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Timothy Findley’s novel “Not wanted on the voyage” Essay Sample

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Timothy Findley’s novel “Not wanted on the voyage” Essay Sample

Turning the first page into this novel, Not Wanted on the Voyage by author Timothy Findley, I noticed all the religious excepts from the King James version of the Bible. This mere detail fascinated me, and gave an excellent leap into the chapters that so fourth proceeded.

The novel commences with a very slow passing of events.. We, as the reader, are introduced into his figment imagination: the exaggerated setting and characterization of the bible. Though the use to re-read many of the passages was necessary, I found it hard to remember all the names of the characters that Findley has associated names, which are additional details contrasting the bible. There is a fair amount of description of Doctor Noah Noyes and his family upon the awaited arrival of Yaweh (“The Almighty God”) in the first chapter of the book. Through the point of view of third person omniscient, Findley is proficient to record what can be seen or heard in the novel, and does not try to step into the shoes of one of the characters.

In the development of characters that I comprehended in the first twenty-eight pages, Mrs. Noyes caught my eye by a great deal. Perhaps, like the rest of the characters, she has a first name, but to this point of reading it is not revealed. In the first chapter, Noah seems to be a strong, dominant character, proving that feminine superiority is not likely to be tolerated much in that era. Though she has many strong, valiant opinions of her own, Mrs. Noyes is simply “afraid” (p.21) to play against such a loss cause. She is “afraid of her anger, and she [does] her best to subdue it in the twilight. She [is] afraid of all the things she [wants] to say — and might: the things she [wants] to do and [cannot]. She [is] afraid of her ignorance: her fear of all the things she [doesn’t] know, but [feels],” (p.21) but what I find she is most afraid of herself. Upon the repetition of the word afraid, Mrs. Noyes admits to the fact that she feels alone and worrisome by keeping all her ideas collected up inside her creative mind; it is also written in the novel, that the only other living thing that she feels safe with is Mottyl, her cat. Mrs. Noyes has a tender heart, and through this heart does she and Mottyl bond a wordless bond. Through the sinple task of listening to her ideas, Mottyl is a confort zone for Mrs. Noyes, as well as Mrs. Noyes being a lifesaving comfort zone for Mottyl.

Since Mrs. Noyes had saved her life repeatedly when Doctor Noyes had threatened it, they developed a connection of dependency on one another to keep their comfort zone stable. This zone is extremely significant when Noah presents the intention of a lamb sacrifice to Yaweh. Turns out that the sacrificed lamb was the baby of a sheep that Mrs. Noyes had taught how to sing, and that the baby greeted her with a cry of recognition before the slaughter began. In her mind, she had only pure thoughts to “[go] at once and [kiss] it on the forehead and [pick] it up and [hold] it and [carry] it all the way down the hill in her mind and [give] it back to the field from which it had been taken…” (p.26) Considerate thoughts like this are deeds I am partial to see occur in the novel and throughout our daily lives.

Clearly the antagonist in this piece of literature is Doctor Noah Noyes. He is exceedingly dominant in all that he does and greatly influenced by the knowledge that he gained from reading the letter sent to him from God himself. Such mental power, I find, will create conflict between himself and his family. His difference in opinion is truly significant in the first chapter, because it has to entangle the sacrificing of the lamb. As stated by Mrs. Noyes in the novel, Noah’s son Ham has “never killed a thing in his life.” (p.13) Through debate and conflict, Noah clearly states that it is “a son’s right — and privilege” (p.13) to be slaying such a magnificent animal for the “Almighty One”. Such rituals and traditions are still signified in the modern world, yet not all persons may agree with them. One question that arises in my mind is: Was Dr. Noyes used as a messenger before the pink and ruby dove arrived? His strong beliefs and religious values seem to portrait to the reader that he only changed his morals after its arrival. I have thought that he might have been a prevailing man even before the gaining hold of the letter.

In the ending predicament of the chapter, the ritual sacrifice begins, and there arises some doubtfulness of the slaughter. The mixing of the lamb’s blood and of Ham’s blood, I think, will cause some corruption and troubles with the arrival of God. I wonder what the blood represents towards God? Or Mrs. Noyes for that matter? The concluding phrases of the chapter are “Mrs. Noyes sank to her knees. The deed she had not dared, herself, had been done.”(p.27) which could possibly signify that that was something she never wanted to do, or at some point in her life, she had to do and could not. I find it truly breath-taking that Ham still performed the slaughter of the lamb, even through much debate and agony. This situation shapes Ham’s character as someone who is brave and willing to give in to majority if necessary.

Findley writes the story as if he’s writing the bible, and thus unconsciously ridicules it. One identifying this, the bible may be the word of God, but it helps us identify our life and our belief of faith.

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