I recognised the image the first time I read it.
In highschool I had heard or read of such treatment
in one tribal culture or another, so I didn't think to
question it. I beleieve that culture was either
African or South East Asian, but I'm not sure.
It is, in effect, something of a modern equivalent
to crucifixion. It is, I think, meant to be as big a
camel as one can think of. The trick is to
stop the eye of the needle.
It certainly didn't stop the play from being a winner
on Broadway and Shaftesbury Ave. at the same time.
Have you checked any of the commentaries?
Williamson is usually good for details like that.
I scanned the Jones section on TCP for you,
but no joy.
Have you thought of considering the Greek prototype
Eliot used, ALCESTIS, and the character of that name
in the Euripedes' play?
I'm reminded of Stavros who went in with a torn
pair of pants, to hisGreek tailor.
The tailor said: Euripedes?
Stavros replied: Eumenides?
So much for trying to get over the hump.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Carrol Cox" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, September 26, 2006 6:30 PM
Subject: Some questions re The Cocktail Party
> What are the political presuppositions of the crucifixion of Celia on an
> ant hill in the Cocktail Party? Where on earth, hypothetically, would
> such scene be located in 1950? What business would an English woman have
> inserting herself in such a location? Since the fact is only thrown in
> almost parenthetically at the end, with no context or rationale given,
> the play assumes that it will be perfectly intelligible to the audience.
> What is one to say of an audience that can swallow that camel? What can
> one say of the social/political premises of a playwright who can ask his
> audience to swallow that camel? Are Eliot's assumptions the same as or
> at least related to those of Kipling in "The White Man's Burden"?
> No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.1.405 / Virus Database: 268.12.8/455 - Release Date: 9/22/2006