Dream Sight Essay, Research Paper
In the novel, The Once and Future King, by T.H. White, the main character Lancelot had a dream when he was young. The thing about his dream, however, was that his entire life was spread metaphorically throughout the dream. It wasn’t exactly spelled out for the reader word for word, but it was given in symbols. Every problem he would face in life was foretold in the dream. Not mentioning that the problems he faced were also the same over and over again. Lancelot’s dream was an analogy for his life, and everything that happened to him came from it.
Within Lancelot’s dream there were many good things foretold. In the beginning of the dream Lance went on the trip with his brother. This can be interpreted many ways, but in my view it means that in the early part of life he would have friends and family with him. Then in the dream Lance is set upon by some force. This is a way to show that Lance will eventually find someone who will actually pose a challenge to him, and give him an actual fair fight. The next part in the dream is the part where they “…clothed him in another array which was full of knots…” (317) This means that when Lance went crazy he finally came to his senses and realized what he had done wrong. So he wore a shirt made of hair as a penance. Also when Lance started out on his quest (within the dream) he was riding on a fancy horse then he had to ride on a donkey. This is means that lance’s life isn’t always good, but then his life isn’t always bad either. When he saw the well in the dream he tried to reach for the water it would sink away. This basically symbolizes the idea that he always tries to do good things and doesn’t, but he really does do many great things. He just doesn’t realize them for what they really are.
Within Lancelot’s dream there are many bad things foretold. In the beginning of his dream he leaves with his brother. However we never hear about the brother in the rest of the dream. This means that in the beginning of his life he is with his friends, but then as life passes by and he can no longer be with them. The next part of the dream is that he is riding a nice fancy horse, then some force sets upon him, and he then rides a donkey. This means that in the beginning of his relationship with Gwen he is happy, and she is happy, and they are happy. They spend a whole year of this happiness. Then people set against them. These people include the Orkney clan, the other knights, and even King Arthur at times. After this their relationship is never the same, hence the donkey. After that in the dream he sees the well. The well symbolizes being the greatest knight in Arthur’s kingdom. He got to the well, he wouldn’t stay thirsty forever. Then he looked inside the well and reached for the water, but the water sinks away when ever he gets close to it. This symbolizes his personal happiness and the realization of himself. Throughout his entire life he could never find himself it was always a mystery to him. “So far as he could see -and he felt that there must be some reason for it somewhere-…” (317) The well also symbolizes his relationship with Gwen. It shows that no matter what he tried to do he could never be with her, which was true. Lance became a monk and Gwen became a nun.
In conclusion Lance’s dream was basically a foreshadow or a foresight into his own future. All that happened to him was in the dream. His whole life was spread out for him, but he was only a boy, how was he supposed to know what it meant?