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Not Wanted on the Voyage. ∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞ Book 3 ∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞ “This is a place without magic.” “Never forget what you have seen down there.”. Elaborating on No. At the end of Book Two, the Ark said No.

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not wanted on the voyage

Not Wanted on the Voyage

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞Book 3∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

“This is a place without magic.”

“Never forget what you have seen down there.”

elaborating on no
Elaborating on No
  • At the end of Book Two, the Ark said No.
  • By then, of course, Mrs. Noyes had already said no herself. When she chooses not to board the ark, she says no to the tyranny of the patriarchy, to Noah and Yahweh. She renounces the old God as the old world slips away.
  • Looking at the animals for one last time, she recognizes what the animals have known all along. When the rains come, the animals gather in the trees: It was as if the trees- and the trees alone- were salvation.
  • The trees - the apple trees- saved Mrs Noyes, and when she does ultimately board the ark, she takes the apples with her.
women and apples redux
Women and Apples Redux
  • We’ve been here before.
  • Mrs. Noyes use of the apples recalls an earlier story in which a woman deceived a man using apples. As the story goes, Eve was another problematic woman who refused to accept what was given her and challenged the status quo. Her trespass against God’s injunction brought about their expulsion from Paradise and the suffering of humankind.
  • Mrs. Noyes deception is to save life.
the eternal scapegoat
The Eternal Scapegoat
  • The Patriarchy is always inclined to blame women:
  • When Japeth’s wolves seem to be perishing of thirst...
  • When Apes spring from Man’s loins
  • When Ham wishes to marry Lucy
  • When Emma cannot be taken by her husband....
  • If Hannah delivers an ape...
  • There are no women in Yaweh’s retinue.
mrs noyes deception
Mrs. Noyes’ Deception
  • By the time Mrs. Noyes transgresses against the orchard and deceives her husband to bring Mottyl and Crowe aboard the ark, suffering and corruption have already begun. THIS is a man-made holocaust, a masculine assault upon the fertile earth.
  • Her deception is to save the life of a blind pregnant cat, to thank Crowe for reuniting them. There is no higher, seditious purpose. It is a benign transgression, surely, when compared to what we have seen, and what we will see.
living arrangements
Living arrangements
  • The four floors of the ark are contrived in such a way that the upper and only open deck is reserved for those “wanted” on the voyage.
  • Here Noah establishes his armoury, his pagoda, and the chapel.
  • The lower decks open onto a well (not a sustainer of life, as one thinks of a well) of darkness, a labyrinth of fetid passageways, darkness and terror.
  • The animals that are feared are kept the furthest distance from the top deck, for both practical and symbolic reasons.
living arrangements1
Living arrangements
  • Noah delegates the unpleasant tasks to others, reserving the lighter tasks for those who have displayed loyalty and the most laborious for those who have proven to be problematic.
  • The family is corralled to hear noah’s Edict, given in Yaweh’s robes and with his two cats in his lap. “Four and Four Make Eight” echoes Yaweh’stwo by two logic.
  • “He was drawing a line between them- right down the centre of the table: we and thee, he was saying, us and them.”
so let it be written
So Let it Be Written
  • Noah codifies the division of his family by writing it down. Once written, it has the force of law. Written pronouncements, accessible only to those who can read, serve handily to divide the world, as education and ignorance always divide the world. The enemies of the patriarchy are to literally be kept in the dark, no different from the other animals.
  • Self-aggrandizement, separation, exclusion, demotion-all without explanation. One is not given because one is not warranted or deserved.
the most reverend doctor noyes
The most Reverend Doctor noyes
  • “only proper for one on his way to becoming a god”
  • The us and them division is a simple metaphor for global politics, but also functions in terms of biblical and familial politics.
  • “They sat at the table, ranged down either side like factions at a treaty conference”
  • Hannah reads “The Agenda” and instructs others to “refer to the chart”
  • Here the demolition and reformation of the family is regarded in the benign terms of a corporate takeover.

