Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What does Miller write in Part 1, "The Oranges of the Millennium", in describing the community of Big Sur?

Miller writes in his introduction of the narrative that almost 100 artists of all sorts, a dozen of whom are truly talented, come through Big Sur in Henry Miller's twelve years there, escaping the present and living in peace. Miller finds infatuated fans a constant nuisance.

2. What does Miller assert as signs of the "system breaking down" in Part 1, "The Oranges of the Millennium"?

Miller asserts that disillusioned young professional males who become influential artists on the fringes of a vicious society are proof that the system is breaking down. In sparsely-populated Big Sur, however, Miller's neighbors know both how to let one alone and how to lend a hand.

3. How does Miller describe the plants and animals in Hieronymus Bosch's The Millennium? How does this relate to Big Sur?

The oranges in Hieronymus Bosch's The Millennium, and indeed all of the animals and plants in it, share a magic "super-reality," shared by Big Sur, a virtual paradise. One must find new ways of looking at things to see paradise undiminished by creation's flaws, according to Miller.

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