The State of Mind: Symbolized
Motifs and Symbolism in “The Great Divorce”
Everyday there is a sun. The sun rises and the sun sets. When the sun rises there is a beautiful glow to it yet very few watch it rise because it is so early. But when it sets many people think of it as the end of the day and fantasize on its romanticism into the night, pondering on achievements throughout the twenty-four hour time period. The sun is a symbol of life. Much like the sun, the symbols in the Great Divorce are indeed larger than they appear. The Great Divorce by Clive Staples Lewis shows great theme within its motifs and shows illustrious and unfathomable meanings throughout its symbolism.
C.S. Lewis’s states, “I saw a great assembly of gigantic forms all motionless, all in the deepest silence, standing forever about a little silver table and looking upon it. And on the table there were little figures like chessmen who went to and fro doing this and that” (Lewis 143) and though some might think of this quote to be talking of such a dismal situation, it is quite’ the contrary. But indeed this quote is pertaining to the symbolism of Time and those who live through it. The table itself is official symbol of Time whereas the little chessmen are representations of how the men and women are presented on earth. The watchers (also known as the gigantic forms) are the perpetual souls of those men and women on the table. “These conversations between the Spirits and the Ghosts – were they only the mimicry of choices that had really been made long ago?” (Lewis 144). This is yet another form of the symbolism of Time though this more of the sense of the past tense of time itself. But in accordance to Ecclesiastes 3:1-11, “Everything has its own time, and there is a specific time for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pull out what was planted, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build up, a...
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