I just finished reading this section today, and this was a fantastic section, the themes which I can think of at the top of my head which describe this section are
A death in the family.
A death in the family.
The page 42 starts with this where we have Weer reminiscing about Elanor Bold, and how she being dead now won't be able to see her own suggestion, what stands out to me here is that he again thinks about her red skin color.
Then he moves on to his mother whom he thinks died too young, and then again thinks she lived a long life, the last part which he says sounds interesting to me where he says, that she may have lived forever(as perhaps elsewhere she has).
Then he thinks about keeping records of people who had lived, by the people who knew them, so that they going on living through memory ? And they really are only dead when no ones knows them.
From this we shift to Weer asking Hannah about the Indian story, and then we move to
Irish folktales & Indians
Hannah again tells him a story about her own dead mother, and how she woke up one day to find her own mother dead, and how her father created a coffin for her mother. It was the sound of hammer on pegs which actually woke her up.
Weer still insists on hearing about the Indian tale
So Hannah tells him about a dark tale about Banshee- is a female spirit in Irish folklore who heralds the death of a family member, and about a boys heroics of getting the girl he loves.
But the tale is so dark, that I don't know about it should be told to children or not? and Hannah tells us that they lived pretty much alone on a hill with less people coming and going, it must have frightened her out of her wits hearing such tale.
The interesting aspect about the tale to me was
"Well he struggled and fought ever so like kilkenny cats, I was about to say, but it's more like St Brendan and the devil."
The kilkenny cats looks to be like another Irish folklore.
The Kilkenny cats are a fabled pair of cats from County Kilkenny in Ireland, who fought each other so ferociously that only their tails remained at the end of the battle. Often the absurd implication is that they have eaten each other.
We also have St Brendan invoked again with the devil.
"Let me go now says she to Jack, for I've given back what I got from you tonight, and the dead they never rise. No says Jack, but there other's to come, and ababe in the cradle and a old man in chimney corner forever. I've heard it is said that the banshee have the second sight. Well if that's so and you'll be lettin up on my neck, I'll be telling you about it. I've a question for you, Thrice you have asked me who is to die-once I'll ask you, who's to be born. Tis the Antichrist says the banshee, quick as a snake, an you to be father of it. "
We again have a dead infant imagery repeating over here, which we will again have repeating when we get to the Indian part of Hannah's tale, and again we have the mention of the devil.
Also the old man in chimney corner forever definitely looks to be how we encountered Weer at the start of this chapter.
"I've been wantin a word with you darlin. Who's that I see behind you? It's just little Den, Katie. He's been there before.Yes but there's another dimmer yet, behind him. "
This is a strange sentence which gets thrown at us out of no where at the end of the tale, and how come we have Dennis physically present in Hannah's memory tale, and it looks like the dimmer shape seems to be elder Weer to me.
Still young Weer is not satisfied he wants to hear an actual Indian tale, and then Hannah tells him how they had visited an Indian family probably living alone.
"They had a little house, it wasn't one of them pointed tents like you see in books, but a house made of all of sticks, with bark on outside. The Indian women was inside there, with a tiny little bit of fire that went up through the roof where a piece of the bark had been taken down, and she had a little Indian baby on her lap- it was laid on a piece of real soft leather, and it didn't have anything on. There was a bible pushed over against the wall that I guess some missionary gave them, and little bundle of feathers, and some wood for fire, that was everything in the house. The man had a gun & knife."
Here we have a bible with Indian, and turns out there some interesting history in the united states between Christianity and the native Indians, I read a big article online, which said that the native Indians, looked on Christianity as in relation to be a colonizers trying to enforce themselves on the colonized native Indians,
So here we clearly have another connection to fifth head.
The Knife again brings Weer back to his house, where he was last seen searching for Knife.
This is one of the strangest section in the few pages, because Weer does remember the houses he has been lived i,n and the houses he has been to, but strangely he can't remember the plan of his own living house.
"There was never a time when I could feel sure of drawing the floor plans of this house correctly; that is fault of building late, of moving into a new home at a time when the various old ones have settled into the brain and become a part of landscape, their walls like those of old romantic walls in nineteenth-century paintings, with bushes and even cedar trees sprouting from crumbling stones. I remember Elanor Bold once told me that the rose called Belle Amour was growing from a wall in a ruined convent in Switzerland; the walls of those old houses in my mind are like that rotting and falling, yet at the same time armed with thorns and gay with strange flowers, and bound tighter with the roots of all the living things that have grown there than they were with mortar and plaster."
This is such a strange para, because it seems that Weer compares the old houses which he had lived in, and made good and bad memories during that time, as something living, and I think this rounds off his reminiscing at the start where he is trying to tells us that not all the dead people are gone, unless someone has forgotten about them.
And he specifically mentions a Cedar tree here which symbolizes "poets and artists have conveyed the tree as a sign of strength and eternity, especially given the tree's endurance through tumultuous periods of history."
So it seems to me like Weer is thinking much about life after death in this section especially, the relationship which memory has with life and death.
There is so much more in this para where he tells us about him getting lost in maze of pictures without names and doors that open to nowhere.
This is big revelation section where we find that Weer is surprised to find himself sitting in the Doctor's office, he asks the Doctor that how come has not disappeared yet.
The doctor then makes him take some of psycho analysis test, which I think Weer completely fails, because he does not describe his physical appearance in the correct way. The doctor even contradicts Weer's statement of him being a tall man.
"You know, all I really wanted from you was advice about the effect of exercise on my stroke, I've got that,and now I really should wipe you out. Do you really think that you could do that, Mr Weer ? Of course. All I have to do is turn my mind toward something else-naturally I can't prove that to you, because you wouldn't be there to see the proof. Do you feel you can control the whole world-just with your mind? Not the real world-but this world yes.In the real world I am an elderly man, sick and alone, and I can't do anything about that. But this world-your only world now, Van Ness-I have conjured from my imagination & memories. This interview between us never took place, but I wanted advice about my stroke."
This is a fantastic para because the thin lines between memory and reality seems to be blurred for Weer most of the times, but here I think he is in the real world and not in the world of memory, because how can characters have their own mind in Weer's imaginary memory world ?