Birth of the Impersonal Forces, an Analysis of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle

Posted on December 13, 2006 

By Trudy A. Martinez

In the year 1865, a drastic, calculated, change takes place in America. The pre-destined change is doomed to affect nearly every aspect of individuality for generations to come. It is learned from the past, ready to control the future and the destiny of millions. A special secret (their symbol) the Red, White, and Blue, guarded since the birth of the country, has the purpose of joining the common man together, thus strengthening its image, allowing them to go forward to progressivismthe force with such over-whelming strength will condition the minds of the common people to accept and withstand the cry of agony, hunger, death, while tilting the scales of justice in favor of social injustice. This is the Main Impersonal Force which will cause to replace or alter the common man’s value system so as to conform to its purpose of a new religion. It will create a New Article of Faith, undermined by Radicalism, fueled by greed, and chosen as an alternative to prevent revolution of the masses. It is a double standard, one for the individuals, and one for progressivism; one for the rich and one for the poor. From the origin of the Main Impersonal Force will give birth to a Myth (The American Dream) to strengthen the Red, the White, and the Blue, and give a continuing influx of internal Hope for a better tomorrow? Using revolution as an example and allowing progress through industrialization, it will produce or introduce a family of new Hope, allowing subordination-ism, of the Impersonal Forces, dependent and reliant on the existence of the Main Impersonal Force, to guide both the rich and the poor to their destiny.

For the rich it will introduce: Capitalism, and Conservatism, earned through the mastery of Behaviorism, justified through the practice of Darwinism, gained through application of Economic Expansionism, insured through Journalism, and ultimately reaffirmed through Freudianism. For the rich it will produce: Humanism as restitution for quilt, Sexism as symbol of superiority over maternal-ism.

For the poor it will introduce: Patriotism gained through citizenship,(membership) and reinforced by the Main Impersonal Force; to replace the uniqueness of man, gained through a false freedom that restricts common man’s free will and his choice which is falsely guaranteed through the constitution; Optimism established by desire and reassured by achievements, and ultimately Consumerism (propaganda) as a reward for progressivism and Materialism as a symbol of acceptance; it will produce Populism as a voice of hope for the common man’s despair, Narcissism as an explanation to common man’s dilemma, Socialism as an alternative to struggle, Marxism as an artificial retaliation to Capitalism, Alcoholism as an escape from reality; Sexism as a means of gain through despair for submission. The Main Impersonal Force produces a force with no end, infinite. It begins with Nationalism, springs forward through progressivism, but will come to be known as Natal-ism their heritage and future (from the cradle to grave). It will lead the poor through hope and achievements to their ultimate destiny, Capitalism (the temple of the rich). It will lead the rich through expansionism into Imperialism, to convert the world through propaganda of consumerism. Our destiny is pre-ordained, that is if we try, if we struggle, if we work hard, but only, if we conform.

In Western Europe, Industrialization is a revolution, created by the rich, the chosen, the rising upper-middle class, the bourgeoisie; it is unplanned, and uncalculated. The American Industrialization, on the other hand, differs from the European counterparts, in that, the creators of this Industrialization learn from the mistakes of both the English and the French counterparts. The French Revolution is the out-come of the first attempts of this new conformity to convert the masses. The reign of terror that results in the consumption of its own creation. The resulting corruption is still fresh in minds of greedy, social elite and the entrepreneurs in the western world. To prevent the slightest threat of repetition of the French example, the American industrialization has to be calculated, predetermined, and thought-out and most of all Controlled. Before the era of Industrialization can be entered, the slaves have to be free, given hope and token justice. Education for the masses has to be forced, thus, allowing for conditioning of an American Dream through the mandatory school systems and Behaviorism. When Industrialization hits America, the common people have been prepared; they have hope for a better tomorrow; they are willing to work hard to get ahead, to build a better future, if not for themselves, for their children.

A laissez-faire Conservatism predominates. Economic Expansion of railroads makes it possible. Factories and industries spring up almost overnight; people move to the cities. Journalism capitalizes with propaganda. Immigrants swarm into America, seeking an American Dream giving the factories a steady over-abundant supply of fresh cheap-labor, paving the way for what is still to come. The cities become The Jungle where the name of the game is survival, survival of the fittest, Social Darwinism.

The Impersonal Forces are guided by the rich, the social elite, as they sit back in their easy-chairs, read The Wall Street Journal and make decisions on investment risks, i.e., which common man protecting his materialism with a corporate image appears most profitable and will gather more souls to convert.

Buying and selling stock in his belief is his trade now, not slaves, but converters. Giving the magic ingredient, hope, to the middle-class is the glory towards converting the common man. The ruthlessness employed in the struggle upward by the rising upper-middle class insures a quick return on their investments.

With Carnegie’s contribution of The Gospel of Wealth and Spencer’s contribution of the social economic application of Charles Darwin’s theory of Evolution, Social Darwinism, what more can the chosen ask. The off-spring of Calvinism, a step child of the Catholic Church, the chosen ones, the rich, the social elite, need only to keep control. With an influx of the magic ingredient (Hope), the Impersonal Forces, will divert, will divide, will conquer, and will convert the struggling common man;

he will deny his own values to survive the Hell of his existence.

Proficiency in psychology is the key to their manipulation (a natural inherent quality in woman, maternal-ism); the hidden secrets in history are the clue to their existence and their goals of Paternalism.

The founders of Capitalism (not to be confused with the founders of America) effectively change the values of man from Oneness using capitalistic theology as basic knowledge and replace it with Sameness, A concept of Partnership, in marriage, in work, in all endeavors giving man, Materialism, Narcissism, Alcoholism, Sexism, Darwinism, justifying the Paternalism“ of the Gospel of Wealth, the form of slavery that is so nice to society and murderous to the common man in The Jungle in the process.

The Psychological knowledge of Behaviorism helps the founders of Capitalism to re-shape Nationalism as a tool through the worship of progressivism, a false religion. The Jewish German, Sigmund (Sex) Freud, bases his concept of psychology on Capitalism, called Freudianism; it so conveniently compliments Capitalism that it will become a temporary substitute for the Love of Man.

The fruit of the labor and the blood, the sweat, and the tears, and the suffering of the common man allow the capitalistic society to flourish and go forward toward progressivism, in search for their need for a continual influx of Hope.

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Out of the Fog Came Life: A Stylistic Analysis of Dickens’s Bleak House

by Trudy A. Martinez

originally posted: February 17,2011 Edited to include the Perfect Ending December 16, 2015

The imagery in Bleak House reveals a revelation of possibilities that petitions both a pessimistic and an optimistic existence. The beginning is the end. The end is the beginning of judgment. The words paint a picture, a warning of a possible end, giving a pessimistic view of that city coming into judgment. The four elements: earth, water, fire, and air that frame the beginning of the earth in the Holy Bible also frame the desolate beginning of Bleak House with its possible end. The middle links the beginning and the end through the characters representative of both good and evil who guide the societal participants at all levels of existence to their destination in life or death. In the end, the ending is a new beginning, mending a separation between man and woman, joining them in both love and marriage; this scene paints an optimistic view of a promise land free from destructive imagery.

Dickens inaugurates his imagery by using a verb style hypotaxis where the ranking is done for us while the all-knowing narrator informs the reader of any judgment lest we be guilty of judging. His play on words in the hypotaxis style creates an image of the beginning of the end with all of the four elements at work. For instance, the weather issues forth the mud, symbolizing corruption, where the “foot passengers . . . slipping and sliding” in and out of their faith add “new deposits” of “crust” to the earth. The retirement of the water (a symbol of the pure at heart ascending to Heaven) is seen “hanging in the misty clouds” protected from the fog that weaves in and out, spreading corruption everywhere at all levels of society and to all its classes, while at the same time, destroying the natural elements. The pure at heart are protected from the destruction and blindness created because they are housed within the structure of a prepositional phrase “as if they were up in a balloon.” Hovering above and “Peeping” down upon a pestilence in progress (Dickens 49). The fire issues forth its aftermath: the “smoke making a soft black drizzle with flakes of “soot” raining on and “mourning . . . for the death of the sun” (Dickens 49). The air, suffering from the effects of the death of the sun, produces a “haggard and unwilling look,” forming a gaseous appearance that looms “through the fog in divers places (Dickens 49)” toward those who are deserving of God’s judgment.

Period writers arm themselves with His judgment, prophesying the coming of the bridegroom who, ridding the earth of the “Megalosarus,” a dragon simulating the devil, brings about the death of the elements. Why else would “the two speechless gazers” after “justice was done” bend “themselves down to the earth, as if in prayer” in Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles? Were they not made aware of His presence? Was it just a coincidence that Adam’s occupation was a carpenter capable of winning over the priestess Dinah presented as if she was pure and innocence in Adam Bede or was it merely that the author, George Eliot’s vision blurred? I think not! After all, the all-knowing narrator allows her to confess in the novel, hinting of her defect and her judgment before God:

“The mirror is doubtless defective: the outlines will sometimes be disturbed, the reflection faint or confused; but I feel as much bound to tell you as precisely as I can what that refection is, as if I were in the witness-box, narrating my experience on oath (174).”

Others in the same period present and depict London in a similar light, exposing situations deserving of God’s judgment, while at the same time, teaching the eye to hear as if fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah (Matthew 13:13-17) while focusing on the position of woman in society. For example, Blake’s central concern was the Infants cry, pointing to the sin of man as the reason for the Harlot’s curse we hear while he hears the Harlots (plural) curse (swear) because of the tear (separation) of the Infants tear from their rightful place. Blake teaches his reader to hear with their eyes through the transparent chiasmas he creates. Similarly, one must question whether the Harlot’s curse put upon Lady Deadlock in Bleak House is actually man’s curse for allowing and bringing about her separation from her child, Esther.

Mrs. Rouncewell announces that the sound of the Ghost’s Walk must be heard when she tells a child, “I am not sure it is dark enough yet, but listen! Can you hear the sound upon the terrace, through the music, and the beat, and everything? This sound she says, “You cannot shut it out” (Dickens 141). And then again one might ask how was the blind man in Flaubert’s Madame Bovary able to see Emma’s sin and rebuke her for it when he could only hear? Could it be he is a messenger sending forth a rebuke to all of us so that we will become aware of the writing on the wall and hear with our eyes the same beat and music being played for us by God Almighty from the break of His day? Although each instance centers in on a different aspect of woman’s existence, all communicate a need for change.

Bleak House calls to mind the sin of Eve and the need for the removal of false images before the sight of God. For instance, Esther’s aunt, her godmother, assumes the role of a god, issuing forth judgment when she says, “Your mother, Esther, is your disgrace, and you were hers” (Dickens 65). Further evidence of her role as a god is given through her paralleling herself to Christ: “I have forgiven her,” she said, “I, the sufferer” (Dickens 65). But only God in Heaven can truly forgive and Christ already paid with his life by suffering for our sins. Why then is Esther’s aunt taking on such a role? Why is Esther made to suffer at the hands of another and a woman at that?

In essence, Esther asks these questions herself when she reads the book of St. John to her aunt and exclaims, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her! (Dickens 66)” At this point, an abrupt switch from the verb style Esther reads from the Holy Bible to the noun style hypotaxis where the aunt’s role is cast within a different structure. Esther is “stopped by her godmother’s rising, putting her hand to her head, and crying out in an awful voice, from quite another part of the book . . . “ (Dickens 67). Here again, there is an abrupt change; this time to a verb style as she attempts to assume a different role, deceiving the child and freeing herself from her confinement. Unfortunately, the role she attempts to assume is that of a false god, using God’s words as her own, warning Esther of destruction: ‘ “Watch ye therefore! Lest . . . he find you sleeping” ‘(Dickens 67), and forgetting that God is an angry God and a jealous God; the aunt makes the mistake of overly extending her influence, and she unthinkingly spouts out: “And what I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch!” Consequently, God struck her down. He Judged her instantly.

