And it all goes up in flames…
We’ve finally reached the end of The Name of the Rose, and it turns out that Jorge has been in control of the library for decades. I wrote about my suspicions of Jorge in my fifth day blog post, so it didn’t catch me off guard that Jorge was essentially responsible for the deaths at the abbey. The exchange between William and Jorge was intriguing, as they’re both equally intelligent men, just with very different motivations. As Adso observed their conversation, he said he “shuddered” because…
“…at this moment these two men, arrayed in a mortal conflict, were admiring each other, as if each had acted only to win the other’s applause” (Eco 506).
This sentence stuck out to me because it essentially describes a plot of the novel: two men aspiring to be the most intelligent person in the room. I also understand Adso’s concern because both Jorge and William are treating the whole situation like it’s a game, and they don’t seem concerned that people have died because of their actions. At this point, Eco makes you question William’s humanity and wonder if his desire to be knowledgeable outweighs his desire to do what’s right.
Another interesting part of the seventh day was when Jorge was explaining his reasoning to William and Adso:
“‘Every book by that man has destroyed a part of the learning that Christianity has accumulated over the centuries'” (Eco 506).
In this passage and the ones that follow, we see that Jorge is very concerned with keeping tradition. On the other hand, William saw just how detrimental Jorge’s point of view was:
“‘Jorge feared the second book of Aristotle because it perhaps really did teach how to distort the face of every truth, so that we would not become slaves of our ghosts'” (Eco 526-527).
Wow, what a powerful sentence. In the end, William is still confused about what the truth is, but this sentence showed his passion for learning and not becoming trapped in one way of thinking. In essence, he knew the truth was always changing, and so must our ways of thinking.
Source: Eco: Seventh Day