Time's Arrow; Martin Amis

Topics: Western culture, Western world, Hair Pages: 1 (442 words) Published: November 21, 2010
Amis’ Successful Attempts to a ‘Logical’ Novel His tool for achieving such perfection was using his narrator as a sort of balance from a reader’s sanity to the world his novel pertains to of insanity. He has his narrator be a borderline to Tod’s real thoughts and feeling. In a sense it is a backwards world seen through forward looking eyes. This makes all the events in the story seem logical since they are explained by the narrator. Amis’ attempt to writing an incredibly original story balances out with his ability to make the same story logical. One of the big obstacles Martin Amis tends to overcome with his ability to make non logical situations logical is making what should be unpleasant events or observations the complete opposite, and actually make those scenes from Tod Friendly’s life beautiful and touching. After Tod’s horrific past is revealed this scene takes place at one of the Nazi camps, and the narrator explain: "Above its archways and gables the evening sky is full of our unmentionable mistakes, hydrocephalic clouds and the wrongly curved palate of the west, and the cinders of our fires. I can see a lock of snow-white human hair drifting upwards, then joining the more elliptical and elemental rhythm of the middle air."(pg 155) He is discussing the air being filled with the cinders that come from the cremation houses - the wrongly curved palate of the west refers to Western civilization's fascination with war and violence - as opposed to Eastern civilization which is based much more on spirituality and peace. Amis’ point being in that western society leans in the wrong direction. Bits of white hair from the elderly who die in the gas chambers mix with the white clouds and almost look as though they are part of them. Symbolically, it could refer to the souls going up to heaven. This is one of many of Amis’ successful attempts at taking a scene from a horrific place, where atrocious events took place, and upon reading it from the narrator point of...
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