Much of the sense of disparity in the novel results from the incongruity inherent in the person of the narrator, who insists that everything in iDEATH is exactly as it should be—the people gentle, pleasant, and tolerant. Despite the narrator’s insistence that iDEATH is a stable Utopia, however, many of the things that happen are fraught with pain and violence. Balancing the easygoing and vegetarian people with their light chores and flower-filled parades are the man-eating tigers, the burning of the mutilated corpses of inBOIL and his gang, Margaret’s suicide, and the emptiness felt by the narrator but never named.
Indeed, the narrator never really names anything, even himself. In chapter 3, the narrator invites the reader to do the naming: “My name depends on you. Just call me whatever is in your mind.” Though the narrator clearly plays the role of poet-seer, he came upon his vocation by accident. He was not good at anything else, though he had tried several occupations. It is Charley who suggests that the narrator write a book. Margaret’s excursions into “The Forgotten Works” disturb the narrator so greatly that he cannot cope with his feelings for her. Nor is the narrator’s restlessness assuaged by his liaison with Pauline. He remains an insomniac and nightwalker throughout the novel. Thor’s day is his favorite—black, silent, and long.
Margaret is the only character in the novel who exhibits what one would normally call the signs of an active and curious mind. Her visits to “The Forgotten Works” and her continuing conversations with inBOIL, however,...
(The entire section is 655 words.)