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  • Man in the High Castle Phillip K. Dick
  • Theme: The Past
  • Robert Childan
  • I will have the gun analyzed at the University of California Penology Department... This matter came up once before. Alleged nonauthenticity of ancient breechloader. (Dick, pg. 153)
  • Wyndam-Matson
  • “When a thing has history in it. Listen. One of those two Zippo lighters was in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s pocket when he was assassinated. And one wasn’t. One has historicity, a hell of a lot of it. As much as any object ever had. And one has nothing. Can you feel it?” He nudged her. “You can’t. You can’t tell which is which. There’s no ‘mystical plasmic presence,’ no ‘aura’ around it.” (Dick, pg. 169)
  • Frank Frink
  • “Frink thought, What I can do is this. I can take a couple of pieces—Ed’ll never care—and box them up and send them to Juliana.” (Dick, pg. 363)
  • The character Robert Childan expands on the theme of the past because he owns an an Antiques store. He believes in the innate value of antiques,  to the point that he gets a suspected fake analyzed at the University of California. He is very much the opposite of Wyndam-Matson, and he shows a much more personal view of the past.
  • There is no resolution
  • Wyndam-Matson is the foil character to Robert Childan. He believes that antiques have no innate value, and that they only have value because we say that they have value. He uses this to justify the making of fake antiques in his factory, because, according to him,  fake has no meaning because authentic has no meaning. He shows a more practical view of the past.
  • Frank does offer differing views on the nature of antiques like the other two characters. He instead focuses on a more personal past: His ex-wife Juliana. He is very passive when compared to the other characters, and in the few decisions he makes, he goes in the direction that would most impress Juliana. He shows a larger interest in his own past, not caring about the world's past.
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