Nadia Sari Pertiwi

English Department, Faculty of Languages and Arts, Surabaya State University

Prof.D.R F D Kurnia, M.Pd

English Department, Faculty of Languages and Arts, Surabaya State University


Ambiguitas adalah atribut dari setiap konsep , ide , pernyataan atau klaim yang maknanya , niat atau interpretasi tidak dapat diselesaikan secara definitif sesuai dengan aturan atau proses yang terdiri dari jumlah terbatas langkah seperti dalam karakter Marianne Engel di The Gargoyle oleh Andrew Davidson . Aplikasi disengaja ini menyebabkan kebingungan untuk menentukan siapa yang tepat marianne engel . Oleh karena itu , penggunaan alegori diperlukan untuk menemukan kebenaran dalam karakter marianne engel . Sebagai perangkat sastra , sebuah alegori dalam arti yang paling umum merupakan metafora yang diperluas . The Gargoyle oleh Andrew Davidson mencoba untuk menceritakan lima cerita cinta dari lima tempat yang berbeda dan periode waktu , dengan masing-masing narasi mendapatkan relevansi yang lebih besar dan resonansi dari struktur cermin satu sama lain . Teks ambisius ini mencoba untuk lapisan cerita satu sama lain , sementara tetap mempertahankan struktur novel naratif ; tidak selalu berhasil , tapi itu lebih karena kesalahan media daripada dari teks itu sendiri . adalah penting untuk mempertahankan cukup dari affectations sastra - seperti narasi berbingkai , yang diterjemahkan ke dalam aspek psychologycal dengan menggunakan satu instrumen dalam pengenalan dan kesimpulan . Hal ini kemudian didukung oleh beberapa kalimat untuk membuktikan apakah Marianne Engel adalah skizofrenia atau tidak . Ada untuk , ada beberapa masalah tentang bagaimana alegori mendukung ambiguitas dalam novel , yang dikirim ke dua pertanyaan utama ( 1 ) Bagaimana ambiguitas terjadi di Andrew Davidson The Gargoyle ? ( 2 ) Bagaimana Kiasan menyebabkan ambiguitas Marianne Engel ? Dalam menganalisis masalah , makalah ini menggunakan teori psikoanalisis oleh Sigmund Freud untuk mengetahui bagaimana ambiguitas dipimpin perempuan karakter terjadi melalui alegori nya . Penelitian ini menggunakan metode deskriptif kualitas dimana data kualitas menjadi referensi kerja daripada jumlah data . Ini akan jelas terlihat bagaimana alegori menyebabkan ambiguitas Marianne Engel .

 Kata kunci : Psikoanalisis , alegori , schipzophrenia , ambiguitas


Ambiguity is an attribute of any concept, idea, statement or claim whose meaning, intention or interpretation cannot be definitively resolved according to a rule or process consisting of a finite number of steps as in character of Marianne Engel in The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. This intentional application causes confusion to determine who is exactly marianne engel. therefore, the use of allegory is necessary to find the truth in the character of marianne engel. As a literary device, an allegory in its most general sense is an extended metaphor. The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson attempts to tell five love stories from five different places and time periods, with each narrative gaining greater relevance and resonance when the structures mirror each other. This ambitious text attempts to layer the stories over each other, while still maintaining the structure of a narrative novel; it is not always successful, but that is more the fault of the medium than of the text itself. it is important to maintain enough of the literary affectations – such as the framed narrative, which is translated into psychologycal aspect with the use of a single instrument in the introduction and conclusion. It is further supported by some sentences to prove whether Marianne Engel is a schizophrenic or not. There for, there are some problems about how allegory supports ambiguity in the novel, which are delivered to two main questions of (1) How ambiguity happens in Andrew Davidson’s The Gargoyle ? (2) How are Allegories causing Marianne Engel’s ambiguity ? In analyzing the problems, this paper uses psychoanalysis theory by Sigmund Freud to know how the ambiguity of led females character happens through her allegories. This research uses descriptive quality method where the quality data becomes the refference of the work rather than the quantity of data. It will be clearly seen how allegories cause Marianne Engel’s ambiguity.

 Keywords: Psychoanalysis, allegories, schipzophrenia, ambiguity.




                In sociological side, politeness is not a choice, but Why is ambiguity important in literary allegory ? Allegory has the power of metaphor and the power of narrative and works upon both of these simultaneously. Maybe this is why allegory tends to be a powerful format and especially meaningful, ambiguous.

