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Like Eustacia, Clym is dissatisfied with his life and wants a change. In fact, Clym's relationships with the novel's major female characters are marked largely by. My new idea about the relation between my father's work and my own turned on my having a Quotes from Slick will stay with me. But the big thing is the attraction between Clym and Eustacia, and Hardy excellently portrays its sources. Chronicling the human-animal relationship, he posits a history where animals . on the heath on her attempted walk home from Eustacia and Clym's house, Mrs.
But I am still surprised at my innocence with regard to Greek: I learned the alphabet and then found that still I was a long way from being able to read Greek. But at least, early on, one was introduced to the problems of learning a foreign language; one developed a sort of linguistic sense that was useful to have; at least one was saved from the linguistic ignorance of later generations who would come to think of American English as an automatic world tongue.
Incidentally, Pennsylvania Dutch has some resemblance to Yiddish. Both are offsprings of German, but whereas Yiddish became an international tongue that in time produced a literature various Jewish scholars are quite proud of itPennsylvania Dutch remained a subliterary patois of no use, so far as I know, outside the region that gave it birth.
The resemblance between the two is not always automatic. Two of my aunts who grew up speaking, or at least able to speak, Pennsylvania Dutch found, when they traveled to Germany, that they had quite a few linguistic difficulties. It is obvious that I think that in many ways that early life in essentially rural Pennsylvania was a good thing, with advantages for a later life in which I became a college teacher of English.
Now I want to record another kind of response to the world about me when, at my age of twelve inmy father accepted a pastorate in Easton, a city with a population of thirtythree thousand. Family legend has it—a legend never actually confirmed by either parent—that father took this pastorate because Easton was the site of Lafayette College and hence he could afford to send his two sons to college it did work out that way: This story assumes that father, a Lutheran who went to Lutheran Muhlenberg College, would have tolerated the Presbyterian Christianity of Lafayette which at that time had a required daily chapel service—about fifteen minutes—and required Sunday services—the usual hour—for students living on campus; and required nine hours, or three three-hour courses, of Bible for all students—courses which, among other things, provided some good materials for the study of literature.
But back from these later days to our move to Easton at my age of twelve. Although not all members of the family were enthusiastic about the move, I was—so much so that I lost all sense of the charms and utility of country life, which I have been writing about here. The population of Elizabethville was one thousand; that of Easton was thirty-three thousand, and I blush to think that I must have supposed that that meant that Easton offered thirtythree times as many opportunities for significance and pleasure.
I cannot discover the origins of the idea of bigness in itself as a source of advantages, significance, and pleasure. Certainly in literary studies we do not value large books as more significant than smaller ones. Elizabethville was on a minor branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad, whereas Easton was served by the main lines of the famous Lehigh Valley and the Jersey Central, an apparent continuation of the Philadelphia and Reading into larger worlds the Lehigh Valley and the Jersey Central both went east to New York City, only seventy-five miles awayand besides, there was a major line of the great Pennsylvania coming north from Philadelphia and through Phillipsburg just across the Delaware in New Jersey.
So I felt vaguely promoted in the secular world—a feeling for which I can find no source or analogy in biblical experience. And this sense of vague promotion meant my not recognizing, at least initially, that we had moved from the main church in a village to one of a dozen Lutheran churches in Easton, and, besides, one located in a lower-middle-class section of a city that in time would seem quite ordinary—a preparation, perhaps, for reading English novels that grew out of undistinguished urban life.
Still, the comparatively large population, the railroads, the college, and the presence of perhaps a score of school buildings, as against the single school building which in Elizabethville housed all twelve grades—all this seemed to offer at least quantitative grounds for a sense of having been mysteriously promoted in the world.
I am not debunking when I record that it took a long time to recognize that Easton was not heaven on earth and that Lafayette was only one of sixty-six colleges within the borders of Pennsylvania. That did not happen for a long time after arrival. But in retrospect I can recognize certain actions, however defined or undefined then, as signifying a kind of move into a larger world, or what I then took to be, without ever formally defining it, a larger world.The Return of the Native Audiobook Thomas HARDY
One was the first connection with baseball, which I write about in the next essay. Of course, in one aspect it did have a nominal ecclesiastical connection, but still it must have seemed secular enough to let me think I was experiencing a kind of enlargement. The other experience of a move into a larger, or supposedly larger, world had to do with a variety of jobs. In those days one could legally get a job at fourteen, and the state of parsonage income meant that at fourteen one naturally looked for a job.
