The Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind

by

Carlos Ruiz Zafón

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Angels and Devils Symbol Analysis

Angels and Devils Symbol Icon

Imagery of angels and devils appears frequently in the novel, and many characters are associated with one or the other creature—though these associations often contradict their actual behavior. With their scales, claws, and leathery faces, Laín Coubert and Jacinta’s apparition Zacarías have the appearance and accessories of demonic creatures. However, while Zacarías predicts unpleasant truths and Coubert is disposed to violent revenge, neither are particularly evil. In fact, Jacinta comes to view Zacarías as a guardian spirit, and Coubert is revealed to be part of Julián Carax’s very human persona. Fumero, unequivocally the novel’s evilest character, is often aligned with death but never with the Devil.

Daniel and Carax frequently describe their respective love objects, Clara and Penélope, as angelic figures. Both are ethereal women who always appear dressed in white, but neither of them provides the spiritual support and guidance expected of angels. While Daniel idolizes Clara, she turns out to be a worldly woman, taking lovers and ultimately sinking into a bitter and very human middle age. On the other hand, Penélope is almost too angelic; she’s an unobtainable and distant spirit who warps Carax’s life long after her own death, while to Nuria she’s a cold and distressing image of otherworldly perfection. The Aldaya mansion is also filled with sinister references to angels. Its seemingly innocuous nickname, “The Angel of Mist,” is actually quite ominous considering the many tragedies and deaths that occur in the house. A door carved with angels obscures the cellar where Penélope’s body is hidden, and a statue of an “avenging angel” in the garden eventually spears Fumero and kills him.

Characters often believe in angels or attribute everyday misfortune to the Devil, and Zafón gently pokes fun at this religiosity, at one point describing a radio game show that asks ridiculous multiple-choice questions about the Devil’s appearance. It’s worth remembering that the Franco regime was highly religious, so any stabs at religion are an implicit attack on government conservatism. On another level, the idea of angels and devils interceding in ordinary life is so appealing because it’s evidence that events follow a divine, predetermined order. By juxtaposing angelic and demonic descriptions with actual character, Zafón undermines this idea and suggests that such an order cannot really exist, and humans are responsible for their own actions.

Angels and Devils Quotes in The Shadow of the Wind

The The Shadow of the Wind quotes below all refer to the symbol of Angels and Devils. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of The Shadow of the Wind published in 2005.
City of Shadows: Chapter 16 Quotes

Sophie refused to reveal the identity of the child’s father…Antoni Fortuny decided that it must be the devil, for that child was the child of sin, and sin had only one father: the One. Convinced in this manner that it had sneaked into his home and also between his wife’s thighs, the hatter took to hanging crucifixes everywhere…

Related Symbols: Angels and Devils
Page Number: 126
Explanation and Analysis:
The Shadow of the Wind: Chapter 4 Quotes

It was Laín Coubert, just as I’d learned to fear him reading the pages of a book, so many years ago…I saw how the hand of the angel pierced [Fumero’s] chest, spearing him, how the accursed soul was driven out like black vapor, falling like frozen tears over the mirror of water.

Related Symbols: Angels and Devils
Page Number: 465
Explanation and Analysis:
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Angels and Devils Symbol Timeline in The Shadow of the Wind

The timeline below shows where the symbol Angels and Devils appears in The Shadow of the Wind. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Days of Ashes: Chapter 2
Possessive and Obsessive Love Theme Icon
...finds the collector seated next to a woman dressed in white who looks like an angel. Barceló begins to examine the book, telling Daniel that The Shadow of the Wind is... (full context)
Days of Ashes: Chapter 5
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Reality and the Written Word Theme Icon
...night and smoking a cigarette. In the novel, this man turns out to be the devil. (full context)
An Empty Plate: Chapter 10
Reality and the Written Word Theme Icon
...at a generous price. Daniel notes that this is the name Carax gives to the devil in The Shadow of the Wind. The greedy son asked for more money, but instead... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 15
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
...that Carax used to tell her daughter he had a secret sister who lived with Satan at the bottom of a lake. The door to Carax’s room is locked, but Daniel... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 16
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Possessive and Obsessive Love Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
...father no matter how much he hit her. Fortuny decided the father must be the devil, because “sin had only one father,” Satan. To combat the supposed presence of the devil... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 24
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
...which is housed in a large Gothic building with a garden decorated with statues of angels. Although it’s decrepit today, San Gabriel’s used to be Barcelona’s most elite boys’ school before... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 27
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Coincidence and Determinism Theme Icon
...gate is open, and Daniel walks through the garden, noticing a statue of an avenging angel dumped unceremoniously in the empty fountain. Bea is waiting for him in the front hall... (full context)
Coincidence and Determinism Theme Icon
...how she was able to obtain the key. In fact, the house is nicknamed “The Angel of Mist” and was the Aldayas’ summer house, while their main house was in the... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 28
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Possessive and Obsessive Love Theme Icon
...they sit by the fire, Bea tells Daniel the history she has learned about The Angel of Mist. The house was built at the turn of the century for an eccentric... (full context)
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
...he had seen in New York. He designed an extravagant garden with statues full of angels. He hired a team of architects, sent them to New York to study the designs... (full context)
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
In 1922, Mr. Aldaya decided to sell The Angel of Mist, but was unable because of its bad reputation. After bankruptcy, the mansion passed... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 31
Coincidence and Determinism Theme Icon
...nightmares due to a dangerous fever. A recurring figure in her dreams was Zacarías, an angel who smelled like sulfur. Zacarías accurately predicts deaths in her family, that Jacinta will never... (full context)
Coincidence and Determinism Theme Icon
...Mr. Aldaya was so angry that the servants said he was “possessed by all the devils in hell.” He summarily fired Jacinta, forcing her to leave the house where she had... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 34
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
In the afternoon, Daniel returns to The Angel of Mist as planned and arrives before Bea. But it’s very cold and soon he... (full context)
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Coincidence and Determinism Theme Icon
...get dressed and hurry downstairs, but Daniel notices that a previously closed door, carved with angels, is ajar. He descends the staircase behind the door and finds a crypt containing Penélope’s... (full context)
City of Shadows: Chapter 37
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Coincidence and Determinism Theme Icon
...show called With a Little Help from the Lord that asks multiple-choice questions about the devil. (full context)
Nuria Monfort: Chapter 7
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
...he doesn’t appear, they start searching the places they think he will look, like The Angel of Mist and San Gabriel’s, where Father Fernando says that Fumero has come around threatening... (full context)
Nuria Monfort: Chapter 8
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
In fact, Miquel returns to The Angel of Mist, having received a call from one of the neighboring caretakers that a man... (full context)
Nuria Monfort: Chapter 10
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Masculinity Theme Icon
...the end of the hall and knocks it down with great effort, revealing the carved angels on the original door. He goes into the cellar, and finally sees Penélope’s marble tomb... (full context)
The Shadow of the Wind: Chapter 4
Duality and Repetition Theme Icon
Reality and the Written Word Theme Icon
...[Carax’s] place,” attacks Fumero and throws him into the fountain, where the hand of the angel statue impales him through the chest. (full context)