A study of philosophical allegory, therefore, very quickly serves to put the rhetoricians in context, and to show us what we might have expected all along: that, when the rhetoricians talk of allegory (and a fortiori the same will be true of metaphor), they talk about it only insofar as it is of relevance to the needs of the orator—and only then within a certain view of the nature, not of language as such, but of oratory in particular. The gap between what the rhetoricians and the philosophers say about allegory is no ill reflection on the former: what it indicates rather is the rhetoricians’ view that the orator’s art is precisely a matter of being able to say the same thing in a variety of styles as appropriate, of being able to make it attractive to any given audience. (GR Boys-Stones:3-4)

the kind of naïve and prideful self-love associated with an unsophisticated reading of fiction was to be corrected by a better kind of self-involvement, a slightly alienated self-consciousness that conduced to humility. To “read oneself ” in this sense had by midcentury apparently become conventional moral medicine, and as such it was available throughout this period as a justification for allegorical romance.(Amelia A.zurcher :110)

At the moment in one hundred and fifty years not one person on the planet will be alive, so the opportunities which await our generation may provide a profound leap in understanding for the future of life on Earth. ‘The Love’ is a book of dreams which will hopefully inspire love, equality, faith, happiness and wisdom. (Tim Stone, 2002: 7)

the reader has some familiarity with the traditional geocentric conception of the universe:[17] earth fixed unmoving in space, surrounded by the seven planets (in order out from earth: the moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn)—which were sometimes (in the wake of Aristotle) thought of as fixed in a series of transparent spheres, sometimes (in the wake of Plato) as moving in mathematically determined orbits—the seven planets themselves surrounded by the sphere of the fixed stars.

Onto the sphere of the fixed stars, which was thought to make a complete revolution once (approximately) each day, were projected from the earth such great circles as the equator, the meridian, and the ecliptic (the apparent annual path of the sun, a projection of the earth's own orbit). All change—all generation and decay—was thought to be confined to the region below the moon and to be governed by the influence of the stars and the planets, and all sublunar reality was thought to mirror to some extent the nature of the universe as a whole, to be a microcosm. Man, of course, was the microcosm par excellence. (Robert M. Durling, Ronald L. Martinez, 1990: 9)

An 'insane' activity, the 'refuge of unskillfu1ness'-that is how one Protestant scholar, commenting in the seventeenth century, described allegorical interpretation in some of its most prominent forms. He was not the first to express his disenchantment. A century earlier Luther had called allegory a 'beautiful harlot who fondles men in such a way that it is impossible for her not to be loved.' (Jon Whitman, 2003: 1) an insane activity of allegories intepretation that has been introduced by Jon Whitman seems to be relevant with the novel’s condition where Marriane Engel, the character inside “The Gargoyle” who drew so many Dante’s allegories for her confession during seven hundred years.

The Gargoyle is both an allegory that renders ordinary laws irrelevant and a love story that transcends mortality. Among the themes, Davidson is trying too hard to impress with a combo of histories and supernatural to create a sort of an allegory. It’s quite impressive and he doesn’t leave all the bundles untied. the main plot, which is the recovery of the burned man and the historical (past life) story is more of a device to make the book entertaining, to try to make readers aware this whole idea about past life. One thing for sure is Marianne’s fables that gradually changes the recovering narrator’s state of his heart from one that is forlorn to hopeful, for it was not until he was burned that he begins to feel. The contrived ironies that intersperse with the story within the story bespeak hope in face of adversity. Whereas skin represents one’s whole appearance, an emblem of identity, skin does not constitute who one really is, let alone the essence of the soul. (taken from : [209] The Gargoyle – Andrew Davidson _ A Guy's Moleskine Notebook.htm; accessed in 05/11/2013 : [ 23.15 PM])

Theoritical Framework

                This novel told about the anonymous narrator of The Gargoyle is a pornographic actor who, while driving along a dark road, is distracted by what appears to him to be a flight of arrows. Dodging the arrows, his car skids off the road, crashes into a ravine, and suffers severe burns all over his body. During convalescence he conceives a plan of suicide. But a mysterious visitor who appears at the foot of his bed might convert this cynic to love. Marianne Engel is a sculptress of gargoyles who tells the narrator that they were lovers in medieval times, some 700 years ago.

Hence unfolds is a second narrative, the medieval story, told by Marianne herself, about her being adopted by a priest at Engelthal in Germany in 1315. Her talent in languages established her to be the most prolific scribe whose literary fingerprints had far exceeded that of any of her peers. The arrival of a wounded mercenary (hired to kill for wages) whom she carefully attended became a pretext of the prioress to expunge all her records from Engelthal.

Which is what makes the novel memorable is memory and ghost loosely link the two narratives that impose many questions in my mind. Was Marianne Engel really the narrator’s lover in the past life? Or she is just a mad woman, a schizophrenic who holds out too much hope based upon a fictional past?

According to the idea presented in the background of study, the writer would like to formulate the problems as follows:

1.How ambiguity of Marianne Engel’s schizophrenia  happens in Andrew Davidson’s The Gargoyle ?

