayal corpse eaten up by birds. The birds YOU feed to come.

    And there is one more thing I can add to the reasons and it might sound really silly but I think this thing helped them to accept and process this whole thing. The birds they invited for lunch were the end of their common story.

    Roland would have understood.

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    Actually, today I'm thinking the opposite

    You see, it would have been unusual - in a place where hanging was the accepted capital punishment (because the gallows would be in use and it wouldn't make sense to build a new gallows everytime someone was hung) - to leave the bodies hanging indefinately. They'd probably leave them a few days (to make an example of them) and then take them down. So I'm wondering if the bread was actually to keep the crows off the body, as Dalvo originally suggested. But that Cort's intention in asking the boys to perform this action was the sort of lesson in reflection that Brian suggested.

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    Banned The Lady of Shadows is on a distinguished road

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    hmmmmmm. . . . i thought it was as an offering for the rooks.

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    Well, thats pretty much what we're discussing - why they would leave an offering for the rooks and crows

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    Numenorean ManOfWesternesse is on a distinguished road ManOfWesternesse's Avatar

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    I think t/s is basically saying the bread was to attract the crows in to the bodies (ie 'for' them) as opposed to your post speculating that the bread might be to attract the crows away from the bodies Lisa.

    Personally I still think the bread was meant to attract crows in.
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    Banned obscurejude is on a distinguished road

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    I wonder if its included to represent the importance of Roland's actions regarding Hax. Do you guys remember the discussion of why
    DT7


    Maybe the crows represent insult to injury as has been discussed above and it really was the first time Roland took a significant step toward the tower by becoming the type of person that would follow principle all the way through as to provide bread to eat the carcass of a friend.* Its the type of thing that obsessions are made of.

    *Very long sentence, no sleep. Hope it makes sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ManOfWesternesse View Post
    I think t/s is basically saying the bread was to attract the crows in to the bodies (ie 'for' them) as opposed to your post speculating that the bread might be to attract the crows away from the bodies Lisa.

    Personally I still think the bread was meant to attract crows in.
    I thought TS was saying that the bread was an offering for the birds for some other reason than to attract or detract from the body.

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    Numenorean ManOfWesternesse is on a distinguished road ManOfWesternesse's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkthoughts View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ManOfWesternesse View Post
    I think t/s is basically saying .........
    I thought TS was saying .........
    t/s, get the (blue) hell in here and explain yourself!
    We're pure tired of putting words in your mouth!
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    Banned The Lady of Shadows is on a distinguished road

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    wow. sneak in to a thread and start a war.

    i didn't think it had anything to do with the body at all. i thought all birds of prey were god's gunslingers and the leaving of the bread was an offering for them.

    screw hax, he was a traitor; hence invisible to all gunslingers and gunslingers-to-be.


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    Traveler Dalvo is on a distinguished road

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkthoughts View Post
    Actually, today I'm thinking the opposite

    You see, it would have been unusual - in a place where hanging was the accepted capital punishment (because the gallows would be in use and it wouldn't make sense to build a new gallows everytime someone was hung) - to leave the bodies hanging indefinately. They'd probably leave them a few days (to make an example of them) and then take them down. So I'm wondering if the bread was actually to keep the crows off the body, as Dalvo originally suggested. But that Cort's intention in asking the boys to perform this action was the sort of lesson in reflection that Brian suggested.
    I totally agree, that was exactly what I was trying to say. I think the major reason was to give the boys a lession, of that I'm sure, but he could just told them to watch the hanging. So I think that there were a meaning for spreading bread below him, that meaning would be to keep the birds eating the bread and not the body, at least for time enough so the body would be taken out and buried or something like this. If you re-read the chapter where this occour you'll see that in the very ending of the chapter Roland would think something like this: "there are thousands birds here, so the bread is only simbolycal". <----- This is the major clue!!! Please if someone agree or desagree lets keep up with our discution.

    PSsorry for any English errors or anything i said wrong, I'm brazilian and I not so good in English....)

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