From Walker Percy's The Message in the BottleA serious novel about the destruction of the U.S. and the end of the world should perform the function of prophecy in reverse. The novelist writes about the coming end in order PRO to warn about present ills and so avert the end. Not PRO being called by God PRO to be a prophet, he nevertheless pretends to a certain prescience. If he did not think he saw something other people didn't see t or at
least didn't pay much attention
to, t he
would be wasting his time PRO writing and they PRO reading. This does not mean that he is wiser than they. Rather might it testify to a species of affliction which t sets him apart and gives him an odd point of view. simileThe wounded man has a better view of the battle than those still shooting. antithesissimile
The novelist is less like a prophet than he is like the canary thatcoal
miners used to take t down into the shaft PRO
test the air. When the canary gets unhappy, utters plaintive cries, and collapses, it may be time for the miners PROto surface and think things over.