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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » "The Crystal City" ... Alvin in Double Jeopardy?

Author Topic: "The Crystal City" ... Alvin in Double Jeopardy?
Member # 10554

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So, I'm re-reading "The Crystal City" (osc) for the billionth time, and for the billionth time, I find myself growing irritated at the plot to get Alvin shipped to Carthage City (I'm assuming for the grand showdown and possibly his death). When we finally re-introduce Verily Cooper to the story, he is gearing up for a court battle, where Makepeace Smith's children are entitled to "a golden plow" in Makepeace's will.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the plow already found to ***NOT*** be Makepeace's property, so judged in a court of law, back in "Alvin Journeyman"? Also, double jeopardy was mentioned in that book as well, so we know people are aware of the concept already, but isn't Alvin going to court for this 2 books later a clear cut case of double jeopardy?

Ok, so I've noticed more than a few minor continuity errors here and there throughout the series, none of which detract from the story, and all can be easily explained away, but THIS... this one... everytime I run across it I'm wondering what the heck is going on here. What is Mr. Card trying to do here? Yes, I realize he needs an excuse to get Alvin to Carthage City, but couldn't this be accomplished in another way? It's as if every single character by the time we get to "The Crystal City", has totally forgotten about the main plot of "Alvin Journeyman". I can't believe a writer of Mr. Card's caliber would make this mistake, but no matter how many times I've read this book, I see it AS a mistake every time.

Has anybody else noticed this? Am I wrong? I would like to hear what anybody else has to say on this, including Mr. Card's perspective on this if he reads the forum, and could spare some time to set my mind at ease.

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Member # 6023

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You'd be more likely to get a response from OSC by posting this on the other side. I've only read Crystal City once, but remember not being as satisfied by it as the earlier books.
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Member # 5860

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Oldmansutton, I don't know if this helps much because I havn't read the series, but knowing some Mormon history might clear things up. Considering the books are based loosely on Joseph Smith's (the Mormon Prophet) life, this is perfectly in line with similar things that happened. He was, for instance, charged and found innocent of breaking the law when he destroyed a press. This upset a particular set of people and they sought to charge Joseph Smith of the crimes in another court district. He tried to run away, but some Mormons thought he was acting cowardly. So, he turned back to face the charges and ended up in a jail in Carthage. A mob killed him before the trial.

Yes, they knew about double jeopardy back in that day, but that doesn't mean they followed the law. Many times the law was based first on (and I can't remember the latin) "will of the people is the will of God" and only second on the written law. Other times, people would bring up the same lawsuit in other courts to see if a particular lawyer would be more sympathetic.

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One of my first posts on this forum -- back before it was actually this forum, even -- was a complaint about how I was worried that Card was sacrificing narrative sensibility and/or faithfulness to his characters to his desire for a relatively strong allegory. At the time, I used the court cases in Alvin Journeyman and Heartfire as specific examples.
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