The Sword in the Stone


It?s everywhere. It surrounds me and tracks me down like an unyielding shadow. I often ponder about this magical illusion that I am enveloped in, and find myself dumbfounded with the outcome. What is it? How can I rid of this "thing" that tugs on my sleeve and has me tied down relentlessly? There?s no explanation, it?s just there. Itlingers mysteriously above my head as if a lonely moon hung high in the midnight sky,illuminating a faint glimmer of mist above the surface of the dark pool water. I feel it now, and I felt it then after reading The Sword in the Stone by T.H. White. An enchanting novel, it engulfed the reader in a powerful trance. Young Arthur went through a dramatic change in his life after coming upon Merlin, his future mentor and closest
companion. He began to transform into a mature and respectable man; a work involved with more than magic; a work created through a strong basis of trust and love.
"The love business is a powerful thing. I must say it is probably the greatest force on Earth." (p110) Merlin said this line with such assurance and confidence that young Arthur, formerly known as the Wart, only longed to believe that this statement was true. He was unaccustomed to such "petty" things as love, in which he was blind to, so in the beginning, he was hesitant on Merlin?s teachings on the topic of love and trust.
In his earlier years of his life, growing up for Arthur consisted of constant difficult hardships and inexplicable hate solely targeted at him by family members. He couldn?t understand the reason why he received less attention and acclaim by his father, Sir Ector. Kay, his older brother was rude and annoyingly impatient with the Wart and often attended to him with foul language. He acted in such hateful manners towards him because he was actually jealous of his younger brother: "The Wart loved hay-making, and was good at it. Kay, who was two years older, generally stood on the edge of the bundle
of hay which he was trying to pick up, with the result that he worked twice as hard as the Wart for only half the result. But he hated to be beaten by anybody at anything and used to fight away with the wretched hay - which he loathed like poison - until he was sick."(p.11)
However, the Wart only longed to be needed for other purposes than for slave duties around the household. He longed desperately to be "accepted" by Sir Ector like Kay was: ". . . he [Kay] was Sir Ector?s proper son. The Wart was not a proper son. He did not understand this, but it made him feel unhappy, because Kay seemed to regard it as making him feel inferior in some way . . . he admired Kay and was a born follower. He was a hero-worshipper." (p. 14)
Upon meeting Merlin, Arthur?s life was fully turned around. Under the guidance and schooling of his wise teacher, he not only learned to read and write, but discovered the true definition of love. He even transformed Wart into various creatures, so that he may experience life from all points of view.
New to the whole concept of love, young Arthur didn?t think much about it at first. Nevertheless, he grew to realize that there was no way to avoid Merlin?s teachings. With him near, he was able to fight back his bottled up emotions and the distinct antipathy he had for Kay. Unfortunately, Merlin could not stay glued to him through all hours of the day, so when Wart was apart from his master, hate found its way back and attacked its enemies, or enemy in this case; his older brother: "To look down at this beastly little
donkey-affair off his great charger and to call me Squire! Oh, Merlin, give me patience with the brute, and stop me from throwing his filthy shilling in his face." (p. 280)
Love overcame hate in the end. Arthur learned to be more patient and
understanding of his brother?s selfish needs and tried willingly to accept him as he was. Instead of charging at him with unnecessary attempts, he thought up of excuses to make up for Kay?s ugly attitude: " Poor Kay. All that shilling stuff was because he was