Peter Montgomery wrote:
> Sorry to be responding so long after the fact, but I wanted
> to be able to take some time on this one.
> I don't think there can be any argument that sex as it is
> presented in TWL is VERY dehumanised,
I guess my fundamental quarrel is with the word itself: it simply
doesn't name anything.
If we speak of desalination, we meam remove a specific substance, salt,
from the water. What are we removing when we "dehumanize" someone? The
word is arrogant in a way, making the explicit claim that the user knows
precisely what a definite entity, "humanity," which hides in each
Does Eliot ever use the word in his prose?
If the clerk isn't a human (as desqlinated water isn't saltwater), what
is he? Someone speaks of an automaton. But these are all metaphors, and
pretty sloppy metaphors, being used by the reader, not by Eliot in the
My people, humble people etc. Is she not a human being?
Try to make some sense of this metaphor. It is obvious that the poet (or
his persona) is sneering at many of the characters, that he sees them as
socially deficieent and following undesirable patterns of behavior: but
only humans can do that.