At the time I was a sophomore in high school. One of the first of my jobs was at the Free Press, one of two daily papers published in Easton another promotion over Elizabethville, which had only a weekly, the Echo, which the freer spirits in town seemed to diminish by calling it the Eeko.
This job meant delivering certain batches of papers to various downtown stands and hotels; I was, so to speak, the wholesaler making deliveries to the retailers.
At least one of these stacks of papers went to a streetcar that would take them out of town to some suburban or village retailer. This meant standing at the streetcar entrance where one could see the passengers getting on.
This had an advantage when the mounting passengers were female: This was a quite real pleasure, if not one that one could speak about at home. I did not know what this pleasure signified, since we were kept in massive ignorance of the facts of life.
But it was for real, even though undefined and connected, one guessed, with something impermissible. That was almost eighty years ago.
Then I moved into a still more exciting job as usher at a movie theater— indeed the Third Street Theater, which was the movie palace in Easton.
The management of the theater had decided to institute a new system of uniformed ushers, and somehow From Parsonage to Podium 15 our cop got called upon as a headhunter for four ushers.
He got me into the act; I was accepted and was empowered, as a prospective head usher, to recruit three underlings. Then we were measured for new uniforms—these distinguished by an ornamental three rows of brass buttons on the fronts of our jackets, these rows rather close together at the waist and flaring out toward the shoulders.
The other guys got flat buttons, but, as head usher, I was distinguished by having round buttons on my jacket I suppose I had to point this out to high-school classmates, so that they would understand the distinguishing symbolism.
The uniforms were in a sort of gray-blue military cloth, with plenty of gold-braid ornament, and we must have felt as distinguished as if we were military officers.
At times we certainly acted as if we were, in controlling the crowds at the more popular of the five two-hour shows that constituted the daily offerings the most popular was that at 7 P.
What an experience this was for a parsonage boy who at this time— —had seen very few movies and was not at all into movie lore and gossip. Here I was thrust into another world—the larger world of movies in general, and the smaller immediate world of a movie theater, with a working population different from any I had ever known. It gave me my first experience of professional musicians, who ranged from relatively serious older players—family men, I suppose—to younger ones with a worldliness new to me.
The Professor and the Profession
Once one of the younger men described something—maybe a new snow? But I suppose I admired his aesthetic sense and in time spotted his quest for an emphatic comparative.
The orchestra provided drama in another way. The leader of the orchestra was a pianist who was evidently good at running the musical show, the nature of which was determined by the movie people from whom the films were rented. The pianist-leader, of course, had primary responsibility for catching the cues and taking the orchestra along with him into every change of musical text as required. But the leader got time off from at least one show a day, and when he was resting up, the piano was in the hands of a young woman pianist who ordinarily played alone in the shows when the orchestra was not on duty.
She was apparently a good pianist, but, according to theater gossip, not very good at holding the orchestra together. A new kind of drama for this innocent, at least. There were other kinds. I suppose that, learning about this, I felt much wiser than I had before. One of my staff of ushers—I had recruited him—enlightened me with stories of homosexual experiences mostly with an oral expertabout which I was as ignorant as could be. Many years later I learned that the attractive young married woman in the ticket box had planned to give me a lesson in sex sometime when her husband was away on one of his numerous business trips; she evidently had thought it would be a great game to take a virginal high-school boy to bed.
It did not happen. She was very fond of her husband and perhaps decided in time that taking a high-school boy to bed was not a suitable course of action. Then there were the two brothers who ran the projection machines—from a small booth upstairs, to be entered only by a ladder against the rear wall of the auditorium. One brother was a mild smiling fellow who rarely talked about anything.
He read Rabelais; and in talking about Rabelais, he gave me my first contact with a writer whom I was later to like and admire a good deal. And from him I learned that you could be well read without ever having set foot in a college—and no less knowing than if you had.
From Parsonage to Podium 17 So the job offered all sorts of eye-opening experiences. And it seemed to open horizons everywhere. The most ample horizons, I suppose, were those on the screen—and, as I can see in retrospect, they were a step toward the literature that would eventually become my main academic study, from my undergraduate major at Lafayette College to the pursuit of a Ph.
