dis/lit

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Sarah S.’s Formal Blog Post on Spider pt 1

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“It was the cloak of spectral unreality I loved, the cloak it spread over the familiar forms of the world. All was strange in a fog, buildings grew vague, human beings groped and became lost, the landmarks, the compass points, by which they navigated melted into nothingness and the world was transfigured into a country of the blind. But if the sighted became blind, then the blind—and for some odd reason I have always regarded myself as one of the blind—the blind became sighted, and I remember feeling at home in a  fog, happily at ease in the murk and gloom that so confused my neighbors. I moved quickly and confidently through fog-blanketed streets, unvisited by the terrors that lurked everywhere in the visible material world; I stayed out as late as I could in a fog.” (page 67)

Spider is unique in that we get a close (legible) inner monologue from a mentally disabled character. Certain passages, such as the one above, give us a valuable insight into the thought process of a mentally disabled person (although it would help to know what disability). In the passage above, we see Spider’s alienation from the world around him and his inability to cope with normal perspectives.

Spider’s love of fog sets him apart from his “neighbors,” from the normal inhabitants of the city and their behaviors. Most people are disoriented in the fog, not able to rely on their usual landmarks and sense of direction. Spider, because he is so unlike the rest of the population, likes when these roles are reversed, so that he can walk like a normal person would, unhindered through the streets. To Spider, the real fear is in the “visible material world,” which is blanketed by the fog and thus obscured. The fog covers over all of the stressful real world sights and sounds that Spider is unable to deal with because of his disability.

It is interesting when he says that he has considered himself as “one of the blind,” because it shows a strange self-awareness of this disability, but a misplaced awareness nonetheless. He seems to understand that he does not fit in with normal society, but cannot pinpoint exactly what is wrong with him that sets him apart. For instance, he has no perception that the voices in the attic aren’t actually there, but figures out that the gas is not leaking from him and he was just freaking out.

Spider does not fit in with the world around him, and thus enjoys the cloaking atmosphere of the fog because it allows him to behave “normally,” at least compared with the rest of the world.

Written by sarahsmile

October 27th, 2010 at 1:42 am

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