Carrol and CR:Do you suppose it is significant to the scene in the poem that the playersbe members of the class that could afford such luxuries? The section openswith a woman surrounded by luxury:"In vials of ivory and coloured glass
Unstoppered, lurked her strange synthetic perfumes,
Unguent, powdered, or liquid - troubled, confused
And drowned the sense in odours..."Following this opulence is the chattering neruotic woman and whatI take to be the thoughts of her companion thinking of rats alley wherethe dead men lost their bones and the eyes of the sailor, now pearls,his unexpressed reactions to her questions and demands. This is anupper middle-class couple following convention to the letter:"The hot water at ten.
And if it rains, a closed car at four.
And we shall play a game of chessThe ivory men make company between usPressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door".Immediately juxtaposed is the lower class speech of the pub:"When Lil's husband got demobbed, I said--
I didn't mince my words, I said to her myself,
HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME"Perhaps the juxtaposition of the affluent with the lower class is significantin that the affluent couple is no less happy, perhaps less so, than Lil andher husband. The ivory men echo nicely the ivory perfume vials.//I wonder if the Indian origin of the game of chess is intended asan association that would resonate with the poem's Sanskrit passages.My faith in Eliot's precision makes me suspect these echoes and resonances are intended, but to what end I can only speculate.//Diana