Friday, March 30, 2012

For Cardassia!

Garak's last conversation with Dr. Bashir is an important one to understand the Cardassian character. He laments the fact that the Cardassia he knew is gone forever and that their status as "second to none" is as gone from the alpha quadrant as th Dominion. Bashir reassures him that the Cardassians are a strong people and Cardassia will survive but this does nothing to help Garak. What is really bothering him is that "so many of their best people" have had their lives unjustly cut short.

I think we can see here a contradiction in the Cardassian, perhaps from being influenced by humans for so long. Cardassians would typically be the type to worry about the greater glory of their homeland rather than the death of their fellows. After all, what is an individual to the might and glory of the State? But here, I think, we can see that the real sorce of Garak's angst is the loss of so much life. The death of each Cardassian eats at his soul, whether they be the best or the worst the planet has to offer. Of course, a true Cardassian would always cover this emotion behind a viel of patrioticism, as Garak attepts to do, but I think we, as viewers, are called to see beyond this viel. We are called to the the suffering of every individual Cardassian, rather than that of greater Cardassia.

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