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Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Ambrosia Versus The Village!

    In the 1959 novel written by Keith Waterhouse ‘Billy Liar,’ “a young British clerk in a gloomy North Country undertaker's office, Billy is bombarded daily by the propaganda of the media that all things are for the asking. This transparently false doctrine, coupled with the humdrum job and his wild imagination, leads him on frequent flights to "Ambrosia," a mythical kingdom where he is crowned King, is a General, a lover or any idealized hero the real situation of the moment makes him desire. His vacillating commitment and post-adolescent immaturity have created situations which make Ambrosia all the more attractive.”
    Ambrosia is a fantasy world created in the mind of an adolescent 19year old in order to escape his mundane and tedious life. His world has its own system of government. It has its own monetary system, its own laws. Billy sees himself portraying important roles from the Lord Mayor to a General in charge of an army. In his fantasy world of Ambrosia Billy is top man, Number 1!
   Might not the Village also be interpreted in this same way? After all Number 6 sees himself as the hero, and places himself in important roles. At one point he almost usurps Number 2’s position. And in the end, Number 6 turns out to be Number 1, top man in his Village. However there is one distinct deference between Billy Liar and Number 6., and that is ESCAPE! In ‘The General’ Madam Professor asks Number 2 what it is Number 6 wants. He tells her that Number 6 wants what some of us want ultimately….. to escape! Could Number 2 also mean that Number 6 wants not only to escape The Village, but to escape himself? But the Prisoner did escape, he escaped his former employment, in those terms it could be said that he was already a “Free man.” And although he eventually finds himself confined in The Village, he can walk out if he wants to. However more difficult it is, for him to walk away, or hide from himself!

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