At once, the verb style returns to a noun style when the aunt is spoken of by the naïve narrative of Esther, but the noun style works against its subject: Esther’s emotional plea to her aunt, the anaphora: I + kissed, [I] + thanked, and [I] + prayed, [I] + asked, [I] + [asked], [I] + entreated, failed because the aunt had over stepped her bounds by assuming the character of the antichrist and was, therefore, instantly judged.

Esther avoids an immediate judgment because she is still a child, investigating the choices available to her with the words of her aunt still ringing in her ears: “Pray daily that the sins of others be not visited upon your head, according to what is written” (Dickens 65). From this point, the novel becomes Esther’s bildungsroman as she moves from an unfavorable light toward a more favorable one. Just as Esther moves, the written word moves. For instance, noun style changes to a verb style, the hypotaxis style, where everything is determined for us, changes to a parataxis style where the choice is left up to us; and we are made able to link good to the bad as if administering a pill to cure its ills.

The change in Esther, just as the change in the written style of the words on the page, becomes apparent in Esther when she administers a pill to herself. Here, she stresses self-denial and a willingness to seek and discover the answers. The absence of prepositional phrases, the jailed structure that inhibits choice, highlights the change in the structure just as it highlights the change in Esther and favors her for her choice of thinking of others first:

“I don’t know how it is; I seem to be always writing about myself. I mean all the time to write about other people, and I try to think about myself as little as possible, and I am sure, when I find myself coming into the story again, I am really vexed and say, ‘Dear, dear, you tiresome little creature. I wish you wouldn’t!’ But it is all of no use (Dickens 163).”

It is of no use not speaking of Esther because speaking of Esther is the only way to reveal the methods and the formula for change and its reward or damnation. The others around her paint the picture of how things are going to be. For example, Mr. Skimpole is seen receiving his reward for his faith. The table was set for him: “There was honey on the table, and it led him into the discourses about the Bees. . . He protested against the overwhelming assumptions of bees.” The status the “busy bees” sold their souls for was given him by them. He stood firm and did not allow them to be a model. The station of the bees “was ridiculous:” a “position, to be smoked out of your fortune with brimstone” (Dickens 143).

Mr. Jarndyce guides Esther from the fire and smoke to discovery of the unknown and to her pleasure as if throwing water on her, baptizing her, and awakening her from a sleep. Esther tells us that the signs were “At first,” only “faintly discernible in the mists,” and acknowledges that “above them . . . later stars still glimmered” (Dickens 142). Is it just a coincidence that Esther is sent for and brought out of the mist “On the” very “day, after” her false image, the “poor good god mother, “the antichrist, “was buried,” and “the gentlemen in black with the white neckcloth reappeared,” announcing: “My name is Kenge . . . you may remember it, my child; Kenge and Carboy, Lincoln’s Inn?”(Dickens 67).

Does he not call to mind one holding the balances in his hand? He sure appears so on the page for Kenge first appears in the noun style and then abruptly switches to the verb style when he speaks. It stands to reason that just after Jarndyce announces “that Boythorn,” who was “the loudest boy in the world, and now the loudest man”, was coming down on a visit that he and his guests “observed the favorable omen” (Dickens 166). The opposite occurs on page 66 when the one that was, the god-MOTHER OF HARLOTS is struck down after trying to steal the thunder of the words of THE KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

We are told by Boythorn, “We have been misdirected” by “the most intolerable scoundrel on the face of the earth” (Dickens 166). Mr. Boythorn asks, “Is there anything for me from your men, Kenge and Carboy?” after he identifies Sir Leicester as Sir Lucifer and “calls attention to” the controversy of trespass., concerning “the green pathway” that Sir Leicester claims right away to but that is “now the property of Mr. Lawrence Boythorn”(Dickens 166-170). Did not he state: “No closing of my path, by any Deadlock!”

In contrast, Richard, thinking only of himself, “one of the most restless creatures in the world” takes a different route: He goes from what is considered a favorable light to an unfavorable one. Richard stresses self-love and a willingness to accept a different calling: “. . . The inclination of his childhood for the sea” (Dickens 163-164). Unlike Esther, Richard’s speech moves from a verb style to noun style. For example, Richard says: “So, cousin . . . We are never to get out of Chancery!” And the style abruptly changes to a noun style as he continues to say: “We have come by another way to our place of meeting yesterday, and – by the Great Seal, here’s the old lady again!”(Dickens 97) His choice was that of the easy way out as if he could change the direction the wind blows.

Finding that he has to work for his place, he places his confidence in the world whose outward appearance of luxury and fashion veils the inward corruption. The same becomes his religion and the High Lord Chancellor becomes his idol. This is evidenced when he confides in Esther:

“So I apprehend it’s pretty clear . . . that I shall have to work my own way. Never mind! Plenty of people have had to do that before now, and have done it. I only wish I had the command of a clipping privateer, to begin with, and could carry off the Chancellor and keep him on short allowance until he gave judgment in our cause. He’d find himself growing thin, if he didn’t look sharp! (Dickens 164)”

Hence, Richard becomes the kindling that fuels the wheels of corruption, thinking his dream of success lies just around the next turn as the wheels forever grind him further down toward his desolate destination of destruction and death. For example, his guide toward destruction, Mr. Vholes issues forth all manners of lies, eating upon Richard’s very flesh as if he were a cannibal (Dickens 605). And then again, he listened to the wrong voices when Mr. Vholes says, “A good deal is doing, sir. We have to put our shoulders to the wheel, Mr. Carstone, and the wheel is going round” (Dickens 607):

“I ought to imitate you, in fact, Mr. Vholes? Says Richard, sitting down again with an impatient laugh, and beating the Devil’s Tattoo with his boot on the patternless carpet” (Dickens 607).

In the beginning of the end, all the pestilence that was weaving through the streets in the fog was directed toward “the Lord High Chancellor” who having:

“A foggy glory round his head, softly fenced in with crimson cloth and curtains . . . outwardly directing his contemplation to the lantern in the roof, where he can see nothing but fog” (Dickens 50),

Let his house become desolate and unworthy of praise.

Quite the opposite of the Chancellor, Mr. John Jarndyce who converts his inheritance of a Bleak House left to him by his ancestors to a house of beauty by ridding the inside of its corruption of dirt with the application of a little water as if sent from God to bear witness of Truth.

Jarndyce compares the likeness of the former state of Bleak House to that city, burning in brimstone and the House built to fulfill the bridegroom’s coming, a promise, to the bride (earth). For what other reason would everyone at Bleak House view Mr. Boythorn’s coming as “the favorable omen,” confirming Jarndyce’s role as the Baptist when he says, “Now, will you come upstairs” and Boythorn answers:

“By my soul, Jarndyce, . . . if you had been married, I would have turned back at the garden-gate . . .I wouldn’t be guilty of the audacious insolence of keeping a lady [bride] of the house waiting all this time, for any earthly consideration. I would infinitely rather destroy myself – infinitely rather! (Dickens 166-168).”

The end is left for the reader to decide whether it is a new beginning or an actual judgment of earth. Jarndyce sums it up:

“I have never lost my old names, nor has he lost his; nor do I ever when he is with us, sit in any other place than in my old chair at his side. Dame Trot, Dame Durden, Little Woman! – all just the same as ever; and [Esther] answer[s], Yes, dear Guardian! Just the same . . . (Dickens 934).”

The hypotaxis style changes to a parataxis verb style on page 892, leaving the reader to interpret and to link back the participants in the society.

In Bleak House, Esther is the pill capable of curing society of its ills. Her marriage to Woodcourt is the perfect coming together: Woodcourt administers aid to the poor as a doctor. He is powerful with the capability of tolerating the poor without complaining about their disagreeable condition or any contagion they might spread.

For instance, to Joe, the doctor shows compassion; and he is gentle and patient and caring, recognizing what all the Mrs. Jellabys’ of society are too blind to ascertain: that charity begins at home, that the poor at home need the attention of the populace more than those abroad who are encroach upon with only a hope of the blind leading the blind.

Esther’s own blindness in her earlier illness reveals a sort of prophecy: “and the blind shall be made to see.” Esther is made to see. The scars on her face cannot hide the beauty within. She knows it is her duty to help others. Dickens makes it her duty to open the eyes of the public to a different attitude. Her presence exposes the ills of society.

For example, her mother marries for position, leaving love to the way side, causing her separation from her lover and from her illegitimate child, Esther. Jarndyce can be seen as a disciple, holding Ester’s hand and guiding her through society while she exposes the ills and then relinquishing her promise hand when the opportunity arises to unite her housekeeping cures with the doctor able to administer the cures necessary for the poor.

Woodcourt, her husband, remarks to her, when she looks in the mirror, that her beauty within is shining through. Esther, herself, recognizes it is not only her husband that administers an antidote to society. This reflects and emphasizes her narrative comment through the use of the uppercase “M” to express Me when she reflects the reaction of the community to her as Mrs. Woodcourt.

Esther holds the key to the housekeeping chores of society; Mr. Jarndyce gives her the key. Hence, it is only proper that with her marriage to Woodcourt, she shall come to be the housekeeper of the new Bleak House, capable of curing the ills of society.

An Interpretation of History based on the Novel The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald and an essay: The Fact of the Force

 By Trudy A. Martinez

The Beautiful and Damned, a novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald who succumbs to alcoholism as an escape from his reality, the reality of his transgressions, and writes this book in restitution and as a release from his own pain of realization (so it is believed). The main characters in his novel suffer from a similar reality of transgression as they struggle down different paths towards achievement of their dreams of materialism.

In the end, they achieve it; or they struggle, experiencing hardships, tribulations, ruthless misery, loneliness, and then rewards of satisfaction and self-worth without succumbing to the materialism they desperately seek in the beginning.

The book centers around a young twenty-five (25) year old man, Anthony Patch, a Harvard graduate in the state of sublimity, who thinks of himself in the highest esteem with greatness as a destiny, and inherit wealth, a money aristocracy, gained through the achievements of his grandfather. Anthony is the grandson of Adam J. Patch, known as “Cross Patch”, a man who went from rags to riches playing the stock market on Wall Street, accumulating seventy-five million dollars and a guilty conscience. Although Fitzgerald begins the story in 1913, the actual plot begins in the year 1861 with the grandfather who works his way through the new impersonal forces of a nation destined to turn into a capitalistic society and damnation to some.

The grandfather comes to the realization of his transgressions and seeks restitution through reforms, but yet, he begins to force feed his morality and values upon Adam, his grandson, just as he was force feed in 1861 by the new society. Adam’s grandfather uses criticism as a tool molding Adam, I. e., conditioning through the practice of behaviorism; introducing patriotism through inducement to write about the war effort; stressing individualism through emphasis away from oneness towards sameness by restricting free will; producing optimism through the establishment of inheritance, a reward for progress which ultimately produces materialism as a symbol of acceptance. The Stewards of the system, the Presidents are guardians for the rich; they insure the stability of the system through reforms and through necessary changes, amendments to the constitution to induce gratification; to protect property; to protect individual rights; to regulate industry; to investigate deviations and corruption; and to monitor aggressors; and progress, and monetary rewards.

Adam J. Patch, Anthony’s grandfather, who in 1861 joins the war effort, a Union Calvary regiment in the Civil war, advances in rank to a major. Upon his return from the war, Adam sees opportunity for gain; he joins the speculators on Wall Street, the rich, the social elite, in the buying and selling of stock in their new religion, capitalism. “Cross Patch” converts; he gains much ill will, attempting to rub elbows with the rich. While at the same time, another segment of society (others of his own caliber) cheers and applauds as they also join the new aristocracy, the money elite, in their flight upward through the “Impersonal Forces”. Adam’s journey begins with his introduction to Nationalism through his Patriotism and taking up of arms to fight for the Union cause; he replaces his values, his uniqueness, his oneness, and his “love of man” in individualism for a false sense of “oneness”, i.e., “sameness”, a partnership, in all endeavors, in work, and later in marriage. In the Civil war, he fights for a false freedom, the end of slavery, the emancipation of the blacks.

