Here Comes the Flood • When the night shows the signals grow on radios All the strange things they come and go, as early warnings Stranded starfish have no place to hide still waiting for the swollen Easter tide There's no point in direction we cannot even choose a side. • I took the old track, the hollow shoulder, across the waters On the tall cliffs they were getting older, sons and daughters The jaded underworld was riding high Waves of steel hurled metal at the sky and as the nail sunk in the cloud, the rain was warm and soaked the crowd
Here Comes the Flood Lord, here comes the flood We'll say goodbye to flesh and blood. If again the seas are silent in any still alive It'll be those who gave their island to survive Drink up, dreamers, you're running dry. When the flood calls You have no home, you have no walls. In the thunder crash, You're a thousand minds, within a flash. Don't be afraid to cry at what you see. The actors gone, there's only you and me. And if we break before the dawn, they'll use up what we used to be.
Here Comes the Flood • Lord, here comes the flood. We'll say goodbye to flesh and blood. If again the seas are silent in any still alive. It'll be those who gave their island to survive. Drink up, dreamers, you're running dry.
A World Called Catastrophe • Here it comes and there it goes Another day of decomposing light In a world called catastrophe, my native tongue is blasphemy so that’s what I’ll write. And baby can you feel it, Don’t it make you want to lay down and open your eyes. - Matthew Good
The Book of Secrets • Consider the necessity of secrets in this book • Who is keeping secrets? What are they? • Why must they be kept secret? At what risk? • Consider the purposes for which people keep secrets in Book 2. What patterns emerge?
A Tale of Many Arks • Consider the arks in this book, and they might represent, what values they uphold, and what values they deny. • Noah’s Ark • Mrs. Noyes as ark • The Burial of Lotte • Mottyl • Hannah
The Necessity of Other • Inclusion and exclusion as central motif: The Edict • Inclusion and exclusion as exercise in authority • The creation of Other • Adam, Lotte, The Faires, Apes
The Flood of Fire • The Sacrifice as Apocalypse/ Fire as Flood • “All that is happening here is deliberate and the meaning of this fire is the sacrifice of hundreds.” • Before he (Ham) fell, he pushed something living into her arms and she automatically pressed it to her breast, not knowing what it was, and held it there while Ham wring out the flames around her feet.... • “It was only then that she heard the creature at her breast and saw that it was Mottyl, blind and pregnant, and she said, “was he going to kill her, too? For Yaweh?” • Mrs. Noyes gave a cry. “I will kill him,” she said. “I will. Kill him.” • “He says it’s the final sacrifice before we embark,” Ham told her. “This is his gift to Yaweh for having....” and though he tried, he simply could not resist a smile; “for having spared us.”
The Necessity of Sacrifice • “I won’t go,” she said. “To hell with him. To hell with ‘being spared.’ It’s as simple as that. I will not go.” • “Should you care to know what this- the greatest sacrifice we have ever offered to our Lord- is about, I can tell you in a sentence...” • “No madam, we can’t have that. You are, after all, my wife, and therefore I am responsible for your education.” • At this point, Hannah stepped forward, carrying water with which the old man washed his hands- after which, Hannah knelt and washed his feet as he continued his conversation with Mrs. Noyes. “It was our duty, madam, not to waste these animals.”
The Edict as Justification • “We have two cats already, madam. Two very special cats, I might add... and the Edict very plainly states two- and two only.” • “You could make an exception.” • “Oh? But why should I?” • “BECAUSE SHE IS MINE!”
“There are other cats, very beautiful cats, Abraham and Sarah- and your cat is pregnant, old-and a wildwood cat- to say nothing of blind, madam. She’d only have fallen overboard....” He chuckled almost kindly. “and think how that would have made you feel: swallowed up by the sea...” • “She will die with her own kind- in her own place. It is right. It is proper. We are obeying God. And when we go aboard the ark together, we will have fulfilled our mandate here- and have a future to fulfill and we shall be glad to have done our duty. Yes?” • No. She would not be glad. And she would not forgive him.
Their Father’s Sons? • How do each of the 3 boys differ? • What role does each play in Book Two? • How does Ham act differently than Japeth or Shem? Why? • Account for their different perceptions of their roles.
Those Nameless Daughters • Compare and contrast Hannah, Emma, and Lucy • Hannah has made her choice to be an agent of enforcement • Emma has no choice • Lucy also has magic, more powerful than Noah’s. Contrast Noah’s use of magic with Lucy’s in later books.
“Open Eyed and Unbowed” • The Human Animal: Transformation of Mrs. Noyes • She is the last woman to walk the earth (emphasizing that world is every bit as much woman’s as man’s?) • She must forage for food, and cast off her old knowledge, her old thinking, her old acceptance of her status as inferior. • She is wounded by the glass and uses apple cores to soothe her wounds, she moves like an animal, like a cow...
Claiming the Orchard • Symbolism of the Orchard: Traditionalism and Revisionism • Breaking Barriers • Overcoming fears
The Human Animal • “She felt that civilization was falling away from her shoulders, and she was gratified. What a burden it had been! “You bet it was!” (she spoke aloud to the birds) Carrying all that behaviour- all those strictures: • “sir” and “madam”- bowing and scraping and kissing hands- falling down and rising up on cue. Using knives and spoons and plates in the proper order- putting up one’s hair and wearing hat and scarves and veils to cover this and cover that and the other so gentlemen wouldn’t be corrupted- and having it all torn away whenever your husband felt like taking his pleasure. The oppression of time- the daily ritual of violence- all that prayer and blood and wine- and the dreariness of protocol...”
Supremacist Thinking • Life in the animal world is governed by no such logic. • Noah would rather burn surplus food than risk someone not included in the Edict availing themselves of it. It is a fundamentally murderous view, entirely antithetical, entirely human. • It is is this selfishness that has dictated the flood, the sacrifice, the casual slaughter of man, the willingness to kill Lotte, and Mottyl. • It is supremacist thinking: men over women, human over ape, Noah’s family over Emma’s family, heterosexuals over homosexuals, whites over blacks. The chosen. The elite. The more deserving. • It’s this hierarchical, anthropocentric, and exclusionary behaviour that always leads to holocausts. • It’s why we need other: to justify our murderous actions.
Lotte, Adam, and all the Apes • “There is no God. There is no God worthy of this child. And so I will give her back to the world where she belongs.” • “I am an ape, but I had a human mother and I had a human father; I was loved- I was cherished- I was held by human arms.” • Noah can never accept that he fathered an Ape. Why? • Lotte is killed not to satisfy the edict (that is merely a pretense), but to kill the living evidence. • All Mrs. Noyes can do is make an ark of her trousseau chest to try and give Lotte a dignified burial, as her instinct- and guilt- demands. 18 years ago she was weak, and she has never forgiven herself. Never again.
Alternative Prayers • Mrs. Noyes renounces the old dead religion. • She gives up praying to the patriarchal divinity early in Book Two. • She articulates instead a pantheists reverence for all life and a holistic but relational philosophy of all beings existing in the same world. • As such, she is in complete organization to the neatly ordered ark that God has decreed, and Noah has built. • Who the hell do you pray to when you want to live... and there isn’t any God?” She suggests that those left behind should pray to each other. That way, we might find another and not be so dreadfully alone when the end comes.
The Faeries • Homosexuality? • Magic? • Other? • What do they represent? What is the significance of their sign?
And the Ark Said.......... No Not Wanted on the Voyage