Underland Symbols & Objects

Robert Macfarlane
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Jam-Jar Time Capsule

The capsule represents human memory and history and their fragility. It also represents a childlike wonder over the future and the underland. The capsule shows that from an early age MacFarlane thought about and used the underland in one of the symbolic ways he discusses in the book: as a storehouse for that which we love. It works to answer one of the questions asked later in the book: What will the future make of us? MacFarlane describes a boy and his father burying a jam-jar time capsule under a floorboard in a house in the opening pages of Underland. Later, he reveals that he was the boy and the time capsule was his. He placed a model of a bomber airplane in the capsule, the outline of his left hand and a self-description in which he wrote his biggest fear was nuclear war...

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This section contains 1,213 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Underland Study Guide
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