Nightwood Character Analysis

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Deliver Us from the Labyrinth of Madness: Character Affect in Djuna Barnes 's Nightwood Language is a labyrinth we are born into lost. Only by leaving breadcrumbs, threading our subject, does one remember whence s/he came, where his/her subject ends and begins. Language may offer a solution to reduce problems into simplicity, but for such problems it conceals in language the people suffering within it. The alcoholic, the prostitute, the shameful, are made into monstrous forms by the epithets defining their subject: where language presumes they have no shame, immoral epithets drown those in pity for a subject "incapable" of change. These wild child 's, their decadence, is the resulting shame from their morality , as they have come to realise …show more content…
Robin 's being, behind child/adult meaning, her somatic substance stagnates in the body of language constructed around her. The womb of being is merely Fabergé for aesthetic meaning—the inside is but a faint image of the outside it represents. Robin believes herself monstrous and grimaces as a beast would gesture in its cage. The only beast, however, is the one that accepts its cage. Humanity itself is the imprisoning construct of language which gets in the way of helping the (wo)man it desires to preserves; which it preserves the subject 's of Nightwood in the formaldehyde of language. Language, wherein the labyrinth, may conceal or reveal the way although it will always lead to the centre occupied by the Other. It is a matter of how one constructs language through its subject to navigate the labyrinth. In finding a way out, however, begins with the task of finding the centre. The subject, drawn by song throughout his/her journey, recognises language concealed in its tone and races towards it. The subject 's ear tunes into a song which conceals its his/her heart within. The Other that one hears, is an object desiring to escape the labyrinth; albeit, heard only as a subject of suffering. What one misinterprets as a song, was a cry—the answer to one 's suffering was found in language, but language was its maker. One may escape suffering, but one must find an Other as the product of its meaning, in being not the cause of

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