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A Contradiction in Terms

            In Timothy Findley's Not Wanted on The Voyage Noah's wife asks " what else could heaven be . nothing hard or real to fall against or stumble over; everything distant, everything benign," (pg 18) but at the end of the novel the Ark is hell where the innocent are shut in perpetual darkness and are devoid of God. Not Wanted on The Voyage chronicles a time in which "the order of things has become unhinged," (pg 24) where those who seem devout are corrupted and those who seem evil are actually pure. This is a place where appearances are deceiving and questions are seen as a challenge to authority instead of a quest for truth. This is a place where nothing is without contradictions. Noah's last name, Noyes, is a contradiction within itself and exemplifies the war of yes and no, the war of good and evil that escalates throughout the novel until it reaches the final breaking point. .
             In an existence so convoluted, a fallen angel becomes a beacon of hope and salvation in an otherwise dark journey. This angel is Lucifer. "Unlike most rouges, who tended to be hotheads an malcontents and very often dangerous - this creature . was smiling, soft spoken and beautiful." (pg 59) Naturally this rouge angel chose the form of a woman in direct opposition to a misogynist society and a God who has " no women and no female angels" (pg 72) in his retinue and relegates them to being subservient to men. In doing so, Lucy (as she likes to be called) becomes a champion of all those oppressed. She joins the race of men "in order to prevent the holocaust on earth" (pg 110) instead of abandoning it to the flood. In her desire for "difference" she searches for an world where "darkness and light are reconciled," (pg 284) fully knowing that one cannot exist without the other. Lucifer, as the unlikely heroine, challenges all of our preexisting notions of hell when she states that the depths are as "cozy as a fireplace" (pg 218), and thus a place of comfort and safety.

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