1

Disconnect the Dots: Emotion Recollected in the Tranquility of Summer A portfolio compiled by: Dianna Anderson ENG 360: Advanced Composition Dr. Greg Dyer

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction: “Wordsworth’s Influence” Page 3 Short: “Reckless: A Boy Wonder” and the Writing Process Page 6 Short: “The Bleeding Heart Show” Page 15 Additional Writing: An Analysis of C.S. Lewis’ Till We Have Faces. Page 18 Additional Writing: “How Did George Orwell Work to Change the Landscape of the British Empire During World War II and After?” Page 23 Open Essay: “Geworfenheit” Page 31 Acknowledgements Page 36

3 Wordsworth’s Influence: An Introduction Compiling this portfolio has been a much needed cathartic experience. Taking a class following such a rigorously academic and challenging semester, one can only begin to scratch the surface when asked to "reflect" and write experientially. With my mind flooded with spires and books and libraries, each still photograph in my mind's eye became an essay, unfolding itself on the page before me as I sat down to write. Each of my items of freewriting touched on Oxford, as it is never far from my mind. In a rather Wordsworthian turn, I am recollecting the emotions, the highs and the lows of not only the semester, but the return. Whilst composing the materials that eventually comprised this portfolio, I forced myself to determine precisely what Oxford meant and still means to me, three whole months after the fact. Rather than pretending that nothing was different, I was able to confront that change and begin my transition in writing. I imagine it might be a long time before I can write reflectively about anything but my experience overseas. Each of these papers reflects that influence, even the academic papers I have included as additional writing. My first short - "Reckless: A Boy Wonder" - is a reflection upon friendships. I chose to honor my friend Charley, as we had grown much closer in the last three weeks of the programme and he became quite dear to me. I cannot think of the Crick Road kitchen without thinking of his slight frame, bending by the stereo as he attempted to get the ancient CD player to process one of his burned CDs. This image is but one element that springs to mind when I think of that particular room and hopefully gives those around me a small glimpse of the larger picture that was Oxford. This is also the essay with which I

4 have included the writing process, for no other real reason than the fact that it is the essay for which I had multiple drafts. My second short widened the lens slightly and gave a slightly larger view of how Oxford had affected me and inserted myself into the picture. Now in addition to my friend Charley, the viewer had a slightly fuzzy picture of my friend Nealson, who was also very dear to me. Another portion of the photograph is revealed and another level of understanding, both on the part of me and the reader, is hopefully achieved. The third and fourth bits of writing can hardly be called reflective as they were written during the Oxford semester. They are, however, carefully chosen for their topic and their style. They are two of my favorite papers that I completed while over there. The first is on CS Lewis' little known novella, "Till We Have Faces," which, as the paper says, is a retelling of a myth. It presents not only an examination of human nature (filtered through literary analysis of Lewis' work), but is a typical example of writing that I did during the semester. It is also the piece that I think represents a form of persuasive writing in that it is not merely exposition of the literary work, but an attempt to persuade the reader to a different conceptual idea of the piece. The second piece of additional writing is one of my favorite essays to date. George Orwell – who was a favorite of mine before going over to England – galvanized Britain in ways that many other authors could only dream. As one of the final essays that I ever wrote for Scholarship and Christianity In Oxford (SCIO), its analysis of the United Kingdom's history and his place in it seemed oddly appropriate. In the last, prominent, place falls the Open Essay, the most reflective piece of them all. Finally, I put the viewer back in Sioux Falls, reflecting upon the experience in

5 the present day. It offers an insight into my current feeling, through the lens of a philosophical method. This sort of writing is inspired by Gopnik’s “Death of a Fish Essay,” which we read in Best American Essays. Looking at memory and the experience of the last six months through Heidegger’s philosophical method helped me to interpret my feeling and is probably one of the essays of which I am most proud, probably because it took me a very long time to arrive at a suitable topic. Overall, I think this work represents not only my own progress as a writer, but progress emotionally as I dealt with such a fresh and impacting experience. Compiling this portfolio also taught me about the catharsis of the writing process in terms of deciding how to tell people about something. I’ve heard and studied Wordsworth’s philosophy of “emotion recollected in tranquility,” but never fully put it into action before. In this portfolio, I have done that and I feel I have done it successfully. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

6 Reckless: A Boy Wonder Charley danced with his eyes closed. This is the most important thing to remember when imitating the Charley dance – one’s eyes must be closed. But they are not simply closed as if one had paused mid-blink and forgot to open again. Nor is it the closure signified by sleep, when the person is miles away, and, if one looks closely enough, one can see the small movements of the eye behind the lids, tracking the movie of a dream. Charley closed his eyes in ecstasy, in pure enjoyment of the song, enraptured. He danced with joy – his tousled, unkempt hair would flow over his closed eyes as he would step back and forth in a subdued two step, his typical rainbow colored shirt accenting the childlike joy that spread slowly across his face. If his eyes were open during such a moment, the joy would immediately be spoiled by the sight of dirty dishes at the sink, the rows of posters for the Ashmolean museum on the cupboards, and the crowded refrigerator as a housemate opened it for food. Often, a housemate would be reading at the table – continually a reminder of the nearly joyless work he should have been doing. With his eyes closed, however, he would be spared these sights, as well as the chance reflection in the kitchen windows of the silliness of his own limbs and body as they moved in time to the music. It was an energetic dance, involving the whole of his body. Once, when he was instructing me on how to do it, he told me the movement of the shoulders was the heart of the dance. They would move in time with his legs – when the right foot would move forward, the right shoulder would roll forward as well, all in one fluid motion. In keeping with the shoulder’s unrestrained movement, his elbows would be bent at a not-quite 90 degree angle; his hands would be formed into a loose fist, with only the index finger free

