The Fifth Season

The Fifth Season

by

N. K. Jemisin

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Selu/“Crack” Character Analysis

One of Damaya’s fellow grits at the Fulcrum, Selu is a girl whom the other grits nickname “Crack.” She is deeply unpopular and her orogeny also seems especially harsh and dangerous, as if she’s constantly on the verge of losing control. Damaya enlists her help when the other grits start bullying her, but soon it’s revealed that Crack was actually behind it all—she wanted to divert the instructors’ attention from her own struggles, and Damaya was a star student who she assumed wouldn’t be punished too harshly. It’s also suggested that Crack is addicted to alcohol, perhaps explaining the wild quality of her orogeny. After she is discovered by the instructors, Crack is taken away and never heard from or spoken of again, deepening Damaya’s distrust of the Fulcrum.
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Selu/“Crack” Character Timeline in The Fifth Season

The timeline below shows where the character Selu/“Crack” appears in The Fifth Season. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 11: Damaya at the fulcrum of it all
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...a loner than most, and whose orogeny seems especially harsh and dangerous. Her name is Selu, but the other grits have started calling her “Crack.” Damaya decides to make Crack her... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...it and then starts panicking, and when Carnelian turns to him, he suddenly points at Crack. He says that she sold Damaya’s shoes in exchange for liquor. Damaya is shocked. Crack... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
Finally, Carnelian intervenes again and instructs Maxixe, Jasper, and Crack to come with him immediately. As Crack is leaving, she looks at Damaya and says,... (full context)
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...anymore. Jasper is sent to a satellite Fulcrum in the Arctic, and no one sees Crack again. The chapter ends with a description of a Fifth Season called the Fungus Season,... (full context)
Chapter 17: Damaya, in finality
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Damaya thinks again of all the mysteries of the last year—what the “socket” is, where Crack went, and she feels suddenly that the Fulcrum’s way of life is “not right.” But... (full context)