But all that was unforeseen inwhen I was just moving with various currents that were not formally defined. Unconsciously, I am sure, I felt myself to be moving from personage life, which for the first time may have seemed sort of limited, to a broader current of life. Whatever the new life was in itself, it had advantages that one was very conscious of: What a promotion, then, to become a voice of authority in the truly popular world of the movies.
It was not that I gave up my other life. So for the three latter years of high-school attendance I was really living in two worlds—the domestic and Lutheran one, and the workand-movies world. I cannot remember feeling any kind of division or split; it must have seemed easy to go two ways, and perhaps to claim, unconsciously, two kinds of knowledge that would lead, assuredly, to one kind of salvation or another.
It was great to become a voice of movie knowledge.
I think now that this was less a move away from the Lutheran church as such than it was, or unconsciously seemed to me, a kind of class triumph within the city. Being a movie expert—or managing to be accepted as one, because one saw all the movies and could advise all the laity about going or staying away—made possible a sort of contact with, if not actual transfer to, the more desirable parts of the city.
So, in a sort of acknowledged dictatorship over the world of local aesthetic judgments, I was laicizing a voice of authority that may have had distant origins in holy writ and church practice, but now functioned otherwise. But I say this in analytic retrospect; I had no such awareness of the experience then. But what a joy to have an authoritative voice in this lay world—to lay down the law about movies to people who otherwise had greater claims to worldly position.
Aside from seeing all the movies, I listened often to the theater manager, who had a taste for movie bigwigs and was constantly dashing over to New York and coming back with tales of actors, directors, casting, and other such matters.
- ,- IMPRISONED COMPARISON OF THE HEROINES OF
So I could pass on to others his expertise as well as what I took to be my own gained simply from seeing a couple of movies a week.
Glorious, glorious authority— and authority in a world much larger than that of our own Lutheran congregation. I have no recollection of any responses of my parents to this new life—or warnings or censoriousness. They must have been immensely tolerant or self-disciplined. As head usher at the Third Street Theater, I was prematurely a kind of professor dealing out knowledge to listeners who were far more devoted to my wisdom than were most of my later college classes.
I felt that I knew more than most people, and I dealt out what I knew with a sense of authority that was accepted, it seemed. So I held forth magisterially about the famous case of rape or alleged rape that ended the career of Fatty Arbuckle, or about the sad drug addiction of Wally Reid, an actor who grew popular in various roles as racecar driver. I was not only a knowing insider about movies and actors in general: I spoke with the wisdom gathered at the Third Street Theater, which in that local world was like having a higher degree from Oxbridge.
And I would try not to be condescending to a friend who was a sort of assistant manager at a rival theater, the Strand, which we took to be a lesser one.
And I magisterially explained to him the case of an actress who always had to wear long dresses as she was a bit ample in the legs. Surely not the chief lady on our circuit, by name Agnes Ayres! Despite its charms, I gave up the theater job at the end of my high-school career, after three years.
MA English Super Notes: CLYM- EUSTACIA RELATIONSHIP
I suppose it was even better than being an insider, hot-shot commentator on From Parsonage to Podium 19 the film world. It was a good experience in the standard dullness of actuality. I often thought of that when, as a university department chair, I would be interviewed by young journalism students expecting quick fame from revelations, which they were sure they would make, of evil conduct in high places.
I am vague about how I got this job. And if so, by whom? Or did I, unlikely as this would be, come out ahead in some sort of competition?
The job could not have been a springtime Christmas surprise; I must have applied for it. In retrospect I can surmise the motive: This irrational attraction will be a recurrent theme in these reminiscences of several baseball connections, mostly rather peripheral, over many decades.
Besides, I was the high-school reporter for the Easton Free Press, a role that no doubt added greatly to my sense of being a worthwhile fellow, a somebody in the immediate world. Even in minor peripheral jobs reporters quickly gain a sense of being one-up on other people. So I had good reasons for being content with school life as it was and for not taking a last-minute plunge into a totally different style of activity.
Hence I must have had a vague sense of something lacking in all that had gone before. The words were neutral: Random Connections 21 sometimes elicit. Yet in some way they may have suggested only a sideline achievement in the school society.
Maybe I yearned for a more mainline kind of accomplishment, and baseball may have seemed to open a magic door, or psychologically to provide a magic growth hormone for my sense of with-it-ness in the school. Of course I would have known that sports managers got letters, and the vision of that E on a sweater perhaps seemed to guarantee a nobler record than grades could ever create.
