Friday, March 11, 2011

The Universal Symbols

Mon 07 Mar 2011 08:51:09 AM EST
Perhaps Blake's greatest gift to any of us may be the Faculty of perceiving the realities around us in terms of the Universal Symbols:

For example the character Jane in Jane Eyre may serve as a Christ Symbol (or
in Blake's lexicon as Eternity). Rochester represents Everyman; the flossie, whom he was considering marriage to, is the Way of the World, the purely material.

The half cousin who wanted Jane to marry him and go to Africa with him represents Conventional Religion; his daughters are the Blakean Redeemed.

Rochester's wife is the victim of his accumulated moral failings, which led to spiritual blindness.

The happy ending is echoed by the ending of most Detective Stories. The crime is solved, the detective enjoys real life, the harm remains, but it no longer affects him. In the Sacred Story every tear has been wiped away.

In this post I've expressed the reality of the story in terms of the Blakean universal symbols. That's only one of many ways you might find universal meaning is a work of art.

IMO it was Northrup Frye who introduced to the Blake community (in 1947) to an understanding of Blake's use of symbols,images, metaphor; armed with that knowledge understanding of his poetry, his myth, the import of his pictures proceeded apace. But that's appropriate for another post.

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