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Dalvo
01-05-2009, 01:02 PM
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....

razz
01-05-2009, 01:11 PM
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

Dalvo
01-05-2009, 01:17 PM
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...

razz
01-05-2009, 01:32 PM
why would he think that?
Roland was a gunslinger-to-be.
Hax was a traitor.
why would he want to give a traitor honor?

Darkthoughts
01-05-2009, 02:32 PM
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.

LadyHitchhiker
01-05-2009, 04:24 PM
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..

Girlystevedave
01-05-2009, 04:24 PM
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. :lol:

Girlystevedave
01-05-2009, 04:25 PM
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? :orely:

LadyHitchhiker
01-05-2009, 04:26 PM
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.

LadyHitchhiker
01-05-2009, 04:27 PM
Perhaps this was a variation of the same superstition?

MonteGss
01-05-2009, 04:51 PM
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*

Darkthoughts
01-06-2009, 11:30 AM
I researched this for over an hour on the net last night...and got nuthin'!! :lol:

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 :scared:

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.

MonteGss
01-07-2009, 12:18 AM
Which just shows that we're right. ;)

ManOfWesternesse
01-07-2009, 01:06 AM
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.

Letti
01-07-2009, 01:35 AM
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*


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.

Darkthoughts
01-07-2009, 08:02 AM
Actually, today I'm thinking the opposite :lol:

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.

The Lady of Shadows
01-08-2009, 11:13 AM
hmmmmmm. . . . i thought it was as an offering for the rooks. :unsure:

Darkthoughts
01-09-2009, 06:51 AM
Well, thats pretty much what we're discussing - why they would leave an offering for the rooks and crows ;)

ManOfWesternesse
01-09-2009, 07:05 AM
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.

obscurejude
01-09-2009, 07:11 AM
I wonder if its included to represent the importance of Roland's actions regarding Hax. Do you guys remember the discussion of why Roland spoke Hax' name at the tower?

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.

Darkthoughts
01-09-2009, 07:47 AM
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.

ManOfWesternesse
01-09-2009, 08:11 AM
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! :lol:

Darkthoughts
01-09-2009, 08:22 AM
:lol:

The Lady of Shadows
01-09-2009, 08:19 PM
wow. sneak in to a thread and start a war. :lol:

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.

:unsure:

Dalvo
01-09-2009, 09:23 PM
Actually, today I'm thinking the opposite :lol:

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.

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

John Blaze
01-09-2009, 10:04 PM
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.

agreed.

Them being there would essentially make them scarecrows, and make the birds hesitant to move in. but anyone who has ever fed chickens or other outdoor farm fowl will know that as soon as you throw feed and step away other hangers on, (i.e. doves, crows, and sparrows) will dart in as soon ass they see you scatter food and step away.

this was pretty much an agrarian society, it's all they had left, so the birds would be conditioned this way.

Darkthoughts
01-10-2009, 06:38 AM
Actually, today I'm thinking the opposite :lol:

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.

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

No problem, your English is great! :thumbsup:

I'm going to have to reread it before I comment more. However, I do recall reading of food being left out for carrion eaters to keep them off bodies (on a battlefield maybe?) can't remember where I read that now...I'll have to search through some stuff...

ManOfWesternesse
01-12-2009, 07:21 AM
[1] wow. sneak in to a thread and start a war. :lol:

[2] 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.

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

:unsure:
[1] :lol:
[2] Yeah, but crows are no birds of prey - just carrion-eaters!
[3] :clap: - fully agree. Boy was I pissed off when Roland called his name before the Tower!



....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.

Still disagree with that idea.
There's no way a little slice of bread is going to keep all those crows off the body for more than an instant. Certainly not for any period of time to allow for taking it down & burying it. Really depends on the local custom there - but everyone cleared off after the hanging (the boys were the last there) so I have to assume practice was to leave the bodies for some period of time before burial.

Dalvo
01-12-2009, 09:37 AM
ManOfWesternesse first of all, was not just a slice of bread, was a full bread, Roland had half and CUthberg the other half. And yes, it would not keep the birds off the body for long, and that's why Roland realised the bread was simbolyc!!!

The Lady of Shadows
01-12-2009, 02:45 PM
[1] wow. sneak in to a thread and start a war. :lol:

[2] 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.