A new freedom guaranteed through the constitution, the bible of the social elite, now expands to include Capitalism which differs slightly from the original views of the fore fathers of America. Through Optimism, his hope for a better tomorrow establishes his desires; his achievement reassure his dream. Adam sees through progress of industrialization he can subordinate the Impersonal Forces to guide him to the new ultimate destiny, Capitalism, the temple of the rich, and a new aristocracy of the money elite. As a reward for his progress he gains Materialism, a symbol of acceptance, progressivism, and a new Article of Faith. He hears the common man’s cry of despair, and turns his back on their voice of Hope which introduces through Populism and progressivism an alternative to struggle through Socialism. The new aristocracy recognizes the introduction of Marxism as an artificial retaliation to Capitalism with no merit, no method of application, or any real threat. The common man’s dilemma justifies itself through the theory and practice of Social Darwinism, Herbert Spencer’s economic and social application of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, “Survival of the Fittest” which upholds the Paternalism of The Gospel of Wealth, Carnegies’ contribution, and the form of slavery so nice to society and murderous to the common man. To give in to the common man’s cry will be an injustice and against their “god’s” will for only the “chosen” are to survive the living hell of their existence.

“Cross Patch” did not suffer, he rose to the temple, but yet, falls; succumbs to the reality of his transgressions as he seeks escape through Alcoholism. Illness besets him; sclerosis redeems him to consecration of his past. “He becomes a reformer of reformers.” As a means of restitution, he attacks the escape mechanisms of despair for which he himself resorts; the deceitful decay of his values damns him to obligatory obscurity.

When Anthony’s grandfather marries, he marries well into a social acceptable family; his marriage bares him a son, Adam Ulysses Patch, Anthony’s father. Adam Ulysses Patch grows-up dull, an overrated, superficial, selfish man, and a continuation of Adam Patch himself. Ulysses marries a Boston socialite; the marriage produces one child, Anthony. When Anthony is five years old, his mother dies. Anthony and his father, Adam Ulysses Patch, go to live with his grandfather, Adam J. Patch.

Anthony gets continual empty and unfulfilled promises of togetherness, leaving him disillusioned because his father’s promise of tomorrow never comes. When his father finally follows through with a promise and takes Anthony on a trip abroad, he dies suddenly, leaving Anthony in a panic of despair. Anthony’s impressionable childhood years, five through eleven fills his life with death and despair. He lost both parents and his grandmother. As a diversion to his grief and a struggle against death, Anthony withdraws, indulges nearly his whole existence into an uncontrollable hobby of stamp collecting, his childhood escape from the reality of his meaningless existence. Anthony never feels nurture or love with both a paternal (conditional) and maternal (unconditional) balance in his life.

“He [lives] almost entirely within himself, an inarticulate boy, thoroughly un-American, and politely bewildered by his contemporaries.”

While schooling abroad a tutor successfully convinces Anthony to go to Harvard, as it will open doors for him, earn him friends, and social acceptance. So Anthony does, he goes to Harvard. After graduation at the age of twenty, he returns to Rome, and acquires culture. Anthony’s shyness as a result of his childhood conditioning and childhood withdrawal hinders him and dictates his conduct for the balance of his life.

Anthony returns to America in 1912 after learning of his grandfather’s illness, sclerosis. In America, he finds himself amidst the feverish election of 1912 which offers too many choices, i.e., William Howard Taft, the President, a Republican, is caught in intense battles between the progressives and conservatives; the progressive on-slaughter produces a split in the Republican Party when Theodore Roosevelt, a Progressive, bolts to lead the Progressives on the Bull Moose platform of his “New Nationalism, “which highlights conservationism; William Jennings Bryan, a Democrat and Populist, now faces an opposition with an eastern progressive Taft and a western progressive Taft in addition to a conservative Democrat, Woodrow Wilson, whose program of a “New Freedom” based on individualism and states’ rights. The break in the Republican Party soon ensures the election of Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, with his “New Freedom” policy to the White House and the Presidency with William Jennings Bryan as his Vice-President.

Anthony deserts his plans to live abroad; he decides to resign himself from his personal ambitions until after his grandfather’s death. Adam dreams of the day his grandfather will die, so he can inherit his fortune and live a life of luxury. Adam didn’t work, never worked, and did not intend to work; his income comes from interest on money he inherits from his mother. He contemplates writing as a career, but isn’t able to commit a single line to paper. Someday, someday, someday, never today; always tomorrow, empty devastating promises; just as his father conditioned him through behaviorism. Anthony continually finds incommoding escapes from reality.

Anthony is the recipient of negative, critical observations of his Grandfather’s scrutiny. Everything about Anthony’s life is pre-ordained through the conditioning of hereditary compromise, “Damned.” His “hope” and dream of writing about the middle ages are met with asperity by his grandfather, leaving him with a sense of despondency. Adam Patch lives his life voluptuously a legacy for which Anthony’s vanity is damned.

Anthony imagines:

“himself in Congress rooting around in the litter of that incredible pigsty with the narrow and porcine brows he saw pictured sometimes in the rotogravure sections of Sunday newspapers, those glorified proletarians babbling blandly to the nation the ideas of high school seniors! Little men with copy-book ambitions who by mediocrity had thought to emerge from mediocrity into the lusterless and unromantic heaven of a government of the people—and the best, the dozen shrewd men at the top, egotistic and cynical, were content to lead this choir of white ties and collar-buttons in a discordant and amazing hymn, compounded of a vague confusion between wealth as a reward of virtue and wealth as a proof of vice, and continued cheers for God, the Constitution, and the Rocky Mountains!”

Anthony begins to look for something beautiful in life, something or someone who will help bring him out of disparity. When Anthony meets Gloria Gilbert, the most beautiful woman he has ever seen, who shares the same dreams and the same escapes, he falls passionately in love, and soon marries her. The minister who marries them takes on the air of bourgeois with flashy gold teeth. Both Anthony and Gloria share the same dream, the dream of the day they will be filthy rich. Once they marry, they share their dream as if in partnership; the dream is their future, that triumphant day when Adam Patch dies; they find endless ways of relieving their boredom while they wait to inherit luxury by spending money way above Anthony’s income; and they even purchase an automobile in the fury of materialism sweeping the capitalistic society of America. Anthony and Gloria sink deeper and deeper into the escape mechanisms, using the sensationalism stirring the country as an excuse for their excessive indulgence. They have nothing except the stench of liquor and cigarettes to show for the money spent. They eat, drink, and make merry, while running from their own existence; they contemplate the death of Adam’s grandfather and the celebration of life thereafter as successors to his wealth. The hedonic nature of their existence, their devotion to happiness and gratification full of pleasure, which clouds their succulent dream of riches, is their goal.

In the year 1913, the Progressive Movement blooms; President Wilson maneuvers major legislation through congress, the Underwood Act to lower tariffs and its attachment, a graduated income tax; and the Federal Reserve Act to provide elasticity to the money supply.

War breaks out in Europe, growing into a World War. World War I stimulates the American economy through trade with war filled countries. Woodrow Wilson, the President of the United States, manages to keep America out of the war, while at the same time tending to some of the restitution of guilt for the money and social elite through progressive reform legislation. In 1914 an antitrust legislation establishes a Federal Trade commission to prohibit unfair business practices. Then in 1916, another burst of legislation brings new laws which prohibit child labor and limit railroad workers to an eight-hour day. Because President Wilson’s hard work produces those and other reforms and the slogan, “he kept us out of war,” Wilson narrowly wins the 1916 presidential race and reelection to the office of the Presidency. Up till this time, government protects business over an individual (religion became a business, and corporations consider themselves individuals under the constitution). It appears to the public as if the individual, the common man, is finally becoming a protected concern of the government.

Criticism enters Anthony and Gloria’s relationship, criticism of others and each other. They travel and squander money on endless drunken parties. Anthony attempts to work, but finds self-assurance and opportunism wins out over technical knowledge in Capitalistic America, so he resigns. With no ambition, but he continually attempts to please his grandfather.

“Anthony completed a Chestertonian essay on the twelfth century by way of introduction to his proposed book.”

An essay, Anthony’s grandfather will never admit to reading. He suggests Anthony write about the Germans, offers to pay expenses, that is, as long as he conforms to his grandfather’s values. Anthony’s grandfather objects to Anthony’s curiosity and need to write about the era of the “Dark Ages”? Is there a secret in this period of history that will reveal a mystery of mankind that some men want to be kept a secret?

At one of their drunken parties Maury gives his thinking on some secrets, but “Maury’s adaptation left his friend disappointed and Gloria had shown her disinterest by falling asleep.” Then again at a later date, Anthony and Gloria join friends and a drunken party ensues. Adam Patch, who that very day gives funds to help the national cause of prohibition, decides to disinherit Anthony (without Anthony’s knowledge) after an abrupt unannounced and unexpected visit to see Anthony and Gloria at their summer home. He appalls at the sight of a wild drunken party in progress; he condemns Anthony because of the unrighteous way he is pursuing life. A lifestyle he also employs in his youth.

Both Anthony and Gloria are in a state of panic from the realization of his grandfather’s visit. They ponder ways to make up with his grandfather with righteousness. All attempts fail. They move back to New York City, where they find inflation accelerates the cost of an apartment to above one-third of their income; their income dwindles. Anthony continues to seek restitution and forgiveness from his grandfather, but is kept from his grandfather’s sight.

When Adam Patch dies, all the newspapers relish in the opportunity to tell of his riches and dream of industrialism using tainted propaganda (they avoid mentioning Adam’s attempts to make restitution for the error of his ways through the reforms he sponsors and finances). When Anthony discovers to his dismay, he is not mentioned in the will of his grandfather, he decides to contest the will. The newspapers have a heyday when the terms of the will are made public and also print items concerning Anthony’s suit. Rumors run amuck and Anthony becomes bitter. Anthony’s bitterness increases as he is reminded of the cruelty of life with the death of a proud man, who dies from the indirect actions of some young thugs; a man who obviously got caught up in the Impersonal forces and reduced to a job beneath his stature, the job of a janitor in the building where Anthony lives. When Gloria gets an inheritance after the death of her mother, Anthony learns her beliefs differ from his and he and Gloria begins to argue more and more as they both begin to sink further and further into obscurity. All Anthony’s attempts to becoming a successful writer fail. They again live for today. The beautiful Gloria enters the glamorous motion picture industry as an illumination of her beauty against Anthony’s wishes. Their animosity for each other grows and so does their criticism.

The British intercept and communicate to Washington, D.C., A secret order, the Zimmermann notes, which instructs the German foreign minister to invite Mexico and Japan to join the Central power, (if the United States joins the war effort) and offers the booty of lost lands in the southwest to Mexico as an enticement. Wilson publicized the Zimmermann note to win votes for his proposal of arming American merchant ships and employ other means necessary to protect American vessels and citizens at sea. Wilson states, “No one was immune from the German aggression”. Journalism assists Wilson; they cry and shout hysterically about the evil morals, philosophy, and music of the Teutonic characteristics of Germany, stirring up the American people to correct the world situation and go to the aid of England and France, who are on the side of God, in their fight for glory.

Then on April 2, 1917, Woodrow Wilson reverses his previous stanch of emphasis on the individual when the United States of America declares war on Germany and enters the war on the side of the Allies. All meaningful legislation Wilson maneuvers through congress suddenly become obsolete, e.g., the Underwood Act which lowers tariffs on imports is now useless as in time of war there are no imports; the Federal Trade Commission to prohibit unfair business practices is worthless as the government contracts with big business (exclude small business) for urgently needed war materials.

