On The Black Hill Essay

1147 words - 5 pages

The Purpose of this essay is to explore the thesis from "Nomad Invasions" and to relate some statements in the article "Border Country" to the novel titled On the Black Hill by Bruce Chatwin. From the "Nomad Invasions", the main thesis shows that, "we should perhaps allow human nature an appetitive drive for movement in the widest sense. The act of journeying contributes towards a sense of physical and mental well-being, while the monotony of prolonged settlement or regular work weaves patterns in the brain that engender fatigue and a sense of personal inadequacy. Much of what the ethologists have designated 'aggression' is simply an angered response to the frustrations of confinement" (PP 219). This examines some of the characters in the novel On the Black Hill such as Mary, Benjamin and Lewis. Mary and Lewis are living under the influential character of Benjamin. Subconsciously, Mary and Lewis change aspects of their personality when they are in the presence of Benjamin.Among three of them, Lewis is the most adventurous and expressive person where as Benjamin is more possessive and conservative, especially with regards to Lewis. However, Lewis had his own dream from his youth. He loved to flirt with girls and dreams of one day being married. "He flirted with Rosie Fifield. They exchanged a breathless kiss behind a haystack and held hands for twenty minutes at a choral evening." (Pp 88) This is what Lewis wants. He wants to have his own dream and life. However, Benjamin wants to stay with his mother and brother Lewis. "Benjamin loved his mother and his brother, and he did not like girls. Whenever Lewis left the room, his eyes would linger in the doorway, and his irises cloud to a denser shade of grey: when Lewis came back, his pupils glistened." (Pp 88). Benjamin has his own dreams and plans for his brother Lewis, "He wanted to live with Lewis for ever and ever; to eat the same food; wear the same clothes; share a bed; and swing an axe in the same trajectory. There were four gates leading into the Vision; and, for him, they were the Four Gates of Paradise." (Pp 88)Because of Benjamin and Mary, Lewis is forced to change his own character. "At a hoop-la stand, he almost accosted a girl in flamingo straining every fibre of her torso to land her hoop over a five pound note. He saw his brother glaring through a stack of tea-sets and goldfish bowls; and his courage failed. 'Let's go home,' said Benjamin. 'To hell with you,' Lewis said, and was on the point of relenting when two girls accosted him." (Pp 164) Lewis is actually struggling of getting out of Benjamin's control. Relating to "Nomad Invasion", the tone in which Lewis used to speak to Benjamin is his way of showing his aggression with his frustrating life situation. He is always feeling controlled by Benjamin, and chooses to give in to him out of fear. Gradually, Lewis is changing his life to suit his brother instead of following his own dream. Therefore, Mary sees Benjamin will never...

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