Matty reveals her knowledge of the affair to William during a Scrabble-like game. Later, she explains that the servants were also aware and arranged for him to find out. Expressing frustration at her life and dependency on the Alabasters, Matty reveals that she has published her own book on the insects and has bought tickets for a ship for the Amazon. William is reluctant; despite his attraction, he feels that the rain forest is unsuitable for a woman. After she assures him of her strength and love for him, William acquiesces.
The film was made on location at Arbury Hall in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, the home of the 3rd Viscount Daventry. The costumes worn by Kensit and the other actresses were designed in bright colors and bold patterns to evoke the appearance of insects, which would earn the film an Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design. In the marriage proposal scene, Patsy Kensit's gown was treated with female sex hormones to attract the moths to her. 6,000 ants were brought in initially for the forest colony scenes, but they walked off before filming. Another 6,000 were brought in as a replacement, only for the original 6,000 to return.
Into this household comes a dour Scots outsider named William Adamson (Mark Rylance). He has returned from 10 years in the Amazon collecting rare specimens that have all been lost in a shipwreck - all but one precious butterfly, which he presents to Sir Harald Alabaster (Jeremy Kemp), who is obsessed with insects. It is shortly after Darwin's first publications, and Sir Harald is fascinated by the process of natural selection.
Angels and Insects consists of two decent-sized novellas, Morpho Eugenia (that would be the insects) and The Conjugial Angel (more obviously: the angels).Both are set in 19th century England, and Byatt ably enters and presents that world. Morpho Eugenia is a Darwinian tale. William Adamson finds himself first a guest of and then married into the wealthy Alabaster family. He went on an expedition to the Amazon, but lost near all his possessions and specimens in a shipwreck that he just survived. He is fascinated by insects -- especially, here, butterflies and ants. William Adamson is of a different class and background than the Alabasters. He is also alone -- a stranger in their midst -- while they are ... very close. As the daughter he falls for, Eugenia, explains: "I love my family, Mr Adamson. We are very happy together. We love each other very much." No kidding. Eugenia tragically lost her fiancé before she could wed; the circumstances of this death are only revealed relatively far into the novella (though they don't come as that much of a surprise). Eugenia warns Adamson:I cannot be loved, Mr Adamson, I am not able to be loved, it is my curse, you don't understand. But it is to no avail: Adamson wants her. As Eugenia's sister is already engaged there's a nice double wedding and Adamson is welcomed into the fold. Adamson is kept somewhat busy organizing and arranging the accumulated collection of the pater familias, but what he'd really like to do is set out on another Amazonian expedition. Meanwhile, his wife is breeding and breeding -- one of several reasons Adamson feels it wouldn't be right for him to set off just yet. Funny, though, about the kids: as Adamson observes: "It is as though environment were everything and inheritance nothing, I sometimes think. They suck in Alabaster substance and grow into perfect little Alabasters -- I only very rarely catch glimpses of myself in their expression --" Throughout the book there's a great deal of contrast with the world of nature, as Adamson sets up and observes an ant-colony with some of the other children, even writing a book about it. Meanwhile, there's also considerable Darwinian debate. Nature, in these times, is still something of a mystery, and while there are glimpses of its brute truth these aren't always clearly observed or understood. Adamson also finally comes across Eugenia's secret, and quite a dramatic one that is (though well foreshadowed throughout the book -- both the what and the who). Still, it's a neat turn, and allows Adamson to leave this odd place with someone more appropriate, in all respects, for him. The novella nicely compares civilization with the way animals (specifically insects) live; Byatt does this very well, and from the role of women to laws of nature she offers some remarkable examples, always nicely contrasted with the strange Alabaster world. What weakness there is in the novel is in the somewhat cursory manner many of the human relationships are explored. Adamson's love for Eugenia doesn't fully convince, and Byatt chooses not to consider closely how it evolves after they are wed (in part, no doubt, because Eugenia is meant to be seen as the unassailable queen ant, busy only breeding (and being protected)).But the novella is still an accomplished, clever scientific fiction. The Conjugial Angel is quite a different piece of work. It is dominated by poetry, as Byatt quotes extensively. And, though set in roughly the same time, it is much less scientifc -- and more spiritual, or at least concerned with spiritualism (and, yes, quite a few spirits float around here). A character, Mr Hawke, explains:Swedenborg teaches us, as you know, that true conjugial love comes to us all but once, that our souls have one mate, one perfect other half, whom we should seek ceaselessly. That an angel, properly speaking, joins two parts in one, in conjugial love. That's a lot to aim for, but its these ideals that the characters are focussed on. Poets appear (if not in entirely real form) -- Keats, for example -- but it is Alfred Lord Tennyson that is the dominant figure of influence, and his In Memoriam the central work. Mourning, death, longing for answers: this and more is creatively addressed here, but it's an odd mix of modern and Victorianism. Formally and stylistically impressive, the novella doesn't fully convince as a story.
