Chapter 120: Dear Ciel, Please Look Around You
This chapter should have been a wake up call for Ciel.
We start off with hopeful narration about those long since gone returning to us once again. The veil between the living and the dead is threadbare, and perhaps the prospect of Rachel and Vincent returning to Ciel is not so far-fetched at all.
Even if that never comes true, there is still the present. There is nothing but sadness and bitterness around Ciel. What good is there to anything in Ciel’s world? After all, he’s on the path of darkness, slowly losing his humanity as a demon guides him, right?
But what do we have in this chapter?
The entire chapter revolves around Sebastian preparing a feast for the benefit of the manor’s lowly farmers. Sure, it could be the case that Sebastian was merely following tradition or social obligation, but…look:
He’s just so….happy.
Look at that adorable demon. JUST LOOK AT HIM.
Sebastian, with the servants’ help, goes overboard bringing a little bit of happiness to Ciel. Why go to all that effort to impress his little charge—the soul which supposedly grows more delicious the sadder it becomes?
(And not only that, but in the spirit of unity, Sebastian combined Halloween traditions from all over the world.)
Ciel is surrounded by affection. The servants dress him up so he can be part of the festivities. Farmers thank him for his patronage. The local children want him to be a part of their trick-or-treating.
Yes, it does remind Ciel that he has crossed over into a world that no one else knows. Yes, his reflection is there to show the past happiness he can no longer return to.
But, Ciel, you are needed in the present:
Ciel has changed lives around him for the better. His influence has spread to many around him, like the candle flame he uses to ignite everyone’s paper lanterns. The tragedy is that I don’t think Ciel will realize the impact he has had on those around him until it is too late.
Despite everything going on around him in this chapter, what does Ciel say? That a weak little candle flame can turn into a raging fire. A fire of anger, of bitterness, of (self-) destruction. Even though Sebastian, the servants, and the guests have all reminded him not only of better days, but of how important he is them, he turns their back on them and continues to reject their gratitude. He even gives Sebastian a warning not to burn himself with that “flame.” (A warning, perhaps, that Ciel may bring about Sebastian’s destruction before this is all said and done? Or is Ciel talking about destroying himself?)
Yes, Ciel walks down a dark path. Yes, he probably is going to die far too young. But we all must face our end someday. We cannot change that. Only the present time is within our grasp. A situation which Ciel refuses to accept, because he is so blinded by his bitterness.
Even Sebastian says life is a beautiful thing—perhaps because although human life is so fragile, so fleeting, humanity still presses on to be something better than itself, over the hills and far away. (Remember his dialogue at the end of the Circus arc….? It still gives me chills.)
Sebastian himself—a demon–is the one to point this out to Ciel. Ciel’s willing detachment from those around him only results in his own self-destruction. Either all in one glorious blaze or drop by drop, the net result is the same: Ciel is in a continual state of destroying himself in an abyss of his own creation.
Look around you, Ciel: people care about you. There are good things happening around you right now. Why are you so blind to that? When will you realize this?
Or maybe, a very small part of him does realize this now….