Nothing to blog home about.

Losing Paradise
Monday July 07th 2008, 1:35 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Well first and foremost this isn’t about Milton, but I kept thinking about it on Thursday when we were discussing Milton writing while blind and thinking in poetry…if you haven’t already seen it, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is an awesome movie and along the lines of writing a book in extreme circumstances.  Anyways, back to Paradise Lost.

So I’ve been pondering a couple of things over the weekend in regards to God and Satan and the idea of debt.  I guess it is really easy for me to pity Satan because his thoughts are not those of pure evil at first, but rather those of resentment.  I realized that Satan reflects a side of humanity that is easily seen in each of us.  I guess the best way for me to explain my sympathy for Satan is by giving an example that I came across this weekend.  In this case, I would be Satan and my mom would be God (haha my mom would probably say that statement is pretty true.) 

Anyways, I wanted to go home for the weekend to visit and see my family.  However, with gas prices as lovely as they are and being a poor student I realized that I really could not afford to pay for the travel.  I asked to borrow money from my mom so that I could make the trip, promising to pay her back after I babysit this weekend.  She stated that I didn’t need to pay her back, and that she wouldn’t mind paying for me to come spend the weekend at home. Nice, right? HOWEVER, after this she proceeded to lecture me about my poor spending habits and about wasting money and how I’ll never survive and etc. To which I got angry and yelled at her saying that I would rather she not give me money at all then hold it over my head because then I just always feel in debt to her. 

In the same way as Satan, I would rather not get any gift then get a gift I felt I couldn’t repay.  It seems so immediately selfish when put in plain terms, but after seeing this example, I can understand the source of Satan’s fall and sympathize with him.  Ultimately though, Satan refuses to accept the gift and decides to never show gratitude because he has too much pride, and that is what makes him evil.  We, as humans, cannot achieve this level of evil ( in regards to a higher being or in regards to each other) as long as we swallow our pride even minimally and are even slightly thankful for being alive.  I guess when it comes down to it, Satan is just an extreme form of a snotty tween.  He resents his maker, thinks he’s the best, and sulks and moans when he doesn’t get his way.  He’s so immature that he would rather convince himself he exists in paradise when he is in fact in misery, never able to ultimately win, then swallow his pride and actually live in paradise in heaven.  Maybe I should write Paradise Found and make it about armageddon occuring by Satan hitting rock bottom and getting over himself and God forgiving him because, hey, that’s what God does best.  I think we just need to have a Satan intervention.

Tuesday July 01st 2008, 1:09 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

First and foremost, reading Milton’s prose out loud definitely made a difference for understanding the points he’s making.  The first half of Areopagitica came way more easily to me than The Reason of Church-Government and Apology for Smectymnuus.  The part that struck me the most thus far is on pages 200-201, when Milton attempts to fully define what a book is and what its greater meaning is.  This passage is reminiscent of the part in Apology for Smectymnuus where Milton unites humans and poems and tries to explain how he is in fact a poem.  He starts by claiming that books are not dead, and that they have souls because they carry a part of the soul of their creator.  He then discusses how to kill a man is to kill a reasonable creature in God’s Image, and to destroy a book is to kill reason itself.  Essentially Milton uses the transitive property of logic and mathematics to argue that: Books are alive and contain man’s soul, man is made in the image of God, therefore if killing a man is killing the image of God, then doing the same to a book would be just as horrific.  Though this point is obviously exagerrated for effect, Milton is suggesting that burning of books is equal to if not worse than murder.  He even goes on to say, “Many a man lives a burden to the Earth; but a good Booke is the pretious life-blood of a master spirit, imbalm’d and treasur’d up on purpose to a life beyond life”.  Milton demonstrates the extreme importance of literary freedom and preservation in this bizarre, and yet incredibly clever manner.