Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Death Knell Personified: The Half-Man

Yesterday, I mentioned what some people call the half-man. A half-man could be a literal half-man, either missing limbs or in sci-fi he could be part man and part machine. But he doesn’t have to be. His purpose is to be a death knell. Often, the half-man is fighting the same fight as our protagonist and has already faced the enemy. Unfortunately, the half-man failed, getting away with his life, but with the knowledge that he didn’t accomplish what he had hoped. Take a look at the video below. This is one of the most emotionally charged scenes in the movie version of The Neverending Story

“They look like big, good, strong hands don’t they?” Rock Biter says and they certainly do. So, if Rock Biter is powerless to defend his friends against the Nothing, what makes us think that Atreyu has any hope of defeating it? We don’t. That’s the whole point. Atreyu is down for the count. He has lost everything and he might as well sit down next to Rock Biter and wait for the Nothing to come. Rock Biter serves as a half-man to bring that point home. The death knells are no longer off in the distance. They are right upon us. The end seems very near.