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Gardens: Revealing the State of Our Minds

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  1. There was some mysterious quality, some attraction which drew him to these natural objects.
  2. On the third day, the first story concerns Masetto, an astute peasant and ?excellent gardener?
  3. This talk of course makes the Duke of Athens anxious to see (and once he's seen) to experience the beauty of Alatiel.
  4. Even Augustine's experiences parallel these conclusions. Augustine steals the pears in the dark of night, when no one can see him.
  5. Both Augustine and the Brigata are restoring something they could not find at home.
  6. It is tempting to ask at this point: Why build gardens then if brat kids are going to steal pears from them and mischievous wives are going to cuckold their husbands in them?

A garden is a simple place, a small escape from the home, where one can roam at leisure. But there is more, something about its sensuousness gives rise to deeper feelings. In the Decameron and in Augustine's Confessions gardens become representative of the consequences of beauty. But they also serve as catalysts of curiousity, pleasant conversation and as places of renewal in their spring freshness

[...] whatever it is that is distorting our vision, it must emanate from the pear tree? (542). Lydia's speech however, is what is distorting his perceptions. If he trusted his senses he'd still be calling her a ?vile strumpet? (541). It was this kind of censure that she feared. While there is no magic or anything unnatural which seeps from the tree there is definitely a quality which invites and entices. So when Lydia scoffs shouldn't do it out here in the garden? (542) the complete opposite is actually the case. [...]

[...] The tale of Alatiel concerns an extremely beautiful girl stranded in a foreign country (where, interestingly enough, she can no longer speak and be understood). The men who see her stare and are seized by her beauty, they talk and think of nothing else and in the end squabble and kill in order to experience her. desire to experience what is forbidden? (Augustine, 23) runs rampant. In the same way, upon seeing a particularly beautiful garden on the third day the Brigata are filled with urge to explore its every detail because it seems a thing of ?wondrous beauty? (190). [...]

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