Cas and Apollo

In Ancient Greece, the Greek God Apollo was the God of the Sun, healing, music and prophecy. In “The Familiar” Mark Z. Danielewski uses font in a purposeful way to display hidden character traits and character meanings. One character he does this with is Cas. Cas’s font is Apolline, a french name originating from the Greek masculine name Apollo, meaning the sun or God of the sun.

The fact that Cas’s font is referencing Apollo and the sun are siginificant for two reasons. One, the sun is a spherical, orb-like, planetary object that is the center of the our galaxy. It gives life and light to all living beings in our galaxy. Cas’s narrative references an orb that she can see into and gain information from. She and Bobby also get into many situations where there are fires involved because of the technology being used. This fire destroys rather than gives life, like the sun does. The sun could be a reference to both the spherical shape of the orb and the heat and light that these fires cause. Second, Cas is receiving information from the orb  and therefore could have special, mythical medium powers. The God Apollo was the God of prophecy because he would gift certain human women with the gift of sight and they would become his oracles. In a sense, Cas has become one of Apollo’s oracles.

In Cas’s chapters there is also reference to other ancient Greek characters like Circe and Artemis, who happens to be Apollo’s sister. I wonder how Cas is connected to Circe, Artemis, Treebeard, Merlin and the other characters. Are they involved in this project as well?  Cas’s name is also “The Wizard.” Why do you think it is significant that she be called “The Wizard” instead of something like “Apollo” or “The Oracle”?


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One response to “Cas and Apollo”

  1. logan72015 says :

    I honestly overlooked the details in the styles of text selected. You seem to put up a very reasonable explanation for this particular text being associated with Cas and I am inclined to take this as the respective meaning.

    I was also interested in the names associated with Cas’s circle. I was most intrigued by the fact that her nickname was associated with her subset with the Narcons. The subset is titled TF-Narcon^9W with the W representing her screen name. Her subset is the only one to use a nickname. I wondered if this is because she identifies with the title of Wizard more than her own name.

    She demonstrates a connection with the other individuals in her group through their knowledge of the Orb. There are apparently other versions of it known to exist which seem to be in the hands of these acquaintances. Their names seem to be picked from fantasy. I am assuming that these were there screen names used in games such as WOW or other MMOGs that she referenced on page 149. They then continued to use those names across different platforms like parcel thoughts until those names became their identity. There are other options to the origin of here name that could include her previously being a practicing Wiccan. The topic of their names is not clear because Cas does not give away all the details.

    The one thing that is clear is how they must conceal their identity. Cas and all of her associates are being hunted by an outside force.

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