2.How are Allegories supporting Marianne Engel’s ambiguity ?

Based on the statement of the problems above mentioned above, the purposes of the study are:

1.To reveal the Marriane Engel’s psychological condition in Andrew Davidson’s The Gargoyle.

2.To understand and reveal the allegories of the Marriane Engel’s medieval story in Andrew Davidson’s The Gargoyle.

Data analysis

                In analyzing data, the writer reads The Gargoyle novel by Andrew Davidson to understand the content of the novel to get the important information about the topic which will be discussed. Then the data is discussed and analyzes in accordance with the background of study and statements of problem. In the explanation, the writer tell the synopsis of the story back in order the reader can understand how the story is, and then it is explained by describing the data or the problems in the novel by using qualitative sentences. After all data is analyzed, the writer makes the conclusion based on the explanation.                    


                Marianne Engel starts to tell the narrator story when she became annoying while the narrator faces a long and painful convalescence in a burn unit. The novel reads like a grotesque nightmare or fantasy where Davidson seems to prey on every man's worst fears - the loss of one's physical attractiveness, the loss of one's livelihood and business pushed into bankruptcy, a complete and devastating loss, even the loss of his penis, burned to a crisp and removed by the doctors after the accident. the narrator move beyond the disgusting person that he once was. Naturally, the incredibly material, vain, main character is planning a glorious suicide when the strange, mentally ill, Marianne Engel walks into his life. Marianne Engel claims she is over seven hundred years old, and that our main character has now been burned three times in the time that she has known him. Steadily, Marianne Engel begins to become more and more of an influence in the main character's life. Thus beginning the transformation of our beloved vain porn star into something like a decent human being. In the beginning of the novel, it is a known fact that Marianne Engel is just plain crazy. As a final result, this paper belive that Marianne Engel is a schizophrenic not a travelling soul accross time.

On record

                On The psychological condition of the led female character has been explained on the theories above. As explained in review of related literature that Marianne Engel’s has complexity along the story. Her character leds to many physical types. But her mental illness of schizophrenia can be categorized as a possitive schizophrenia. schizophrenia is defined by at least three separate sets of symptoms:

1.             Positive symptoms, which include hallucinations and delusions.

2.             Negative symptoms, which include a general appearance of being flat (without much emotion), called “flat affect”; withdrawal; a lack of much speech, at least speech that says anything; and slow movements and the appearance of slow thought.

A set of symptoms related to general disorganization (i.e., speech that is mixed or not getting to the point and behavioral disorganization). These symptoms are now considered a separate cluster, defined as disorganization syndrome

 as seen in the novel,  she was the guide to narrator life and through that he did love her but he learned to love life and basically how to love anything, himself, others and the act of living on this earth. It is only after he has lost everything that he begins to gain an understanding of beauty and compassion, and actually sees his life as better after being disfigured and starting over.



            This paper has discussed about “The Gargoyle”, it is a story about redemption. But the discussion that this paper take is the ambiguity of Marianne Engel’s schipzophrenia through her allegories. In analyzing the character, the writer uses psychological approach taken from Sigmund Freud’s theory, schizophrenia taken from Lyn E. Delisy’s theory, and the las is the ambiguity that taken from Willian Empson’s theory. In the research there are two statement of the problems; how ambiguity of Marianne Engel’s schizophrenia happens and its relation through her allegory.

what is schizophrenia? The American Psychiatric Association defines schizophrenia in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV (DSM-IV ) as a disorder with active symptoms for at least 1 month, consisting of delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized/ bizarre behavior, and/or a lack of organized speech, activity, or emotions. Usually at least two of these sets of symptoms are present. The illness, with a prodromal stage prior to diagnosis and a residual stage after treatment (both having some often nonspecific behavioral symptoms), lasts at least 6 months with continuous signs of some disturbance. During this period, an individual with schizophrenia is clearly considered impaired in his or her ability to perform at work, attend school, or participate in social activities in a productive way as in Lyn. E. Delisi: 2.

Symptomps of schizophrenia are devided into three part. Psychiatric researchers continuously debate how best to predict whether a schizophrenic-like illness is likely to occur. It would be useful to find clear predictors that can distinguish the symptoms of illness from the variation in functioning and the “ups and downs” of stages of life experiences, particularly in adolescence. No such predictors, however, have clearly been found. The key probably has to do with change from one’s usual functioning (i.e., withdrawal from friendships, peculiar statements that are not true, and a change in organization of behavior and speech). Work and school activities change for the worse and an overall troubled withdrawal of the individual becomes apparent to those with whom he or she interacts. This individual may be heard talking to himself or herself or making untrue or bizarre statements about other people or events. These symptoms often accelerate to the point that the individual can behave in an inappropriate or harmful manner (such as undressing in public or walking down the middle of a highway). In other instances, the individual will perform impulsive and aggressive acts without understanding the consequence of such actions. At this point, the police are called, and the individual is brought to either jail or a psychiatric emergency room.Obviously, it is beneficial if early signs can be recognized and treated before they accelerate to a dangerous situation. (Lyn E. Delisi : 8)

Most psychiatrists today would agree that schizophrenia is defined by at least three separate sets of symptoms:

1.         Positive symptoms, which include hallucinations and delusions.

2.         Negative symptoms, which include a general appearance of being flat (without much emotion), called “flat affect”; withdrawal; a lack of much speech, at least speech that says anything; and slow movements and the appearance of slow thought.

