ANALYSIS: Gold, Art, and Storytelling Re-revisited

OMG, so many things about chapter 62. I already posted about Anastasios possibly changing, but now it’s time to talk (again) about ART, particularly the mirror images we see between Claude meeting Athanasia and him meeting Jennette. 

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When Claude meets Athanasia, look at the hues behind them–both are surrounded by yellow, which we’ve talked about before (Part 1 LinkPart 2 Link). The chapter where Claude meets Athanasia is strictly coming from Athanasia’s perspective, so we see her and the image of her fear, Claude, are surrounded by yellow light whereas the food and drink on the table are glittering like gold (and even have a gold “sparkle” label) as though they are out of place and, perhaps, safe. She won’t even make eye contact with Claude at this moment, choosing instead to look at the treats on the table. It won’t be the last time this happens either, in Chapter 16 when she goes to Claude willingly seeking treats, said treats come with glittering sparkles around them. By chapter 16 she’s less afraid of Claude, and the colors around the two are significantly warmer than the above–painting things in a gold light rather than just yellow.

Now look at when Claude meets Jennette:

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This chapter has a changing perspective, first from Jennette, then from Claude, then Roger Alpheus, Anastasios, Roger’s son, and, finally, Lily. What we see above, I believe, is a mixed perspective of Claude and Jennette. Jennette is glittering, perhaps because she looks nice but it probably has more to do with Claude’s mind recalling memories of Athanasia. While their first meeting wasn’t perfect, that was the first time Athanasia called him “Daddy” or some other familiar paternal sentiment depending on the translation. Looking at his body language above, he’s in the exact same pose he was then–arms and legs folded, completely shut off. Then he relaxes, enough so to take a nap. The relief of Jennette’s presence is similar enough to his missing daughter that he feels comfortable enough to drop his strict pose. She’s glittering because she’s bringing to mind a particular feeling within him–remembrance. 

Now look at Claude, he’s glittering too, because we’re seeing things from Jennette’s perspective of always wanting to be close to him and idolized his image as her ‘father.’ He’s not really a person to her yet, just a collection of what she knows to be the emperor and how her ‘father’ treats her ‘sister,’ Athanasia. 

After Claude falls asleep, we immediately start to see the glittering fade and Jennette becomes engulfed by yellow light. She’s disappointed, nervous, and leaves Claude alone who also becomes engulfed by a similar yellow light. 

As a side note: If my theory about Athanasia’s curse holds true in some way (and it very well might not), and Jennette’s presence is doing more than simply reminding Claude (rather, maybe it’s draining part of Athanasia that he can sense unconsciously within her) then the feeling of making him feel relaxed enough to sleep could have darker implications.

The two, their dynamic at that moment, but particularly Claude have entered a state of decay. Soon Claude is awakened by another headache showing that very decay as he leans over in pain. 

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