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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 aesthetic).

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


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

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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