If you're like us, then you might think "boring"
when you hear the word "dispassionate." Fret not, though, because The Ear, the Eye, and the Armis
anything but boring. It's just not interested in telling us the events in a melodramatic
way. Farmer constructs sentences that give incredibly
descriptive accounts of the setting and Tendai's response to it, though. Just
feast your eyes on this little jewel when Tendai first walks through Dead Man's
They're like moths, Tendai thought. They've
camouflaged themselves to fit their background. And he wondered at their
silence. They didn't laugh or talk. They didn't even make much noise as they
shuffled across the ground. It's not surprising this place is called dead, he
thought with a shudder. (7.2)
We might be expecting the music to swell and
dramatic sentences to leap off the page, but instead we get a very measured—and
very descriptive—explanation of what's happening. It's as though the story is
dramatic and exciting enough that we don't need the tone to be that way, too.
In fact, the tone helps us get our bearings. Since it's always heavy on the
details, we get a clear image of what everything looks and sounds like as
Tendai walks through Dead Man's Vlei. It's as though we are right there with
him. You know, minus the dirty clothes.