In the novella Morpho Eugenia, the author sets the story in Victorian England. The story begins by presenting William Adamson. Adamson is a famous naturalist who had spent several years in the jungles of Amazon. The naturalist had been studying different kinds of insects and animals. At the time, a shipwreck rendered him penniless.
From the passage highlighted in this discussion, it is notable that the author has examined the triumph of life through symbolism. It is clear that the people of Victoria were fascinated by the world of insects. The author has used the fascinations to examine the social order in the society. In the above passage, the author has used incest to grab the attention of the reader.
During the first few minutes we spoke among ourselves, the only people present. “Here comes another one. Did you see that one dive? Look, there’s 4 swallow-tails and 1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi…" etc. Soon, simply watching and wondering was enough, giving time for reflection. My first thought was that this was a marvelous field to have so many insects that would attract these spectacular birds. I silently applauded the land owner for not using pesticides that would have eliminated the prey sought by the kites, swallows and probably many other birds. The cascade effect of the overuse of pesticides in agricultural areas is an affliction to native wildlife across the nation. Insects are killed, true, but insectivorous birds and other wildlife are unintended casualties through loss of their natural food or uptake of the poisons themselves. People who enjoy nature are also victims because of missed opportunities to see such an awe-inspiring performance.
I also wondered how many insects a kite or swallow must eat in a day, considering that they fly continuously for hours, constantly catching prey, many of which are moving targets. Later that week I saw a scientific article written by Martin Nyffeler of the University of Basel in Switzerland with his colleagues Çağan Şekercioğlu and Christopher Whelan that provided some insight. The title was “Insectivorous Birds Consume an Estimated 400–500 Million Tons of Prey Annually.” Based on an accumulation of records worldwide, the study confirmed that the economic importance of insect-eating birds “in suppressing potentially harmful insect pests on a global scale” is extraordinary. Kites were not mentioned specifically, but based on our brief survey, they are doing their part.
How do parents normally react to a question like this?: "Who made God?", a child asks. There are five - please pay attention to this - five incorrect methods of dealing with this question. And other similar questions, whether related to faith or other inquisitive areas of our children. Yes, five ways in which as parents, we are not supposed to - what - reply or deal with a scenario like this.The first is dismissal. Dismissal means what? It means that we ignore that question, or we say, you know "This is not for you. You are not supposed to be necessarily asking this question." Why? Because we recognize that this question may be above what they are thinking. And therefore, we dismiss the need to ask this question. As a result they, the children, will turn to other sources, no doubt.The second way in which, unfortunately some parents deal with a question like this, is that they ridicule. They joke about this, they mock in front of the child, others will be watching. Or even the child by himself or herself, they mock this particular question. Say "Are you really serious? Why are you asking this question for?" Yes, "this does not make any sense. What do you mean who made God? This does not make any sense." And then they laugh about it. What does this do to the child? Destroy their self-esteem, their self-worth. The child will now begin to formulate this idea that "you know what? I am not somebody who is worth asking this question, because my father or mother immediately joked about it." Yes. " They ridiculed it, they mocked it. And therefore, I should not ask any of these questions anymore."Because I tell you, Allah, today, there is a silence movement going on in universities and other places. This atheism that is breeding among some of our community members around the world, from the followers of the school of Ahl al-Bayt. Yes. These questions are not being answered when they are young. And do you know why they are not being answered? Because you speak to your parents and say, "What happened to M&Ms?" You say to them, "What?" They say, "M&Ms". We are leaving everything in the hands of M&M. Not the very nice chocolate that we eat. Mimbar and madrasa. They are the source of information. They should be answering these questions. I tell you, when that boy, 16, or that 18-year-old girl goes to