Marco Polo's Weaknesses

1537 Words7 Pages
Everyone is prisoner to the darkness of their own mind. The weaknesses and insecurities embedded in one’s psych are what controls them. What is the salvation for the absurdities in this realm? The realm being depravity, rapture, curiosity, pain. Worlds and cities and wonderlands are devised: a landscape with no words, an invisible labyrinth for which no one else can see, a passive confrontation of personal weaknesses. The cities in Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities represent a void of subconscious illusion, sheltering travelers from the obtrusive desert of reality. Marco Polo’s reluctance to share his stories/illusions with The Great Khan stems from his concern of losing them to reality after putting them into words. The tales are held in the…show more content…
The weaknesses transfigure themselves into stories and people and places, however. For instance, creating emotional connections with other humans. In the city of Adelma, Polo begins to detect familiarity in the faces. He sees people he has known in his life who have died: his father, the girl who went mad for love and killed herself, his grandmother. “You reach a moment in life when, among the people you have known, the dead outnumber the living. And the mind refuses to accept more faces, more expressions: on every new face you encounter, it prints the old forms.”(Calvino, 95) Despite whether the people that Marco Polo saw were truly the deceased members of his past, or strangers with invisible masks, wearing his memories as an alias, the thematic criticism is the same: the emotional tandem people tie to each other ends up controlling and destroying. Another weakness prevalent in Invisible Cities is the fear of the future and unpredictability. This is portrayed through the city of Eudoxia, the city where “each place in the carpet corresponds to a place in the city.” (Calvino, 96) In order to stifle being afraid of what lies in the unknown, inhabitants of Eudoxia assiduously check the carpet’s adherence to the city, when they are lost they diligently stare at the threads and they “can find concealed among the arabesques, an answer, the story of his life, the twists of fate.” It is a great obsession of the mind to make maps and clues for fate, to try to explain whether destiny is chance or choice, to decipher the link between divinity and the future. A third weakness of the mind is the desperation for a higher power: the need for an answer and explanation of why things are happening. The issue of whether a God exists not a contention for debate. The people of Isaura acknowledge there are Gods in their city, they worry about where they are. “The city’s Gods, according to some

    More about Marco Polo's Weaknesses

      Open Document