The New World

  • “I am in charge here. You, Madam, are not. You are nothing, now, but a fellow passenger, without station and without rank.”
heads and hearts
Heads and Hearts
  • Noah is the head, and the power relations are from the top down.
  • Head does not merely signify Noah’s position as traditional leader of the family, captain of the ark, director of operations, god in the dead Yaweh’s place;
  • it also signifies the seat of the intellect, the rational faculty traditionally privileged by and thought to be the domain of men only.
  • As such, the head is opposed to the heart, traditionally devalued by men and regarded as subversive of a rational, masculine system. The heart is dangerous; it is weak; it cannot be trusted, and so is locked below.
kindness is criminal
Kindness is Criminal
  • For example, Noah thinks that he will have to put the stores under lock and key because of Mrs. Noyes’

“innate susceptibility to act of kindness... (he gave the word a kind of twist, with his lips extended- as if he were lapsing into a foreign language) “...kindness is wasteful at the best of times, but in times like these- it is criminal.”

  • As such, Findley makes clear that compassion is criminal, and that those who may be susceptible to it are not to see the light of day and, themselves, be kept under a system of locks and keys.
the castle chapel and the armoury
The Castle, Chapel, and the Armoury
  • Noah’s throne, as indicated by his Edict, is the upper deck, where we find traditional sites of power and containment: the Castle, Chapel, and Armoury.
  • These are the physical fortresses of Church and State, out of which the ruling class has traditionally operated, not just through force but through rhetorical texts; traditionally masculine bastions.
  • Noah makes clear that kindness is a crime, that people like Emma, whose sister was an ape, are dismissable.
stating the facts
Stating the Facts
  • Words such as duty, reverence, and obedience are held up as the greatest virtues, and it is this rhetoric that is used to justify the division of the family.
  • “I have my duties, Madam. I must commune with god and you must listen and obey. Since Yaweh has charged me with the safety of all this ark and all who sail on her, it would seem to be elementary that my dialogue should be with Him.”
  • “I merely state the facts.”
a world in miniature
A World in Miniature?
  • The world of the ark looks, not surprisingly, a lot like our own.
  • Politics demand that countries have armaments even though they may not have adequate food, housing, educational opportunities, or fresh drinking water.
  • It is a world in which pirates must occasionally be invented in order to justify the presence of the military construct and squandering of useful resources in that realm.
  • Like the slaughter of the pirates, our own slaughter of the whales, seals, and dolphins suggest that our own terms of reverence may not exactly be “life first.”
  • Japeth represents the military arm- the hunter and warrior dimension- of the patriarchal construct, a dimension that is tied to Japeth’s desire to be a man, given his inability to convince his wife to accept him or claim his wife by force.
  • Japeth is inarticulate, totally incapable of words except War! when faced with the pirates, perhaps because “his mouth was full of knives, his hands full of buckles and swords and the floor around him heaped with fallen weaponry. For Japeth, his militaristic impulses merge with his sexual ones, both of which serve principally to prove his manhood to his father.
the greater threat
The Greater Threat
  • “He had already seen the seeds of ruin sprouting; in his wife, in Ham and Lucy...already at work in the bowels of the ark- spreading opposition to the Edict- drawing the lines between the will of Yaweh and the mere will of men.
  • But they would not be allowed to prevail. Noah had sworn it. All he need do was maintain his pwer amongst the others.
  • This time, success. This time, mastery by whatever means. This time, the will of God would triumph, no matter what the cost.”
  • Furthermore, Noah suspects that he has been abandoned by Yaweh, and that perhaps, in acknowledging Japeth’s twin, that he (Noah) might not be of God at all.
the seven deadly sins
The Seven Deadly sins
  • Sloth
  • Envy
  • Lust
  • Greed
  • Gluttony
  • Pride
  • Wrath
  • The rape of Emma represents, for many readers, the darkest of Findley’s apocalyptic visions. It is the scene that lingers, though not the only one.
  • It represents the patriarchy taken to its height of depravity, and it is suggested that this depravity springs directly from the unaccountability- the unquestioned authority- of those in power. It suggests that the slaughter of dolphins and the pillaging of the world’s resources and the rape of children are merely different faces of the same crime.
  • When you see people as cargo, when you see them as problems to be solved, when you see them as having no value whatsoever, when you dismiss a woman’s autonomy over her own womb and make it subject to the dictates of politicians, mostly men, and all who invoke a greater cause in the name of a higher power, any atrocity becomes possible.
