A society can however be more or less civilized. I agree that de-
civilized is a lame term.
The typist and her young man are not highly civilized in my view,
though they are part of a highly organized society. They seem to be in
a state of shock, as indeed so many people were because of the war.
Hardly anyone was not directly touched by loss and/ or disruption and
Clinically it's called flattened affect, and it can follow trauma and
Sent from my iPod
On May 23, 2010, at 11:19 AM, Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Diana Manister wrote:
>> Yes dehumanized. De-civilized too, if you will,
> "decivilized" (which is also not Eliot's word) is an even more
> inappropriate metaphor than dehumanized. The behavior of the clerk is
> only possible within civilization! For one thing, even in a
> pre-capitalist class societies she would not have been living alone or
> preparing her own meal. Those tins involved international commerce.
> Moreover, the entire episode presupposes the atomized social relations
> which appeared embryonically in the 175th-c (and Milton with amazing
> prescience grasped) and only fully (and only in England & the U.S.) in
> the 19th-c. They were only beginning to develop in France & Germany
> this enters into the causes of WW1).
> So whatever the young man and woman are or are not, they are highly
> civilized -- and surely Eliot had enough of an historical sense and
> precise enough in his language (even the silent language of thought
> intention) that he would never have seen these characters as
> de-ciivilized. These vague, sloppy categories introduced by readers
> rather than the poem trivialize the whole poem.