America’s interest in the First World War begins with an increase Nationalism in 1898, when America declares war on Spain. The Spanish-American War is the signal of America’s entrance into “Imperialism”. The culmination of Nationalism and Imperialism are the indirect cause of America’s entrance into the First World War and of the World War itself. The question to the President and to the congress from big business investors who invest heavily through-out the world and especially in England, our mother country, is: “How [can] America remain isolated in foreign affairs when Americans [stands] to lose so much?”

With the end of the American Revolution, Quincey Adams, then President of the United States, took America into Isolationism for the purpose of staying out of foreign affairs and European wars. Woodrow Wilson, on the other hand, wants to end the Isolation of America and involve America in foreign affairs for the purpose of greedy Imperialist who plan America’s entrance into the First World War. Woodrow Wilson becomes their partner in this endeavor; he is a very clever man, who thinks “God” ordains him. He pursues the “Politics of Morality”. He is a southern white Presbyterian, who is out to save America and is now out to save the world.

The best and the brightest, the aristocrats, the alumni of three or four Eastern colleges, join the war efforts by applying for officer school. Anthony, however, is determined to be unfit for service as his ideals are un-American. West Point emerges. The propaganda of journalism guides Americans causing a sudden shift in attitudes. Everything is glorious, every race, (except the German race) is a great race. The previous outcasts and scapegoats now join the armed forces and are forgiven. Patriotic citizens favor the arm forces with alcoholic drinks all across America.

The sign of the times adds to Anthony’s disparity. When Anthony receives word the jury bases its decision on the immorality of his lifestyle, the verdict they deliver favors the testator; Anthony reciprocates by appealing the decision as he feels the fortune is his birthright.

Government institutes the selective service act which includes all qualified men regardless of social position.

“All males between the age of 21 and 30 were ordered to personally appear at their polling place in the Election District in which they reside.”

The purpose of appearance is to register for the draft. The war effort produces two million volunteers and three million draftees. This allows Anthony to enter the war as a private with no mention of the previous reason for his exclusion as an officer. Anthony, an aristocrat by birth right, is destined to rub elbows with the lower classes, to see the growing dissension first hand and the impersonal forces at work, the behaviorism tactics thrust upon the men with the malice of school boys, the odd and playful fancy of all army administration, the stressing secession of immeasurable detail, the indignity of the common man’s position, the breaking of man’s spirit, the changing of values, the fears, the disappointments, the hate, the lies, the regret, the emotional unstable war.

It is too late, he is no longer an individual; he is a puppet, lacking the ability to make a decisions on his own. Anthony moves from one disparity to another, doubt is born; he is nervous, irritable, afraid, and angry at the world. It is then he makes a fatal error in judgment; he lies and suffers the consequences as he sinks deeper into depression and a drunken daze. His punishment, confinement; Anthony is going mad; he feels a sense of terror, a fearsome ménage of horror. He exhausts himself and becomes ill with his release from confinement.

“He was aware that his illness was providential. It saved him from a hysterical relapse.”

Mail from Gloria requires his attention as Anthony and Gloria grew further and further apart. The war is near an end. Anthony did not leave the states; his imprisonment at Camp Mills is an enigma. The camp is under quarantine from influenza; it is a filthy, windswept, cold, dreary muddle, a breeding place for disease. When word comes the enemy, Germany, is ready to surrender. West Pointers become angry because the war is going to stop before they get a chance to go overseas. Then suddenly the war appears over and Anthony is on his way home to New York to Gloria. There is a celebration in the air; people are drunk with happiness and alcohol.

Gloria’s life apart from Anthony brings her to the realization her once close friends are not really friends, but mere acquaintances, selfish and unfulfilling. Her own morals diminish. Anthony is a stranger to her, someone from her distant past. She is filled with memories and with regret for not living her life differently, for not succumbing to her birthright of motherhood. But now she is faced with Anthony and the possibility of fulfilling a mutual dream of being filthy rich. Things change, prices highly inflate; their income dwindles further; the stocks drop, and their investments are not paying; they both sink into disparity and engulf in parties and alcohol again. Their life is like a yo-yo, up, down, up, down. Anthony (in need) takes the job of a salesman, selling stock to those who cannot afford them; he is destined to failure. Their dollars shrink not only in amount, but also in purchasing power.

As the need for war materials end, America is suddenly sent backward. President Wilson travels abroad to Paris, France, leaving his responsibility and legacy of the Presidency and the American people behind. He is greeted as no other ever was greeted, he thinks, as the “savior” of the world. Wilson comes equipped with his famous fourteen points to bring peace to the world, a way to end all wars, through application of the fourteenth point, the League of Nations. The League of Nations allows reason to prevail in settlement of the problems of the world. There is evidence of starvation on the streets of Europe; the swollen stomachs of young children also suggest malnutrition. President Wilson is no match for the other three great powers at the peace conference. Britain’s Lord George, France’s George Clemenceau, and Italy’s Orlando are ruthless, greedy, domineering, authoritarians with stubborn revengeful streaks: their deceitful pride does not allow Germany, the loser of the war, to sit in the conference for peaceful resolutions. A big mistake, a mistake that will cost the world greater destruction; it will spark the attitudes and actions of those responsible for the “Treaty of Versailles”. Woodrow Wilson makes grave errors as the President of the United States, he listens to the money elite, he leaves America unguided for six months, he fails to appoint an influential Republican to the America delegation at the peace conference, and he thinks of himself as the “savior” of the world which leaves him vulnerable to his fate. Getting ill in Paris forces him to trust others and forces him to compromise beyond his original beliefs. When Wilson returns home, he faces unbearable world embarrassment as the Senate will not sign nor recognize his achievements, the “Treaty of Versailles” and the fourteenth point, the League of Nations. The President succumbs to his fate and collapses, leaving America to the wolves and his second wife.

Rapid growing unemployment emerges at the end of the war and the American attitude suddenly changes; they are disillusioned, alienated, and feel abandoned. The working class, the common man, is disciplined as strikes break out all over America and businesses refuse to cooperate with the need and the demands for higher wages. Investment and get rich quick schemes flourish. Old prejudices arise once again; organizations like the Ku Klux Klan and the NAACP emerge working against each other when needs of dissention are planted by big business and journalism, thus resulting in race riots. Prohibition brings more drinking.

“To have liquor was a boast, almost a badge of respectability.”

The Jazz age blossoms, a “live for today” attitude, a form protest of the times, and age of nonconformity and dissent, allowing sexual permissiveness to lead to a decline in morals in urban America. Big business and Journalism produce a Red Scare that drives an unjustified fear into the hearts of the common people. The Red Scare is brought on by the fears of big business of the new communist party, a combination of Marxist-Lenin theory which arises out of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and sends chills down the backs of the capitalistic business world. Lenin believes only revolution throughout the world will bring about the culmination of Marx’s theory of the Dialectic, communism, and Lenin’s theory of implementation through force. Lenin says to the communist people, “We must send professionals, professional revolutionaries, through-out the world and make it happen”. Take over the world from the owners of the means of production, the Capitalist. When Journalism capitalizes using propaganda to influence the people of America against such notions, the result is the “Red Scare”. The propaganda of Journalism causes man to go against his neighbor, his friends, snitching becomes an everyday practice, and the feeling that no one can be trusted begins to take over society. America has been censored, and it is back to Isolationism, dramatic plays get labels of pornography and art leads to extreme reactions of delight or discuss.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations, the FBI, is established to investigate suspect aliens and radicals under the strenuous, inhumane campaign of Attorney General Palmer. Hundreds of Russians who are not guilty of any crimes, nor communists, get deported; six thousand people, mostly American citizens, are arrested (prompted by suspicion) and taken from their homes without cause, warrants, or justification, and then held against their will. There is no evidence of a communist plot, but few Americans speak out because of the false illusion journalism makes. Palmer continues to send false messages of fear to the American people, causing mass hysteria, coupled with the fear of an unknown. The government allows the Attorney General to violate the constitutional rights of thousands of Americans under a false pretext of a revolution, a fear of communism, an unjust fear, that starts with business, the owners of the means of production, as a method to prevent revolution as they know their oppression of the working class is unjust and can result in revolution with the help of the communist. The remembrance of the historical French Revolution is still fresh in the mind of the greedy capitalist.

It is back to “Isolationism” when Warren G. Harding wins the election of 1920. He is a weak man who uses pompous phrases with no definite appeal, who “looked like a President”, who likes the taste of whiskey, and who lets the machine bosses set the policies.

“By 1923 the post war depression seemed to be giving way to a new surge of prosperity,–‘less government in business and more business in government’”. “Advantages rather than responsibility were also the goal of the representative of business and finance who shaped the domestic policies of the Harding Administration.”

Harding’s soap box approach gives way to a bubble that bursts by dirt of a scandal, the Teapot Dome Scandal, which is conveniently withheld from the public until the day after his questionable death.

Sigmund (Sex) Freud, the Jewish German, introduces his Freudian theory of the Libido, the ego, superego and the Id, the selfishness of man, the “I want” struggle of the conscious and the unconscious mind for the pleasure and gratification, a theory that becomes his passport out of Germany at the onset of World War II, his escape from death at the hands of the fascist movement of Adolph Hitler who rises out of a quilt filled Germany to bring destruction and death to the world as restitution for their transgressions against Germany, the superior race. Freudianism gives rise to Narcissism as an explanation for the common man’s dilemma. The Freudian theory, based on the Capitalistic society, reaffirms and conveniently compliments “Capitalism. In actuality man’s narcissism is a direct result of the Capitalistic society replacing the values of man from “Oneness with God” and “Oneness with Man” to “Sameness”, a concept of partnership, in marriage, in work, in all endeavors, giving man Materialism, Narcissism, Alcoholism, Sexism, Darwinism, and justifying the “Paternalism” of the Capitalistic societies Gospel of Wealth, the form of slavery that is so nice to society and murderous to the common man.

Gloria’s self-esteem declines abruptly into paranoia as she realizes her beauty and freshness is fading and is replaced with wrinkles. Along with Gloria’s beauty, her love for Anthony also fades, but she stays faithfully by him in their partnership of marriage even as he sinks deeper and deeper into his alcoholic escape. They still share the same dream of riches.

When the dream comes to be reality and Anthony recovers the family fortune by winning the lawsuit, Adam Patch’s estate, the legacy of Anthony’s birthright, it appears to be too late for Anthony, he appears beaten, and he withdraws once again to his childhood obsession. Had Anthony’s victory come too late? Was his victory now his damnation? There is no turning back. If Anthony was given his grandfather’s estate without a fight, his reaction may have differed; he may have succumbed to materialism. But now all Anthony can do is reminisce, to look back on his hardships, his tribulations, his ruthless misery, his loneliness, and his justification in obtaining his birth right, an autocracy. He is no longer materialistic in his thinking.

“Great tears stood in his eyes, and his voice was tremulous as he whispered to himself. “I showed them,” she was saying. “It was a hard fight, but I didn’t give up and I came through!”

What then is his gain? Is not the advantage of a money autocracy, a form of materialism and Anthony’s gain? Anthony diverts the Impersonal Forces and takes responsibilities for his own life. He does this without succumbing to Materialism. It is not for us to judge Anthony. Anthony’s “hope”, his optimism, is his inheritance; he gains satisfaction when he gains his birthright, his inheritance. Anthony’s previous actions reflect the mood and the atmosphere of the post war era of World War I. The post war era of World War I and World War II differ.

“Franklin D. Roosevelt assuming the Presidency at the depth of the Great Depression helped the American people regain faith in themselves. He brought hope as he promised prompt, vigorous action, and asserted in his Inaugural Address, ‘the only thing we have to fear is fear itself’.”

Approximately three months after Roosevelt is elected to the Presidency, America sinks to its lowest point in the Great Depression. Thirteen Million people are unemployed and almost every bank closes. Roosevelt is a man of action destined to reestablish the faith in Capitalism.