the unicorn
The Unicorn
  • That the rape of Emma and the death of the unicorn constitute a single act is not surprising; both suggest the violation of innocence and the death of magic.
  • Noah, of course, blames Japeth, and Mrs. Noyes, and Emma’s mother. They should have dealt with this. But instead it has fallen upon Noah. In the aftermath, he realizes that a justification will be necessary.
the unicorn1
The Unicorn
  • Noah spoke to Japeth in a monotone- his voice the very sound of reason- and he pacified his son by saying: “We have solved all your was not your fault before, but hers. This was necessary...”He gestured at the Unicorn... “Your own mother should have seen to this...” Here, Noah took that always wild and unpredictable turn that was meant to save him from any kind of blame: that turning that convinced even himself that he was blameless and- more than blameless- that he and he alone was saving the entire situation by salvaging everyone and everything from certain ruin....
  • Japeth has little choice but to strike out at the unicorn. He cannot strike his father or his wife, but needs to react. The unicorn, already dazed and bleeding, is the only choice, so he severs the unicorn’s horn- the phallus that has taken what is rightfully his. This act further demonstrates Japeth’s impotence and the fusion of sex and violence that drives him.
  • “To Noah, this was no more than a reasonable reaction. Every man must exact his vengeance how and where he sees it. It is only the act of vengeance that matters, since it delineates the man. Later, Japeth would come to understand that he had acted as the arm of god. Noah would explain this for him.”
holy dust holy beast holy life
Holy dust. Holy beast. Holy life.
  • “ A holy purpose must be manufactured for its death.”
  • Holy dust. Holy beast. Holy life.
  • “He would pray the formal prayer of mourning for the Unicorn itself- for the Unicorn was the last of its kind- deploring its irrevocable loss at the hands of the untamed beast...
  • Japeth, the ape. And Emma.”
  • Holy meant: No Way Out.
not wanted on the voyage1
Not Wanted on the Voyage
  • While much of Book Three recounts life on the Upper Deck, Findley is equally concerned with the life below decks, and fills this part of the novel with a series of memorable scenes.
  • Particularly potent are those scenes where the 2 worlds of the ark are juxtaposed, often violently.
  • Consider those traits that are devalued and trivialized in Noah’s world, but valued and celebrated below decks.
  • What is Findley suggesting through this stark contrast in worlds, and what are the implications for us?
hearts in darkness
Hearts in Darkness
  • Juxtapose Noah’s violation of Emma with One Tusk’s careful probing of the fallen Mottyl. The intent is to learn something, not hurt something.
  • “Mottyl felt again the soft explorations of the elephant’s probe- felt herself being taken very gently and held, just as she might have been held in the crook of a large elbow- the way Mrs. Noyes sometimes held her. And then she was lifted.....”
  • All of this is done with care and attention, with explanations and the important question: do you understand. Again, contrast this to Emma’s experience on the upper deck.
  • “We are all in this together- and we must do what we can do.”
  • “In the end, it was practicality that won out...She sat on the floor of the bear cage, and held the terrified bear until it fell asleep with its head in her lap.”
being saved
Being saved
  • “The wood- though half the animals gathered on the ark had made their living there- had no such potential for danger as this place had. And yet- Mrs Noyes felt safer here. Though sadder than she might have been in the wood. Safer and sadder... We are truly captives here, she thought; everyone of us- and yet, they have called this: being saved.
  • Maybe that was what she had meant by safety and sadness: that she and all these creatures with her shared their captivity in a way they had never shared the wood. When you are caught together in the same trap, you share the same....enemy. you fear the same jailer. You share the same dream of freedom- waiting, all together, for the same door to open. You also learn to survive together in ways the uncaged world would never think of....
  • What is this cruelty then...that battens those doors up there and locks us in, as if we were dragons, and fearsome.”
fear in disguise
Fear in Disguise
  • “The thought of Noah’s rages and Japetharmed gave her the answer.

Cruelty was fear in disguise and nothing more. And hadn’t one of Japeth’s holy strangers said that fear itself was nothing more than a failure of the imagination.”

Mrs. Noyes and those below decks articulate a belief unlike that of Noah and the patriarchy for which he stands. which chooses not to empathize with the conditions, feelings or opinions of anything other than itself.

