The Jew bred in an estaminet is one of
the most-often cited examples of Eliot's
anti-Semitism, and the text you provided notes that Fresca comes from
Eliot's parody of Pope's Rape of the Lock, in which Eliot depicts
Fresca going to the loo -- another Jesus figure
perhaps? Fraulein von Kulp's name is discussed in the text you linked
to as derogatory, suggesting her culpability.
I didn't invent these interpretations. Gerontion's narrator is holier-
while expressing disgust for most of the human race.
Sent from my iPod
On Feb 26, 2010, at 4:15 PM, Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]>
> Ah, read your post again and have to say no, I don't think you've
> got much more than the most surfacy surface parts of it. Again, it's
> a scene of communion, "the jew" is Christ (the owner of the "house"
> i.e. the temple that the body is and the "house" that would have
> stained glass windows), and there is no sneering to speak of. To
> say you don't want to know the significance of the names is just an
> abbreviated way to say you don't want to know the poem, and little
> stands in your way to that end. Why not just leave it alone?
> Diana Manister wrote:
>> 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
>> 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
>> displaying his disgust with most of humanity in an un-Christlike
>> 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]> wrote:
>>> 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:
>>> 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.