“In the first ‘hundred days’, he proposed, and congress enacted, a sweeping program to bring recovery to business and agriculture, relief to losing farms and homes, and reform, especially through the establishment of the Tennessee Valley Authority.”

Businessmen and bankers fear the actions of Roosevelt and dislike the Nation being taken off the gold standard, the deficit budget, and the concessions made to labor. Businessmen and bankers are unwilling to pay for the changes, but they reaped the rewards through Materialism and want to keep them. Roosevelt is a man of action and knows these actions are necessary to prevent a possible revolution from within with the growing unrest of the middle classes; he responds with new programs of reform:

“Social Security, heavier taxes on the wealthy, new controls over banks and public utilities, and an enormous work relief program for the unemployed.” ‘In 1936 he was re-elect —-he sought legislation to enlarge the Supreme Court, which had been invalidation key New Deal measures. Roosevelt lost the Supreme Court battle, but a revolution in constitutional law took place. Thereafter the government could legally regulate the economy.”

Roosevelt pledges a “good neighbor” policy against aggressors in the Western hemisphere which transform the Monroe Doctrine, a doctrine America now feels they have the strength to protect. Roosevelt seeks to keep America out of the European wars while pledging to help nations that are under threat or attack. America is to remain neutral? How can America remain neutral and follow the contradicting policies put into effect? The President is given power to implement embargoes that threaten or attack other nations. Problems arise all over Europe. Japan becomes aggressive again and Germany unifies under their fascist leader, Adolph Hitler. The French fall to Germany’s aggression. Aid short of war is the policy of foreign affairs in America. With this attitude, war is inevitable.

Through Roosevelt, America helps to strengthen the countries that will eventually retaliate against it because America suddenly becomes unable to defend the Monroe Doctrine as Roosevelt pledges. The Philippines, America’s stepping stone to Asia, is in jeopardy to Japan. Roosevelt feels the salvation of the world peace will ultimately depend upon the relations between opposites, i.e., Russia, the communist, and the United States, the capitalist. Therefore, he devotes his energies to the planning of the United Nations, the afterbirth of Wilson’s fourteenth point.

When Japan retaliated against America redirected into global warfare. Internally the American political machine  retaliated the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, by focusing America’s efforts  upon citizens of Japanese descent, removing them from their homes against their free will into what is referred to as protective custody, imprisonment, stripping them of their due rights as Americans; rights guaranteed them by the Constitution. In times of war Americans have no rights. Roosevelt’s health deteriorates. He dies in 1945 just prior to the close of the war, Harry Truman, Roosevelt’s successor, is not informed of the developments and difficulties of the wartime problems that suddenly come to be his problems to solve. He tells reporters:

“I felt like the moon, the star, and all the planets had fallen on me.”

During World War II he headed the Senate war investigating committee, checking into waste and corruption and saving perhaps as much as fifteen billion dollars.

As President, Truman faces crucial decisions. At first he follows Roosevelt policies, policies which damn America into becoming a police state for the correction of world unrest, pledging the lives of Americans to solve world problems while at the same time ignoring the suffering needs of Americans at home; he witnesses the signing of the United Nations charter. But it isn’t long before he develops his own policies.

“He presented to Congress a 21-point program, proposing the expansion of Social Security, a full employment program, a permanent Fair Employment Practices Act, public housing and slum clearance. The program, Truman wrote, ‘symbolizes for me my assumption of the office of President to my own right.’ It became known as the Fair Deal.”

Truman retaliated against Japan after sending a warning shot of fear into the world and bringing the world to a peaceful means of communications, the coalition of the United Nations and the entrance of America into a Cold War, a military dominated complex. Truman campaigns successfully in 1948 against Dewy, the same man who tells the Spanish governor to get out of the Philippines when America declares war on Spain and helps allow American big business to take its first greedy step into Imperialism. With Truman as President, America does not revert back into Isolationism as it did during post World War I; instead, America pursues the “Truman Doctrine”, the Marshall Plan which stimulates economic recovery in war-torn Western Europe. Truman takes the stanch to fight against aggression rather than feed and nourish it. He negotiates a military alliance to protect Western nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. When postwar antagonism utilizes aggression to bring about communism in Korea, America along with the United Nations holds a line above the old boundary keeping the war a limited one.

When Truman gives his address to the nation in 1948, he states his views outright:

“We have rejected the discredited theory that the fortunes of the nation should be in the hand of a privileged few, instead, we believe that our economic system should rest on a democratic foundation and that wealth should be credited for the benefit of all. The recent election shows that the American people are in favor of this kind of society. Every segment of our population and every individual has a right to expect from his government a fair deal.”

Truman meets with opposition from business and congress in implementing his strategies; he wins some, and loses some. Truman seeks a “war against world poverty”, but is hindered by business and congress from achieving the same justice for all the American people. Truman also meets with opposition in his efforts in Korea from the military. General McCarthy voices opposition to Truman by making allegations. The Tyding Committee declares McCarthy works a “fraud and a hoax”, but the backlash of the Korea war gives McCarthy an audience which produces another Red Scare sending school children under their desks in fear of atomic bombs; these scare tactics continue in force until 1953, but are not held with the severity as they are in the previous scare of 1919:

“Slander, lies, character assassinations—these things are a threat to every single citizen everywhere in this country. When even one American—who has done nothing wrong—is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth, then all Americans are in peril.”

How is true justice to prevail in America when men like Truman, who fight for the individual, are made to look silly under the false threats of communism brought on by the fear of business paying their fair share of wars which are of their making and for their profit or prevention of losses in their Materialism? Truman is a man of the people who fights for legislation and reforms that help the common man. Under Truman the common man is not reduced to the bread lines with the severity of oppression from big business as they are in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Truman listens to what the people say and makes his intention know to follow the designs of America people, when Eisenhower is elected President in 1952, he plays along with the game of politics, but in his farewell address he seeks restitution and warns America of things to come:

“The conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence—economic, political, even spiritual—is felt in every city, every State house, and every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need of this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved, so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisitions of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted . . . Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial military posture, has been the technical revolution during recent decades . . . The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present—and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we would, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy would itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite (January 17, 1961).”

In conclusion, the Steward of the rich, the President, is merely a guardian for the rich, whose policies differ from guardian to guardian, giving only the minimum amount of change or adjustment to prevent revolution and establish “hope” or reestablish faith in the system. There is but one exception, Harry S. Truman who becomes the President because of the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Truman’s administration during the postwar era of World War II brings changes to the American society, helps the common man, through establishment and revisal of reforms, thus preventing or attacking the abuse, massive oppression, discrimination, and fears that were felt by the common man and the middle class in America at the hands of big business and government in the post-World War I era under Harding.

And in my opinion, the Capitalistic Society is a nation whose processes, rewards, and acceptance through Materialism can be the damnation to one’s soul if an individual chooses the wrong path upward through the impersonal forces toward an American dream. However, it is also a reward (through non-conformity) because under the Capitalistic society the freedom of choice of which road to take on the travel upward through the impersonal forces toward the American dream is left up to the individual, not the government.

A Comparison of Original Work to Film Version of Plath’s “The Bell Jar”

The following is an edited version of the original Posted on April 10, 2008

A Comparison of Sylvia Plath’s Original Work: The Bell Jar, Versus the Film Version: : The Bell Jar: If I am an Arrow

By Trudy A. Martinez

In the film, The Bell Jar, the prelude imitates a young girl’s position within society; cinematic techniques create this allusion through the girl’s symbolic actions responding to a confining realm. As a result, the culminating points they make by way of the lighting, the music, and the movement implies restriction and thus derives meaning.

The culminating points correspond with the story line of Plath’s original work. For instance, as a monotone piano tone ushers in the figure of a young girl turning slowly in a circular motion, slight glimmers of light encase her form within the darkness of the set. As her hands extend outwardly and then upwardly, a strum of a harp is heard. The outward extension of her hands represent her striving for educational achievement, while the upward movement demonstrates she lacks satisfaction with education alone and wants to spread out further than those limits in the direction of the American Dream. The arrangement of light symbolizes her enlightenment of the dream; whereas, the darkness of the set signifies it is hampering her. Consequently, because of her desire for upward mobility, the strum announces restrictions.

The strum recommends the hands stay within allowable boundaries. After a few attempts to extend beyond the imaginary confines, the hands are placed within the pockets of the skirt and the defining light dims. Movement of the hands into a forward protrusion under the skirt renders the shape of a pregnant woman. Immediately, Gerald Fried’s music converts to a lullaby as the girl is seen swaying back and forth to the regular succession of sounds, chanting a villanelle, a “Mad Girl’s Love Song”:

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;

I lift my lids and all is born again.

(I think I made you up inside my head.) . . .

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed

And snug me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.

(I think I made you up inside my head.) . . .

(I think I made you up inside my head.) . . .

(I think I made you up inside my head.)

Before the framework of the opening sequence is complete, an underlying theme suggests societal restraints force the girl to succumb to limitations and the fear of pregnancy is the reason for her ultimate mental instability.

Under the direction of Larry Peerce, actress Marilyn Hassett (a Barbie doll double), introduces herself as Ester Greenwood. “I ‘m an all American girl,” she says, “A girl wonder, a scholarship student.” And then she utters, “I think I made her up inside my head.” Consequently, she questions her status: “Me a poet? Are you kidding?”

In this manner, an inferiority complex that diminishes her accomplishment is established, requiring her to justify her actions in order to bring herself back within the acceptable norms of society: “I am a very proper New England girl. I attend a very proper New England college where I win prizes.”

The main prize Ester wins is a trip to Ladies Day magazine. This prize builds the American Dream in others, announcing and enhancing the status of being an American citizen:

Look what can happen in this country, they’d say. A girl lives in some out-of-the-way town for nineteen years, so poor she can’t afford a magazine, and then she gets a scholarship to college and wins a prize here and a prize there and ends up steering New York like her own private car (2).

A showering of gifts announces and intensifies the film’s American Dream aspect at the magazine’s headquarter meeting. However when company officials announce they will even supply men, the camera switches to a view of excitement glowing on the young participants’ faces. Conversely, when the film dramatizes Ester’s attraction to “a whole life of marvelous, elaborate decadence” of luxurious fashions that Doreen symbolizes for her (4), it adds a dimension, suggesting the attraction to Doreen magnifies a hidden lesbian tendency.

This hidden dimension contradicts the initial underlying theme the prelude produces. The film draws inference to a lesbian inclination through Esther’s countenance in the sequence where she sits in the bar with Lenny (Robert Klien), Doreen, and Frankie. Her indifference to Frankie is highlighted when he asks her to dance and she replies with a firm “No.” The camera focuses on Doreen’s exhibitions that keep Lenny in awe, and then switches back to Ester, giving the impression that her apathy towards Frankie is a reflection of a more than a casual interest in Doreen. In this way, the film does not convey Plath’s intention: “The thought of dancing with that little runt . . . made [Ester] laugh” (9).

The similitude enhances later at Lenny’s apartment, when Doreen and Ester dance together. Just outside their immediate circle in the background, Lenny dances by his self. Subsequently, all three of them dance wildly together. And then the camera switches to all of them tumbling on the bed. Ester is seen caressing Doreen, reinforcing the lesbian concept. Consequently, Ester runs away when she realizes the magnitude of this drunken action.

The film frames the lesbian notion around Ester’s deteriorating life and makes it seem as if she is “. . . coming apart at the seams,” as she says in the introductory sequence, because she does not accept the affinity.

In order for the film version to communicate openly what is purported to be Ester’s secret thoughts, Joan’s part in Ester’s life expands from a mere acquaintance who Ester only knows from “a cool distance” (160) to her best friend. Joan’s overly emphasized reactions to Ester’s every word and move as they discuss the different modes of suicide suggests her sexual designs on Ester. In a much later scene Joan learns after making an advance and requesting sexual favors that Ester loathes this unnatural attraction. The film implies Ester drives Joan to suicide. And as a result, Ester has to face her own lesbian desires to be free of her own suicidal drive.

