Magic Window Of The Novelle Essay, Research Paper
The magic window gives us a unique insight into the psyche of the protagonist and into the very fabric of the literature itself. It shows us a different perspective and enables us to see a deeper level of the character where only their instincts are visible. The concept of embodying the theme of a story in one symbol is very interesting as it clearly defines the various levels of involvement from the main character, from the superficial right down to the detailed depicts the state of being of the protagonist throughout the novelle. From the analysis of the central symbol, it would seem that the all actions and events of the novelle are deeply linked so it appears that this magic window is indeed magic.
In the Ninth Story from the Decameron the central symbol is the falcon that is one of Federigo s last possessions. On a superficial level the falcon is well known for being a noble and dignified creature and we see this reflected in Federigo s own noble disposition. After losing all his money and belongings he still does not ask anybody for money. He accepts his situation as being a result of his own actions.
knowing that he would never be able to live the way he wished in the city, he moved to where his farm was asked nothing of anyone and endured his poverty patiently.
On a deeper level the falcon is a direct reflection of Federigo s character. This falcon is well known for its skill, it is the best that ever flew and Federigo of noble birth, no matter how poor he is is well known and respected for his nobility and dignity. The two have similar qualities and thus by analyzing the central symbol of the falcon we are able to see through the magic window into Federigo s own character.
In Die Taube the central symbol is that of the pigeon that stands at Jonathan s door. This symbol is very complex and has many levels to it. Jonathan s characteristics are mirrored by the actions of the pigeon throughout the novelle. The pigeon creates the magic window through which we can see deep into Jonathan s psyche. It is a symbol of Jonathan s fears and inability to adapt socially.
The first description of the pigeon is of its eye, the manner in which Jonathan describes this is very eerie. He describes the eye as ganz nackt, ganz schamlos and he seems to linger on the one sidedness of this encounter. He feels that he is being watched and is unable to do anything about it he cannot even look back. This is one of Jonathan s worst fears.
sondern ganz einfach leblos zu sein wie die Linse einer Kamera, die alles aussere Licht verschluckt und nichts von ihrem Inneren zuruckstrahlen lasst.
On a deeper level the fact that the pigeon does not seem to let any of its emotions out is important as this characteristic can be seen in Jonathan as well. He cuts himself off completely from the world around him, the only thing that seems to matter to him is his room, he even calls it mein liebe . It is perfect for him, he has everything he needs in it. It is his refuge in an unstable world. He does not feel it necessary to talk with others, it is as if the room is his only friend. He is completely content with his routine and his state of being and that is the reason why he is so upset by the arrival of the pigeon.
It is possible that Jonathan himself can see some of his own characteristics reflected in those of the pigeon s. He may notice that the pigeon patrolling the corridor outside his room and watching aimlessly reflects almost identically Jonathan s job at the bank. Both the pigeon and Jonathan are used to watching the world and get a sense of security by keeping their own thoughts private so they themselves cannot be watched. This pigeon is possibly Jonathan s biggest fear, somebody that he cannot feel superior over because they are too much like him. Jonathan s own insignificance is shown to him in the actions and characteristics of the pigeon. He realises this and runs away.
The fact that the pigeon is gone from Jonathan s door when he returns home is a very important one. It symbolises Jonathan s development and change over the last twenty-four hours. He has spoken to so many people and had so many revelations in one day than he has had over thirty years of his life. We now see the pigeon as the symbol of the old Jonathan so when it is gone we assume that he has become slightly more socially adapted, at least in his mind. He has faced up to his fears and has survived through his very own dark night of the soul and emerged a changed man. The insights gained from analysing the symbol of the pigeon in Die Taube enabled us to examine the motivation for Jonathan s actions and decisions and highlighted strong traits in his character, again the magic window in this story is indeed magic.
The statement that the central symbol of a book acts as a magic window is a true one. It allows the reader to delve into and analyse information that is embedded deep within the mind of the characters information that is invisible otherwise. In some cases it even allows us to see into the mind of the author and uncover more information. It is a very helpful and interesting tool in the analysis of literature.