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Joan of Arc, Reflection and Clarity

Joan of Arc, Reflection and Clarity.

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Joan of Arc, Reflection and Clarity

No moon to keep her armour bright,
No man to get her through this very smoky night.

The storyteller continues by telling us that the night is smokey and there is no moon – or at least no moon visible.

This simplifies the stage and makes the two elements stronger. It suggests that the only light she has are from the fire which will destroy her. An awareness of death gives clarity to what life is. Before Joan of Arc and Fire start conversing, her armour is dull.

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As well as the dark, the night is also smokey. Humanity never knows what is going to happen next. Both the past and future are smokey and unclear.

However the storyteller is able to see her, and the smokeyness – which suggests there is illumination from the flames.

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Normally the sun reflects onto the moon. Before fire introduces himself properly- Joan of Arc is like a solitary moon, only dimly illuminated by his distant presence. Joan of Arc was a French girl and the French word for love is – amour. It is pronounced similarly to the English word armour.

Traditionally the lone damsel would be rescued by a knight in shining armour – but Joan of Arc is a mythical woman and embodies both the knight and damsel in one entity. This is similar to the way that the moons light is not of itself, but of the other – the Sun. She appears more masculine than she is.

So although the night is dark and smokey, the following fire reflects off her armour – but not brightly at this point in the story. I think these lines are about reflection. This theme is introduced with two strong ideas –

The Moon – which is normally made visible by reflecting the Sun.
Her Armour – which is of a reflective nature, but lacks sufficient light to shine brightly.

Joan of Arc is without her opposing element to illuminate her.

We learn that she is single on her journey – which represents life.

These lines suggest that the following flames, have illuminated her enough to make her reflect on her solitary nature. At the least, the storyteller is made aware of her solitude, and sounds sympathetic.

The storyteller is in the awkward position of watching her, and seeing her solitude. We might expect a woman alone in the dark to be vulnerable – especially with the dangerous element of fire pursuing her. This makes her boldness, pride and fearlessness more dramatic when we hear of it.

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The moon is normally the queen of the night, so by editting the moon out of the scene, it is clear that it is Joan of Arc who is Queen – although she is alone (apart from distance fire, and the watching storyteller) so what exactly she is ruling is unclear.

Her metal armour is also symbolic of clarity. In this mythical set up, there is little light near her, and her armour is not bright. This suggests that she is in a state of innocence or unknowing.

She lacks the clarity she finds when she meets her counterpart – Fire or Death personified so brilliantly later on in this song.