Τετάρτη, 9 Ιουλίου 2008

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell-A book where weather and magic unite! - by Golden Lady



I n this marvelous work of Susana Clarke, weather comes either as a “messenger” or as a direct effect of using sorcery.

In many passages of the book, it is plainly obvious how the weather serves the author in order to express something too Magic that has happened or is about to happen.

Even at the beginning of the book, when Mr. Norrell is challenged to prove how good a magician he is, he reveals his power while a great storm occurs that causes great fear to his opponents.

As the story goes on, young Jonathan Strange is taken by the English Army as a help against the French. During the war, he uses even Black Magic and he creates deathly storms and terrible thunders which strike hard the Enemy and causes to them very important losses.

When an Elf curses Strange, rain surrounds the last and an ancient doom of darkness follows him. And when he sends a mirror as a way out of the magic world, thunders and lightings tear the sky apart so as to cover his cursed and doomed appearance.

When John Uskglash is about to come, a fierce wind starts to blow dragging everything in its passing. Then a storm comes while many ravens crawl wildly. The thunders shake the world and the water falls as a cataract from the sky, destroying everything in its wild way of wrath.

Generally, on the whole book, when the two wizards use some very powerful and dark spells, great clouds gather up in the sky and rain comes as to signify the power these spells bring forth.

Finally, the misty and cloudy weather of England creates the perfect atmosphere for all the magical events that are about to happen.

Τρίτη, 1 Ιουλίου 2008

Talking about Tolkien and the weather II , by Golden Lady

The Lord of the Rings (Trilogy).

In this famous trilogy, Tolkien lays down his great talent as narrator and one who deeply possesses the art of description and the art of combining the words in such a way that the reader stays ecstatic!

The first book is mostly an introduction to what is about to follow. It focuses on life in the Shire, the Hobbit-land where Frodo and his relatives live. Hobbits are quiet, love food and good life and most of them do not ever seek for adventures. (Exception to this was the line of Frodo). So the weather at the beginning of the book is sunny and the sky bright and nice images spring to the readers’ mind. But the Shadow is near…..

When the plot goes on, a great cloud gathering occurs to the sky few hours before the appearance of the Nashgoul, the Ring-ghosts. And finally when they show themselves up, in The Weather Top a strong rain pours from the sky as to welcome the evil that the Nashgoul bring with them. The weather also depicts the difficult situation where the four Hobbits are trapped in.

In Rivendell, the House of Elrond the Half-Elven, there is a great sun-shine and a nice weather until the time when Gandalf speaks the Black Speech of Mordor in this hallowed land. Then, a big black shadow covers Rivendell during the speaking of the dark words which indicates the evil these words enclose inside them. In addition to this, this weather-change confesses that everything hallowed or not, will be touched by the Great Evil that rouses in the East.

Another part where Tolkien uses the weather is in the battle at Helm’s Deep. Before the battle starts, the night has come and the Helm’s defenders are unable to see the enemy. Then a storm comes and in the lightings Legolas, with his elfish sight, sees where the panoplies of the Enemy are easy to be stricken. So he provides the Defenders with helpful information. The weather here comes as a help for those who still serve the Good upon the world.

In many other of his books Tolkien uses the weather for various reasons. In these two books the use of it is greater and carries many and meaningful messages. Anyone who wants to say that has wholly and fully understood how an author can use the weather and which are his purposes, must read some of Tolkien’s masterpieces!!!

Talking about Tolkien and the weather I - by Golden lady

One of the greatest authors of the 20th century, named John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, mostly known due to the block-buster “The Lord of the Rings” based to his book-trilogy, has extensively used the weather in his various masterpieces and in the next lines, a focused analysis follows.

The Silmarillion.

In this book, Tolkien describes how the world of Arda was born. This world consists of Valinor, the deathless land of the Valar, the greatly tortured Middle Earth, Numenor, the land of the Mortal Sea-Kings and the Endless Void. The greatest part of this story takes place in Middle Earth, Valinor and Numenor.

In the days of the Two Trees in Valinor, (which were days of prosperity and endless joy) the weather was always sunny, the morning breeze was caressing the deathless shores and the night aura was bringing sea-smells. There was never rain in that land and the sky was always bright and clear.

Here, the weather comes to depict the bliss of the Blessed Realm and the power of the Valar. The perfect weather also indicates the happiness of the Realm plus it is so perfect that by its own perfection prepares the reader about the dark and sorrowful change that is about to follow.

And this change does occur having disastrous effects upon the Blessed Realm and the Firstborn. So when dark Morgoth and his faithful companion Ungoliant the Spider destroy the two trees, a dark cloud covers the sky and the sun does not shine with the same intense way as it used to do. Rain comes too.

But the best weather description comes in the end of the book where Akkalabeth or mostly known Numenor, comes to its end: Men want to claim immortality so they prepare for battle against the Valar. They, in the full shape of their wrath, cause great thunders, disastrous storms and lightings to come upon the Numenorians. But they do not stop here: they sink Numenor in the abyss of the sea and at that time, great and wild wind destroys the Men’s fleet and terrible waves cover the Mortal Kingdom and “lead” it to the Depths pf the Sea. And all this horrible disaster is accompanied by a constant storm, a real downfall.

Here the weather comes both as a punishment to those who did not respect the allegiance between the Mortal and the Immortal and as a hallowing means by which the Valar cleaned Arda by those of the Men who were deeply corrupted.