The Playground of The Gods
Cathy Spellmans, The Playground of The Gods is an exuberant novel which deals with murder in a remote tropical paradise but can further be read as an illustration of mans ignorance and invasion of nature.
Do it big, or stay in bed.( Larry Kelly). These are words that Thoros Gagarian lives by. He is one of the wealthiest men in the world and when picking his private paradise, only one place on earth could serve his needs and fantasies. This place is Mora Utu-The playground of the Gods-a green jewel in the placid blue expanse of the South Pacific, the most luxurious and seductive private preserve anywhere on the planet. Once his prized-possession has been found, Thoros immediately ships the island natives to a different island and brings in his construction crews to hurriedly build his paradise in order to have it ready for a celebratory visit by 12 of his close friends.
In the introduction to the story, Cathy Spellman makes clear the notion that the protagonist, Thoros Gagarian views himself as an indestructible god. Her descriptions of his haste purchase of his Island paradise shows a man for whom their is no boundaries. His arrogance is further displayed in his building of his compound.
Spellmans voice of reason comes from a spiritual Mexican couple who are Thoross servants. They not only warn but predict of many consequences to the ignorance to which nature is being shown. Nature will not permit alteration on such a scale.(Emilio, 114).
However, these warnings are ignored by the men who do not appreciate a bizarre servant couple speaking of things which money cant buy and power cant control. This is when Spellmans utilization of irony comes into the picture. A member of the party catches a tropical fever, yet he cant be cured because the tree which possesses the antidote was destroyed in the creation of the facility. This is followed by a serendipitous chain of events which is climaxed when an immense typhoon hits the island and takes two of its visitors as its sacrifices.
In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments, there are consequences.(Ingersoll). This statement indicates the underlying theme of the novel. Mans ignorance regarding nature is a fatuous fault, for which he will have to face the consequences. Whether it be in the near future, or impending on him till the moment where he realizes that his ignorance has not come without its price.