Monday, 2 January 2017
The Road Ahead
May is born on p. 260 and is in labor on p. 263. This transition is accomplished by the literary devices of the chapter and the change of scene. If we have read the book consecutively, then we know that May, carrying her baby, will converse briefly with a young man outside a theater and that that first child will die young. Thus, the novel gives us a partial perception of a time as a dimension and of the prescience that is granted to some of the characters.
Imagine: before a long journey, you consult a map but you cannot remember every detail of the route while traveling. Or: the road goes up a high hill that presents a panoramic view of the route ahead but, again, you are not able to recognize every place on the road as you pass through it. The places along the road exist concurrently but you experience them successively. Here are two dimensions, the length of the road and the time taken to traverse it. When May's father:
"...gazed along the long jewelled tube that was his daughter's enviable mortal span..." (p. 259)
- there were not two dimensions, her mortal span and the time that she will take to traverse it, but one dimension, her mortal span which is the length of time through which she will live. Thus, there is not an exact parallel between seeing the road ahead and prescience.