Well, is later than I planned, but it is still the 30th of October, (PST), so I’m going to finish my posts for “Characters in Costume.” And next blogfest, I won’t arrange a birthday party for one of the days of the event. 🙂
We looked at the minimalist and medium approaches to describing s character, and today I wanted to clever the detailed option, where you give enough info for a casti director to either love you or hate you forever. We find just such an example in “Great Expectations,” where Dickens describes Miss Havisham.
Pip has just been shown into a room where he spies a lady’s changing table…and at it, a most unique lady.
“In an arm-chair, with an elbow resting on the table and her head leaning on that hand, sat the strangest lady I have ever seen, or shall ever see.
“Guilty Conscience”- is a key phrase I never really connected with the Nine of Swords until seeing the above graphic after listening to the various parts in Great Expectations where the protagonist Pip is tormented by anxiety after committing some heinous (to him) deed that he was sure he was going to be punished for. The first glimpse we get of the Nine of Swords in Pip’s experience is after he has agreed to steal food and a file for an escaped convict:
from Chapter Two:
“My thoughts strayed from that question as I looked disconsolately at the fire. For, the fugitive out on the marshes with the ironed leg, the mysterious young man, the file, the food, and the dreadful pledge I was under to commit a larceny on those sheltering premises, rose before me in the avenging coals.” (Dickens)
And at some point I”m going to have to explore why there are so many swords in Great Expectations. So far – swords cards are all I”m reminded of. No other suits. Just swords. And I’ve got another post coming on a Nine of Swords connection now too!
In this scene Pip’s sister is working her way up into a hysteria, and according to Pip it’s VERY calculated the entire way through. Having been in similar situations, I will defend her and say it’s more likely she’s NOT as in control of herself as Pip thinks, and most likely is standing in the back of her own head, helpless to stop the momentum. In any case, still a decent example of…
When I started learning to read Tarot, it was with the Sacred Circle deck by Anna Franklin and Paul Mason, and the primary keyword they chose to go with the card is
Franklin and Mason advise tact and diplomacy in dealing with situations if this card appears. In essence, to choose your words wisely in order to convey the illusion you wish to be believed. This scene from the novel Great Expectations by Charles Dickens reminds me of the Seven of Swords because it’s like Diplomacy Run Amuck!
Poor Joe Gargery is out of his element in this scene, and copes the only way he knows how, which is to fling every high sounding word and phrase he can think of around to use a lot of words to say very little real content. Kind of like the Dark Side of Writing. Joe is also trying to hide that…
I crossed the staircase landing, and entered the room she indicated. From that room, too, the daylight was completely excluded, and it had an airless smell that was oppressive.
A fire had been lately kindled in the damp old-fashioned grate,and it was more disposed to go out than to burn up, and the reluctant smoke which hung in the room seemed colder than the clearer air – like our own marsh mist.
Certain wintry branches of candles on the high chimneypiece faintly lighted the chamber: or, it would be more expressive to say, faintly troubled its darkness.
It was spacious, and I dare say had once been handsome, but every discernible thing in it was covered with dust and mould, and dropping to pieces. The most prominent object was a long table with a table-cloth spread on it, as if a feast had been in preparation when the house and the clocks all stopped together.
An epergne or centrepiece of some kind was in the middle of this cloth; it was so heavily overhung with cobwebs that its form was quite undistinguishable; and, as I looked along the yellow expanse out of which I remember its seeming to grow, like a black fungus, I saw speckled-legged spiders with blotchy bodies running home to it, and running out from it, as if some circumstances of the greatest public importance had just transpired in the spider community.
I heard the mice too, rattling behind the panels, as if the same occurrence were important to their interests.
But, the blackbeetles took no notice of the agitation, and groped about the hearth in a ponderous elderly way, as if they were short-sighted and hard of hearing, and not on terms with one another.
These crawling things had fascinated my attention and I was watching them from a distance, when Miss Havisham laid a hand upon my shoulder. In her other hand she had a crutch-headed stick on which she leaned, and she looked like the Witch of the place.