Throughout the course of reading the novel, I have been a critic of Binx and noted the contradiction of how Binx resists everydayness, yet also loves everyday things, i.e. money-making and his conventional job. If Binx is searching for a way to transcend and go past the shroud of everydayness, why does he experience “a source of satisfaction” to earn money? Why does the novel portray Binx as contradictory character? Is he being a hypocrite or is he confused? Will Binx’s search lead him towards seeing how he himself is sunk into everydayness? Are everydayness and being ordinary bad things or are they actually more benevolent? These are some of the questions that I will struggle with during my blog post.
Perhaps Binx is just a hypocrite who can easily accuse others of being sunk into everydayness, but can’t see his own shortcomings. Binx could also be just complicated individual whose conflicting actions indicate another side to him. Binx expresses contempt for those sunk into everydayness, calls everydayness the enemy, and tries to resist it. Yet, Binx himself loves money and movies, two artificial aspects of everyday life. As a reader, I feel Binx loses his credibility as a narrator since I can’t trust what he says. Why would the novel make Binx a hypocrite and unreliable narrator?
Maybe there is a point that Binx acts in a contradictory manner. Maybe by finally achieving his search, Binx realizes that everydayness is not the enemy he thinks it is and that everydayness is the only tangible, real thing to existence. Perhaps the main point of the story is to glorify the everydayness and ordinary.
Perhaps in addition to expressing existential ideas, the book might be furthering logical empiricism, the idea that only direct observation and use of the senses is the only way to confront philosophical problems such as the existence of God or our place in the universe. Since no one can definitively prove the answers to these complex questions, maybe Binx will find nothing from his search and just appreciate the simple power of the ordinary.
Percy does seem to give a flattering portrayal of the ordinary by describing Binx’s mother as “spangled in rainbows.” Perhaps Percy is implying that there a divinity in everyday life and in mundane objects. Early in the novel, Binx does say that “there is much to be said for giving up such grand ambitions and living the most ordinary life imaginable.”
Maybe the novel intends to convey that even though we might search for grand, monumental meaning in our lives, we should prepare to expect that our lives or everydayness or the minutiae of life is all there is. Binx does say that all signs in the world, that might point to a grand meaning of life I presume, make no difference at all.
But if Binx’s search yields nothing in return, does that offer an optimistic or pessimistic view of life? Perhaps it would be optimistic. Early on in the reading, I did’t think everydayness to be too bad of thing. Personally, I perceived everydayness to possibly be synonymous with existence. Wouldn’t it be a good thing to be sunk into everydayness and existence, as they live their lives.