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Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Symbolism

    Symbolism, there are many such symbolic components within ‘the Prisoner.’ The Penny farthing bicycle which is claimed to represent progress of man and technology, suggesting at the time of ‘the Prisoner,’ that perhaps it was time to slow down. Although it seems that technologically speaking, man has long since progressed too far. Today many people can now do without their mobile phones? There has been the technological progress of drones, used both in war and peace. Now we have had Professor Stephen Hawking, one of Britain’s eminent scientists warning of the dangers of creating artificial life, which could be a threat to human’s very existence. Machines becoming aware, yes, I’ve seen the ‘Terminator’ films which began with creating sophisticated drones for the War Department! The reliance upon technology is now absolute. But without which I could not reach fans and enthusiasts for ‘the Prisoner’ all around the world with my blog.
   And then there is that item which is seen all about The Village, added to the Penny Farthing logo, on taxis and bicycles, tractors, electrics trailer. On top of sign posts and loudspeakers and The Tally Ho broadsheet dispenser, the canopy, is said to represent safety and security. It is said that they will look after you in The Village, for as long as you live. And while you are alive there is “Health and Welfare.” The society which looks after you, in the way that here in
Britain “Health and safety” has gone berserk in the past few years, preventing anyone from doing anything even remotely dangerous. Even to prevent the playing of “Conkers” by children in the school play ground, and that even adults should wear face goggles during the “Conker” championships!  
   {Conkers is a traditional children's game in
Britain and Ireland played using the seeds of the Horse chest nut trees—the name 'conker' is also applied to the seed and to the tree itself. The game is played by two players, each with a conker threaded onto a piece of string: they take turns striking each other's conker until one breaks. A hole is drilled in a large, hard conker using a nail, gimlet, or small screwdriver. An electric drill such as a "Dremel" using increasing drill-bit diameters at intermittent intervals, produces less internal damage to the nut's core and is highly effective during the hardening period / process. Once ready for action, a piece of string (often a shoelace is used), about 25 cm (10 inches) long, is threaded through it. A large knot at one or both ends of the string secures the conker.
    The game is played between two people, each with a conker. They take turns hitting each other's conker using their own. One player lets the conker dangle on the full length of the string while the other player swings their conker and hits}.
    All one has to do is take Portmeirion as an example. There was a serious accident a few years ago, and that caused “Health and Safety” to move in, and railings soon sprouted up in all corners of The Village! The railings on top of both the Bristol Colonnade and Belvedere Outlook look ridiculous, being but a few inches high. They don’t look as though they would stop anyone from falling from there.
   In the same way as the “canopy,” the umbrella can be seen in that same symbolic way. However I have never seen the ‘umbrella’ to be anything other than simply an umbrella, and not to be representative of anything. Yes it is protective against the rain, but it rarely rains in The Village, where an umbrella may be used more as a parasol, to protect, or shade one from the effects of the sun. Yet there is another meaning for the colourful striped umbrellas used in The Village. As when opened the umbrella in wet or dry weather, when twirled and waved about in such garish manner, does help to add a holiday atmosphere and colour to The Village especially during ‘Carnival.’
    However if its theory and interpretation you are after, try the following on for size!
    Throughout the series and throughout The Village these party coloured emblems are carried about and waved about almost like banners, yet in one case as a weapon. When citizens are turned against Number 6 in ‘A Change of Mind,’ in the hands of Number 56 the umbrella becomes a most formidable weapon. Apparently one definition of “umbrella” is; a unifying, conditioning, stabilising or controlling factor or authoritative influence. Well I myself have not been able to find any such definitions in connection with umbrellas, but I suppose the village can be described as an umbrella agency in this respect, an authoritative influence controlling The Village residents. The word umbrella comes from the Latin word ‘umbra’ meaning shade or shadow. Village residents are certainly in the shade of its influence and most of them are mere shadows of their former selves. From the word “Umbra” we also get the word “Umbrage” meaning displeasure, resentment or annoyance. Using this definition we can tie the Prisoner’s own feelings together with The Village’s subtle intended meaning in a single symbol. Or perhaps the umbrella is seen as a kind of security blanket to remind villagers that they are under the protection of the reigning Number 2. While Number 2’s shooting stick umbrella, and I do happen to subscribe to this, is a symbol of his authority, like a King or Queen’s sceptre, the way Number 2 handles it and carries it about with him or her when abroad in The Village.
    Have you observed how Number 2 never opens his or her shooting stick umbrella? Perhaps its better not to go there, other wise one might say the reason for that is, perhaps because Number 2 knows the truth about the false security in the ineffective protection they provide for the captive citizens of The Village. Ah but then again Number 2 of ‘Hammer Into Anvil’ doesn’t have a shooting stick umbrella, it is simply an ordinary shooting stick, which contains a sword, for his self protection!


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