7 and pointing into nowhere. I don’t believe he even realized that he closed his eyes during his dancing – it was a purely natural movement, one that simply fit with the rest of his joyous action. The entertainment of such a dance was usually left in the kitchen of our house, as private as that can be, though his bouncy personality never abandoned him in public. However, during one unique experience, he and I went to a “Ska night” that had been advertised, hosted at a local club. The band was a local one, playing songs we’d never heard before and probably would never hear again. The club was dark, literally underground, and we brash Americans soon gained the solidarity and respect of the middle of the dance floor. Soon, Charley was in his element. His dance quickly adapted to the dark underground scene and, despite the cigarette smoke, the beer on the floor, and the slower, jazzy tempo of the music, he once again entered his own world. It was his lifeline to a world away from the academics, the books, the writing, the questions. Behind his closed eyes, he flew away from the dirtiness of the club on Cowley Road and returned to his own world of beat, rhythm and movement, all powered by the music pumped into his ears. Remarkably, when home, Charley would dance around the kitchen with his eyes closed and not run into a chair, a table or a counter – he skirted around them as though he had lived there his entire life, instead of only three and a half months of his 23 year existence. The only threat to his safety came when some unaware housemate decided to open a cupboard in the path of his wild dance and thus altered his environment. We quickly learned, however, to avoid this occurrence and let him have his dance, his form of a study break.

8 Near the beginning of our friendship, I tried the same routine and nearly ran into the kitchen island, my eyes flying open in fear of bodily harm. By the end of term, however, I was performing it with ease, much to the entertainment of my fellow housemates. I had also taken on extensive portions of Charley’s personality, frequently wearing his classic Waldo hat, his ugly red and blue sweater, commandeering his skateboard and even doing his yell of “Huzzah!” It became a running joke throughout the term, culminating in a new nickname of “Charlianna.” Despite this acquisition of his mannerisms and clothing, I could never fully grasp the dance. My version – because that is all it is, a version – has less shoulder movement and my eyes are only half-closed, cheating the original. My joy, though present, was not nearly as complete as his and I could never fully lose myself in the way he would. I continue, however, to dance with my eyes partly open, hoping, someday, to dance with my eyes fully closed.

9 Draft #1: Song: “I Felt Like Smashing My Face in a Clear Glass Window” by Of Montreal Charley danced with his eyes closed. This is the most important thing to remember when imitating the Charley dance – one’s eyes must be closed. But they are not simply closed as if one had paused mid-blink and forgot to open again. Nor is it the closure signified by sleep, where the person is miles away, and, if one looks closely enough, one can see the small movements of the eye behind the lids, tracking the movie of a dream. This was not what Charley’s closed-eye dance was about. No, Charley closed his eyes in ecstasy, in pure enjoyment of the song, enraptured. If his eyes were open during such a moment, the joy would immediately be spoiled by the sight of dirty dishes at the sink, the rows of posters for the Ashmolean on the cupboards, and the crowded refrigerator as a housemate opened it for food. He would also be spared the chance reflection of the silliness of his own limbs and body as they jerked in time to the music. [further description here] Remarkably, Charley would dance around the kitchen with his eyes closed and not hit anything. I once tried the same thing and nearly ran into the island, my eyes flying open in fear of bodily harm. By the end of term, however, I was performing it with ease, much to the entertainment of my fellow housemates. My version, however – because that is all it is, a version – has less shoulder movement and my eyes are only half-closed, cheating the original. [hmmm]

10 Draft #2: Charley danced with his eyes closed. This is the most important thing to remember when imitating the Charley dance – one’s eyes must be closed. But they are not simply closed as if one had paused mid-blink and forgot to open again. Nor is it the closure signified by sleep, where the person is miles away, and, if one looks closely enough, one can see the small movements of the eye behind the lids, tracking the movie of a dream. Charley closed his eyes in ecstasy, in pure enjoyment of the song, enraptured. Charley danced with joy – his tousled, unkempt hair would flow over his closed eyes as he would step back and forth in a subdued two step, his typical rainbow colored shirt accenting the childlike joy that spread slowly across his face. If his eyes were open during such a moment, the joy would immediately be spoiled by the sight of dirty dishes at the sink, the rows of posters for the Ashmolean museum on the cupboards, and the crowded refrigerator as a housemate opened it for food. He would also be spared the chance reflection in the kitchen windows of the silliness of his own limbs and body as they jerked in time to the music. It was an energetic dance, involving the whole of his body. Once, when he was instructing me on how to do it, he told me the movement of the shoulders was the heart of the dance. They would move in time with his legs – when the right foot would move forward, the right shoulder would roll in one fluid movement. In keeping with the shoulder’s unrestrained movement, his elbows would be bent at a not-quite 90 degree angle; his hands would be formed into a loose fist, with only the index finger free and pointing into nowhere. I don’t believe he even realized that he closed his eyes during his dances – it was a purely natural movement, one that simply fit with the rest of his joyous movement. Remarkably, Charley would dance around the kitchen with his eyes closed and not run into a chair, a table or a counter – he skirted around them as though he had lived there his entire life, instead of only three and a half months of his 23 year existence. The only threat to his safety came if some unaware housemate had decided to open a cupboard in the path of his wild dance and thus altered his environment. We quickly learned, however, to avoid this accidental occurrence and let him have his dance, his form of study break. I once tried the same routine and nearly ran into the kitchen island, my eyes flying open in fear of bodily harm. By the end of term, however, I was performing it with ease, much to the entertainment of my fellow housemates. I had taken on extensive portions of Charley’s personality, frequently wearing his classic Waldo hat, his ugly red and blue sweater, and even doing his short jump accompanied by a yell of “Huzzah!” My version of his dance, however – because that is all it is, a version – has less shoulder movement and my eyes are only half-closed, cheating the original.

