Symbolism In Epileptic, By David B.

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Epileptic is a memoir written by David B, that is reflected through intense symbolism. It begins in 1964 when Pierre-Francois, who later changes his name to David, is five years old. He is a child captivated by warfare and learning of his ability to draw, when his brother Jean-Christophe begins having epileptic seizures. Their parents drag them around the country, uprooting them each time in search of a miracle cure that does not exist. Jean-Christophe demands the family’s attention as he depreciates mentally and physically, while Pierre-Francois declines into a madness of his own, which is less destructive than his brother’s, but just as threatening. The artwork in Epileptic tracks his perceptions, becoming increasingly more elaborate, and…show more content…
It first appears on page 39, surrounding Pierre-Francois. As it progresses, the snake is more associated with Jean-Christophe, always around him and in panels near him, finally replacing his face, when he is overtaken by epilepsy. Who he was is no longer there, as his interests and will to be independent fades. Epilepsy changes his appearance, causing him to gain weight from his lack of activity and bloating from the medication; the scars cover his body and face like snake bites his family is able to suck the poison out of. The snake is always looming over him or sitting next to him. No matter how hard he tries to lose it or push it away, it follows faithfully. To see a snake signifies hidden fears and worries that are threatening you. Epilepsy is always a looming threat to Jean-Christophe, but it affects Pierre-Francois as well. It causes his family to move around constantly, always searching for a new cure. Friends, homes, and cities are abandoned one after the other. From macrobiotic communities, different doctors around the country, and pills that send Jean-Christophe into psychotic fits, nothing works. The treatments never kill the snake; it only sinks the snake’s fangs in further. Pierre-Francois becomes increasingly more distant. He resorts to writing books, and begins to read more and more books, eventually creating imaginary friends. He adopts the trinity from Jean Ray’s Last Canterbury

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