Dear Carrol,

It was, though, Eliot who said that without a spiritual meaning sex was no more than the coupling of animals. He didn't, one might note, know much about sex or passionate sexual experience--unless maybe long after with Valerie. All those pontifications came from someone who was still a virgin at 26, married suddenly, had a horrific experience of sex, and then took up celibacy.

So that he called it animals only tells us how he saw it, but it did come from him.


>>> Carrol Cox 05/12/10 10:51 AM >>> 
Diana Manister wrote: 
> Dear Nancy, 
> The typist and young man seem to be portrayed as in an ongoing 
> relationship. Eliot it seems to me is condemning the perfunctory 
> nature of their sexual relation. She regards it as obligatory. She has 
> no dream of love. By creating these specific characters to make his 
> point Eliot indicates that he sees lower class people as animalistic. 

Perhaps Eliot regarded the lower classes as animalistic, but this 
episode certainly isn't evidence. It is precisely what some would call 
"animalistic sexual passion" which is lacking from the pair. Their 
problem then would be that they are not animalistic enough. 

That is absurd, but so is your suggestion. Keep animalistic out of it 
one way or the other. 

Also, this construal does not contradict Nancy's suggestion that the 
young man commits Date Rape. 

And finally, it seems odd to speak of Eliot "making a point" here. 
Point-making seems precisely what is carefully kept out of the poem.