How long can you pretend to be something before you become it?
For me, Red Rising explores this idea, and more.
When Darrow undergoes a traumatic and drastic transformation to become the one thing he’s supposed to hate, to plot against, to bring down in a blaze of golden freakin’ glory, well… you know it’s now going to be easy.
What I think is most important about Darrow’s journey is how he can recognise a level of humanity in whatever ‘colour’ someone has been assigned to. Perhaps this comes in starting at the bottom, you can appreciate every step up the ladder.
But then, Darrow didn’t simply ascend that ladder, he shot to the top in one great leap.
There is a danger, however, in accepting that humanity. Logic and reasoning comes with it. Motivations. Aspirations. Understanding. Camaraderie. Friendship. Love. Living the life of a Gold is not as simple as being corrupt and well-off. It takes skill and intellect. A kind of tenacity and the same passion for better, for survival, that can be found in the heart of a Red.
What seems so easy looking up becomes incredibly complicated looking down.
Even at this level the good still die and the bad succeed.
It’s a complex game of emotion and remembrance. Darrow has become one of them, but can he still hold on to his old self enough to stay focused? And as friendships and feelings emerge, it only gets harder to remain on one single track.
I love experiencing Darrow’s change. How much of his original self is sacrificed is left to the reader, but I think it’s plain to see how much of a toll it takes, or will take.
We the norms of the world take on different guises all the time. We experience a kind of splitting; but to see it on the page like it is in Red Rising, it’s fascinating.