Saturday, November 12, 2005

Corelli and the Bible

Besides Rimanez' constant comparisons to angelsor Satan, I noticed a few biblical references in "Sorrows of Satan", and realized that this blog would probably be a good place to point them out. One of the references was Rimanez' allusion to Jesus' parable of the richyoung man in the book of Mark (New Testament):

"Jesus looked at him and loved him. 'One thing you lack,' he said. 'Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasures in heaven."
Mark 10:21 (NIV)

Rimanez tells Tempest to "let all this false and frivolous nonsense go, and [him] with it!" (235). He is talking about Tempest's money and power. He then tells Tempest, "as Christ said to the rich ruler--'Sell half thou hast and give to the poor.' " (235) Rimanez says"half" instead of "all" for the reason that Tempest knows little about The Bible. He even cofesses it. To him, "the New Testament was of all books in the world the most unfamiliar" (266). Rimanez can get away with misquoting The Bible on purpose.

Why else would Rimanez say this to Tempest? Perhaps he does it to ruin the word of God, simply by changing it and getting someone to believe it as true. Or perhaps he is trying to look good. Quoting from the bible might make him look like an honest, good person, following a righteous path. And if Tempest agrees to his suggestion, at least he still has the other half of his money, an amount that would be large enough to continue ruining his life. It is interesting how Lucio makes himself look like the good guy by telling Tempest to give away his money to charity. He does this on more than one occasion in the novel, and he also adds that he himself gives to charity consistently (57). Why do you suppose Rimanez would try and convince Geoffrey to do the right thing, like give his money to charity? Does it influence Tempest

Another biblical reference is found soon after Lucio's encounter with Mavis Clare, when he tries to convince her to accept him as a close companion, as he is for Tempest. Geoffrey is thinking about Mavis Clare: "Somehow I felt that of late she had been more or less adiscordant element whenever she had joined our party. I admired her--in a sort of fraternal half-patronizing way I even loved her--nevertheless I was conscious that her ways were not as our ways--her thoughts not as our thoughts." (285) In the Old Testament we find:

'For my thoughts are not your thoughts , neither are your ways my ways,' declares the Lord
Isaiah 55:8

This reference gives birth to the thought that Mavis Clare represents virtue, holiness and morality in the novel. She is the opposite of Rimanez in many ways, and seems to rise above all the others, according to tempest.


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