Upon hearing of underworld ghetto, what comes to mind is a world of gangsters where they do their business which they can’t openly do above; to some who reads too much fantasy, it is where the children of darkness lurks. The haven for vampires, werewolves and witches.
In Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, we will have a glimpse of London’s sewerage system, the subways, network of tunnels, abandoned and fully functioned. Richard Mayhew, the protagonist will lead us into the murky world below London. He was like Alice in the Wonderland who stumbled into the rabbit hole.In his case, he crossed path with the Lady called Door. The rabbit hole was the Lady Door and the similarity ends there as Richard Mayhew was dragged into a dark tale as in dark in real sense of the word and all the things that goes with it- gruesome; in great contrast to Alice’s grandiose world of palaces and turrets.
Following the lead of Richard Mayhew as he went deep the sewerage, he met interesting characters like the Black Velvet who swore to protect the Lady Door from her pursuers Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar. Then there’s the Marquis who saved them many times from other pursuers.They were pursuing the Lady Door for she was the way in and out of their world. She holds the key. And the pursuers wanted to keep her upon the order of the Angel Islington. To me, he was no Angel; all those oppressions he employed; he was the Lucifer below.
Well, you’ll meet all sort of characters as you would normally meet different characters in the real sewerage, that is if you’ve been there. I’ve been in one as they’re abundant in Manila. I believed the rat speaker represents the mad men as they claimed to have talked to rats. Mr. Croup and Vandemar- the Hoodlums. Then, there’s one who’ve known the London Below but refused to come back and remained homeless and rather stayed on rooftops because he has no way out and I likened them to those hundreds or thousands ( i’m not sure because statistics grew steadily higher) who lived under bridges and abandoned basements, warehouses and tunnels all over Manila and slums of the world. Those are places that only the likes of Deadpool can survive. I mean, it requires you to find humor living in such condition; his brain is constantly rewired to adapt to whatever changes the underworld may bring. He’s the real gangster. He is invulnerable to all mental derangement which would result from having to live in an underworld ghetto or that he was deranged but survived. So you see, he is a perfect fit and could be the king of the underworld ghetto unless Suicide Squad will come along and claim the territory, then that would spell disaster.
You get a sense that there is a gathering among deranged in the underworld. Yes, it is an inevitability, and eventually one could be if one frequents and live there. I’m not saying those above are sane. They just managed to seek therapy and comforted and proclaim themselves sane; or so they thought. That is not to say, if you are deranged you belong to the underworld. There are so many deranged people roaming above as well. It’s a choice where to be and what to be; just like Deadpool who has a proclivity dependent of his state of the moment. It is not for you to decide where one belongs.
There is one Underworld where you don’t get to decide where will you be? There is only one absolute ruler of the Underworld-Death. Death’s Court of the Dead-A realm where one go after death.
In Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, rescue came to Richard Mayhew as they found the key to the door out of the murky world as he had his sanity back. It was madness that dragged him to the underworld and sanity got him out of it. (Figuratively, the key is sanity) Well, it was of the English perspective and of the London context. Manila is another thing as it was poverty that dragged people to the underworld. The sight of Realtors scare the hell out of them and better be homeless and never ending inflation blew their wits and madness came later due to the absence of food.
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