The Great Divide: Why are you terrified?

Photo by Gautier Salles on Unsplash

The Great Divide written and drawn by Albert Uderzo is a parody of Romeo and Juliet that I enjoyed countless times as a child. There was something very deep and intimidating about every page of that comic book. Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny conveyed some themes that cut deep under the guise of children’s books: love, hate, light, darkness, time, honesty, corruption, good, evil, death and life.

I was very happy that the adventures of Asterix, Obelix and Ideafix always ended with hope and an inevitable great feast. This was how life had to be!

Asterix scholars affirm that the ditch that divides the town of this comic represents the Berlin Wall that separated the two preponderant ideologies of the 20th century between east and west, left and right.

But that furrow in the ground can also be the symbol of the ancestral prejudices and hatreds that divide us as human beings: the very ‘truths’ born from the pride of believing that one is right and the self-sufficiency of ‘certainty’. Each part of the town had “its truth”, which were nothing more than reasons for which each one believed himself master and lord.

The ‘truths’ that are mere reasons, quasi lies, are constructed by dividing the opposites with a great divide, taking the dispute to extremes. Who carries out this macabre plan? The lie.

‘Despite the opinion of those in front, I am the undisputed leader of the town!’, says Cleverdix, head of the left half of the town. ‘I am the people!’ declares Majestix, head of the right half of the town.

Truth with a capital T is the first victim when there are disputes. The stomach and visceral desire to win tends to push sincerity away from the real reasons until it is completely forgotten.

The human soul is also divided. It must choose every day between moral good and evil. Each human life is a town that must daily look for the good in uniting what is divided and fight against the bad in continuing to separate what is disunited.

When the truth is killed, the lie reigns and it destroys everything to remain. Death must kill, first of all, life, its staunch enemy! Without life there is hope for death, but with life death must wait. But death is stubborn and tenacious and knows how to disguise itself as pseudo-truths.

Love, hate, light, dark, time, good, evil and death

Romeo and Juliet is a literary synthesis of the fights of love and hate. Hate is expressed in the division of families that makes teenage love almost impossible. For Shakespeare, love overcomes hate, but ends in tragedy. The light shines in the darkness, but it is not until the glow of love goes out with death that hate does not reconsider.

Although the main characters of the story have inherited a hatred, and their heritage nourishes their days, despite the irreconcilable differences, an untimely love sprouts in them that finally chooses death over a separate life.

Resentment, sharp separation, historical and prejudiced differences do not serve to build unity, harmony and brotherhood. Yet even in such scorched earth a sprout of true love can grow. But the ending is tragic.

Montagues and Capulets still live in each generation. The fight between the love that unites and the hate that separates continues. The ancient fight within the human being between the choice of moral good and moral evil will last forever.

Good unites, seeks to prosper, loves life, is transparent and true, is silent and humble, embraces and protects. While evil separates, seeks to destroy, hates life, is dark and false, is loud and proud, rejects and abandons. Good is bright and evil is dark.

The great divide is evil, wedged into the ground of the earth, dividing people and emptying life of meaning. Only the water of life can soften the hard coarse and turn it into clay. The ditch needs to be filled with the vital, transparent and essential water of Truth. Without it, there will continue to be divisions, fights, skirmishes and wars, inalienable longings for lies.

Two households, both alike in dignity,

In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,

From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,

Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.

From forth the fatal loins of these two foes

A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life;

Whose misadventured piteous overthrows

Do with their death bury their parents’ strife.

The fearful passage of their death-mark’d love,

And the continuance of their parents’ rage,

Which, but their children’s end, nought could remove…

Hope is always there. From among the current discords, a love can be reborn that reconciles and imbues the entire town with harmony. It just needs to be recognized and fear be removed.

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