Posted by: kentauros | November 3, 2012

The ‘Master’ Bit

This has nothing to do with either drill bits or horse bits (or any other meaning to the word, ‘bit’.) Rather, it’s about the relationship between a djinni and his, or her, Master. First, my thoughts surrounding the djinn and then the title, Master.

The djinn are a race of magical beings, no matter what universe or story you’re reading or watching. They are all magical to some extent, and almost all ‘serve’ a ‘master’. The In the old stories, most of the djinn hated humans, or hated serving them, being their slaves. Within the world of humanity, slavery is a horrible thing that we continue to use in other parts of the world. (It also happens in our own part of the world, but I don’t want to get into that here.)

Those stories overlaid the thinking of us ‘normal’ people, or those without magic powers. Slavery is bad, no matter what race or peoples are subject to it. The problem I see here is that the race of djinn isn’t human. They were defined as spirits and even as a form of angel (as I understand it.) The big point about them is that they had free will, where other angels did not. Djinn could use their power in the physical world instead of it being restricted to the non-physical realms. What this meant to us humans was a race of great power with no reason to obey our laws or morals. They had to be controlled.

I don’t know how they became slaves of us originally, whether Solomon was part of that first or later, only that in the stories they are the slaves of their containers, be it a lamp, jug, bottle, or other magic object. Any human that owned that object commanded the djinni within. The djinn didn’t like this, of course, but they are just stories, after all.

What all this has to do with my thoughts is that I am (still) writing a story about a djinni and her boyfriend. Other djinn of her kind will come into play later in the story, too. For now, she was trapped in her lamp after being turned into a djinni in the present-day world. Her boyfriend released her from the lamp, although he didn’t know she had been trapped inside, much less that she was now a djinni, and his to command. What I have attempted to address within the story is still difficult for me to get across, or it seems that way.

The main character, Cari, is the djinni, and is at first repulsed with having a master. This is rightly so, given the history of humanity, especially with regard to women. No woman would ever willingly call someone ‘master’, be that a man or another woman. It’s just ingrained in our minds now to reject such a notion, no matter the circumstances.

Cari is no different, at first. She even discovers that the magic within her controls her speech for a while. She can’t stop herself from saying that word, though it’s only in certain situations. If her ‘master’ makes a command, wish, or want known to her, she has to respond with that word. The twist I’ve added is that Hal, her boyfriend, doesn’t like that word much more than she. This leads to her teasing him with it at times, sometimes when it must come out of her mouth and other times when it isn’t required.

My dilemma is whether I’ve had her give in too quickly (she has spiritual help from her spirit guide, Kailani.) I’ve even had Hal give in some, though when she’s teasing him with its use, he is somewhat irked by it, or more by the teasing. That depends on what I’ve written around those particular scenes.

I am also conflicted on whether someone will see the slavery/master bit as something greater. Given that this is indeed a magical being of great power yet also a person of great generosity, would the role of ‘slave’ still be that? She isn’t truly human any longer. She has a human body and magic powers that can mimic our bodies to the smallest detail, yet it is still made of magic. Her mind and spirit may have originated with us, though there is an idea included in the story that she has had a long connection to the djinn, even having been one in the distant past. It’s as much a part of her as being a ‘human’ among the rest of us.

I guess my biggest ‘fear’ is of offending certain readers because they won’t see my explanation from my point of view and only from that of “slavery is bad, no matter what!” If there is another way of making this work, I’d love to hear it! Because the only other thing that comes to mind is the idea of being a djinni and wanting to serve with heart and soul and even loving being able to call another ‘Master’ without issue or disgust.

I guess I’ve been involved in either writing I Dream of Jeannie fanfic or other djinn-based stories for so long that I think like Jeannie and see things from her perspective easier than most. It simply may not translate  well to those that don’t look at the world in the same way.


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