  • h
  • Emma keeps alive her memories of the past, and wears the sign, the shawl made for her by her mother, of her connectedness with life and the living past. She also sustains a dream of freedom, the signs of which, feathers, she wears in her apron.
  • Emma had half clambered out of the tub... “My feathers...”she said. All the feathers so patiently collected during her bird feeding duties- the feathers with which, in daydreams, Emma manufactured wings. Wings for Mrs. Noyes. Wings for Ham and Lucy. Wings for mottyl and for the Unicorn- so that one day they could all take off and fly away with Crowe and leave the ark forever.
  • When it is explained to Emma that her mutilation has been for the sake of of making her sexually available to her husband, Emma asks outright how her injury can possibly have changed Japeth as much as her. “Nobody sliced him up!” and when she asserts that Japeth could not gain entry because she wouldn’t let him, she asserts that she is the one with power in their marriage, and rejects Noah’s implications of her inadequacy.
  • “She was full of words. Sentences and paragraphs. Whispers and shouts. Hundreds of them. Thousands. But she was a woman and she could not speak. But only think in silence and go mad.
  • She desperately needed- and wanted- someone to talk to, especially a woman; but she could not bring herself to do it. All her pride was shuttered in silence; all her ambition was locked in the choice she had made to sit on the right hand of power... She wanted to admit she was afraid; she wanted to tell about the loneliness: she wanted to say out loud;I am in pain.She wanted to tell about the child she was afraid had died inside her.
lucifer bringer of light
Lucifer: Bringer of Light
  • While Noah rations goods, Lucy produces “wonders”
  • linked to the morning star; the light Ham saw was Lucy falling to earth. She produces candles and lanterns, standing in opposition to darkness.
  • “Lucy’s greatest fascination seemed to be with the outcasts and the pariahs, the strangely formed and excessively delicate: the Gryphons and the Glassmice, the Demons and the Unicorns; the Cobras and the Platypi. Her favourite birds were the immensely ugly Dodos and the immensely unpopular Cuckoos.”
  • “Surely, above all, it was wonderful that Lucy was one of them, in the bowels of the ark- that she was opposed to Dr. Noyes- opposed to his experiments- opposed to his Edict- opposed to his methods and his tactics and his...evil ways.”
  • Noah, and the system he represents, will not be their saviours. But Lucy might be. She came to earth in search of a place that tolerated difference and opposition, and instead found another tyranny. So she came aboard the ark, and even if it takes forever (and the infinity sign suggests it will), Lucy will be one of them.
  • She spreads the word of another world offering the hope of a promised land, a heaven where difference is respected.
another manger scene
Another manger scene
  • We’ve been here before, too.
  • The Biblical manger scene is rich in hope and promise.
  • Forgiveness of our sins, eternal life after death. Magic.
  • Findley closes Book 3 with another magical manger scene, this one in the very bowels of the ark.
  • Here, Lucy is briefly able to perform magic in this world where there is no magic, and where even Lucy’s abilities are failing. “The ground is not holy here... my fingers have lost their power.”
another manger scene1
Another Manger Scene
  • Lucy Mrs. Noyes of other deaths. Adam and Lotte who were once held in Mrs. Noyes’ hands, but also in unholy places. Mortality is the way of this world, and nothing lives forever.
  • This does not mean, though, that the unicorn should die in vain. Lucy speaks of the value of the moment, the value of shared memory, that the Unicorn lives as long as his life is remembered. Of course, his death must be remembered, too. Memory is the enemy of those in power who would use their authority to scrub history clean of their bloody deeds.
  • When boarding the ark, Mrs. Noyes is told she may bring no souvenirs. There must be no reminders of the past that could threaten the dominant narrative Noah intends to write.
another world
Another World
  • “Where I was born, the trees were always in the sun. And I left that place because it was intolerant of rain. Now, we are here in a place where there are no trees and only rain. And I intend to leave this place- because it is intolerant of light. Somewhere-there must be somewhere were darkness and light are reconciled. so I am starting a rumour, here and now, of yet another world. I don’t know when it will present itself- and I don’t know where it will be. But as with all those other worlds now past- when it is ready, I intend to go there.”
  • “Even if it takes a thousand years- we want to come with you. Wherever you may be going.”