11 Draft #3: Charley danced with his eyes closed. This is the most important thing to remember when imitating the Charley dance – one’s eyes must be closed. But they are not simply closed as if one had paused mid-blink and forgot to open again. Nor is it the closure signified by sleep, where the person is miles away, and, if one looks closely enough, one can see the small movements of the eye behind the lids, tracking the movie of a dream. Charley closed his eyes in ecstasy, in pure enjoyment of the song, enraptured. Yes, Charley danced with joy – his tousled, unkempt hair would flow over his closed eyes as he would step back and forth in a subdued two step, his typical rainbow colored shirt accenting the childlike joy that spread slowly across his face. If his eyes were open during such a moment, the joy would immediately be spoiled by the sight of dirty dishes at the sink, the rows of posters for the Ashmolean museum on the cupboards, and the crowded refrigerator as a housemate opened it for food. He would also be spared the chance reflection in the kitchen windows of the silliness of his own limbs and body as they moved in time to the music. It was an energetic dance, involving the whole of his body. Once, when he was instructing me on how to do it, he told me the movement of the shoulders was the heart of the dance. They would move in time with his legs – when the right foot would move forward, the right shoulder would roll in one fluid motion. In keeping with the shoulder’s unrestrained movement, his elbows would be bent at a not-quite 90 degree angle; his hands would be formed into a loose fist, with only the index finger free and pointing into nowhere. I don’t believe he even realized that he closed his eyes during his dances – it was a purely natural movement, one that simply fit with the rest of his joyous movement. The entertainment of such a dance was usually left to the kitchen of our house, as private as that can be, though his bouncy personality never abandoned him in public. However, during one unique experience, he and I went to a “Ska night” that had been advertised, hosted at a local club. His dance quickly adapted to the dark underground scene and despite the cigarette smoke, the beer on the floor, and the slower tempo of the music, he once again entered his own world. The dance was his lifeline to a world away from the academics, the books, the writing, and questions. Behind his closed eyes, he left behind the dirtiness of the club on Cowley road and returned to his own world of beat, rhythm and movement, all powered by the music pumped into his ears. Remarkably, when home, Charley would dance around the kitchen with his eyes closed and not run into a chair, a table or a counter – he skirted around them as though he had lived there his entire life, instead of only three and a half months of his 23 year existence. The only threat to his safety came if some unaware housemate had decided to open a cupboard in the path of his wild dance and thus altered his environment. We quickly learned, however, to avoid this accidental occurrence and let him have his dance, his form of study break. I once tried the same routine and nearly ran into the kitchen island, my eyes flying open in fear of bodily harm. By the end of term, however, I was performing it with ease, much to the entertainment of my fellow housemates. I had taken on extensive portions of Charley’s personality, frequently wearing his classic Waldo hat, his ugly red and blue sweater, commandeering his skateboard and even doing his short jump of accomplishment complemented by a yell of “Huzzah!” It became a running joke

12 throughout the term, culminating in the new nickname for me of “Charlianna.” Despite this acquisition of his mannerisms and clothing, I could never fully grasp the dance. My version – because that is all it is, a version – has less shoulder movement and my eyes are only half-closed, cheating the original.

13 Draft #4: Charley danced with his eyes closed. This is the most important thing to remember when imitating the Charley dance – one’s eyes must be closed. But they are not simply closed as if one had paused mid-blink and forgot to open again. Nor is it the closure signified by sleep, when the person is miles away, and, if one looks closely enough, one can see the small movements of the eye behind the lids, tracking the movie of a dream. Charley closed his eyes in ecstasy, in pure enjoyment of the song, enraptured. He danced with joy – his tousled, unkempt hair would flow over his closed eyes as he would step back and forth in a subdued two step, his typical rainbow colored shirt accenting the childlike joy that spread slowly across his face. If his eyes were open during such a moment, the joy would immediately be spoiled by the sight of dirty dishes at the sink, the rows of posters for the Ashmolean museum on the cupboards, and the crowded refrigerator as a housemate opened it for food. Often, a housemate would be reading at the table – continually a reminder of the nearly joyless work he should have been doing. With his eyes closed, however, he would be spared these sights, as well as the chance reflection in the kitchen windows of the silliness of his own limbs and body as they moved in time to the music. It was an energetic dance, involving the whole of his body. Once, when he was instructing me on how to do it, he told me the movement of the shoulders was the heart of the dance. They would move in time with his legs – when the right foot would move forward, the right shoulder would roll forward as well, all in one fluid motion. In keeping with the shoulder’s unrestrained movement, his elbows would be bent at a notquite 90 degree angle; his hands would be formed into a loose fist, with only the index finger free and pointing into nowhere. I don’t believe he even realized that he closed his eyes during his dancing – it was a purely natural movement, one that simply fit with the rest of his joyous action. The entertainment of such a dance was usually left in the kitchen of our house, as private as that can be, though his bouncy personality never abandoned him in public. However, during one unique experience, he and I went to a “Ska night” that had been advertised, hosted at a local club. The band was a local one, playing songs we’d never heard before and probably would never hear again. The club was dark, literally underground, and we brash Americans soon gained the solidarity and respect of the middle of the dance floor. Soon, Charley was in his element. His dance quickly adapted to the dark underground scene and, despite the cigarette smoke, the beer on the floor, and the slower, jazzy tempo of the music, he once again entered his own world. It was his lifeline to a world away from the academics, the books, the writing, the questions. Behind his closed eyes, he flew away from the dirtiness of the club on Cowley Road and returned to his own world of beat, rhythm and movement, all powered by the music pumped into his ears. Remarkably, when home, Charley would dance around the kitchen with his eyes closed and not run into a chair, a table or a counter – he skirted around them as though he had lived there his entire life, instead of only three and a half months of his 23 year existence. The only threat to his safety came when some unaware housemate decided to open a cupboard in the path of his wild dance and thus altered his environment. We quickly learned, however, to avoid this occurrence and let him have his dance, his form of a study break.