In the original work, Ester’s suicidal drive stimulates a feeling of inadequacy (not lesbian desires). Instead, she feels stupid for buying “all those uncomfortable, expensive clothes” (1). She feels stupid because she’s attracted to Buddy Willard who went to Yale after she learns Doreen thinks “Yalies” [are] “so stoo-pet!”(6). She feels stupid because she “felt very low” after Jay Cee brings to the surface “all [her] . . . uncomfortable suspicions” of inadequacies (24).

On the other hand, the film portrays Jay Cee (Barbara Barrie) as vindictive towards Ester. Her command, following a snicker of laughter, “We are looking to you for a certain kind of intellectual elevation,” implies malicious intentions. In a much later scene, Jay Cee makes Ester feel extremely inadequate by saying her views are “poison.” Jay Cee tells Ester she needs to identify with other college students who never heard of Joyce. Ester conveys, by aggressively playing with her pencil, she is unable to deal with criticism. Jay Cee then asks her: “Did you think this was one of your cinch courses that you will get an “A?”

Ester isn’t getting “A’s” in her personal life either. Instead, indecisiveness takes over. Deciding what she should or shouldn’t do, makes her feel even more inadequate and sad (23-25). She feels Doreen serves as a “concrete testimony to [her] own dirty nature” (19). The bell jar symbolizes her fear of sex and pregnancy which imprisons her in a world of double standards: She says, “I couldn’t stand the idea of a woman having to have a single pure life and a man being able to have a double life, one pure and one not” (66). She “. . . knew . . . what [Buddy] secretly wanted was for her to flatten out underneath his feel like Mrs. Willard’s kitchen mat” (69). The film obscures these concerns and completely ignores Ester’s sexual fears: She tells Dr. Nolan, “What I really hate is the thought of being under a man’s thumb . . . A man doesn’t have a worry in the world, while I’ve got a baby hanging over my head like a big stick, to keep me in line” (181). The bell jar is an extremely significant symbol in Plath’s original work; whereas in the film, the bell jar only serves instrumentally to frame the ending.

The symbolization of the bell jar entraps Ester in the stereotypical domesticity of the role of mother and housewife. Society’s expectation of woman’s domesticity is a condition which indirectly bears responsibility for Ester’s inferiority complex. Fear is the controlling factor. Even though Ester may want to experiment with sex, she feels she is not free to do so because of the fear of pregnancy. Individual female education goals and desires are secondary in society’s framework. This is apparent when her mother (Julie Harris) stresses women must be practical and learn shorthand. In other words, woman must heed what a society of man dictates. Learning shorthand serves as a message to Ester of her place within society. As a result, she feels inferior because even with all her education she does not have the knowledge she needs to survive in the world:

“Not knowing shorthand meant not getting a good job after college. My mother kept telling me nobody wanted plain English major. But English major who knew shorthand was something else again. Everybody would want her. She would be in demand among all the up-and-coming young men, and she would transcribe letter after thrilling letter. The trouble was, I hated the idea of serving men in any way. I wanted to dictate my own thrilling letters”(61-62).

Plath suggests Ester’s inferiority complex is an extension of a societal norm, a norm that does not accept women as equal to men in any way. Regardless of a woman’s educational accomplishments, she can only hope to please a man by doing his bidding or serving him. The double standard extends not only to the workplace but also to personal choice, limiting a woman’s sexual freedom through fear by trapping her in the stereotypical role of mother and housewife.

The introductory framework of the film also gives the allusion of entrapment. However, when the film introduces the abnormality of a lesbian sexuality into the story, it changes the original theme of fear and entrapment by serving lesbianism up as an avenue of escape from the bell jar hanging over head. The film is not brought back into perspective with the original work until after the death of Joan with Ester’s exclamation: “I am. I am. I am.” Then the film immediately diverges again, framing the beginning with the end by addressing the person in the bell jar: “To the person in the bell jar blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is a bad dream” (193). Ester recounts, “I asked [Dr. Nolan] if I would survive. She said, yes. She at once freed me and condemned me back to life”. Then as if an afterthought she says,” If am the arrow, I cannot fly through darkness.” In other words, all the change and excitement she wants is null and void because she can’t “. . . shoot off in all directions [herself], like the colored arrows from a Fourth of July rocket”(68).

Bibliography:

Plath, Sylvia. The Bell Jar. Bantam Books (published by arrangement

with Harper & Row). 1972.

Kellog, Marjorie, The Bell Jar. Directed by Larry Peerce, Based on

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.

A Brief Analysis of Woman as an Object in Turn of the Century Literature

By Trudy A. Martinez

At the turn of the century in both beliefs and treatment, woman is an object either desired for her outer beauty and cherished or cultivated as a servant for the pleasure or the benefit of man. Her husband’s expectation is for her to become an extension of him in all respects: to become, in a sense, “his second self.” In principle, she is a possession that he controls at his will. In his view, she is his property. She has no right to question her status. Divorce is only an option of the husband. Consequently, because of woman’s suppression, she losses her identity and longs for freedom just as Mrs. Mallard did in The Joy that Kills; or as a victim, she retaliate just as Mrs. Wright did in Trifles; or she chooses death as a means of escape just as Edna did in The Awakening.

Mrs. Mallard is a repressed human spirit. Brently, her husband, hopelessly controls and nurtures her for his own pleasure, calculating her every move. For example, the time schedule he gives her allows him to know what she is doing every minute of the day. Her maid serves as an observer, reporting her non-compliance. Hence, Mrs. Mallard is like a bird in a cage singing only for her husband. She is submissive. She experiences life only through his eyes. In his eyes, her weak heart provides him justification. Consequently, she sees only what he wishes her to see of the outside world through the pictures he supplies.

When Mrs. Mallard shares her fantasy world in pictures with the doctor, Brently gets angry. “I never told about the light,” she said. Dissatisfied he responds, “Now that you’ve told someone—our world is over.” Defending herself she replies, “You always do the talking; I was trying to talk for myself.” Then he places his hand on her head and says, “Your mind in every thought.” In other words, thinking for you is not permissible. Even though the doctor advises Mrs. Mallard she may now travel, her husband refuses to allow it.

Later, the tone changes from a helpless suppressive tone to an optimistic tone, when she receives news Brently is dead as a result of an accident while on travel. Suddenly, she is able to do things on her own, the thought of experiencing life invades her thoughts and she matters, “I am free, terribly free.” She is no longer required to be a mere product of her husband’s desires. She approaches the front door filled with the thrill of finally experiencing life for her. The glow of the light from the outside world beckons her to escape. Then suddenly, the light is blocked by her husband’s form. The shock of her freedom again being obstructed deprives her of the strength of endurance and she accomplishes her escape only through death.

In Trifles, Susan Glaspell uses a rebellious tone to describe Mrs. Wright’s escape. Because she is not present during an investigation into her husband’s death “from a rope around his neck”, similarities to her circumstances with that of other women surface; this is achieved as Mrs. Hale, and the sheriff’s wife, Mrs. Peters, piece together the evidence and ultimately eliminate it. The two women sum up the situation because incidents in their lives are quite similar. Mrs. Hale perceives John as a selfish man who wants things his way. It doesn’t matter what his wife wants only what he wants. And “all he wanted was peace and quiet.” The men laugh at Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters for dwelling on the trifles such as the spoiled preserves or whether Mrs. Wright is going to quilt or knot her quilt. In their estimation there are more serious things to worry about.

The women could not bring themselves to judge or condemn Mrs. Wright. Instead, they find themselves defending her when the men start criticizing the appearance of her kitchen. Her table is only half clean. Mrs. Hale remarks, “It’s wiped to here” in expressive recognition that an interruption prevents Minnie from completing her work. As she speaks, she completes the cleaning for her. Mrs. Hale maintains a resentful tone in response to the men’s outcry, while Mrs. Peters remains apologetic of their insensitivity. Together the women find certain conditions like the nervous stitches in the quilt block to be similar to their own. The “bad sewing” irritates Mrs. Hale so she pulls it out. They reason: “We all go through the same things.” In essence, they dismiss that the crime is not the death of John. After all, he got what he wanted: “peace and quiet”. The crime is their absence from the scene during a time when Mrs. Wright needs a friend. When it is decided “Mrs. Peters didn’t need any supervising because she was married to the law,” the women quickly maneuver the last piece of evidence, representing the motive (the little box containing the dead canary with the wrung neck), out of sight. When a motive cannot be produced, Mr. Henderson settles for a trifle: “Well at least we found out she was not going to quilt it—she was going to–.” “Knot it,” replies Mrs. Hale.

Chopin’s novel, The Awakening, questions the motives of society concerning the rights of women. This is done through Edna who marries outside her own culture, religion, and class status against the advice of her father to a man whom she did not love. As a consequential repercussion of her marriage, she is subjected to differences that leave her out of step with the cultural norm and leave her silently weighing the emotional oppression she feels. Her husband demands she be a slave to his whims and demands she understand his predominance. For example, he is to come and go as he pleases; she is not to question his actions or authority; she is to be attentive to his desires at all times, regardless of the time of day or night. In short, he looks upon Edna as his property.

Edna’s anguished feelings result from her husband’s infliction of criticisms; she cannot explain the reasons for her feelings. But she knew because of this treatment he is stripping her of her individuality. For instance, when she dares to discourage him through inattentive behavior, her husband immediately reciprocates with criticism, finding fault where there is no fault and judging her guilty of neglect to him and to his children. It is something he “felt rather than perceived.” Consequently, she lives a “dual life”: outwardly conforming while inwardly questioning.

The identity of a creole wife is not what Edna wants because a creole wife has no identity. A Creole wife worships her husband and relinquishes her individuality. Edna doesn’t want to be identified as a mother who is treated like an invalid. She wants to be free as a bird. She wants to flee her husband’s control and her controlled existence, but she is not strong enough to endure. Her needs are secondary to her husband. Edna’s need to experience life with a passion is out of the question.  He will not consider divorce.  And there is this honor among men that her love, Robert, will not betray. Consequently, Edna exercises her own choice of death as a means of escape from her misery.

This is an edited reposting of an analysis posted 02/22/2011 at the following link:https://gramatrudy.wordpress.com/2011/02/22/a-brief-analysis-of-woman-as-an-object-in-turn-of-the-century-literature/

Farewell to Arms: Hemingway’s “Puzzling Passage”, An Analysis

by Trudy Martinez

When most males enter military service, they are boys on a quest for manhood. The same holds true for Frederic Henry in A Farewell to Arms. John Beversluis, however, declares, “He is a man . . . at the outset of the novel” (19). Not all critics agree that Frederic “is a man” or that he even wants to reach manhood. For instance, Judith Fetterley, a feminist, insists “Frederic Henry’s true aim . . . is to . . . [evade] . . . growing up . . . “(47). She contends that Frederic is so set on “remaining forever a boy” that he strives toward “eliminating the agent that threatens to force adulthood upon [him]” (47). In her estimation, that “agent” is none other than Catherine, Frederick’s beloved. The intent of this paper is to explore Frederic Henry’s position in relation to others within the social order of the novel. In doing so, his status of man or boy will be established and his vindictive or childish character uncovered. Both Beversluis and Fetterley support a portion of the narrative, contributing a retrospective clue. Beversluis calls the narrative “the puzzling passage”. The passage hints of Frederic’s shortcoming, disclosing his inner most thoughts, and a lesson he must learn:

“ . . . We were still friends, with many tastes alike, but with the differences between us. [The priest] had always known what I did not know and what, when I learned it, I was always able to forget. But I did not know that then, although I learned it later (14).”

