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 objective
  
correlatives and subtle linguistics, Eliot does resort to a direct
expression
  
of emotions-- and more often so than not. The following passages would
  
illustrate 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 Kew
Undid me. By Richmond I raised my knees
  
Supine on the floor of a narrow canoe."
  
 
  
 "My feet are at Moorgate, and my heart
  
Under my feet. After the event
  
He wept. He promised `a new start.'
  
I made no comment. What should I resent?"
  
 
  
 "On Margate Sands
  
 I can connect
  
 Nothing with nothing.
  
 The broken fingernails of dirty hands
  
 My people humble people
who expect
  
 Nothing."
  
 
  
Well, let me not go on. The question, again, is what stylistic devices do these
  
passages employ?  Do they not constitute a direct expression of emotion?
  
 
  
Regards.
  
 
  
CR
  


 


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