In the book Wieland, I have been noticing the power of mind in the book a lot. It first starts in the beginning of the book when Clara first sees this strange man, who we later find out is Carwin. She says, “So flexible, and yet so stubborn, is the human mind. So obedient to impulses the most transient and brief, and yet so unalterably observant of the direction which is given to it” (50). This can be seen throughout the novel, especially when Clara, Wieland, and Playel experience hearing voices and seeing what are thought to be ghosts. However, the power of mind in this book raises a few questions for me.
It makes me wonder, why does Clara always go against what the voices are saying? She continuously puts herself in the way of danger, even though the voices that she is hearing are telling her not to. Like when the voice is telling her not to open the closet, she tries to open the closet instead of just listening to what the voices told her to do. She says that she doesn’t completely believe in living in fear of things. So she continuously does the opposite of what the voices are telling her to do. Is this what ends up keeping her safe from the fate that her father was given, since we know the same fate doesn’t happen to her, since she is writing a confession?
Why is it Wieland who listens to these powers, and becomes the one who goes against his morals? Wieland begins hearing voices and constantly listening to what they tell him to do. In his confession to the murder of his wife and children, Wieland explains that the reason that he committed these crimes was because it was the word of God. Before he commits these crimes, Wieland seems to be baffled by the fact that God has yet to ask him to prove his faith to His religion. So, he asks God to give him a task to complete to prove his faith to his religion is real. The task that he is first given is to murder his wife. At first Wieland has a difficult time completing this task. But, he ends up going through with it. Once he kills his wife, right before she dies, he explains how he gets somewhat of a rush of feeling that he enjoys. And after the crime was committed, he admits to being happy and clapping his hand in joy of what he had just completed. Thinking that he had just proven his faith to God, he felt relieved. That was until he “heard” another voice telling him that he now had to finish the crime, and kill his children as well. Wieland hearing all of these voices to murder people made me wonder if he is actually creating these voices in his head and there isn’t a supernatural power telling him to do these things.
Why are Clara, Wieland, and Playel the only people that are hearing and seeing these supernatural forces? I am more curious about the connection that Playel has to Wieland and Clara in this because he wasn’t a part of their family until Wieland married Catherine. These voices have been heard by Wieland and his family for many of years, because these voices seem to have a connection with all the abnormal deaths in his family. It just doesn’t really make sense to me why Playel is also hearing these voices. And why does it take such a toll on these three? They are constantly obsessing and thinking about these things from the supernatural world that they are hearing, and it’s possible that these supernatural things don’t even exist. It’s almost as if the voices have made the three of them paranoid of everything but, at the same time, they are waiting to hear the voices once again.
Could listening to these voices of “God” that Wieland hears, have a connection to his father’s death? Brown relates experiences that Clara has to that of memories of her knowledge of her father’s death. Reading the book, it makes me think that the fate Wieland’s father suffered is going to be similar to his own fate. But, I keep wondering if Wieland’s father actually listened to the voices that he heard and if the reason he suffered the fate that he did was because he didn’t complete the task that was asked of the voice, or “God”.