John Beversluis asserts what Frederic, the man, learns is “that spending his leave in the city instead of at the Abruzzi was symptomatic of his whole way of life” because “he continually failed to do what he really wanted to do” (24). Fetterley alleges, on the other hand, what the priest “knows” that Frederic “doesn’t know” is “that sex is a dangerous and wasteful commodity and the best world is one of men without women”(52). I contend Frederic is a child on a pilgrimage toward manhood. Along the way, he learns the main difference between himself and the priest is that the “certain knowledge” the priest has: the words of truth build lasting relationships. Frederic tries to explain how wanting to do something makes it “almost all right” (13). Frederic wants to tell the truth but he also wants excitement, this is evident when he tells himself:

“There was more to it than that. Yes, father. That is true, father. Perhaps, father. No, father. Well, maybe yes, father. You know more about it than I do, father. The priest was good but dull. The officers were not good but dull. The King was good but dull. The wine was bad but not dull. It took the enamel off your teeth and left it on the roof of your mouth (38 – 39).”

The wine serves as a symbol, paralleling the lies Frederic tells Catherine. Frederic considers the wine not dull. He considers it invigorating and continues drinking, even though the wine works like a fire in his mouth, burning away the enamel. Frederic wants to be invigorated. His lies, burning like a wild-fire, bring about a similar furor in his relationship with Catherine. However, their relationship lacks truth and Frederic is left defiled. When Frederic learns not to defile himself by lying, “he was always able to forget” and continues to lie when it suits his purpose or gains him the acceptance he needs and the excitement he wants. As a result, he is made to suffer and sacrifice his beloved even though he willingly puts away his childish ways to become a man.

Beversluis supplies no evidence of Frederic, the man, failing to do “what he really wanted to do” other than his not going to Abruzzi. Then again, how could he? Frederic never “failed to do what he really wanted to do.” He “tried to explain” and the priest “understood” what Frederic offers are mere excuses that are anticipative of what he feels the priest wants to hear. He maneuvers most people like pieces on a chessboard. In other words, his strategy is similar to the strategy used in war. To Frederic, a friend is someone who accepts him unconditionally while surrendering to his stratagem. In most cases, he gets angry like a spoiled child when he doesn’t succeed by reaping an unconditional surrender. For instance, Miss Barkley slaps him because he ignores her refusals; he admits, “I was angry and yet certain seeing it all ahead like the moves in a chess game” (26). His maneuvers are planned and calculated, while at the same time, predictive of his opponent’s strategy. When Miss Barkley expresses concern she may have hurt him, he lies and says, “I don’t mind at all.” He uses his speculative power to gain her pity by apologizing. When she accepts his apology and replies, “You are sweet,” he tells the truth: “No I’m not.” As a result, of practicing the old adage: “When all else fails tell the truth,” he advances, gains consent, and ultimately seizes his objective: He positions his “arm around her as [he] had before and kissed her.” Once he considers he has won and gets to do what “he really wants to do,” he regards her as his friend (26 -27).

As Friends, Frederic and Catherine share passion in the form of romantic love. Their passion for each other is what Fetterley suggests the priest “knows” to be “a dangerous and wasteful commodity.” She ascertains “the best world is one of man without women” by way of the priest’s “asexuality.” The assumption here is because the priest refrains from sexual passion and remains asexual he is able to love and the only way Frederic can attain such a love is to live in a world without women. Fetterley attempts to justify her assertion by stating, “The priest has access to a certain knowledge and stature that the men who remain sexual do not have and secretly admire.” She assumes because the men in the mess constantly bait their priest “they are expressing’ not only “their sense of his difference and their uneasiness in face of it (51-52)” but also Frederic’s sense of the priest’s difference.  Consequently, she transfers the men’s sense of the priest’s difference on to Frederic even though he is not guilty of baiting the priest.

Although Fetterley is correct when she says, “The priest alone is able to carry out the full implication . . . ,” she errs when she implies this is justification to assume it is because of the priest’s cultural “attitude toward sex” (52). Evidence in the text suggests the priest’s “attitude toward sex” is not a determinant of the difference between the priest and Frederic. Thus, to view it as such is perverse. For example: when the priest visits Frederic in the hospital, the topic of their conversation centers on some of their differences: The priest loves God whereas, Frederic fears God “in the night sometimes.” In addition, they are opposites in personal experience: the priest knows the meaning of love even though he has not experienced passion; in contrast, Frederic knows passion but has not experienced love (72). The priest considers the nights Frederic speaks of as “passion and lust.” He tells Frederic, “When you love, you wish to do things for. You wish to sacrifice for. You wish to serve” (72).

In this respect, the priest not only “wished to serve” he did serve: as a model for Frederic. The priest’s acceptance of the kidding from the men in the mess makes it less difficult for Frederic not to let the men prevail upon his beliefs. The priest’s main concern is to safeguard Frederic from deterioration because the men’s words are like poison to his soul. Consider the conversation that takes place in the mess:

“ . . . The major said . . . “I am an atheist.”

“Did you ever read the ‘Black Pig’? Asks the lieutenant. “I will get you a copy. It was that which shook my faith.”

“It is a filthy and vile book,” said the priest. “You do not really like it.”

“It is very valuable,” said the lieutenant. “It tells you about those priests . . . “he said to [Frederic]. [Frederic] smiled at the priest and he smiled back . . . “Don’t you read it,” he said.

“I will get it for you,” said the lieutenant.

“All thinking men are atheists,” the major said . . . (7 – 8).

Not until the men begin divulging to Frederic where he should go on his leave, did the priest mention: “I would like you to see Abruzzi . . . “(8). Hence, the priest shows more interest in segregating the boy from the men who are without faith and who are striving to convert him to atheism.

Two characters, the priest and Rinaldi, vie to show Frederic distinct paths in life. The priest may be seen as simulating a Christ figure who is constantly being tempted through the harassments of Rinaldi to stray from the path of righteousness. Rinaldi the main instigator of the priest’s harassment, on the other hand, mimics Satan by inviting the priest to go against his morals.

Rinaldi admits he is “the snake of reason” in a conversation with Frederic (170). He says, “. . . I can say this about your mother . . . that about your sister. . . All my life I encounter sacred subjects” (169 – 170). The allusion drawn here is of the Garden of Eden. Instead of “the snake” tempting Eve (Catherine), “the snake” is tempting Adam (Frederic). Frederic is not too cooperative; he tells Rinaldi, “You are better when you don’t think so deeply,” causing Rinaldi to reflect: “You puncture me. . . But I know many things I can’t say” (170). Rinaldi is wounded by Frederic’s over protectiveness of his love for Catherine, his “sacred subject.” Rinaldi reveals he cannot maintain a friendship with a married couple “if they love each other,” suggesting he is incapable of love (170).

Later when Rinaldi tempts the priest, he shows he is unable to maintain a friendship with anyone capable of love. In addition, he builds on the “many things [he] can’t say” by drawing attention to St. Paul:

“Drink some wine, priest,” Rinaldi said. “Take a little wine for your stomach’s sake. That’s Saint Paul, you know.”

“Yes I know,” said the priest politely. Rinaldi filled his glass.

“That Saint Paul,” said Rinaldi. “He’s the one who makes all the trouble.” The priest looks at [Frederic] and smiles. [Frederic] can see the baiting did not touch him now.

“That Saint Paul,” said Rinaldi. “He was a rounder and a chaser and then when he was no longer hot, he said it was no good. When he was finished he made the rules for us who are still hot. Isn’t it true Federico?”

The major smiles. . .

“I never discuss a Saint after dark,” [Frederic] said. The priest looks up from [his dinner] and smiles at him (173).

Consequently, the treatment of the subject of wine communicates through Rinaldi that the books of Corinthians, The Epistles of Paul the Apostle, establishes “the rules” for those who are “hot”. Frederic is “hot”. Beversluis claims “Our first acquaintance with him discloses that he is a man. . . “(19). However, I Corinthians 13: 11 maintains if you speak, understand, and think like a child, you are a child–to become a man you must put away childish things. Frederic thinks, understands, and speaks, and even reacts like a child.

As a child, Frederic thinks he must lie to be accepted. For example, Rinaldi said, “Miss Barkley prefers you to me. That is clear. But the little Scotch one is very nice.” When Frederic answers in the affirmative: “Very,” the narrative uncovers the actual truth by way of his confession: “I had not noticed her” (21).

Not only does Frederic not notice things around him he also doesn’t understand. He confesses, “I did not understand the word” after his friend tells him: “You have that pleasant air of a dog in heat.” Then when Rinaldi calls him a “little puppy,” he reacts like a child: “I knocked over his candle with the pillow and got into bed in the dark” (27).

And then again, Frederic speaks like a child when Rinaldi teases him about Catherine. He tells Rinaldi to “Please shut up, if you want to be my friend” (169). In other words, he considers his friendship conditional: If he doesn’t get his way, he finds it necessary to resort to emotional blackmail. Rinaldi, however, doesn’t accept these childish maneuvers. This can be seen by his unconditional response: “I don’t want to be your friend . . . I am your friend” (169). Through Frederic’s behavior, his status of a child is confirmed. The character of Rinaldi clearly provides a contrastive view of the variation between the behavior a man and a boy.

But whether Rinaldi, the man, serves as the best mentor for Frederic, the boy is another matter. By his own admission, Rinaldi alludes to an impossibility of becoming better: “We are born with all we have and we never learn . . . “(171). Berversluis would agree “we need to be clear about the sort of person [Frederic] is . . . “(19). To determine what short of a person Frederic is may be accomplished through I Corinthians 03:13: Every man’s work shall be made manifest: the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work for what it is. The day that declares Frederic’s work is Catherine’s day of delivery and death. On that day, Frederic reminisces about the ants on the log:

“ I remember thinking . . . It was the end of the world and a splendid chance to be a messiah and lift the log off the fire and throw it out where the ants could get off onto the ground. But I did not do anything but throw a tin cup of water on the log, so that I would have the cup empty to put whiskey in before I added water to it. I think the cup of water on the burning log only steamed the ants (328).”

Consequently, through Frederic’s thought, action, and lack of action in this scenario, it is clear Frederic is selfish and his interests are only in himself; he envisions himself as god in his own thoughts.

The major said, “All thinking men are atheists” (8). Frederic is always thinking although he is not yet a man. He had thought “the night was better.” After all, there is this “. . . strange excitement of . . . not knowing . . . not caring” (13). Throughout the novel, he is constantly thinking, that is, until he is faced with the possibility of Catherine dying. Then he suddenly changes:

“. . . I did not think. I could not think. I knew she was going to die and I prayed that she would not. Don’t let her die. Oh, God, please don’t let her die. I’ll do anything for you if you won’t let her die. Please, please . . . Please God . . . I’ll do anything you say if you don’t let her die. You took the baby . . . That was all right. . . Please, please, please, dear God, don’t let her die (330).”

Frederic’s thinking stopped. But what good is his prayer? The prayer is conditional, calculating, selfish, and self-serving.

Frederic is just as self-serving when his anger is washed away in the river along with any obligation to the war. Then he said, “I was not made to think. I was made to eat, drink, and sleep with Catherine” (232-233). Here it appears Hemingway drew the words of Frederic from the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes 2: 24: There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also . . . Is from the hand of God. Paul Smith points out in “Almost All is Vanity: A Note on Nine Rejected Titles for a Farewell To Arms” that the first few words of this verse, Nothing Better For a Man, was considered by Hemingway as a title before choosing A Farewell to Arms (74-75). Ironically in Old Testament beliefs as well as in Frederic’s belief, God is to be feared. The fear of God arises because man places obligations to himself over that of God. Frederic did the same when he says to God. I will do this only “if” you will do what I want. Did he envision emotional blackmail working on God?

