One of the central themes touched upon in Pierre-Yves Petillon’s Essay, “A Re-cognition of Her Errand Into the Wilderness,” is the general sense of awakening one feels when he reads Thos Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49. Petillon begins his essay by expressing the opinion that “it is rather odd that The Crying of Lot 49, a slim novella should have become an overnight classic (O’Donnell, p.127).” What at first seemed like a typical piece expounding the virtues of LSD, turned out to have much more under the surface than a first reading would reveal. “Here was another ‘groovy’ sample of the emergent psychedelic scene: om, sweet om, O(edipa) M(ass) and her Lonely Hearts Club Band (O’Donnell, p. 128).” Petillon touches upon the book’s power beautifully by realizing that “its ‘mood’ grows upon you with each reading (O’Donnell, p. 129).”
Born in the Late 1930’s, Thomas Pynchon “came of age during ‘the Eisenhower Siesta,’ when everything had, it seemed, slowed to a sudden standstill (O’Donnell, p. 135).” Petillon then relates Lot 49 to Jack Kerouacs On The Road, by telling of their simultaneous “sense of ‘blooming,’ as if awakening from a long sleep (O’Donnell, p. 130).” He also points out that both Kerouac’s and Pynchon’s main characters (Kerouac’s being himself, and Pynchon’s being Oedipa Maas), both move further and further into an “invisible, hidden America (O’Donnell, p. 130).”
I believe the one thing Petillon has failed to mention adequately, though, is the fact that the reader never gets a sense of their surroundings. When awakening from a long sleep, one usually ends up with a general awareness and clarity as to what is going on around him. However, with The Crying of Lot 49, you come to end of the story, or the end of the awakening if you will, only to find that you have slipped further into a dream.
bloodmac Importance of Blood in Shakespeare’s Macbeth
Importance of Blood in Macbeth
In Shakespeare’s tragic play Macbeth, the symbol of blood is an important device. The fundamental physical notion of blood is a stark sign of illness or mishap that all humans must share. Within Macbeth the imagery of blood is used over and over again and it is developed by Shakespeare until it becomes not only a dominating theme but wholly integrated within the plot.
Perhaps the best way to show how the symbol of blood changes throughout the play is to follow the character changes in Macbeth. First he is a brave honored soldier, but as the play progresses acknowledged and trusted by his king, he becomes a treacherous person who has become identified with death and bloodshed, and ends up killing Duncan who put so much trust in him. This is ironic because the previous Thane of Cawdor was executed for treason, which is the first thought that comes into his mind when he is appointed Thane. He knows that the King’s trust was misplaced; the fact that he murdered his king plays upon his conscience and shows his guilt in different forms. The situation worsens for him after he murders Banquo, who was one of his most loyal and trusted friends.
A similar idea can also be applied to lady Macbeth, as her character changes dramatically throughout the course of the play. Hers and Macbeth’s roles can be seen to swap in a way. When the idea of killing Duncan comes into the minds of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, Macbeth is uncertain, he seems withdrawn about the whole idea. Lady Macbeth comes across as evil and bloodthirsty, for it is she who ensures that the murder takes place. Towards the end of the play though, although both characters show the immense guilt of what they have done…
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… treachery, to guilt then returns to honor once again. This movement in symbolism is maneuvered by the villain whose actions that allow the change. The reformation to honor is sanction after the villain is killed.
Works Cited and Consulted:
Bradley, A.C. Shakespearean Tragedy. Toronto: Penguin Books Canada Ltd., 1991.
Campbell, Lily B. Shakespeare’s Tragic Heroes, Slaves of Passion. Gloucester: Peter Smith Publisher Inc., 1973.
Edwards, Terence. Twentieth Century Interpretations of Macbeth. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1977.
Hunter, G.K. “Macbeth in the Twentieth Century.” Aspects of Macbeth. Ed. Kenneth Muir
Shakespeare, William. Tragedy of Macbeth . Ed. Barbara Mowat and Paul Warstine. New York: Washington Press, 1992.
Scott, Mark W. (Editor). Shakespeare for Students. Gale Research Inc. Detroit, Michigan. 1992