I'm going to think about it for a day or so before I post some ideas,
but first I'd like to note how interesting the Mercer theme became to
me. I particularly liked in chapter 18, when Isodore dropped into the
"tomb world" and then experienced a rebirth cycle. This section has
biblical roots. on page 188 in my copy it says. "A Dry wind Rustled
and around him the heaps of bones broke" just Isodore cries out in
anguish and the spider is reincarnated. I think it's also important
for Deckard's experience in the desert in oregon.
Check out this excerpt from Ezekiel chapter 37
1 The hand of the LORD came upon me, and he led me out in the
spirit of the LORD and set me in the center of the plain, which was
now filled with bones. 2 He made me walk among them in every
direction so that I saw how many they were on the surface of the
plain. How dry they were! 3 He asked me: Son of man, can these bones
come to life? "Lord GOD," I answered, "you alone know that." 4 Then
he said to me: Prophesy over these bones, and say to them: Dry bones,
hear the word of the LORD! 5 Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones:
See! I will bring spirit into you, that you may come to life. 6 I will
put sinews upon you, make flesh grow over you, cover you with skin,
and put spirit in you so that you may come to life and know that I am
the LORD. 7 I prophesied as I had been told, and even as I was
prophesying I heard a noise; it was a rattling as the bones came
together, bone joining bone. 8 I saw the sinews and the flesh come
upon them, and the skin cover them, but there was no spirit in them.
9 Then he said to me: Prophesy to the spirit, prophesy, son of man,
and say to the spirit: Thus says the Lord GOD: From the four winds
come, O spirit, and breathe into these slain that they may come to
10 I prophesied as he told me, and the spirit came into them; they
came alive and stood upright, a vast army.
11 Then he said to me: Son of man, these bones are the whole house of
Israel. They have been saying, "Our bones are dried up, our hope is
lost, and we are cut off." 12 Therefore, prophesy and say to them:
Thus says the Lord GOD: O my people, I will open your graves and have
you rise from them, and bring you back to the land of Israel. 13
Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and
have you rise from them, O my people!
Also, Eliot referenced this same passage in the Wasteland (which is
why I remembered it). This is an exceprt of part two of Eliot's
poem. It's a discussion between a man and a woman. Note the use of
the wind in the biblical passage and how these tow react to it. I
think this is important for Deckard and his wife.
'My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me.
'Speak to me. Why do you never speak? Speak.
'What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?
'I never know what you are thinking. Think.'
I think we are in rats' alley 115
Where the dead men lost their bones.
'What is that noise?'
The wind under the door.
'What is that noise now? What is the wind doing?'
Nothing again nothing. 120
'You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember
Those are pearls that were his eyes. 125
'Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?'
O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag-
It's so elegant
So intelligent 130
'What shall I do now? What shall I do?'
'I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street
'With my hair down, so. What shall we do to-morrow?
'What shall we ever do?'
The hot water at ten. 135
And if it rains, a closed car at four.
And we shall play a game of chess,
Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door.
I know we're not supposed to be talking about Eliot, I quite like this
allusion especially the lines about whtther the man is alive or not.
The final imagery is often thought to be of suicide (hot water would
be to bleed yourself in a bathtub and the closed car would then be a
hearse)...the lidless eyes is a reference to dante's inferno.
just something to whet your appetite:)
The main theme seems to be man's abilities to and ramifications of
playing god. but it reaches to environment, romantic human
relationships, Frankenstein-ish creationism and simple human
interaction. Rhett, i know you're trying to make literary allusions,
and i cant quite match up to your thoroughness, but i will say that i
find this particular theme to be the choice of the vast majority of
sci-fi books. the genre leads itself to this aspect. when we think
about our future en masse, we see continued creations. it's what
defines us as humans. since our creations have given rise to some bad
repercussions, it's inevitable that sci-fi would reflect these
repercussions: either destruction or utopia. a futuristic story where
the future mirrors our current state of being is simply categorized as
"fiction" - correct? remember, i'm the newbie to this genre - more
thoughts on this?