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At the end of The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Leo addresses Blau with the following question:

"Leo'? How come you keep calling me 'Leo'?"

What's the significance of Blau calling Leo "Leo"? Does Leo expect to be addressed as someone (or something) greater than a mere man?

The passage in context:

"Look at my double-dome, my big forehead; I'm a bubblehead, right? And this rind; it's not just on top, it's all over. So in my case the therapy really took. So don't give up yet. Believe in me."

"Okay, Leo."

"Stick around for a while. There'll be action. I may be looking out at you through a couple of Jensen luxvid artificial-type eyes but it's still me inside here. Okay?"

"Okay," Felix Blau said. "Anything you say, Leo."

Leo'? How come you keep calling me 'Leo'?"

Sitting rigidly upright in his chair, supporting himself with both hands, Felix Blau regarded him imploringly. "Think, Leo. For chrissakes think."

"Oh yeah." Sobered, he nodded; he felt chastened. "Sorry. It was just a temporary slip. I know what you're referring to; I know what you're afraid of. But it didn't mean anything." He added, "I'll keep thinking, like you say. I won't forget again." He nodded solemnly, promising.

2 Answers 2

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Leo and Felix are both worried that they might still find Palmer Eldritch looking out of their eyes. Leo begins by reassuring Felix, that no matter what changes he'll go through he'll still be himself, then he seems almost immediately to lose track of his identity.

But they can only reassure each other so far, and so the novel ends on a note of ambiguity.

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The answer above probably makes more sense, but I thought that perhaps it was a reference to the fact Leo may be a Christ-like figure. Since Leo is the one that to some extent saves the day. That Palmer Eldritch is not God, but the reverse. That Leo forgets his earthly identity and that of course must be kept secret. I was probably totally misled by his name being Leo and the significance of the symbolism of the lion in Christianity. I thought perhaps that was also why the therapy worked so well on him, because I would presume his genetics to be near-perfect. The fact that his behaviour is not altogether Christ-like, being that he is a Christ of the modern age, maybe an age when God is weaker, or an age where we need a different kind of god. Can-D is the transcendence of orthodoxy, Chew-Z is pagan. Pluto is also the god of the underworld in Roman mythology.

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