"But she, God love her, feared to brush/ The dust from off its wings."
Redpath Museum, McGill University
Includes a butterfly collection from Lionel de Niceville.
Butterflies? Come on now...
I know what you're thinking. Butterflies are kind of lame. Kind of cliche. A huge part of me dreaded choosing to follow the motif of butterflies in literature. They've become too commercial and general, too pink and sparkly, and there are some really awful poems about them (though admittedly, I'm not much of a poet either). I felt like I came across a dead end before even beginning.
So why did I choose this particular motif? It all started with Lolita (that sly nymphet) and the butterfly and fairy references within Nabokov's novel. Now there is nothing plastic or sparkly about Lolita. Thus, I felt confident that I could explain the way butterflies were used in the novel (innocence, fragility, and metamorphasis) without feeling like I had chosen a really horrible motif. If such a thing exists...
From Lolita, I will sift through other works of art and literature, both good and bad, in order to commentate on the way butterflies are used to reference particular themes. I have a feeling I will only be truly satisfied with Lolita, and that the other works will fall short in my comparison.
No matter. There will be at least three detailed explications of the motif in at least three literary works. There will be song lyrics, pictures, random facts, videos, recipes (just kidding... maybe) that relate to butterflies. I have this desire to stuff this blog with as much substance in order to counter the lameness often assosciated with butterflies. Hopefully it will interest you. So without further ado- My Final AP-English Project.