The thing is that even the most virtuous of people does not
thereby merit salvation. Good ol Saul, hell bent on stoning
Chrisitians got his socks knocked off when he was knocked off his horse.
St. Augustine was a flagrant libertine of the first order.
There is no human rhyme or reason to God's order of things.
Also don't confuse charity with being nice to one's neighbor.
Charity is a matter of action, deeds, not feelings.
Also, don't look one this guy as being presented with any pro-Chrisitan
It is worth thinking about whether he has inherited a culture permeated with
Christian values, to which he thinks he is totally indifferent. As such he
is a fine
symbolic portrait of a whole generation or two. A generation that is not
pleasant to look at.
One doesn't have to have a highly developed Christian UNDERSTANDING to deal
with the poem,
but the absence of such an understanding means a whole context is not being
involved in the analysis.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Diana Manister" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2010 11:56 AM
Subject: Re: 'Gerontion' -- the dramatic arc
> Dear Ken,
> Interesting text -- thanks. I'm trying to
> like Gerontion's narrator, but find it difficult.
> He's such a prig. He doesn't show much Christian charity towards others.
> And yes, reading the poem again I see
> that he's not taking ownership of his situation. Like Fitzgerald, he
> waits for a blessing from above.
> What do you like about this narrator?
> Seriously. Don't you find him preachy
> and superior-sounding, ready to tell
> everyone how it is, while sneering at
> the Jew, Fresca and Fraulein von Kulp (culpable), among others? He's
> not engaging at all. I don't want to know the significance of all the
> names as I'm certain they demeaning.
> The nuns taught us that confession is
> worthless unless one tries to stop sinning, but this narrator goes along
> displaying his disgust with most of humanity in an un-Christlike manner,
> showing no contrition for it. How can he expect a blessing?
> Sent from my iPod
> On Feb 26, 2010, at 11:07 AM, Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]>
> > DIana Manister wrote:
> >> Dear Peter,
> >> The poem's speaker seems to acknowledge his inadequacies as his
> >> own, that is he is stuck because of his personal failure.
> > Not really. The poem's commands to the reader to "Think" include
> > this one:
> > Think
> > 44Neither fear nor courage saves us. Unnatural vices
> > 45Are fathered by our heroism. Virtues
> > 46Are forced upon us by our impudent crimes.
> > 47 <http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/poem/777.html#50>These
> > tears are shaken from the wrath-bearing tree.
> > The poem is the scene of communion and does specifically touch on
> > what Peter notes. Neither fear nor courage saves us.
> > Ken