is reading "On Such a Full Sea" written by Chang-Rae Lee on October 23.
"There is a tide in the affairs of men" from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar:
There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.
Julius Caesar Act 4, scene 3, 218–224
On Such a Full Sea is about the interplay between fate and free will in human life. Throughout the novel, the reader must ponder on the forces of fate versus free will and whether Fan may be able to achieve success through virtue, ambition, courage and commitment. Is she shrewd enough to understand and heed the many omens that she encounters in the primitive and lawless "open counties?"
Fan lives and works as a diver in B-Mor (futuristic Baltimore) tending the fish farm for the consumption of a privileged upper class living in planned communities known as Charters. Between these facilities and the Charters is a vast rural no man’s land known as “the open counties.” She becomes pregnant by her boyfriend Reg. He is immune to a fatal disease inflicting the population referred to as C. One day, he mysteriously disappears. There is speculation that he has been taken by the Charters for medical research. A distraught Fan takes off to find him.
After Fan leaves B-Mor, , she becomes almost a mythical creature to the people she has left behind in the "facilities." She is lauded and condemned. Overall, she has stirred up emotions and tales are told and embellished, "We can’t help but add a little of our own special imprint, a tiny re-marking here, a slight miscoloration there, and sometimes even more than that if the feeling is intense enough."
Fan seems powerless and powerful throughout her adventures to reunite with her beloved Reg. And much like Brutus' quote above, Brutus conceives life as being influenced by both fate and free will.