Overview – To briefly summarize, the lessons in the novel are:
1) This book is wise, and if you can’t see that you’re a stupid barbarian
2) Nature gives you legitimate and accurate signals based on your personal affairs
3) The universe will conspire to give you what you want
4) You should act on your dreams (literally)
5) You become a part of the Soul of the Universe (?) by chasing these dreams
Hopefully this list alone has illustrated while I believe the novel to be a pile of sanctimonious crap. I want to clarify that I am not against people working toward achieving their goals; I myself have a passion and dreams I’d like to accomplish. However, that is not what I believe the book actually promotes.
“[Criticism] is the only civilized form of autobiography”
Introduction – I’ve avoided discussing many of the plot details because that’s been done, and redone ad nauseum. Instead, I’ve chosen to focus on an aspect that’s been little talked about—the mythological influence in the film. I’ve read short comparisons between the original and the cinematic Ariadne, but most of what follows is new.
Ariadne – In Greek mythology, the Athenian hero Theseus set out to kill the bull-headed Minotaur in the Cretan Labyrinth to prevent him from eating more Athenian girls and boys. Luckily for him, the Minotaur’s half-sister Ariadne (“the resplendent one”) fell in love with him and decided to help him in his task. She gave him a ball of string that he could unravel as he navigated the maze so that he wouldn’t lose his way. Similarly, in Inception, Ariadne helps Cobb through the dream world, playing the role of Architect and shrink.
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