English 2 Honors Pd.1
17 December 2009
The Candle In the Wind Essay
In this world we live in, there is nothing more endearing than a candle in the wind. With every gust and every gale it’s very flame is threatened. But it stays lit and bright and ready to spread it’s warmth and radiance to the world. In TH White’s The Candle In the Wind, TH White makes the candle a powerful metaphor for Arthur’s failed Kingdom of chivalry. In doing this, he also shows us his views on optimism and pessimism.
Through the course of events in the fourth book, we are sympathetic to Arthur and the slow decaying of his kingdom and dreams. His kingdom is like a candle in the wind because it just keeps flickering and fighting against all the forces that conspire against it. TH White shows a bit of a more negative outlook with all the themes in the book. In the earlier ones, some major themes were knowledge and independence. But now, he’s writing about darker material like betrayal. And the best example of betrayal is Mordred. From the moment he came to the castle he’s been doing his best to destroy Arthur completely, even though Arthur is his father and has shown him nothing but love and affection. While talking to Lancelot and Guenever he says, “You forget that Mordred is my son. I am fond of him”(549). Despite this, it’s Mordred who really initiates the fall of Arthur’s kingdom by betraying his trust and publicly embarrassing him by confronting him about the affair going on beneath his nose, and attempting to steal his throng too. Mordred also betrays his brother Gawaine when he breaks his fealty oath to the king. Although Mordred and Gawaine have never seen eye to eye, taking the throne of the king was really the last straw for Gawaine. Lancelot said. “[Gawaine] he was lonely and miserable and he had been betrayed. His last brother had turned traitor” (625). In truth, it is Mordred’s betrayal that caused Gawaine’s death. And so, using the theme of betrayal and the idea that all...