The Solid Mandala

by Patrick White

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What is your interpretation of the title "The Solid Mandala"?

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Let us remember that the title of this work refers to the special kind of marble that Arthur prizes so highly. Four of his marble collection are solid mandalas. The symbolic significance of the mandala relates to the idea of totality and wholeness. In addition, it is supposedly a dwelling place for a god. Geometrically, a mandala is represented by a square placed inside a circle, representing order imposed on chaos. Remember that this work above all else focuses on two twins moving towards wholeness. Given this dominant theme, the concept of the mandala as both a symbol of totality but also of imposing order on the chaos of Arthur and Waldo and their relationship. The title of this novel therefore points towards its central themes and how they impact its two central characters.

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