CR: This passage illustrates the difficulty in identifying what the pervasive feeling-tone is in a passage from Eliot. Just as you can see his narrator longing for shelter and revivifying water, (affect:longing) and wistfully recalling the hyacinth girl (affect: wistfulness), he hits you with a line like this: I was neither /Living nor dead, and I knew nothing, (affect:nil).
I suppose a sense of being neither alive nor dead could be called a feeling, but it seems more like a lack of any feeling at all. Diana
From: cr mittal <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: TS Eliot: Modes of Communicating Emotion
Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2007 17:04:07 -0800
Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> wrote:Aside from the objective correlative, what are the stylistic devices Eliot uses to communicate emotions such as those mentioned in the article? He certainly does not name the emotions, but employs subtle linguistics to suggest them.Diana.Thanks, Diana, for initiating the discussion along these lines.Well, just to make a beginning of sorts, I would say : apart from objectivecorrelatives and subtle linguistics, Eliot does resort to a directexpressionof emotions-- and more often so than not. The following passages wouldillustrate my point. Or how do we describe the affect they elicit ?
What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man, You cannot say, or guess, for you know only A heap of broken images, where the sun beats, And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief, And the dry stone no sound of water. "You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;" "They called me the hyacinth girl." --Yet when we came back, late, from the hyacinth garden, Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither Living nor dead, and I knew nothing, Looking into the heart of light, the silence. Above the antique mantle was displayed As though a window gave upon the sylvan scene The change of Philomel, by the barbarous king So rudely forced; yet there the nightingale Filled all the desert with inviolable voice And still she cried, and still the world pursues, "Jug Jug" to dirty ears. "My nerves are bad tonight. Yes, bad. Stay with me. "Speak to me. Why do you never speak. Speak. "What are you thinking of? What thinking? What? "I never know what you are thinking. Think." "You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember "Nothing?" "Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?" "What shall I do now? What shall I do?" "I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street "With my hair down, so. What shall we do tomorrow? "What shall we ever do?" I can't help it, she said, pulling a long face, It's them pills I took, to bring it off, she said. (She's had five already, and nearly died of young George.) The chemist said it would be all right, but I've never been the same. By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept . . . Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song, Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long. O City city, I can sometimes hear Beside a public bar in Lower Thames Street, The pleasant whining of a mandoline And a clatter and a chatter from within Where fishmen lounge at noon: where the walls Of Magnus Martyr hold Inexplicable splendor of Ionian white and gold.Highbury bore me. Richmond and KewUndid me. By Richmond I raised my kneesSupine on the floor of a narrow canoe.""My feet are at Moorgate, and my heartUnder my feet. After the eventHe wept. He promised `a new start.'I made no comment. What should I resent?""On Margate SandsI can connectNothing with nothing.The broken fingernails of dirty handsMy people humble peoplewho expectNothing."Well, let me not go on. The question, again, is what stylistic devices do thesepassages employ? Do they not constitute a direct expression of emotion?Regards.CR
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