|Two of the books we are going to be exploring in this series this season is Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, which you can download for free from Amazon for your e-reader at this link. We will also be getting a good deal out of Bram Stoker's Dracula, which you can download for free for your e-reader from Amazon at this link.At the time of the original posting of this post, I haven't finished everything I want to say, so it will be significantly updated next week, but you can at least begin thinking about some of these issues now. Dracula is incredibly good, and you might want to take a look at The Dead Travel Fast because we are all ready seeing elements in the series employed from the novel that we might not have time to cover later but is essential to understanding why Dracula is such an evil villain.|
|Generally speaking, cigarettes, cigars, pipes and the like, tend to symbolize that a person is "taking something in," they are inhaling what there is to be meditated upon, then exhaling what they have pondered, releasing it back into the world: consider Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf in The Hobbit, and their smoking after the Battle of the Five Armies; they are taking in what has happened and trying to make sense of it (the smoke rings they blow give "structure" and meaning to that which can't really be structured, like the massive death they have just experienced). In the opening montage, we see a tray full of Vanessa's cigarette butts, so she has been smoking, which was strictly taboo for women at this time (this image above is from the opening credits of the series). The act of Vanessa smoking summarizes her faith quite well: she takes it then, then release it into the world (her faith is what Ethan, John Clare and Sir Malcolm tend to think of with Vanessa, even Dr. Frankenstein, so she's evangelizing in a way) EVEN WHILE, at the same time, Vanessa is attracted to the taboo and forbidden. She always comes back because she knows what the true Light is. How many times has Vanessa said/claimed she has lost her faith? Too many times to count, but that's okay: if she wasn't in a position to feel like she had lost her faith, then she wouldn't have any (you can't lose what you never had to begin with). The truth is, and this is really important, Vanessa hasn't lost her faith at this point, the Lord is allowing her to rest from the trials of Evelyn Poole and the entourage of witches. Just as we saw Vanessa walking through the snow in the park at the start of Season 2, when she was in a state of grace (the frozen snow) even though it probably didn't feel like it to her, she was being given a rest to prepare her for the trial of the Poole women. At the start of Season 3, we find that Vanessa has also been resting again, because she needs it. One of the Desert Fathers, the earliest Christian ascetics and monks living in the desert,, told his disciples that they needed to rest in-between their spiritual battles or else, like a bow that has been over-used, they would become worthless. Vanessa can be angry with God, Vanessa can hate God, but she hasn't lost her faith; feelings of anger against God are just that: feelings. They are fleeting and important to us as humans, but systematic "loss of faith" is intellectual and employed by our free will, not a circumstance or situation that has left us with a bitter taste in our mouth. So, when we see Vanessa, in the house at Grandage Place, she has been at rest; it might not be a peaceful rest, because she is called to greater spiritual battles than she has heretofore fought, but it isn't the ennui which Ferdinand Lyle suggests she has and from which he himself had suffered. 'Boredom' is a discontent of the secular world, and a far cry from the exhaustion of the soul which Vanessa undergoes in the transition between Season 2 and 3.|
|"Slaves, in all but name," as Sir Malcolm mentions to Vanessa in his letter. This image is a close-up of the portrait of Dorian Gray; why put it here? Because everyone in the episode has a slavery which they are fighting.|
Speaking of Dorian, even though he hasn't appeared yet formally in the series, we do see a young girl go down the stairs of his mansion and meet Lilly; we know the girl's name is Justine, and from a sneak peek of the next episode, it appears that she is the same heroine of Justine by the Marquis de Sade, for whom "sado-masochism" derives its "sado."
What about the boy?
a character in the novel Dracula--tells her that she is unhappy because she is eating her own tail, and offers that Vanessa can either pay her ten shillings or go and have her teeth fixed. The truth is, Dr. Seward is going to fix Vanessa's teeth herself: we know that the teeth/mouth symbolize the appetites, and describing Vanessa as a "snake eating its own tail" is to identify that Vanessa has self-destructive appetites, so they are going to work on correcting Vanessa's desires and what she wants from life. How does Dr. Seward come up with her diagnosis of Vanessa so quickly? Vanessa is a typical Scorpio female (Scorpio as in the Zodiac sign), attracted to the taboo and sex, the darkness, resurrection, death and mysticism; this is the reason why Vanessa draws a scorpion in her own blood in Season 2. So this wasn't difficult for Dr. Seward (who was the Cut-Wife in Season 2 and an occultist) to pick out. The bigger question is, why was Vanessa scratching her hand?
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner