What Writers like T.S Elliot Do To US

I want to write about what I read in class this week because it made me think about my story and character that I am currently working on. We read The Cocktail Party by T.S Elliot. It’s a lot more complicated than this, but story short; it’s about a couple who cheats on each other. She’s bored of him, and he is just used to her and not sure he loves her.  He doesn’t mind such relationship, and she wants to move on—but instead of doing so, she “cheats” on him. However, he certainly cheats. The couple is involved in all types of lies. They lie to their friends. They lie to each other. They lie to some “random person” unnamed person who turns our to be an important character. They also have other lies underneath the surface that they don’t even know about, so they lie to their own self. The “random” and unnamed character attempts to guide them to the right path. This Unnamed person, who does have a name eventually, tells them the following:

And now you begin to see, I hope,

How much you have in common.

A man who finds himself incapable of loving

And a woman who finds that no man love can love her. (T.S Elliot 125)

The husband requests this random person to send him to the sanatorium for some alone time, and the wife does the same. The random person replies:

If I had sent either of you to the sanatorium

In the state in which you came to me—I tell you this:

It would have been a horror beyond your imagining,

For you would have been left with what you brought with you:

The shadow of desires of desires. A prey

To the devils who arrive at their plenitude of power

When they have you to themselves. (126)

Wow, this is a powerful statement because he implies that neither the wife nor husband is capable of being alone. On their own, they are a complete mess, and that explains the dysfunctional marriage. So, what did we conclude? (I won’t spoil the ending in case you haven’t read it). The couple needs to be part of a communion because a person will cease to exist if they confront human issues or sins on their own. They are no longer a person but a “thing.” We cannot achieve a spiritual communion with our fellow human beings without fellowship and being part of society—we all sin in one way or another anyway—either major or minor sins. That’s part of the conclusion to our discussion, not necessarily our opinions. Instead, it’s an analysis based on what we read along with other readings which add context to our conversation in class. Overall, I learned more about life with T.S Elliot, and this is precisely what these writers do to us. They make us think and learn.

Now, I want to move on to my character, Earth who copes with a lie—except these loved ones lied to her. She didn’t see this particular lie coming. But it hurts deeply, and it leaves her somewhat confused. What should she do? Confront them or just move on. Thinking about T.S Elliot’s story, The Cocktail Party, made me wonder about how my character should face this lie. It’s astonishing how writers, such as Elliot, can make a reader or writer think about their own life or characters—the more the reason to attempt to emulate such writers! But seriously, who can emulate Elliot.

Moving along! My character is an introverted business person who struggles with weight, and she aspires to be a poet. But she’s not necessarily a writer and lacks the experience. Nonetheless, she writes because this is the best way she can cope with the pain in general. So, I will share this poem written by my character, Earth (in progress). (It’s funny to think of her as an actual person.) 😀 She has yet to name the poem. I was thinking “Solitude & Lies” perhaps? Please, leave me your comments below this post!

“We all have those moments of solitude.

Perhaps at night when the silence and darkness whisper who we truly are.

When our heart and soul gaze into our eyes.

When the spirit of truth dances around our lie.

We may fool others. But we cannot delude ourselves.

We cannot deceive the Author of our life.

As we lie in our lie, it will tear our soul down little by little.

Our spirit will wail and ache until we find the way again—

Until we can see others in the eye without the veil of a lie.

Truth triumphs. But lies consume us.”


©Ana P. Rose & Anaprose 2017.