14 Near the beginning of our friendship, I tried the same routine and nearly ran into the kitchen island, my eyes flying open in fear of bodily harm. By the end of term, however, I was performing it with ease, much to the entertainment of my fellow housemates. I had also taken on extensive portions of Charley’s personality, frequently wearing his classic Waldo hat, his ugly red and blue sweater, commandeering his skateboard and even doing his yell of “Huzzah!” It became a running joke throughout the term, culminating in a new nickname of “Charlianna.” Despite this acquisition of his mannerisms and clothing, I could never fully grasp the dance. My version – because that is all it is, a version – has less shoulder movement and my eyes are only half-closed, cheating the original. My joy, though present, was not nearly as complete as his and I could never fully lose myself in the way he would. I continue, however, to dance with my eyes partly open, hoping, someday, to dance with my eyes fully closed.

15

The Bleeding Heart Show I have had three goodbyes in my life that will stay with me forever. The first was not a goodbye to a specific person, but a parting with something that had consumed my life for a period of four years: my debating career. My senior year of high school, as I was climbing off the bus, home from the final tournament of the year – having unsuccessfully tried for the National Tournament for the third time – I turned to my coach and said, “You know, I’m glad it’s over.” The goodbye began then, but took more than a year to complete, until I finally decided to cut myself off from the debate world, though never fully leaving behind the skills I learned there. As with most goodbyes, a small part of what one is saying goodbye to remains, forever a reminder of what was once a large part of the person’s life. The second and third goodbyes are recent and still sting. The first occurred on the front lawn of the house I had lived in for three and a half months in Oxford. My taxi arrived at 11:30, precisely as requested. In the midst of loading a collection of luggage and bags and souvenirs pulled together over a three month stay, I somehow managed to find my friend Nealson in the crowd around the taxi and hugged him for the second time in our friendship. The first hug had occurred on my birthday, two months before, in response to a card he had written to me. This second and final one was brief – a short, quick hug of two people who knew the inevitable was finally here, that the moment their friendship had been bulleting toward had finally come, and now, in these last moments, both wished to deny was happening. This hug was one of finality, the closing of a chapter – Nealson and I had begun the long process of saying goodbye approximately a week before, with a conversation

16 about the end of the programme in the entryway of our four story brick house in North Oxford. I still see it perfectly in my minds eye: I, sitting on the floor, with my back to the fire door, looking up at the white and bleak walls as Nealson perched on the stairs, guitar cradled in his hands as though it was his child. In the course of that short conversation, he was blinking to hold back tears – Oxford had been his home for eight months and he was going back to a place he didn’t and couldn’t know any more. Even now, I cannot imagine what was going on in his heart and mind. During three of those eight months, we had become fast friends, beginning with our first dinner in the house, which he sat next to me and introduced himself as “Neal.” This name I came to find out later was somewhat of a misnomer. Unselfishly, he introduced himself as such to avoid the conversation that followed focusing on himself and his unusual name. Everything was encapsulated in these two bookends: even in the end, his goodbye was not one of selfishness: “Write me, call me, facebook me.” The last words he said to me, with a smile on his face and a small movement of an air guitar, told me to enjoy my “indie music” and with a laugh, I clambered into the taxi and left him behind with tears in my eyes. The last and most powerful goodbye came in a country foreign to the people involved – at two in the morning, among the city streets in a part of Rome I am entirely unfamiliar with, my friend Charley and I said our last words in each other’s presence. Our group of approximately ten people had stayed at the Trevi Fountain, delaying the goodbye, until nearly one a.m. We sat for two hours, slowly munching on gelato, and continued sitting until long after the gelato was finished. I exchanged a few meaningless words with Zach and Elise, not wanting to acknowledge the coming goodbyes. Rich,

17 Lucy, Charley and I climbed on the bus and rode in silence, watching the lights of Rome flick by. With the search for a taxi, there were false alarms as taxis slowed down, yet none stopped. I remember Lucy rushing across the road and wrapping me in one of her powerful hugs, whispering in my ear what it was she loved about me, aware that a taxi could be coming any minute. It was several minutes after the formal goodbye that we actually hailed a taxi. My last words to that group of three (which included a man who, even now, I don’t know that I realize what he means to me) were “I love you!” as the door of the taxi swung shut on that chapter of our lives. Right then, I wanted to cry, but somehow could not get the tears to come. They would, weeks later, as I heard skateboard wheels clatter outside the library, and with a sigh of frustration, stood to shoo the interlopers off. I finally realized that the noise of a skateboard was not one belonging to Charley, that the open window was not an invitation for water and rock wars, that ducks quacking by the water did not mean that bread and his smiling face would soon appear.

18 Dianna Anderson CS Lewis in Context Dr. Emma Plaskitt “Faces are the primary identification of human beings; they are the outward aspect of the self. Unless the true self, the psyche, is allowed to develop, human faces serve only as masks for various roles in which the person in engaged.” (Katherine Filmer) Discuss in relation to Till We Have Faces. C.S. Lewis’ book Till We Have Faces presents a unique interpretation of Apuleius’ tale of Cupid and Psyche. By changing the perspective from which the story is told and one key detail, Lewis has created a new story in which the idea of veils and faces has become the central theme. Heightening on Biblical allusions and the theme of illusion, the idea of the face within Lewis’ story becomes a metaphor for the Christian’s spiritual life. First, there is a distinct Biblical allusion throughout the novel. The veil, in Biblical terms, references a veil that Moses wears after meeting with God upon the mountain. Paul alludes to it in 2nd Corinthians, saying: “We act with great boldness, not like Moses, who put a veil over his face to keep the people of Israel from gazing at the end of the glory that was being set aside. […] But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.”1 For the majority of the book, the Princess, and later Queen, Orual wears a veil for a parallel, and yet opposite, reason. Like Moses, Orual has an encounter with a god whose glory is such that she is nearly struck down by it – “A monster […] would have subdued me less than the beauty this face wore.”2 Within days of this encounter, Orual dons a veil that she will wear for the rest of her life – until the time when her veil is removed in front of another god, this time her own half-sister. For the time that she was wearing the veil, her intents were often veiled as well, like the word of God that Paul
1 2

Holy Bible, New Revised Standard Version, 2 Corinthians 3:12-13, 16a. Lewis, CS. “Till We Have Faces” in Selected Books (HarperCollins: London, 1956) p545.

