Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Cinder Buggy - part 19 - Chapters XXXI and XXXII; Sir John Edward Millais; Daguerreotype

Click here for Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 of my review of The Cinder Buggy.

The mystery from Chapter XXX appears to deepen in Chapter XXXI.  Certain questions are answered, while other questions may never be answered. 

Garrett uses (in Chapter XXXI) the concept of the gatekeeper (without using that term). He describes an employee that manages to separate her boss from his other employees - thus exercising increased control over his affairs.

The term "daguerreotype" (p. 274)  refers to an old style of photography, the use of which is consistent with the timeline for the earlier chapters of the book. 

Chapter XXXII provides the escalation of the Thane-Agnes relationship.  Garrett describes this escalation in a way that was very reminiscent of the relationships in Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. The similarity is based on the fact that the relationship escalated as a result of industrial activity.  One needs to read the actual passages to appreciate the meaning of my explanation. 

Garrett supplements his descriptions with the following wisdom:

In his power with ideas man is dimly admirable to woman; in his power over circumstances he inspires her with trust; in his power over people he satisfies her taste for grandeur; but in his power over elements,  - in that aspect he wrecks her completely, for she is herself an element.  In that moment he is god-like; she cannot comprehend him.
(p. 280).

Garrett writes that a pencil sketch by Sir John Everett Millais caught the spirit of the moment - "Marrying and Giving in Marriage at the Deluge."  (p. 280).  Millais was a 19th century illustrator.  I could not find more information about that particular sketch.  One of Millais' paintings was entitled "Esther," thus indicating that Millais' influence upon Garrett extended beyond a single drawing.

Click here for Part 20.



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