The Anarchist: Winter
Discontent, a change in season (and in fortune).
“Walking along the people—who are so content, so blind—the Anarchist hears the pedlar’s call [‘What do you lack?’] and sneers derisively. ‘What do I lack? Ah . . . vengeance?'”
The idea of winter recalls Shakespeare’s “winter of discontent” in Richard III, which defines the anarchist quite well, since the alchemist is motivated by discontent. In the lyrics of the piece, he speaks of his envy and how he never got his fair share. But winter also represents a change of season for the main character. He gets to the city and is dazzled by it, lands a job as a carnival worker and everything is going well for him. But then he confronts the anarchist, who throws his bomb detonator at him. The protagonist catches it just at the moment everyone turns to look at him. He’s caught with the detonator in his hand and is falsely thought to be an anarchist bent on destroying everything. So, he takes flight and ends up on the frontier of civilization: the seven cities of gold, which ends up being covered in a “Sahara of snow.” In other words, in the arc of his journey, winter has descended.
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