19 references in the passage in Corinthians. She learned how to reveal her intents carefully, using vocal tones instead of facial expressions. This hidden nature of Orual’s true meanings parallels the above verse from Paul – God’s Word is veiled until a person has come to the Lord in supplication and want of Him alone. No doubt this was the intention of Lewis’ theological meaning behind her veil. The countenance of a human being reveals much about a person’s true feelings – often more than one would want. In the act of veiling herself, Orual has removed this precious information. If Katherine Filmer’s quote is true, then Orual has merely bypassed the idea of the facial mask and replaced it with a physical, material one. Peter Schakel writes that “a veil is a conventional cultural and literary symbol, sometimes used as an emblem of modesty and decency.”3 She gains strength and confidence hiding what she saw as her ugliness behind her veil. The perception of ugliness had been reinforced time and again by rejection from her father, but it, too, was a mask behind which she hid. When she makes the decision to wear a veil, she writes that “It is sort of a treaty made with my ugliness.”4 She has made a contract with herself to replace one mask with another. Instead of exchanging facial expressions, Orual exchanges literal faces. Schakel continues: “Her external identity can be altered by wearing a veil and plunging into a life of activity.”5 The lack of mirrors within the story is also pertinent to Lewis’ Biblical parallel and overall spiritual emphasis. In the book, Orual is only shown the mirror twice – once at the beginning of her childhood when her ugliness is shown to her by her father, and again in old age when her greater ugliness as the goddess Ungit is shown to her in a
3

Schakel, Peter. Reason and Imagination in CS Lewis: A Study of “Till We Have Faces.” (Eerdmans Publishing Co: Grand Rapids, 1984) p56. 4 Lewis, p550. 5 Schakel, p60.

20 dream, again, by her now long dead father. As a result, she regards the mirror with terror: “I saw that mirror on the wall, just where it always had been. At the sight of it my terror increased, and I fought with all my strength not to go on.”6 She has long been so convinced of her own ugliness that the terror of the mirror is overwhelming. To herself, the lack of the veil has become something to cause great distress. Her own veil not only protects her subjects from her face (as she believes it does) but it protects herself from confronting what she truly is – Ungit, the goddess who devours those she loves, a “swollen spider, squat at its centre, gorged with men’s stolen lives.”7 Her own inner ugliness has become what she dreads and now her face can no longer be hidden, especially before a mirror. However, Orual finds that through work of her own, mending the ugliness she sees is useless. “I could mend my soul no more than my face.”8 In attempting to work it through on her own, Orual finds the task impossible, foreshadowing the impossibility of the tasks Psyche has had to take upon herself to be saved. This parallels an expanded part of the section from Paul: “Indeed, to this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds.”9 The veil, the covering that hides Orual’s own face from herself, acts as a cover of knowledge of how to reach the gods and to mend her own soul. Because she has hidden herself behind the mask of both her ugliness and her veil for so long, she cannot see a way to mend the ugliness that she now knows exists in her own soul. However, as Clyde Kirby writes, Orual is “an instance of a person to whom God seemingly says, ‘I will have you, whether or no.’”10 This continues the Pauline parallel in
6 7

Lewis, p605. Ibid, p605. 8 Ibid, p608. 9 Holy Bible, NRSV, 2 Corinthians 3:15. 10 Kirby, Clyde S. “Till We Have Faces: An Interpretation,” in Schakel’s The Longing for a Form (Kent State University Press, 1977), p173.

21 that Paul is of the same stock – resistant to God until God literally steps in and blinds him. Another important element of Lewis’ creation is the combination of holy and dark. Darkness often acts as concealment. In Biblical imagery, it is associated with evil, as the most holy of all is associated with light. This dichotomy is especially prevalent in the gospel of John, wherein the author sets up a tension between light and darkness. Lewis turns John’s dichotomy on its head by associating the holy with the darkness. Orual makes continual reference to the oppressive darkness of holy places, questioning near the end of part one: “Why must holy places be dark places?”11 This destruction of the normal contrast between holiness (as light) and darkness (as evil) further blurs the line between the gods and humans. Orual’s own search for a disguise becomes a part of this blurred line when she seeks to go out into the city at night and does not wear her veil for the first time in years: “I was Ungit; I in her and she in me. Perhaps if any saw me, they would worship me. I had become what the people, and the old Priest, called holy.”12 The distinction of “the old Priest” is important because it signifies a change, a distinction between holy and dark finally being drawn and the confusion cleared. Ungit, the goddesss that they had been worshipping, is called “The Queen of Shadows”13 and it is revealed that each person must work to get free of her.14 The distinction is thus drawn and the theological parallel made – what has been dark and veiled was that which was actually evil in disguise and what was clear and unveiled was actually holy.

11

Lewis, p589. Ibid, p606. 13 Ibid, p619. 14 Ibid, p619.
12

22 The veil also symbolizes a change within Orual. When she dons the veil for the first time, she is able to create a new personality and gain new confidence in what she sees as her voice. She rebukes her father without consequence for the first time in her life and asserts her position as the rightful queen from behind the veil, using only her voice. Schakel says that “a key function of the veil is to symbolize Orual’s new identity as the Queen.”15 She states that as queen, her strength was in her veil and the voice coming from behind it.16 “People began to discover all manners of beauties in my voice.”17 Her voice, however, becomes simply another mask which she hides behind as revealed in the climatic scene of complaint before the gods. The metaphor that the veil and the voice forms within the novel comes to a climax in the final scene of the reading of the complaint. Orual is stripped of her veil, her last vestige of her strength is stripped from her, and “there was given to me a certainty that this, at last, was my real voice.”18 She has found her real voice and her real self as a stripped and “unmade” person, standing meekly before the gods. And this completes the Pauline parallel – that once a person comes before God completely humbled do answers come. Again, it recalls the Biblical imagery of the road to Damascus, on which Paul was confronted by God and shocked into the life of a believer, humbled and blinded by God. And that is the message of Lewis’ theology – humility before God and gaining of a face of one’s own in His presence after being blinded by His glory.

15 16

Schakel, p57. Lewis, p577. 17 Ibid, p577. 18 Ibid, p614.

23 Dianna Anderson Module 4: George Orwell SCIO British Landscapes How did George Orwell work to change the landscape of the British Empire during World War II and after? “I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.”19 When George Orwell penned these words in 1946, he was explaining, near the height (and end) of his writing career why he had begun to write in the first place. He could have barely predicted the impact that “exposing the lie” would have on Britain and the governments of the rest of the developed world. Orwell’s uniquely socialist political views covered all manner of topics and his work affected much of public thought in the warring period in the first half of the 20th century. George Orwell was born Eric Arthur Blair to English parents living in India in 1903.20 By 1904, Blair returned to England with his mom to receive an English education.21 In primary school, his political views (though he could have hardly guessed it at the time) began their formation. The older writer Orwell reflected on his time at St. Cyprian’s, his primary school: “A child conscious of poverty will suffer snobbish agonies such as a grown-up person can scarcely imagine.”22 This experience as a poorer child at a rich school helped the young Blair to realize the impact of class differences and has often been pinpointed as the beginning of his hatred of the class system. After earning a scholarship to Eton, Blair developed a “bloody-minded indifference”23 toward academics and life in general, haughtily refusing to conform and finishing Eton without
19 20

George Orwell. “Why I Write.” Shooting an Elephant and Other Essays. Penguin Books, 2003. p.8. Bernard Crick, “Eric Arthur Blair,” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Online. 21 Robert Wilson, “Introduction to the Longman Edition,” Animal Farm (Longman: 1983), p.vii. 22 Ibid, p.viii. 23 Simon Schama, “The Two Winstons,” A History of Britain. BBC Video.

24 honors. Shortly thereafter, in 1922, Blair enlisted as an officer in the British Burmese Police24 – possibly the most formative five years of his life. In Burma, he experienced the full reach of British Imperialism and it was likely around this time that he decided to be an ardent socialist. After coming back to England, he announced that he was quitting the service and becoming a writer.25 He then proceeded to live life as a tramp, seeking the very bottom of the social ladder, and after two years took a job as a book reviewer.26 When his writing became successful, he took on the pseudonym of George Orwell.27 His first novel, Down and Out in Paris and London, exposed the dark underbelly of those poor and suffering in London – the tramp life he had lived in for two years was exposed to the public’s eye.28 From this time on, Blair became the writer we now know as George Orwell and wrote rather successfully until his death in 1950. Orwell’s early work is rife with anger at the Imperialism of the British colonies. One particularly inflammatory and incensed essay, “Shooting an Elephant,” written in 1936, highlights the impact that British Imperialism had, not only the native people, but on the officers who were there to enforce the measures of the Empire. “Shooting an Elephant” details the conflict between Orwell and his own personal feelings about shooting an elephant that has gotten loose in the village. He writes that he could feel the “two thousand wills”29 of the people bearing down on him, willing him to shoot the elephant that he did not want to shoot and knew that he ought not to shoot. Orwell writes that “I perceived in this moment that when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys. He becomes a sort of hollow, posing dummy, the
24 25

Crick, online. Wilson, p.ix. 26 Ibid, p.x. 27 Crick, online. 28 Ibid. 29 Orwell, “Shooting an Elephant,” from Shooting an Elephant…, p.35

25 conventionalized figure of a sahib.”30 Rather than feeling freed by the realization of the amount of power he had, he felt powerless and constrained, knowing that his every move, as the physical representative of the tyrant to the people of Burma, was subject in reality to their wills. “My whole life, every white man’s life in the East, was one long struggle not [to] be laughed at.”31 What Orwell experienced was the paradox inherent in a position of power – one is always in a precarious stance, on the verge of being torn apart politically if one missteps. Orwell’s problem was that his power was barely real and mostly illusory – he was a puppet, the hand of the Empire. This growing hatred of Imperialism was probably fed by his hatred of the class system, which he also felt a puppet of while in Burma. In the class system, he was higher than those he was punishing, but he could tell that the Burmese did not feel that they had committed any crime. The Burmese felt victim to the evil Empire and Orwell could not help but identify with and admire such a view. In his 1931 essay “A Hanging,” he describes the reaction to just such a punishment: I saw the mystery, the unspeakable wrongness, of cutting a life short when it is in full tide. This man was not dying, he was alive just as we were alive. All the organs of his body were working – bowels digesting food, skin renewing itself, nails growing, tissues forming – all toiling away in solemn foolery. […] He and we were a party of men walking together, seeing, hearing, feeling, understanding the same world; and in two minutes, with a sudden snap, one of us would be gone – one mind less, one world less.32 And thus he wrote to expose the lie that was haunting him. His words are literarily powerful, which strengthened his impact as a writer. As we see in his later works, Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell’s powerful story telling was his major strength in finding support for his political views.
30 31

Orwell, “Shooting an Elephant,” p.36. Orwell, “Shooting an Elephant.” p.37. 32 Orwell, “A Hanging.” Shooting an Elephant…, p.25-26.

26 Orwell’s later novel Animal Farm highlights a further development in his political thought. Bernard Crick writes that Orwell, in this period and especially within the novel, was forming his impression of liberty and arguing that equality doesn’t negate liberty: “On the contrary, he stood in that lineage of English socialists who, through Morris, Blatchford, Tawney, Cole, Laski, and Bevan, have argued that only in a more egalitarian and fraternal society can liberties flourish and abound for the common people.”33 Orwell argued now in his thinly veiled allegory that the Russian Revolution could and would not succeed. Over the years, Orwell has been criticized as a party to the communist movement – an umbrage to his legacy as a socialist.34 Part of the attacks on Orwell have come from people who confuse the allegory with condemning socialism in addition to communism as an unwieldy political system, or confusing the two. Orwell was adamant that socialism isn’t perfect by any means, but still “offers realistic hopes of improvement, not utopian idealism.”35 Communism, on the other hand, offers an idealistic notion of utopia which begins with a bloody Marxian revolution – something Orwell was firmly opposed to because of the inherent instability of utopian idealism. His military tour of Spain only reinforced an already growing hatred of tyranny, which he saw in the Stalinist regime in Russia.36 “This very idealism [in communism] allowed for the emergence of a frightening and repressive dictatorship in Russia.”37 According to the Longman edition of Animal Farm, one must understand the events in the history of the Russian Revolution and Stalin’s regime before one can fully grasp the allegory of the book.38 But part of the beauty of Orwell’s work is that the allegory is
33 34

Bernard Crick, George Orwell: A Life. (Penguin Books:1992) p.17. Crick, online. 35 Wilson, p.xx. 36 Schama, video. 37 Wilson, p.xxi. 38 Wilson, p.xxiii.

27 couched within such a child-like story that it can be read simply as a story when one is a child, though one does lose some of the deeper meaning. Knowing, however, the history behind the events of the Russian revolution, one can see quite clear connections between the events of the revolution and the novel – Orwell was not shy about his allegory. At the beginning of the book, the Old Major tells the farm animals: “Never listen when they tell you Man and the animals have a common interest, that the prosperity of the one is the prosperity of the others. It is all lies.”39 This line is an allegorical example of the propaganda that was present during the Russian Revolution and a clear dig at the U.S.S.R. Orwell shows his literary prowess when he connects to this line again with the closing line of the novel: “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”40 This also functions as an allegory that essentially calls Joseph Stalin a pig. Animal Farm had an impact that spread far and wide and was even used by the American Central Intelligence Agency in the Ukraine as an attempt to subvert the Stalinist Iron Curtain.41 However, Animal Farm was not to be Orwell’s greatest political triumph. While Animal Farm succeeded in satirizing the Russian regime, Nineteen Eighty-Four galvanized its readers into thought about the idea of a negative utopia. Up until Orwell’s writing, the idea of utopia was one of that pervaded the communist structure – Marx’s ideal would be a utopia.42 And Orwell’s Oceania certainly is a utopia, but one created by an oppressive communist government which is frighteningly controlling. Written in 1948, Orwell’s Winston Smith lives in a world scarily close to our own. This Winston
39 40

Orwell, Animal Farm. (Longman: 1983), p.5. Ibid, p88. 41 Crick, online. 42 Wilson, p.xx.

28 becomes the literary hero for our time – not out of any weaponry or force, but because he does not forget. Even working in the Ministry of Truth, changing around the past, Winston proves that memory and knowledge of the past is the most important weapon we have against tyranny. Simon Schama says that Orwell’s novel proves that “the last refuge of freedom against Big Brother [or tyranny] is memory.”43 Similarly, Orwell writes in the novel: And when memory failed and written records were falsified—when that happened, the claim of the Party to have improved the conditions of human life had got to be accepted, because there did not exist, and never again could exist, any standard against which it could be tested.44 Memory and history are truly what were on Winston’s side and Orwell is encouraging the same for his audience. Winston triumphs because he has some memory of what things used to be, when, as Schama puts it, a country walk or singing a song seemed perfectly normal.45 Orwell’s novel was an early warning to the promoters of communism – the government that follows communist ideals will ultimately be totalitarian and oppressive and will always have to work to quash rebellion. Orwell was essentially sounding the death knell for communism with his liberating book – communism just took forty some years to get the message. The true fear of the novel, however, is in how much control the totalitarian regime had. The total and complete control over its subjects, based on improved surveillance and the manipulation of children, serves also as a warning to future generations.

43 44

Schama, video. Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, (Signet Classics: 1950). 45 Schama, video.

29 To this end, Orwell’s novel remains heavily influential in popular cinema, music and books. His name has even entered English vocabulary – Orwellian “conveys the fear of a future for humanity governed by rival totalitarian regimes who rule through suffering, deprivation, deceit, and fear, and who debase language and people equally.”46 In the impact that Orwell has made on modern society, often movies and books will be described as Orwellian, displaying just how much influence his literary career had. The movie Equilibrium for example, draws heavily on the Big Brother figure and the elimination of emotion prevalent in Nineteen Eighty-Four.47 The novel’s influence spreads far and wide and Orwell’s example of a world full of totalitarianism continues to terrify. While not directly contributing to the collapse of communism, Orwell predicted it long before it occurred. He knew, through experience and careful study, that communism could never work and yet was cognizant of the idea that no political system was perfect. But he was more angered by the idea of communism than he was penitent of his own political ideals: “If I had not been angry about that I should never have written the book.”48 As Orwell writes in his own story, “How the Poor Die:” “Every institution will always bear upon it some lingering memory of its past.”49 The institution Orwell indicted bears the lingering memory of Orwell’s attacks and jibes and the memory of the past will always be the liberating freedom of historical truth Orwell contends. His legacy lives on, ever so appropriately, in our memories.

