Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The White Mercedes

The White Mercedes, by Philip Pullman is all about a seventeen-year-old named Chris, who works, for Barry Miller in a lighting company in Oxford, England. One night at a graduate party, he sees a girl running towards him and Chris finds out that she’s in danger so he tells her to go hide. He later can’t find her and Chris starts searching for her for many weeks. He soon realizes that he fell in love with her. At the end, he finds out that his boss was a criminal. In addition, he finds out that one of the Carson brothers is after him. Finally, when Jenny tries to go tell Chris the story, Carson kills her thinking it’s was Barry. The White Mercedes is considered appropriate because the title emphasizes on the main character, Barry, it represents innocence, pureness, peace and inspiration. The Butterfly Tattoo is considered appropriate because it accentuates on Jenny through the whole book. The title, The Butterfly Tattoo is preferable because it is more understandable.
The White Mercedes is republished under the title The Butterfly Tattoo in Britain. Philip Pullman at first decides to call his book The White Mercedes because he wanted to emphasize on one of his main characters Carson (Fletcher). At a first glance, we see the word white which is generally associated with innocence, peace, pureness and inspiration. Pullman wanted to give the novel this title so that we don’t associate things right away and be more careful. He also wanted to put some irony like he did through his book. In The White Mercedes, the word white is totally different from what we think. It would be useful to consider that, he uses the word white in the total opposite meaning of it. In the book, Carson, the bad guy drives a white Mercedes; the word white is just a sign of irony. For example, “So the white Mercedes that was parked across the road from the entrance to Barry’s yard stood out as being unusual”.  On the other hand, Pullman uses the word Mercedes to highlight the fact that Carson is a rich man, “ a lawyer” , and has a lot of power and men around him.
            The title, The Butterfly Tattoo is used to accentuate Jenny through the whole book. Like a caterpillar, (first state of a butterfly) Jenny seems innocent and always seems to be scared of everything. For example, “her face was full of the innocent vulnerability”. Then, she changes and realized many things such as how much she loves Chris and she should do something of her life and become actually stronger that before (caterpillar turn into a cocoon) At the end when the story advances, Jenny seem to have no more fear and is actually at the climax of her life when she dies (like the last state of a butterfly).A butterfly is an insect of the order Lepidoptera, that is considered as beautiful but dies really fast. A bit like Jenny, who is really a beautiful girl according to Chris but in the book is going to die fast (at a young age). The word tattoo is used to make her seem insecure, bad and a wild girl.
 The Butterfly Tattoo is definitely one of the better titles. The metaphor of the butterfly tattoo is understandable. If we first look at the word butterfly right away we think of something nice, beautiful, who needs a lot of attention but is fragile. Exactly, like Jenny the comparison between both of them was just perfect. Through the book, we realized that the word Butterfly and Jenny are connected together. The word Tattoo is there to give an idea of Jenny’s personality which is wild, bad and adventurous. The book The White Mercedes/The Butterfly Tattoo is an amazing book that has a beautiful story of a boy who falls in love with this girl who unfortunately dies because of him. The irony in the book was really a major factor especially for the word White and Mercedes. Jenny’s character was one of the best described in the book .Also the ending was very sad. Finally, the book contains a lot of emotions, changes and up and downs through the entire book.

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