Friday, December 4, 2009

Judge Holdon's Philosopies

The judge is the most myserious character in the novel and appears to know everything on anything. However, his strange beliefs and heretical position on subjects causes him to take on an otherwordly quality. For instance, when questioned on why he sketches and notates drawings of objects he finds, he replies that he wants "to expunge them from the memory of man." He later mentions the Anasazi, an old civilization that supposedly practiced cannibalism, and lectures on how they are "gone like phantoms and...All progressions from a higher to a lower order are marked by ruins and mystery and a residue of nameless rage." Basically, the Anasazi destroyed themselves and, because of that, they will forever remain a mystery to the human race, just like Holden himself.

When asked how to raise a child, the judge explains that "At a young age... they should be put in a pit with wild dogs...puzzle out from their proper clues that one of three doors that does not harbor wild lions... be made to run naked in the desert until..." He then states that "If G-D meant to interfere in the degeneracy of mankind would he not have done so by now?" No one answers his question. He merely concludes that "in the affairs of men there is no waning...His meridian is at once his darkening and the evening of his daydo you not think that this will happen again?" What does he say? He says that civilizations rise and fall and that man is destined to repeat its mistakes forever. They will rise and fall until the end of time.

Another interesting conversation in which Toadvine asks the judge why he writes in his little book and he responds by saying that, "Whatever exists in creation without my knowledge exists without my consent." He goes on to talk about how even "the smallest crumb can devour us." He believes that only nature has the power to keep men in bondage and that only when every unknown thing is brought out into the open will man be the "proper suzerain of the earth." A suzerain, he goes on to explain, is like an overlord whose will is dispersed through lower lords. For instance, the Federal Government of the United States is the suzerain over the State Governments. The judge illustrates by touching the ground and saying that even though he claims this ground, "autonomous life" still exists where he believes it should not. In other words, he wants the self sufficient creatures to depend on him and not be able to live seperately. He even mentions that "the freedom of birds is an insult to me. I'd have them all in zoos."

Later, the judge performs some magic with a gold coin and supposedly some horsehair when he states, "The arc of circling bodies is determined by the legnth of their tether...Moons, coins, men." He then proceeds to through the coin across the fire, wait a while, and have it fly back. Some witnesses thought their were two coins, to which the judge answered, "all men knew that there are coins and false coins." This implies that men are the coins and the circles made by spinning them are their spheres: spheres of influencing, being influenced, knowledge, and the such. Of course, there are "false coins," which could be explained as people who appear false (as in a false persona), or where their spheres are false, most likely not as big as they seem.

All of these arguements set forth by the judge include interesting and strange views that better inform the reader of how the judge thinks and what he believes.

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