By: Rachel Lyle, April 21st, 2017
I have now read the book Uprooted by Naomi Novik twice in my college career once for Women’s Literature and once for Introduction to Literature both with the same professor. In these two times reading the book I noticed somethings about the main character, Agneszka, including the fact that she finds the good in everyone.
In many ways, Agnieszka, in Uprooted seems to be in the mindset that there is good in everyone and seems to see the good in each person she meets because she seems to keep loving and loving them no matter what they do or say to her. She seems to think that she can bring the good out of them and to the surface through loving them because in her eyes they just need to find the good in themselves in order to love others. This especially shown in the way she treats the Wood-Queen at the end of the novel when she finds out what caused her to be the way she is, after she found out the history of the Wood and how it came to be the way it is, “‘They burned the trees,’ she said, pleading for understanding from someone long gone. ‘They cut them down. They will always cut them down. They come and go like seasons, the winter that give no thought to the spring.’” (Pg. 419).
She is helpful to the Wood-Queen in many ways at this point, “‘We’re meant to go,’ I said softly, answering for both of us. ‘We’re not meant to stay forever.’” (Pg. 419). She now understood why the Wood-Queen was the way she was, “But she had’t been able to the root. She’d remembered the wrong things, and forgotten too much. She’d remembered how to kill and how to hate, and she’d forgotten how to grow. All she’d been able to do in the end was lie down
beside her sister: not quite dreaming, not quite dead.” (Pg. 419). She could have taken revenge on the Wood-Queen for what she did to the people of Agnieszka’s village and the surrounding villages, but she didn’t, she decided to help the Wood-Queen to escape her torment and help her dream, “‘I’ll help you,’ I told her. ‘If you want to save her, you can.’” (Pg. 420). She loved the Wood-Queen because she saw there was good inside of her trying to escape but it was all coming out the wrong way in a form of revenge and hate for what past civilizations did to her people. Aggie helped the Wood-Queen to take root, become a tree, and dream for the rest of her endless life,
I gave her the last drops of the pool’s water, tipped them into her mouth, and then I touched her skin and said softly, very simply, ‘Vanalem.’ And she was changing. The last remnants of her white gown blew away, and the charred surface of her scorched skin peeled off in huge black flakes, fresh bark whirling up from the ground around her like a wide silver skirt, meeting and merging into the old tree’s broken trunk. She opened her eyes one last time and looked at me, with sudden relief, and then she was gone, she was growing, he feet plunging new roots over the old. (Pg. 420)
Aggie realizes that she needs to love the Wood-Queen in order to help her as well as in order to rid the land of the evil in the Wood. She know this is the only way to get the Queen to stop her habit of exacting revenge on the people around her. She knows this because she knows if she treats the Queen the same way the Queen treating Aggie and her village it won’t get her anywhere it will just cause her to become like the Wood-Queen and just like the Queen forget all the right things but remember all of the wrong ones. She could have taken revenge on the Wood-Queen but she decided to love her and show the Queen how to use the good inside of her in the right way rather than the wrong way. Aggie Loved the Wood-Queen no matter what because she saw good inside of her and the only way she knew she good bring out that good was to love her and help her to take root and join her sister among the trees.
I once heard someone say that hate is just love on a bad day. This statement could’t be more true. If we keep on hating others it won’t get us anywhere, we’ll just end up in the same place as the Wood-queen, with a grudge seeking revenge on those who have wronged us and it will consume us completely and we will never feel fulfilled and like we’ve accomplished anything at all. I believe we need to love other no matter what, no matter how they treat us no matter what they think about us, no matter what they say about us, no matter what. I believe that the only way overcome the hate in this world is to love and help others. I this I believe is the only way we will accomplish anything, the only way we will get rid of and over come the corruption of sin that I believe that Satan has cursed this world with and spreads throughout the whole of humanity. The only way we will get any where in this world, accomplish anything in this world, overcome anything in this world is by loving and helping others the way Aggie loved and helped the Wood- Queen.