TPAOL Question #18 ~ Symbolism

by James Meek

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Linda Lee
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Unread postby Linda Lee » Sun Feb 18, 2007 1:41 am

The horse is used to symbolize many things in TPAOL, these are the ones I thought of as I reflected on this question. I am sure there are more.
To the castrates the white horse symolized their newly found purity. Omar symbolized a return of Balashov's "manhood" in his final act. He allows Balashov to die with dignity and "power".
Matula when offered the Omar, refers to him as a Trojan horse, perhaps symbolizing deceit and death.To the Albino, Omar symbolized a spirit guide who would fly the shaman to the upper world.
Thank you DITHOT for the extra tidbit, it was both interesting and helpful.
Now, I'm going to read the previous posts and catch up with the discussion.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Feb 18, 2007 1:45 pm

Lots of interesting ideas here! Theresa, it didn't occur to me that the colors of the horses were switched, as it were. Linda Lee, I think you are right about Balashov and Omar in the final act, restoring his manhood. In the end I suppose Omar did symbolize death? Now I'm contradiciting myself! :lol:
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Linda Lee
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Unread postby Linda Lee » Sun Feb 18, 2007 2:39 pm

Liz wrote:
suec wrote: What leaps out at me is the shaman's comment before dying: everyone will have a horse some day, or something like. That taps right into what I've felt about the book. That it is about everyone finding their way.


Well, that certainly fits. :-O
What I was thinking in connection with Balashov was that a horse symbolizes the driving force of the libido. And it seems that it is a driving force in this book, not only for Balashov (so much so that he has to remove it), but for Samarin and Anna.


suec - I couldn't figure that comment out and your explanation makes perfect sense.

Liz - I agree, but I would also add Mutz and perhaps even Matula, who was having an affair with the Land Captain's wife.
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Unread postby Constance » Mon Feb 19, 2007 4:04 am

My first thought was that the horse represented the lost manhood.
And that the horse in some way gave the same sense of power a man who is still in possession of his manhood feels.
And my second thought was that, come to think of it, nowadays a lot of men use their big fancy cars as a means to try to prove what great studs they are.
Hmm..... Could there be a connection here? ;-)
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Unread postby Liz » Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:08 am

Linda Lee wrote: Liz - I agree, but I would also add Mutz and perhaps even Matula, who was having an affair with the Land Captain's wife.


Agreed!

Constance wrote:And my second thought was that, come to think of it, nowadays a lot of men use their big fancy cars as a means to try to prove what great studs they are.
Hmm..... Could there be a connection here?


Could be. :eyebrow:
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