The Ennui of Symmetry

I read a quote today that reminded me of living in South Florida:

“The ensemble was glacial, regular, hideous. Nothing oppresses the heart like symmetry. It is because symmetry is ennui, and ennui is at the very foundation of grief. Despair yawns. Something more terrible than a hell where one suffers may be imagined, and that is the hell where one is bored.” — Les Miserables (p. 394)

When I lived in Miami, it seemed that all construction was in the form of subdivisions, clusters of houses in walled communities where every house looked the same. Being there gave you the impression that you were lost in a maze of mirrors. It was something out of “Edward Scissorhands.” I hated living there. It was like being trapped in a cell. There was no sense of individuality. If you tried to express yourself through your home, you met with the wrath of the homeowners’ association.

Today I live in a real neighborhood, where each home is unique and a reflection of the people who live in them. I never want to move back to a place where everything is identical and stamped from the same sterile mold, where there is no individuality and no freedom of expression.



Filed under Literature

2 responses to “The Ennui of Symmetry

  1. jim

    Well North Carolina definitely has a better rep when it comes to art, entertainment, sports, music, lifestyle…

    Oh wait a minute. No it doesn’t.

    Nevermind. 🙂

  2. melody & Leon kramer

    I agree Jeff. When I lived in a subdivision in South Florida,I Often couldn’t recognize my house from all the identical clones, and would drive past it time and again’.A mouse in a maze feeling’

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