Actual Death vs. Symbolic Death
- The "predatory passions" are contrasted by respectful affection.
- As Septimus believes the tree fibres meshing with his own body, in his
hallucinatory state, he has gone far beyond the reaches of reality.
For Septimus, death is the only means by which his soul, his essence,
- His heroism and intellectual/spiritual sensitivity cause his insanity,
because no one will allow him to validate his mental illness. The doctors
reiterate the need for "Proportion and Control."
- Clarissa’s love of flowers is her attempt to beautify the world- the
"ugly, evil dungeon" of Septimus’s deranged existence, and the
deterioration of his mind.
- Clarissa and Septimus differ because she is always able to distinguish
between the internal and external world. Septimus, however, regards the
outside world as little more than an extreme nuisance and severe intrusion
of his most private thoughts in his irrational state.
- These two are connected, because their existence, their experiences, and
their consciousness occur after and are contrasted by the bells that strike.
"Clock" time is contrasted with "Time in Consciousness."
The circles become the "thief" of personal meaning. The enemy is
personified in Sir William Bradshaw, the most repulsive character of the
book. However, the leaden circles also signify the pulse of life itself, as
it does for Clarissa.
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