Friday, April 20, 2012
The Friday Five - Symbolism
I had to put a lot of thought into The Friday Five this week. I hope you enjoy symbolism. When I was in high school, my English teacher made us figure out the symbolism in everything we read. Even and especially Tommy. But I'm not here to tell you about movies from the '70's (not today anyway), instead I'm going to carry on about symbolism in The Treasure Hunter's Lady.
#1) Colors - In the opening scene of The Treasure Hunter's Lady, Abel is admiring the black sky and the white stars. Black is prevalent color throughout. When Abel meets with Dr. Farrington, it's night time and they use a candle as their only source of light. The curse fang and the tattoo on Abel's arm are both black, as well as the Serpent (although its skin also reflects light of every color). Black, in most cultures symbolizes death. Romy's eyes are blue, which symbolizes confidence, loyalty, and intelligence. I often refer to Abel's eyes as 'whiskey-colored', which to my mind are a light golden brown. On his wanted poster, they're referred to as brown (he was insulted by that, just you know, but he had bigger problems to worry about than Dr. Farrington not being poetic about his eye color. Yeah, he's a little vain.). Brown, however, isn't such a bad thing. It shows a connection with the earth, stability and a wholesomeness. I'm attracted to men with brown eyes, so I agree whole-heartedly with that.
I didn't really put a lot of thought into Abel's hair. It was blondish, he was tan from being outdoors a lot, it just sort of fell into place and I think blond-haired, brown-eyed people look interesting. Romy's hair, of course, is red-gold and it was meant to convey her temper.
And the whole thing with the pink room? It just seemed like the kind of frilly nonsense that would drive Romy crazy. There was nothing special behind it.
#2) Serpents - Oh, the biggy. You've been living under a rock if you don't know about serpent symbolism. Personally, I'm not a snake fan. As long as there's a layer of glass between me and the snake, we're good. The Serpent in THL is one evil critter (somehow that word belongs on something cute and fluffy, not scaley and vindictive). It wants revenge for being humiliated and banished. You know, because it kind of screwed the tribe of people it was working for, but it felt that it wasn't given an even chance on the task they set it to. Interestingly enough, in the first version of THL, the Serpent was a deity that could be merciful if it chose to. This one is nothing but bad news and curses. The legends about the Horned Serpent say a lot of different things. Sometimes it didn't hurt people, sometimes it did. I especially like the story where the Thunderbirds destroy all the giant snake monsters.
#3) Water - One of my favorite scenes in THL is when Romy figures out what a line means from the poem she read about finding the Serpent. The line is: where silence falls. Because the waterfall was so loud, she couldn't hear anything over it. The Cherokee people believed that water was magical and had the ability to transport people to other worlds. In keeping with my Native American myths, I wanted to use that. Going back to the first version of THL again, there was a river where the Serpent supposedly lived and I just wanted to keep them traveling on a river. It all worked out.
#4) Diamond - The item which practically everyone (with the exception of Van Buren, bless his heart) was after. Said (and proven) to be in the Serpent's forehead, this massive jewel could bring power and riches to whoever possessed it. More importantly, it could cure illnesses. It didn't really have a diamond shape, it was more a big round blob, sort of like an egg. In mythology, diamonds are believed to have healing properties, ward off evil or protect against danger.
#5) Caves - Well, come on, what do you think of when you think about caves? It makes me think of being trapped, right off the bat, but I've also been in guided cave tours (for the love of all things shiny, no, I would never go in a cave by myself!) where I saw some amazing and beautiful sights. So on one hand, yes, Romy and Abel were in a situation that there was no easy way out of, but on the other, they discovered something beautiful. By, um, being naked together.
So there you are, five bits of symbolism that I either drove in with hopes that people would recognize them for what they are or that I did unconsciously. I'll let you decide which is which. Happy Friday!