3.         A set of symptoms related to general disorganization (i.e., speech that is mixed or not getting to the point and behavioral disorganization). These symptoms are now considered a separate cluster, defined as disorganization syndrome. (Lyn E. Delisi : 4)


                as seen in the novel,  she was the guide to narrator life and through that he did love her but he learned to love life and basically how to love anything, himself, others and the act of living on this earth. It is only after he has lost everything that he begins to gain an understanding of beauty and compassion, and actually sees his life as better after being disfigured and starting over.

In the research this paper get that Marianne Engel is plain crazy. Her allegories have some awkwardness and lies. Beacuse of Marianne Engel refuses medication of her mental illness causing a dilemma to our narrator.  The fact is, the law in U.S. prohibits from forcing people to take medication against their will, even though that refusal places them into a prison of their mind. It is a terrible dilemma for those whose loved ones won't accept the drugs.

 But the narrator seems do not care about Marianne Engel’s psychological condition as way he loves her. But the end of the story seems to be a bit disappointing about why he did not react differently at the beach that night Marianne Engel’s die. Of course this paper identified with the conflict the narrator experienced because it has been a reality. If he had said, "Stop, come back,” this powerful message would not have been nearly the same.

In conclusion, Marianne Engel is totally schizophrenic. Because the narrator seems do not care of her mental illness and really engrossing in Marianne’s fairy tales believes that Marianne looks so real as a ghost who travelling accross time and looking for her husband which causing ambiguity to Marianne Engel’s character.


            It is suggested for the readers that this is a novel rich with topics for further exploration. Incorporating legends and locales drawn from a medieval monastery, Viking raiders, Victorian England, feudal Japan, Italian literary masterpieces, and other imaginative threads, Andrew Davidson weaves copious history into this singular love story. This guide is designed to illuminate many of those details, yielding facts behind the fiction while raising questions for contemplation or discussion. An interview with the author is included as well, revealing surprising aspects of the story behind The Gargoyle. We hope this supplement will enhance your enjoyment of Davidson’s captivating saga.

Decoding The Gargoyle:

The following notes and questions showcase prominent topics in The Gargoyle. One feature spans the entire book: Two acrostics are formed across the novel’s thirty-three chapters. When read in order, the first letter of every chapter spells out ALL THINGS IN A SINGLE BOOK BOUND BY LOVE, derived from Dante’s Paradiso, Canto XXXIII: “I saw within Its depths how It conceives / all things in a single volume bound by Love / of which the universe is the scattered leaves.” The last letter of every chapter spells out DIE LIEBE IST STARK WIE DER TOD, MARIANNE, meaning “Love is as strong as death, Marianne,” from the sermon by Meister Eckhart quoted in the epigraph.

            Hopefully, this study can help the student of literature, who are interested to investigate further about allegory, ambiguity, and schzophrenia. However, it is realized that this study only shows Marianne Engel’s phenomena in using her imagination to engross the led male character.



Davidson, Andrew. 2008.  The Gargoyle. New York: Random House, Inc.

Zurcher, A. Amelia. 2007. Seventeenth-Century English Romance.  Palgrave Macmillan.

Butler, John Arthur. 1984. The Hell of Dante Alghieri. New York : Macmillan and C.O and Friends. Revised edition.

Boys-Stones, G.R. 2003. Metaphor, Allegory, and the Classical Tradition Ancient Thought and Modern Revisions. Oxford University Press.

Whitman, Jon. 2000. Interpretation and allegory : antiquity to the modern period. Leiden; Boston: Brill Academic Publisher, Inc.

Durling, Robert M. And Ronald L. Martinez. 1990. Time and the Crystal Studies in Dante's Rime Petrose. University of California Press.

Stone, Tim. 1974. The love, evolution to eternity. Canada: Trafford Publishing.

Delisi, Lyn, E. MD. 2011. 100 Questions & Answers About Schizophrenia: Painful Minds. Jones and Bartlett Publishers, LLC.  Second Edition.

Empson, William. 1949. Seven Types Of Ambiguity. Toronto: Clarke, Irwin and Co. Ltd


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