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

:unsure:
[1] :lol:
[2] Yeah, but crows are no birds of prey - just carrion-eaters!
[3] :clap: - fully agree. Boy was I pissed off when Roland called his name before the Tower!

<snip>



i was actually referring to the rooks. i thought the bread was specifically referred to as an offering to the rooks. damn, now i'm going to have to pull out the book and find it. . . . are rooks birds of prey or carrion eaters? does anyone know or am i going to have to google that? ::lazyturtle::

ManOfWesternesse
01-13-2009, 01:34 AM
i was actually referring to the rooks. i thought the bread was specifically referred to as an offering to the rooks. damn, now i'm going to have to pull out the book and find it. . . . are rooks birds of prey or carrion eaters? does anyone know or am i going to have to google that? ::lazyturtle::

Sorry t/s, I don't dispute that the Book describes the bread as an offering.

Where I come from, rooks and crows are taken to mean the same bird. They are both members of the overall 'crow' family of birds, the rook being one of the smaller types of crow I think. In some places people would be more inclined to differentiate between them I think.

They are not Birds of Prey (that being the preserve of hunters such as Hawks and Eagles etc... etc...)

/ I wonder if King had a clear concept or understanding of his own intent for the meaning of the whole crow thing? Wouldn't it be great to be able to just ask him!


ManOfWesternesse first of all, was not just a slice of bread, was a full bread, Roland had half and CUthberg the other half. And yes, it would not keep the birds off the body for long, and that's why Roland realised the bread was simbolyc!!!
Hi Dalvo, welcome!
I thought it was an end-slice of bread Cort went into his kitchen to get? I'd have to look it up. But it is acedemic, a slice or a loaf or whatever would have the same net effect?

Darkthoughts
01-13-2009, 02:54 PM
Actually, while both are members of the corvidae family, rooks are larger and have bigger beaks ;) I only know because we have a rookery in a tree by our house.

They are carrion eaters and not birds of prey - but are generally better known for eating meat that is decomposed or...you know, a bit splatted :lol: And whenever we leave out bread/food for the rooks they take it back to their nests to eat it :orely:

Are we just meant to take some sort of symbolism from it?

Hax was a traitor, but I think Roland called his name because Roland had been equally merciless for the cause he believed in...perhaps he was acknowledging that?

ManOfWesternesse
01-13-2009, 03:04 PM
Hax was a traitor, but I think Roland called his name because Roland had been equally merciless for the cause he believed in...perhaps he was acknowledging that?

I know Lisa, I know.
But it still annoyed the hell out of me! :lol:

Thanks for the Rooks info.
What I see mostly in these parts are grey-back crows, nasty carrion-fowl! farmers maintain that they'll attack new-born lambs, which earns them hatred in farming circles around here.

John Blaze
01-13-2009, 07:28 PM
Hax was a traitor, but I think Roland called his name because Roland had been equally merciless for the cause he believed in...perhaps he was acknowledging that?

i saw it that way as well.

keyframe
08-28-2009, 09:04 PM
It does say that Roland sort of grasped that the bread was symbolic, but i kinda felt like it was to make sure that they'd have to get close to the body and see death up close and personal. Remember Bert touched his ankle when they got there. Since they'd be dealing in lead the rest of their lives.:)

Myrtok
02-04-2010, 07:24 AM
Cort had to know that the boys had considered Hax a friend prior to discovering his treachery. Scattering bread at his feet to help attract carion eaters was a way of "pissing on his grave." The lesson was that for a gunslinger, even a former friend who crossed the white was not worthy of any compassion.

Sure, Roland eventually figures out that it is all symbolic, since there were plenty of crows around anyway, but that doesn't take away the point of the lesson, or the ceremony of inviting the crows to peck at the corpse of a former friend who had turned traitor.

All in my humble opinion of course

ManOfWesternesse
02-04-2010, 07:54 AM
.....All in my humble opinion of course

Hmmmm. good opinion it is. right to the point.

pathoftheturtle
02-05-2010, 11:05 AM
Agreed. The birds are sure to pick at him, anyway, so it is a merely symbolic act of encouraging them.

petepizz
09-26-2018, 09:39 PM
Maybe it's because Had is a disgraced cook and bread at his feet is insulting? Seeing as to put any other food at his feet would surely attract other unwanted critters.