Mark Reads ‘Going Postal’: Chapter 4, Part I

In the first half of the fourth chapter of Going Postal, Moist learns some truths, and then makes a decision to go ahead with this whole postmaster thing anyway. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld. 

So… what the hell is happening in the Post Office? I admit I have no real theory here, despite that I felt like I had a decent grasp on what was going on in this book. Yeah, that whole actually being prepared for this book thing? Clearly, I’m not. Because how do four postmasters fall mysteriously with nothing around them? How did the fifth experience an industrial accident that more or less made him explode? Why is it that Groat doesn’t seem all that bothered by this, but Stanley does? 

There’s just so much mystery here. Why was Mr. Sideburn wandering about the post office so late at night? Did he hear something and go to check it out? Mr. Ignavia’s death makes no sense to me because by all appearances, he died of fright up on the fifth floor. But how could nothingness frighten him? I believe Angua if she says that there was no one near him. So… what did he see? Is it related to the weird whispers? 

But it’s Mr. Whobblebury who confuses me the most, and look… I got nothing. Not a theory, not a hypothesis, not a shred of an idea. Because what the FUCK. What’s in a post office that could cause an accident so terrible that the Watch took the only key to access the room where he died? I mean… maybe machinery? Some experiment? I don’t fucking know.

So, while I freak out about that mystery, I did want to say that I’ve been reading the comments and it’s helped shape my perception of Stanley. While I was reading, I did note that Moist didn’t exactly make “friends” with Stanley by ending his panic with a pin. And for what it’s worth, the very next sentence directly notes that Moist is manipulating this kid. It’s not a nice thing to do in a direct sense, but as someone who has really terrible anxiety and panic attacks, I have appreciated friends who have managed to change the subject during a triggering conversation so as to stop a potential attack. The context isn’t the same, and, of course, these are actual friends, not someone who is taking advantage of me in the moment. That’s what I read out of this situation: I don’t think Moist actually cares about Stanley or Groat. Hell, does he care about anyone? I feel pretty good stating that Moist doesn’t allow himself to have genuine friends, so I expect him to treat everyone this way: as tools, as things to be utilized for his own needs. 

And Mr. Groat is on to him, too! He caught Moist in a lie about the cobbles on Market Street. I don’t imagine that’s the only lie he’s going to notice, either. Has Moist ever had to spend this much time with the same people?

At the very least, though, he’s aware that there’s not really a viable way for him to escape this, so he’s committing to being the postmaster general. (And I gotta say, I bet Vetinari thought of that.) But he does it his way, and his unmistakable talent as a conman plays into his plan to revitalize the Post Office. So where does he start? By threatening the hairdresser who stole the five missing letters from the sign outside. That’s as good a place to start as any, you know??? WHY NOT. And it makes me excited to see what other weird, wacky shit Moist is going to do that no one else thought to do. He’s used to living his life as a fraud, and he’s utilizing those skills for something… not fraudulent. 

This is gonna be great, I CAN’T WAIT.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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