Creatures and creators

Blake_Dante_Inverno_II    
What is the meaning of our life? Are we here by chance or are we the product of some unintelligible scheme? If so, why? Are we ever going to have an answer? Maybe one day science will be able to provide us with all the responses we need, but in the meantime we still instinctively rely on that religious vision of men created by a god like being, who for some reasons must have started all this. If we totally get rid of this paradigm and accept our presence in the universe as the mere result of chance, alone in the universe, our life would appear somehow nonsensical. If there is a creator, let’s hope he had good reasons. Victor Frankenstein, as modern Prometheus, believed he had good reasons for sure, but the result of his arrogant defy to the laws of nature had produced a horrible, hideous creature that he had cruelly sentenced to eternal misery and loneliness. The monster is, in fact, rejected twice: both by human beings, thus becoming a social outcast, and by his own creator, who despises him not only for his ugliness, but also because he is the reminder on earth of his mortal limits. Victor declines the moral implication of his act towards his creation, who will strenuously try to nail him to his responsibilities of maker till the end, when he eventually kills him. The monster is the unfortunate expression of an imperfect creator. But the perfect, ” fearful symmetry”  of Blake‘s “Tiger” , from the homonymous poem, tells us of the vigor and superiority of this creator, who forged the frightening beast. Prometheus or the Greek God Hephaestus, who could be the hand that “seized the fire”? And once again, why? If the Tiger stands for fear, destructive power, evil, why did this God make it? To make us suffer? These thoughts pervade Blake’s mind, in a crucial moment of his life, that is  when you find yourself in “the forest of the night” : the age of doubt or, to use Blake’s words, the age of experience. Blake borrowed that image from Dante‘s  first Canto of Inferno, a poet that he knew well as he had illustrated the Divine Comedy, when the artist says that in the middle of the path of his life, he found himself in a “selva oscura“, the dark forest of uncertainty and doubt. This state of psychological frailty is pointed out by the numerous unanswered questions that make the structure of Bake’s poem and the last one, in particular, displays all the poet’s bewilderment: how can it be that the same God who created the meek, loving Lamb (good), forged the fearful tiger (evil) as well? All his sense of uneasiness is in the missing rhyme of the refrain, that “symmetry” that can’t fit in the rhyming scheme of the stanza, stands for the poet’s doubt who feels unfit to understand the divine scheme of creation, he is part of something without knowing why.

 

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14 thoughts on “Creatures and creators

  1. Thank you for a very interesting post. It brought to mind Thomas Hardy’s poem, “New Year’s Eve” in which God congratulates himself on completing another year. The poet, impertinently, asks: “And what’s the good of it? … / What reason made you call / From formless void this earth we tread …?”

    God responds:
    “My labours – logicless –
    “You may explain; not I:
    “Sense-sealed I have wrought, without a guess
    “That I evolved a Consciousness
    “To ask for reasons why”.

    Very Thomas Hardy…

    Thanks again for the excellent post.

  2. Don’t know if you have any understanding of the “double-slit experiment” or have read Michael Talbot’s book The Holographic Universe but it may alert you to an awful lot of science that has been ongoing since the 1950’s. This science suggests that we are the figment of our own imaginations and that the world is in fact a holographic construct. Mind blowing stuff when you think about it. Also check out Rupert Sheldrake who has a very interesting view on science on spirituality. There again if you believe in synchronicity ( Check out Dean Raden on youtube) there is a reason I am responding to your post 🙂

    Rgds
    Colin

  3. Hi – thanks for following my blog. I really enjoyed reading this post. I have taught Blake’s Tyger and Little Lamb poems many times myself. I love how students respond to Blake – his imagery is so powerful. I look forward to reading your other posts 🙂

  4. Fascinating. Profound. And so well written. Instant “press” material for me, Miss Stefania. I ponder these questions all the time (can’t write about them too much in the US south without risking hatred) and you wrote of those “questions” so well. I also found myself looking deeply into the artwork you chose. Great work. Peace.

  5. I know Frankenstein was all about ideas, but I never enjoyed reading it because it was so badly written. It just lurches from one scene to the next. If I could play God, I would give the plot to Robert Louis Stevenson, an author who could draw you into believing anything. I feel a bit of a lurch myself now, because, moving swiftly on, I want to know where you got that wonderful picture of the trees.

    • I totally agree with you, I don’t like the way she writes apart from the moments when the monster speaks. The picture is from google images . I was looking for “the forest of the night” and I found that drawing was very inspiring. Thank you stopping by. 🙂

  6. Gracias for the follow at https://sweetyshinde.wordpress.com
    May I know the reason behind your pseudonym?
    Your insightful posts are a delight. On this particular topic, I sometimes think God is Frankenstein and we are his monsters. He started out to create perfection; the zenith of living beings…and ended up with the most destructive creatures.

    • Hi, thanks for stopping by.You are the first one to ask. This blog is part of a web site for my English student( even if now it is developing into something slightly different) and Tinkerbell should give the idea that learning may be fun, light, magical. “E” stands for English.Frankestein in an imperfect God, that ‘s why he created a monster. Hope to see you soon. Cheers. Stefy.

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