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Thread: The Lighthouse - At Metaphor for What?

  1. #1

    The Lighthouse - At Metaphor for What?

    In Bioshock, The Lighthouse is the starting point from which you enter Rapture and Columbia for the FIRST TIME. What could this be a metaphor for? A lighthouse is used to navigate ships to port in bad weather. Used to find safety when none is visible. Used to avoid danger when present but not visible. I am curious to hear from someone more intelligent than I what they think could be the meaning behind the use of the Lighthouse. In the game RAPTURE and COLUMBIA are supposed to be hidden secret cities, or a place once known but forgotten. A lighthouse is many times isolated from civilized areas but can lead the way to civilization. I may have already figured it out for myself, I'm smart, but I know I'm FAR FROM the smartest. There must be more to the use of The Lighthouse as a metaphor. Please respond with your thoughts, ideas, speculation, and knowledge.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    I'd guess they're guiding people to a better world (or you know, a world that should be better but isn't). Other ways to put it would be illuminating a better world, or showing people a better way. At least that's how interpret it, I don't think all metaphors have to be particularly obscure.

  3. #3
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    Well the purpose of a lighthouse was to warn sailors of cliffs, reefs, rocks, and so on during times of dense fog/darkness/ or storms. So in essence these being gateways to city being torn or having been torn asunder by extremist views of whatever nature. You could imply the lighthouse is a warning to unwanted/unknowing visitors, the portal to go to the city, and landmark to navigate to the city by those who are seeking it out all i one.

  4. #4
    "What port do you call home, any port in the storm? Know what I mean?" I laughed so hard the first time I heard that.

    Anyway... I don't really think that the writer's intended the Lighthouse to be explicitly symbolic of anything in particular, but I do have my own theories. In Greek mythology, the old man of the sea -- sometimes known as Proteus, son of Poseidon -- can see into the future and knows the answer to every question. But he will change his shape in an attempt to avoid answering any questions, and will only divulge his secrets to those who manage to capture him and hold on until he changes form.

    I also had a theory a while back that the Lutece's boat could be a reference to Charon, ferryman of the river styx. But in light of Bioshock Infinite's ending, I think the Lighthouse could just as easily represent Charon. The myth goes that the dead would be buried with coins in their mouths to pay for safe passage, without which they would be left on the shores of the styx for eternity. If the lighthouses are the Ferries across or between the ocean of space-time, and Booker's symbolic debt represents the coin, I might be onto something.

    But this is all rather wishy-washy. Interesting, but wishy-washy nonetheless.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Towers in general are pretty symbolic with the whole babel thing, which both stories have a similar theme. The tower being a lighthouse I think was probably just because it made sense for the first game, what with the whole being underwater.

  6. #6
    I think they were designing BioShock 1s story and said "How would someone reach Rapture?" And someone else said "A lighthouse that connects to the bottom of the ocean floor somehow, maybe?"

    "Winner winner chicken dinner"

  7. #7
    Some good replies. It was cool that they tied a lighthouse as the entrance point for both Rapture AND Columbia. For me it's always the things like that that make a game cooler.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    i found it interesting that in bioshock it was a plane in the sky, then for infinite it was a boat in the ocean that took you to the lighthouse

  9. #9
    Very cool Moonsilver, I didn't think about that, but it's a great point

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    One could go with Elizabeth's own explanation that each lighthouse is a star, and each star is a gate/tear, to many different universes. Stars give you a navigation point in the skies/in space, lighthouses give you a navigation point in the seas when closer to shore.

    But, if you look at each object, neither are meant to illuminate the entire world, just guide you down specific paths. Ergo, tears/gates that guide you down unique avenues to avoid or encounter events. In these cases, these paths lead you to extreme ideologies removes and isolated from the rest of the world; specific, and permanent, landmarks, or endpoints to the world at large.

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