In the prayer, he tells God it is all right that the baby died. But he did not sacrifice because of the baby’s death. The baby’s death did not matter to him. He is self-serving, living in a dream world and wishing his life away. His thoughts communicate he is a babe himself. This is reflected when he says, “. . . I wished the hell I’d been choked like that.” Then he counters his lie with the truth: “No I didn’t” (327). The admission discloses somewhere in his background there is a Christian foundation that reinforces his fear of God. By virtue of his confession, there lies a sense of “hope” for him. “But he did not know what the priest knew then” that lies are “deadly poison” that desecrate all efforts toward real love and happiness “although he learned it later” when he is faced with losing his beloved.

When he leaves the restaurant to return to his beloved at the hospital, there is an allusion to a baptism as he “walked through the rain (329).” Frederic didn’t change instantly; there is a learning process: A war is going on within him. In the war itself, Frederic said, “Well, I knew I would not be killed. Not in this war . . . “He reasoned:”. . . It did not have anything to do with me (37).” However, the other wars going on within himself and in his romantic love relationship with Catherine did have something to do with him. Fetterley recognizes “love and war appear together” as twin themes “because romantic love is a form of war” (49). Here she is right. When Frederic interjects his thought: “maybe she would pretend that I was her boy . . . (37),” his childish war-like strategy emerges.

However, Frederic is not the only one that resorts to war-like strategic maneuvers. Catherine does too. She plays the game well, knowing he will conform to her rules if he wants to play house with her:

“And you love me?”

“Yes”

“You did say you loved me, didn’t you?”

“Yes,” I lied. “I love you.” I had not said it before . . . (30).

“Say, I’ve come back to Catherine in the night.’”

“I’ve come back to Catherine in the night.”

“Oh, darling, you have come back haven’t you?”

“Yes.”

“I love you so and it’s been awful. You won’t go away?”

“No. I’ll always come back.”

“Oh, I love you so . . . . “

“. . . I turned her so I could see her face when I kissed her and I saw her eyes were shut. I kissed both her shut eyes. I thought she was probably a little crazy. It was all right if she was . . . I knew I did not love Catherine Barkley nor had any idea of loving her. This was a game, like bridge . . . You had to pretend you were playing . . . for some stakes (30-31).”

Both acted like children bent on getting their way. Frederic didn’t want to go “to the house for officers where the girls climbed all over you . . . “and Catherine didn’t want to be lonely. She wants to pretend Frederic is her lost love. She acknowledges awareness of the circumstances when she remarks, “This is a rotten game we play . . . .” And then she says, “I had a very fine little show . . .” and when Frederic presses “her hand” and says, “Dear Catherine,” she replies: “It sounds very funny now–Catherine. You don’t pronounce it very much alike (31),” it is apparent she manipulates Frederic into playing the part she wants him to.

Much later, she tries to redeem herself through Frederic for where she feels she failed in her relationship with her dead lost love. She previously told Frederic:

“I wanted to do something for him. You see I didn’t care about the other thing and he could have it all. He could have had anything he wanted if I would had known. I would have married him or anything. I know it now. But then he wanted to go to war and I didn’t know . . . I didn’t know about anything then. I thought it would be worse for him. I thought he couldn’t stand it and then of course he was killed and that was the end of it (19).”

In her relationship with Frederic, she wants things to be different. She also fears being sent away from the hospital where Frederic is a resident. She said, “They’ve too many nurses here now. There must be some more patients or they’ll send us away . . . I hope some will come (103).” Catherine wants only to please Frederic. Therefore, she questions him on what he wants and how he reacts when he is with other girls. She wants to be foremost in his mind. This is evident in their conversation when Catherine asks:

“She says just what he wants her to?”

“Not always.”

“But I will. I’ll say just what you wish and I’ll do what you wish and then you will never want any other girls, will you?” She looks at me very happily. “I’ll do what you want and say what you want and I’ll be a great success, won’t I?”

“Yes.”

Because of the pain she feels when she lost her love; she relinquishes her individuality to Frederic to please him. But Frederic is also at fault because he allows her to. Consequently, she became his “sacred subject” and he became her religion. (115).

It is not until Frederic returns to Catherine’s room to tell her good-bye after she dies that he realizes the magnitude of his error. Frederic had said, “God knows I had not wanted to fall in love with her” (93). But he did fall in love with her. Unfortunately, “Nobody had mentioned what the stakes were (31)” in the little war game of romantic love. When Frederic made himself glance back into the darkness after he “. . . turned off the light . . . [he saw] . . . It wasn’t any good . . . It was like saying good-bye to a statue (332). “ He worshiped Catherine like an idol. He molded her into his own image as if she were a lump of clay. Therefore, he receives his just reward for his labor.

His just reward is not the death of the baby that leaves Fetterley with “the nagging suspicion that Frederic Henry sees himself in the dead fetus which emerges from Catherine’s womb . . . (52).” Frederic had no feeling for [the baby] . . . [The baby like the war] did not seem to have anything to do with . . . [him]. . . He felt no feeling of fatherhood (325).” Therefore, how could he see himself in the dead fetus? The image of strangulation produced by the cord around the baby’s neck merely serves as an indicator that the romantic love relationship between Frederic and Catherine has no hope of living. Catherine’s death is not “. . . the fulfillment of his own unconscious wish, his need to kill her lest she kill him (52)” as Fetterley claims. He doesn’t want Catherine to die; he begs God to let her live. Her death is Frederic’s just reward for his labor of molding her like clay into his own image. Frederic didn’t need to kill Catherine; he needs to kill his selfishness. Catherine is no longer Catherine. She had said to Frederic, “There isn’t any me. I’m you (115).” Hemingway’s portrayal of Frederic produces a mythological allusion of Pygmalion, molding the clay. Catherine is the clay; she turns “very gray” (326). Emotional Blackmail is the tool that reshaped her individuality. Their romantic love reflects what Frederic perceives love to be, selfish and self-serving. As a result, they both lose their identity: Frederic became a god; Catherine (the statue) became Frederic’s creation. Frederic obsesses with his creation, a reflection of himself, (Narcissus). Catherine is just as much at fault as Frederic. She makes the choice. She responds to him perfectly (just like Echo). But as she does, she loses her own identity. Their relationship is doomed–because in the end it is only one-sided: Catherine no longer exists. She is dead long before she dies.

Before Catherine dies, Frederic became a man because he puts away childish things. His adulthood is not forced upon him by Catherine as Fetterley alleges. Instead, his decision is his own. Their last meaningful conversation is very enlightening:

“Do you want me to do anything, Cat?” Can I get you anything. ” Catherine smiled, “No,” Then a little later, “You won’t do our things with another girl, or say the same things, will you?”

“Never.”

“I want you to have girls, though.”

“I don’t want them.”

Frederic didn’t lie when he answers her question with “Never;” he had no need to confess anymore. He is suddenly considerate of her needs because he learns what he “was always able to forget” that lies set on fire the course of nature. Rinaldi had said, “That Saint Paul . . . he made the rules for us . . . “(173). The books of Corinthians, The epistles of Paul the Apostle, establish “the rules” Rinaldi spoke of, something Rinaldi could not say. I Corinthians 7: 3-4 serve as an instruction for those wanting a lasting and loving relationship: Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. In other words, a lasting, loving relationship requires that both individuals retain their individuality. Now that Frederic is no longer hot. It is his obligation to follow “the rules: Consequently he discovers the kind of love the priest had spoken of: that “when you love you wish to do things for” your beloved. “You wish to sacrifice for” your beloved. “You wish to serve” your beloved (72). Gajdusek describes the results of the process “as an internal imperative” that harmonizes with “external actions and” necessitates “the virtue of selfless gestures” (26).

Unfortunately in their relationship, Catherine is not granted due benevolence or the benefit of selfless gestures until it is too late. In the end, the precept, “the rules,” eliminates the mythology of romantic love; the simile, “like a statue,” replaces the metaphoric allusion of the myth; and when Frederic leaves the hospital, “the rain” extinguishes the fire Frederic set on the course of nature with his lies.

Above is an edit re-posting of the original posted December 13, 2006
https://gramatrudy.wordpress.com/2006/12/13/a-farewell-to-arms-hemingways-puzzling-passage/

A Comparison between the Film, The Color Purple, and Alice Walker’s Original Work

By Trudy A. Martinez

The film, The Color Purple, and Alice Walker’s original work begins with a suppressive tone. The utterance: “You better not never tell nobody but God. It’d kill your mammy” consummates the suppressive tone. This declaration serves to qualify the guilt and shame Celie feels. Walker’s qualification of Celie’s feelings is instant, whereas the film suffers. In Celie’s first letter, when she addresses God, she writes “I am.” Then she crosses out these words and proceeds with “I have always been a good girl.” Her feelings of shame and guilt surface by way of her indecisive expression of the language. Even though Celie is not responsible for what happens because she has no control over her situation, nevertheless, she feels guilty for what her daddy forces upon her. Fear and ignorance keep her quiet, enduring her dying mother’s screams and cusses. Conversely, the film does not bestow the same impact or even make clear Celie’s personal dilemma.

The beauty of the color of purple in the first sequence as two young girls are seen happily singing and playing in a field of tall purple flowers masks Celie’s dilemma. The scene merely emphasizes the closeness of two young sisters, leaving questions concerning Celie’s pregnant condition unanswered. Consequently, the subtleness of the opening sequence renders the incident of rape exposed by Celie’s first letter to God as inconsequential. When she is seen giving birth to the baby with her young sister assisting, her father grows impatient and scorns her for taking so long.

Treating Celie with impatience and regarding her as unworthy of consideration seriously hampers her progress as a person. The actions of the father and later Mr._______ repress Celie and turn into the main hindrance to her happiness. An impatient tone exercises power over her. Celia’s ignorance and fear renders her powerless against abuse. She grows into an acceptance of her fate because she is made to feel ignorant, ugly, inferior, and unworthy of consideration; and therefore, she became a prime candidate for male domination.

While Celie is kept under male dominance, she works hard to ensure Nettie’s independence. Nettie does not feel Celie is ignorant. Nettie teaches her sister everything she learns and Celie promises Nettie she will take care of her with God’s help. In the original work, education is the key to Nettie’s independence. Later, education becomes the key to Celie’s independence as well.

In the film however, education is not an issue until after Nettie comes to live with Celie and Mr.______. When a clue arises that Mr. _______ is about to make a move on Nettie, education becomes significant because Celie needs to be able to read and write to communicate with Nettie if they are forced to separate. Celie’s life is an education process in itself. As she meets new people, she learns from them.

Celie learns from Sofia love has strength and the capability of conquering the opposition. Sofia’s vitality exposes the weakness of Mr.______- She stands her ground against him and gives Harpo the courage to stand up for himself. Sofia’s non acceptance of male dominance serves to contrast Celie’s acceptance of her inferior slave-like position. Shug Avery, Albert’s mistress, helps Celie to gain the self-confidence she lacks by encouraging her to make difficult choices while Shug serves as a living example to her. Shug says what she wants and does what she wants without fear of reprisal because she insists on her own right to pleasure. Her reason for not marrying Albert, even though she loves him, is because “he be week”.
When Celie learns through Sofia and Shug that Albert is a weak person, she does not take action to eradicate her circumstances until she learns Mr.______ took away years of joy from her life by keeping her sister’s letters from her. This spiteful action leaves Celie with the courage to speak out and act on her own behalf. As she learns from life’s experiences, she allows herself to grow and educates herself to life itself. Ironically, after her stepfather’s death, Celie gains financial freedom as well as freedom from male dominance.

Freedom from male dominance in the original work is stressed through a learning process of both Albert and Celie, this is apparent through Albert’s acceptance of Celie as a person and his acceptance of learning the backwardness of his ways as they sit together “sewing, and talking, and smoking.” The film, on the other hand, did not portray this joint learning aspect. Instead, Mr.______ is seen in the field at a distance walking a mule, a symbol of stubbornness that depicts an unwillingness to change.