university, and what? Those atheists and agnostics are posing these questions, "why evil exists? Why is God not stopping this? Where is God? Who made God?" They begin to doubt. They begin to what? Have weakness in their Iman. Yes. So the second area is the ridiculing these questions.The third is deterrence. Deterrence means what? You say "Astaghfirullah. This is Shaytan playing in your mind." have you heard this? When somebody asks a question you do not like, you immediately switch, and somehow begin to make them doubt their faith or their question. To somehow blame the enemy, the arch enemy, that being the Shaytan.The number four area is what? Is when you start accusing them or judging them of having weak Iman or faith. A child comes forward and asks this question, you begin to say, "That means you are becoming a less of a Muslim. This question indicates that you are not a very strong believer, because you should not be asking these questions", the parent would say. I tell you, there is a professor called Professor Jeffrey Lang. He embraced Islam in the 1980s. He had many questions. Yes. He went to a particular country in the Middle East. That what, that teaches and espouses extremist Islam. Yes. He went to that particular country, he had questions. They told him, "Do not ask, because if you ask, that means you are a weak Muslim. You do not have faith, you do not have Iman, you do not have conviction in Allah." He came back to the United States. He wrote a book. 'Even angels Ask'. He wrote on it: "If the angels asked Allah, why is it that you are creating this creation that is causing bloodshed? (2:30) Why are you not answering my questions? Allah allowed the angels to ask".That is why one of our scholars says that "you know when I was also studying, he says, I was studying in the Hawzah, I went to one of my teachers and I had these doubts. I had these questions." The teacher said to me, "Shaytan has taken you over. Go home and read Qur'an. Take the jinn and the Shaytan out of you." He said, "I was wondering, why are my questions not being answered?" We must not be of those who immediately judge an individual who has a question. But just because they have a question, we start labeling them, start thinking that they have left the faith, they have left the school of Ahl al-Bayt, alayhum as-salam.And the fifth way in which, unfortunately, some parents deal with tough, difficult questions from their children, is what? Is when they give them wrong answers. Or they make up an answer, or they Google an answer very quickly and just give it to them. There was an individual by the name of Mustafa Mahmoud. He is an Egyptian scholar. Yes. He wrote a book, 'Rahlatun min Al-Iman ila' il-haad', My journey from faith to atheism. He became an atheist after being a Muslim. He said, "You know why I became an atheist?" He said, "In my village, there was a scholar, a scholar that people respected. Once I came to him, I said to him, "ya Sheikh, I have a problem in my house". "What is your problem?" He said, "I have many insects. I want you to give me a taweez or a du'a or something that helps to defeat these insects". He said, "Very well, recite the following and do the next few things and the insects will go away." He said, "I took what he said. That night I recited. I woke up in the morning. My house had even more insects." He said, I went back to him and said, "If you can not remove and take away insects from me, how can you remove Shaytan and sins from me? So I left Islam".Unfortunately, sometimes we give answers that may weaken the faith of some individuals, including our children. We do not think and ponder. I remember one individual said to me that a non Muslim friend asked me about Ashura, asked me about Sayyid ash-Shuhada, about Abu 'Abdillah al-Husayn, salawat Allahi wa as-salamu alayh [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa Aali Muhammad]. He said to me, "What is the big deal about Karbala and the 10th of Muharram? What was wrong with this individual ruling at that time?" He said, "You know, a member of our community went and said to him, "The problem with Yazid was that he used to drink alcohol a lot and he was a womanizer". He said, "That non-Muslim said, That is not really a major issue, because I do that too."Sometimes, the answer that we give to a question, may what? May take an individual way further, isn't it? Make it even worse. Therefore, our sixth Holy Imam, Imam Ja'far Ibn Muhammad as-Sadiq, salawat Allahi wa as-salamu alayh [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa Aali Muhammad], tells us: "converse with your children and answer their question," in a hadith, " lest, if you do not do so, they will have a communication with those who have transgressed and disobeyed Allah, Subhanah wa Ta'ala." 781b155fdc