Maggie
questions He felt that he had unwittingly stuck his hand into The Great Wasps' Nest of Life. As an image it stank. As a cameo of reality, he felt it was serviceable. He had stuck his hand through some rotted flashing in high summer and that hand and his whole arm had been consumed in holy, righteous fire, destroying conscious thought, making the concept of civilized behavior obsolete. Could you be expected to behave as a thinking human being when your hand was being impaled on red-hot darning needles? Could you be expected to live in the love of your nearest and dearest when the brown, furious cloud rose out of the hole in the fabric of things (the fabric you thought was so innocent) and arrowed straight at you?Question 1: What does ‘that hand and his whole arm had been consumed in holy, righteous fire, destroying conscious thought, making the concept of civilized behavior obsolete’ imply? ( his hand got stung by the wasps like being consumed in holy, righteous fire? ) Question 2: Does ‘your hand was being impaled on red-hot darning needles’ also imply that his hand got stung by the wasps like being impaled on red-hot darning needles? If not, what does it imply? Question 3: What’s the meaning of ‘ Could you be expected to live in the love of your nearest and dearest when the brown, furious cloud rose out of the hole in the fabric of things (the fabric you thought was so innocent) and arrowed straight at you?’ ( the fabric of things == the wasps’ nest? )
Sep 24, 2018 3:07 AM
Answers · 4
To answer #s 1 and 2 in reference to "that hand and his whole arm had been consumed in holy, righteous fire, destroying conscious thought, making the concept of civilized behavior obsolete" & "your hand was being impaled on red-hot darning needles" are BOTH similes to compare the action of putting his hand in the wasp nest with his painful life. Yes, sticking his hand in a wasp's nest is likened to both fire and hot needles. The lines "As a cameo of reality, he felt it was serviceable" as well as "holy consuming fire" makes me think he believes the pain he is going through is retribution for his actions (he deserves the pain). On the other hand, "the brown, furious cloud rose out of the hole in the fabric of things (the fabric you thought was so innocent) and arrowed straight at you?" Makes it seem like he believes he is a victim of life. It is possible that he feels both fair punishment AND like a victim at the same time. Question #3: Yes. He is comparing the paper barrier around the wasp's nest to that of perhaps WHAT LIFE SEEMS TO BE. A wasp's nest looks quiet and perhaps pretty until a hole is made and the angry wasps are blaming you for their destructed home. As is life- it can seem peaceful and happy until suddenly something suddenly changes and everything is disrupted. I hope this clarifies! Let me know if my answer is not clear.
September 24, 2018
The whole paragraph is a list of metaphors of his experiences. The wasp's nest is not real its a substitute for all the causes of pain he has experienced. Life turned out different from what he expected and judging by his metaphors he did not handle the experiences well, too much pain.
September 24, 2018
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