Writing Techniques in Quest for the Future

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The biggest challenge van Vogt faces in Quest for the Future is making Caxton's clumsiness and selfishness central to the novel's plot. He meets the challenge by making the mysterious Palace of Immortality in the "fold" in time something that had to be built by a paranoid character. The time travelers who inhabit the Palace do not know who built it and lack the motivation to be the ones who did. They lack ambition because they are contented people.

Only someone with Caxton's single-minded ambition, born out of his selfish desire to reshape the probabilities of time to suit himself, would be motivated to build the Palace of Immortality and thereby guarantee himself eternal life. By focusing on the motivations of his characters, van Vogt not only makes Caxton central to the novel's events and themes, he creates tension that gives his narrative suspense. When the...

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This section contains 169 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Quest for the Future Short Guide
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Quest for the Future from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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