Thoughts from the front lines

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A Vision For Peace

While reading The Year Of The Flood, I didn’t understand the purpose of Toby’s vision. I think of all of us were confused as to why the author included it in the book. For those that don’t remember this passage in the book, Adam One suggests that Toby become an Eve. However, Toby thinks that she is unsuitable for the position because she does not believe in his religion. As a favour to Adam One, she goes on a vigil to help her make her final decision about accepting a position as an Eve. On her vigil she sees a liobam, but instead of roaring she sees it yawning. What is the meaning behind this vision?

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We all know that division is a central theme in the book. We can see this in the Gardeners between Zeb and Adam One as Zeb leaves the cult to form Maddaddam. We also see a division between the Gardeners and the Pleemobs as well as the Compound and the Pleebland. Everyone is separated due to their differences of wealth, power and personal beliefs. Ultimately, these differences brought chaos. In Toby’s vigil, the liobam represents harmony. How did I come up with that you may ask? Well, let’s think about. A liobam is a combination of a lamb and a lion. A lion is a ferocious predatory animal that dominates the animal kingdom on land. The animal symbolizes strength, power, dominance and leadership. People idolizes the lion; it even has its own movie called The Lion King. The lamb is a gentle docile creature with many useful qualities. The lamb provides milk, wool, food and companionship. In Christianity, it symbolizes tranquility and purity. This animal is often overlooked because it is seen as a weak animal. By combining a lion and a lamb together they complete one another because they have qualities that each other lack.


I think Toby is like a liobam. Before joining the Gardeners, she was resilient like a lion. When she became an Eve, she changed drastically. Throughout the story, she learnt to be a leader when she was an Eve. When she was with Ren in the meadows, she was kind towards her and took care of her by providing her food, shelter, clothes, companionship and treatment for her wounds and fever. Toby is an example of how when people put their differences aside, good can come out of it. Toby put her opinions about the Gardeners aside and became and Eve, which helped her survive the flood in the end. Instead of killing Blanco immediately like a lion would, she moved with caution like a lamb would to find a logical way of protecting herself and Ren around Blanco without causing too much trouble.

In the media, the lion and the lamb are used in films, books, and music to convey important messages. For example, in the movie Lions for Lambs directed by Robert Redford the plot centralizes on university students being encouraged to “make a [positive] change” in the world. Meanwhile, the US government is misusing their power and position by using propaganda to implement a military action plan in their fight with Afghanistan.  Two smart and innocent students enlist in the arm, while another student who’s bright is ignorant about the world around him refuses to do anything meaningful with his life. The movie depicts the government who is essentially the leader of the military as the lions. As I mentioned above, lions are symbolic for leadership, power, strength and dominance.  Someone who possess all those attributes, can be dangerous if they are misguided by their own personal greed or by their own wickedness. Inevitably, having a lion-type leader will not end very well (just look at all the evil dictators that existed in our world). Alexander the Great once said,

“I am never afraid of an army of Lions led into battle by a Lamb. I fear more the army of Lambs who have a Lion to lead them”. 

Do you think that what Alexander the Great said is true in our own world?



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“The Lion, The Lamb Together.” God… In The Beginning. N.p., 22 June 2013. Web. 25 Mar. 2017. N.p., n.d. Web.

“Lions for Lambs.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Mar. 2017. Web. 25 Mar. 2017. <;.