The Jar By Isak Dinesen

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The Blue Jar Through time it has been said that a parent’s love is a magical thing, without it a child would not develop correctly. In the novel “The Jar” by Isak Dinesen, the readers are introduced to the lovely characters Lady Helen and the old Englishman, also known as Helen’s Papa. Lady Helen and Papa traveled the sea to numerous lands looking for her father’s beloved ‘ancient blue china’. On a steady night travelling the Chinese sea, their ship caught on fire. Lady Helen and a young sailor was abandoned by her father and his crew with no supplies, but a forgotten lifeboat; allowing them to escape the fire and sail the sea for 9 days until rescued. At this moment, the townspeople found that Helene’s mind suffered from her journey and now, like her father, she cared for nothing but to collect rare ‘blue’ china up until her death. The missing message of this story is pertaining to Lady Helen’s obsession to find a certain ‘blue’. Lady Helen comes to the realization that papa only cared about blue china during his old life, as referenced ‘in his old age, cared about nothing but collecting blue china.’ (Quote page. 1). The symbolization of the ‘blue’ should not be looked at as a hobby for Helen, but understood to be a symbol of tragedy that would bring an end to her suffering as described by various references to the sea and blue. Soon after being rescued from the sea, Lady Helen ventured far in search of a flawless blue that resembled the sea. When Helen was offered any color opposite from the deep blue, which she was familiar, Helen said “Alas, Alas, it’s not the right blue”. (Quote page. 2) Hence, it’s not the accurate blue that makes her feel... ... middle of paper ... ...s the ship and the sea is the shadow. The sea has always been her shadow, there to guide her when travelling with her father and there to save her when in harm. Nevertheless, Helen’s constant search for the extraordinary blue jar, it was finally present to her after many years had passed. Helen had become old and deaf, but was still blessed with sight to identify her heart’s desire. In disbelief, she shrieked “I have found it at last. This is the blue. Oh, how light it makes one.” Now Lady Helen felt that she can pass into the next life perfectly content since she has reached her life goal, “Now I can die. And when I am dead you will cut out my heart and lay it in the blue jar. For then everything will be as it was.” Her final wishes ‘all shall be blue round me’ (page 2) refers to the big blue sea that flows freely and is looked upon as innocent or pure.

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