As I do not recall and cannot find in this thread any comments on the name
of the hill, I don't see the point here.

But Celia's pretty disgusting death account is hardly the core of *The
Cocktail Party*. It is about several other people as well, and for Celia,
it is really about choice. It did not need that gratuitously horrible
ending. I can only assume the crucifixion was meant to evoke a Christ-like
sacrifice, but even Jesus was not upside down on an ant hell. And
crucifixion alone is horrific enough without those gory added images--even
if there were any reason to have "natives" doing a crucifixion--one that
seems to outdo the Romans and Jesus in its  pointless violence.

But details matter. Any good, let alone "great," artist is so because of
the complete work, not some abstract message or "main focus" as if it were
a statement. Imagine "Heart of Darkness" without that white thread or Mrs.
*Dalloway* without her flowers or *Burnt Norton* without the bird. It may
well be that the accumulation of rich and resonant detail is what makes any
of them work (I'm speculating, as I have not worked on this as an

I would be interested in anyone's view on that last idea.

On Tue, Nov 21, 2017 at 9:48 PM, Chanan Mittal <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Thus, it is Celia’s crucifixion at the hands of the natives of a far
> eastern island, and her martyrdom that matters, not the name of a hill
> which may have antecedents for its name.
> CR
> On Tue, Nov 21, 2017 at 9:43 PM Chanan Mittal <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> There is nothing in The Cocktail Party that contributes nothing and can
>> be dropped.
>> It may be marginal and not the main focus of the drama.
>> CR
>> On Tue, Nov 21, 2017 at 9:13 PM Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> I have no idea what is meant by "the heart of the matter," but any work
>>> with details ("marginal"?) that contribute nothing and could be dropped
>>> without touching the quality of the work is not art.
>>> Nancy
>>> On Tue, Nov 21, 2017 at 8:38 PM, Chanan Mittal <[log in to unmask]>
>>> wrote:
>>>> It is the heart of the matter, however, that grips the audience in a
>>>> work of art, not its fictional marginal details.
>>>> CR
>>>> On Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 1:34 PM Cox, Carrol <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>>> I did not ask if missionaries were ever killed: I asked about
>>>>> crucifixion.
>>>>> Nancy
>>>>> ------
>>>>> The Wikipedia article crucifixion is permeated with question marks
>>>>> (somewhat self-doubting as it were), but while it covers Rome,
>>>>> Christianity, Islam, Japan, China, Ukraine, it has no reference to Africa.
>>>>> In popular fiction (and non-fiction) there are scattered references to ant
>>>>> hills, but no references to ant-hills combined with crucifixion.
>>>>> Crucifixion is lengthy, resulting most usually in death by asphyxiation. It
>>>>> is a bit  silly to place it on an ant hill. There is a sort of school-boy
>>>>> quality to Eliot's attempts at obscenity and/or torture.
>>>>> Carrol
>>>>> P.S. The armies carrying on mass slaughter in Africa over the last 50
>>>>> years have for the most part been armed and supplied by the U.S., U.K., or
>>>>> France. Eliot knew Heart of Darkness, from which he could have learned
>>>>> something about torture.
>>>>> P.S. 2 How  does one gloss the tone of
>>>>> Like the river with its cargo of dead negroes, cows and chicken