Motives aside, the baseball experience had its uses. The job was totally unglamorous, and one learned to live with that. One was only a menial who did routine sideline jobs that would be beneath the dignity of real athletes: The team played on an only partly graded field on an open lot many blocks distant from the high-school building but near a junior-high-school building.
The bases were rigid canvas-covered bags, square in shape and maybe two inches thick; one lugged them out and fastened them, I suppose by clasps, to metal anchorages in concrete at each base position.
In retrospect I wonder how the players managed sliding: The baseballs, which were used until worn out, were few in number—maybe four or five; they were kept in a net bag that I lugged to the field along with the three bases. Probably the coach had an unacknowledged cache of balls from which he could now and then produce a new one but nothing, I think, so rash as a new ball for every game.
During practices and games one of my jobs was to chase and retrieve foul balls and possibly home-run balls and get them back as fast as possible for reentry into the game. Sometimes they disappeared, as long-hit balls are likely to do, the supply got low, and I felt the strain.
Clym & Eustacia: The Relationship | Mr Henneman's language and literature pages
In one such situation someone hit a long foul pop over the backstop a limited setup of chicken wire ; it got rolling on a street, for miles it seemed, and I chased it, in near despair. It was our last ball, the game was held up, and my chase seemed interminable and probably futile; already marked by a lack of brilliance that fell below even a decent competence, I would now 22 The Professor and the Profession be publicly and terminally disgraced.
Did I get the ball? I do remember hurrying back—if slinking can be hurried—anticipating a dreadful public fate. The game was going on! Another ball had appeared from somewhere. Or a handout from a spectator? There were no stands, and the spectators—probably no more than a hundred at even a big game—stood along the first-base line, which ran parallel to Twelfth Street and was close to it, and the third-base line.
One of my jobs was to walk along these lines and try to sell tickets. Buying them was purely voluntary. The tickets may have cost twenty-five cents, and I probably lost sales through being unable to make change.
Maybe on a big day I would have as much as fifteen dollars weighing down my pockets, and if the day was Friday or Saturday, I had a nervous weekend of guarding the treasure at home, the Lutheran parsonage.
The coach—the sole coach—was Mr. Her belief that she will be able to convince Clym to return to Paris after they are married is another part of her downfall; she has too much faith in her own power There is a fatal incompatibility between the two lovers. All her fears come true. The death of Mrs. Yeobright is a turning point in their relationship. When Clym learns the real cause of Mrs.
He storms in on Eustacia. He screams at her and calls her a whore and a murderess. Eustacia, then decides to elope with Wildeve in order to fulfill her long cherished dream of Paris. It has its point of view regarding me. The point of view of the absolute other, and nothing will have ever done more to make me think through this absolute alterity of the neighbor than these moments when I see myself seen naked under the gaze of a cat.
Derrida 13Derrida describes his cat as this irreplaceable being that [ And a mortal existence, for from the moment that it has a name, its name survives it. It signs its potential disappearance. Does she recognize her own failure to extend hospitality to another creature?
The thwarted desire of the animal gazing upon his killers parallels the undercurrent of desire in the relationships between the human characters in the scene for Mrs Yeobright, the desire to restore her relationship with her son Clymand the death of the adder marks a turning point in the plot. Mrs Yeobright dies, and shortly thereafter, so does Eustacia. Nor did he limit his extension of a primary morality to exclude the snake: For Hardy, there is no question that a snake has a face.
Although he realized that nonhuman animals might not reciprocate this relationship, he believed humans had an ethical responsibility to all animals. Wolfe, writing on the work of J. Deflection turns away from the present difficult reality to focus on a comprehensible problem that supposedly is related. They look blindly beyond. In this marginal existence, the animals assume an attitude of indifference Although Clym considers the possible necessity of offering his hand in marriage to Thomasin, he finds that his experiences have rendered all but the presence of his departed mother as marginal, unable to occupy a central place in his attention.
In turn, this loss also indicates the removal of humans from the rest of the animal world. The human creation of the zoo seems to preserve a relation lost, but as Berger notes, a trip to the zoo often evokes a sense of disappointment. Historically, zoos are sites of imperialism and of scientific knowledge, of power through the demonstration of dominance and the accumulation and compilation of knowledge.