The tiger doesn't devour anyone in the poem. The figure exists in the
narrator's meditation, who is not undergoing conversion. "Us he
devours" is not expressed in the simple present tense as something
happening at the moment, but rather describes a devouring that is NOT
happening to the speaker. It's a general observation. The narrator is
wondering aloud about the option of consenting to such devouring. That
is a weak dramatic climax. Why search for one at all? Wouldn't an
unresolved ending be more expressive of the poem's content?
A structure that tied up all narrative lines in a pretty bow would not
suit the modern turmoil of the narrator.
Sent from my iPod
On Mar 6, 2010, at 10:49 PM, Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>
> So to get back to CR's observation about an arc of a traditionally
> dtramatic character (or "type" if one prefers), I see the following
> sets of perceptions by Genrontioin, which provide an over all
> structure for the poem.
> 1.Perceptions of a Jewish element which relate to the house in which
> Should that house be read as symbolic of his whole state of mind or
> thought structure or internal context? It seems to be more than
> just a
> 2. Percepions of a Chritian element including the last supper and by
> implication, the
> 3. Perceptions to do with art which reflect to some degree the use of
> images in some of the paintings.
> 4 Perceptions of european history which roughly bridge the origins of
> Christianity with the present.
> 5. Perdeptions to do with resurrection which Gerontius sees as not
> to himself as his consiousness fades to black.
> 6. A comment, by whom? which seemsto associate G's mind with the
> I think Gerontius' denial of the relevance of resurrection to
> himself is
> cxlearly a choice, as in "I would meet you..." He has in fact
> reviewed the
> process He is struggling with it in that it certainly makes him
> and he even seems to get snide about it in his description of the
> So even though the poem seems to remain on the level of perception,
> G. seems to be active in accepting or rejecting or struggling with
> He seems to chose unconsciousnes, for he does not see the tiger
> (G.) up.
> I've tried to stick to the iconography in a very brief way.
> As to the iconology or meaning, it seems to me that there
> is a perception on the part of the observer who is presenting
> G. to the reader, to show European Christoanity as a dead culture
> and that there doean't seem to be an alternative. Either the
> house or G. or both are symbolic of that dead culture.
> I sense a stran of sardonic wit in the poem.
> As far as the stuggle with perceptions goes, it seems to reach
> a peak intenrity with the meal, then drop to a plateau and then
> peak again with the pouncing of the tiger. In that that is a moment
> of truth
> and that G. sees himself as not going along with it, I think one
> can say there is a traditional dramatic element involved.
> As to it's being a strictly traditional arc, I'm not so sure.
> It peaks drops and peaks again.