Friday, April 21, 2017

The Moon and Sixpence

Thing is, it’s hard to tell.

It’s hard to tell, watching this, whether the government Montag and Beatty represent is an oppressively conservative government looking to destroy books, or an oppressively liberal one looking to destroy books.

Neither conservative nor liberal can say they have clean hands when it comes to suppressing thought. History books, when they are written, are written by the victors.
Is the man who yanks the book from his little boy’s hands – what kind of thought is he protecting his son from?

The book he tosses, “The Moon and Sixpence,” is at best ambiguous. Does the government wish to protect the boy from the tale of a man pursuing his dream of becoming an artist, or to protect the boy from a ribald tale that shows a father abandoning a good job, wife, and family, for the hedonism of an artist’s life in Paris?

Is it, as the critic says, society is so busy “yearning for the moon that he never saw the sixpence at his feet,” or is society “charged with always want[ing] something else?”

I am an English major; I can go on for hours coming up with absurd interpretations.
Arguments can be made either way, I suppose.

But I like the ambiguity. It makes me more watchful.

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