Themes, Symbols, Motifs and Archetypes

Themes, Symbols, Motifs and Archetypes - Themes Symbols...

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November 17, 2009 Themes, Symbols, Motifs and Archetypes Themes Symbols / Motifs    Archetypes Good vs. Evil  – Pg. 60 – “Demian had  then said that we most likely had a God,  whom we revered, but that He  represented only an arbitrarily detached  half of the world (this was the official,  permissible, “bright” world). But we had  to be able to revere the whole world, and  so either we had to have a God who was  also the Devil, or else we had to  establish a service of the Devil  alongside our divine service of God.-- And now, then, Abraxas was the god  who was both God and Devil.”      A subtle reference to one of  Nietzsche’s books, Demian  carries much  of the same message: it encourages  people to leave the idea that there are set  parameters for what is good and what is  evil and set their own parameters  specific to their unique situations. This  is showcased in Sinclair's references to  the “bright” and “dark” worlds, but the  most visible contrast is between the  conventional concept of God being only  good, and then the concept of Abraxas,  the God that encompasses both good  and bad qualities, because the world is  Coat-of-arms/bird bursting out of egg  painting  – Pg. 57 – “Now it was a bird  of prey with the sharp, bold head of a  sparrowhawk. The lower part of its body  was enclosed in a dark terrestrial globe,  from which it was working itself free, as  if from a gigantic egg; the background  was sky-blue.” – Pg. 59 – “The bird is  fighting its way out of the egg. The egg  is the world. Whoever wishes to be born  must destroy a world. The bird is flying  to God. The god is named Abraxas.” –  Pg. 67 – “My companion threw a small  piece of resin into the fire; a small,  narrow flame shot up, in which I saw the  bird with the yellow sparrowhawk's  head.”      The bird represents the sacrifice an  individual must make in order to  discover his own identity. He must give  up his past—destroy his old world, as it  were. In Sinclair's case, he had to  destroy his comfortable, permissible,  “bright” world. Cain's mark  – Pg. 18 – “Surely it was  something strange that was barely  noticeable, a little more intelligence and  daring in his eyes than people were used  to. This man had power, people shied  away from this man. He had a 'mark.'...  They were afraid of the children of Cain,  who possessed a 'mark.'... People with  courage and character always seem  weird to other people. It was very 
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