46 47

Crick, online. Kurt Wimmer (screenplay), Equilibrium, Dimension Films/Blue Tulip Production 48 Orwell, “Why I Write.” p.9 49 Orwell, “How The Poor Die.” Shooting an Elephant…, p.289.

30 Geworfenheit There’s something to be said for the subtle sensation that accompanies the scent and texture of old books. I once sat in the one of the desks at Duke Humphrey’s Library in Oxford, in front of antiquated books with the date marked clearly on the spine: 1588, 1557, 1554. I dared not reach out and touch their ancient pages, having to content myself simply with staring at the spine and wondering at the history of the written word. Months later, during a discussion of rare books at my library job on my home campus in the United States, the image of Duke Humphrey’s floats before me, calling me back to my months of study. My heart and my mind are still in those spires, streets and libraries of Oxford, wondering when I will wake up from this dream, hear Charley yell, "Huzzah!" and return to the life I had had only for a short time. My transition from one home to yet another has within it a resemblance, not uncanny, to the philosophies I studied while on my sojourn in the “city of dreaming spires.” Heidegger’s geworfenheit, or “thrownness,” serves as a backdrop for the tale of the greatest four months of my life. . Over the course of six months, I have found myself bounced between South Dakota, Cincinnati, London, Oxford, Frankfurt, Paris and Rome: traveling of any form seems to have within it a certain element of geworfenheit. Not even a full month after leaving the hallowed city streets, my friend Trevor posted online a video that ricocheted my mind and soul back into the common room, late at night, discussing whether or not Scripture should be taken literally, or whether woman has a place in the church or what constitutes being human. The discussions were varied and often heated – such is the result of twenty four intelligent Americans living together

31 in a University town. My friend Nealson was often the unofficial leader of such discussion, so it was no surprise to find him at the center of Trevor’s video, discussing yet another famous philosopher. After nearly six weeks of missing his laugh and the sound of his voice, my first viewing of the video consisted of simply hearing and not seriously understanding what he was saying. Upon hitting “replay,” however, I listened more closely to his discourse on Heidegger’s concept of “thrownness” – the concept that one is thrown into life, hovering somewhere along the chain of events between birth, a beginning of life, and death, the ending of such consciousness. Essentially, a person is a baseball being thrown, and his life is the journey between pitcher and the catcher. Life, according to Heidegger, is something over which man has no control – we, as human beings, are simply “thrown:” tossed from one end to another, with no control over our flight. The realization of geworfenheit – or that one is thrown – therefore, is adequately termed “ontological shock.” Or as Charley coined, speaking to me from months ago and through my father’s computer screen, it is “a baseball bat right to the face.” Charley, as he quickly realized in the short video, was slightly incorrect in his analogy. A baseball bat to the face, in terms of thrownness, would have connoted another journey, beyond life – the ending of the throw and the beginning of another – if one were to follow the analogy through to its logical conclusion. It is also utterly unlike Heidegger’s original intention. With a laugh, I watched him realize his folly and tell the viewer to “forget the baseball bat analogy – pitcher and catcher, no bat.” Despite his instruction, I cannot help but feel that I have begun a second journey, bouncing toward an outfield on my return journey home. There is nothing to hold me back – I am streaking

32 through the air with nothing to hold me back until I reach an absolute, an end to my flight. Throughout all these thoughts and turbulent emotions, a line from Frodo in Return of the King keeps repeating in my head: "How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart, you begin to understand … there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend.” How do I pick up the threads of an old life? How should I return to life in my hometown of Sioux Falls when I feel that I hardly know myself anymore? I am here physically, but not quite mentally or emotionally yet. This geworfenheit has been cast into sharp relief by the harsh light of the South Dakota sky. I keep imagining, for some odd reason, that I'm going to walk into the kitchen and see Nealson chopping mushrooms, Charley dancing to Of Montreal, Tori sitting by the window reading, Jonathan at the French press making his coffee and Carri at the fridge, searching for her cheese. Each of these images floats before my mind’s eye, only to be whisked away by a telephone call from an old friend, asking if I’m available to hang out tonight. The immediacy of such a request forces me to lurch into the present, forgetting my reveries. In my dreams, I wander through the streets of Oxford, passing the familiar Sainsbury's Local, with a Borders bookstore right next door, a crowded Cornmarket Street and the buses making their way through High Street. The sign for the Wheatsheaf passes me by; All Souls College slides by on the left, and I remember one of the most unintentionally humorous lecturers I ever had the joy of seeing. Soon, my mind's eye travels past Logic Lane and the Exam Schools, arriving at the Cowley Road roundabout and jumping along to the M40, returning to London for my outward journey, forever

33 leaving behind the gorgeous skyline formed by the spires. I am unable to control this trajectory, watching as a portion of my life slides by like hourglass grains falling one by one into an ever growing pile. The sand flows through my fingers as I realize that in tightening my grip, I have forced more sand out through the spaces and lost myself along with the grains as they fall. It is my own personal form of ontological shock. It is slowly sinking in that when I wake up in the morning, there will be no Leilani debating emotionally, no “night-Dan” pontificating about the finer points of Star Trek, no Eric screaming like a girl, no Lauren laughing at Alex's mimicry, no Katy winking suggestively. Each of these friends, named only in my memory, are now gone. This is geworfenheit at its utmost. Of course, I also hear Frodo's voice, although less frequently, saying: "My dear Sam: You cannot always be torn in two. You will have to be one and whole for many years. You have so much to enjoy and to be and to do. Your part in the story will go on." In overcoming this Heideggerean moment, one realizes that, while it is often impossible to change the trajectory once the realization of thrownness has occurred, one may reconcile with the fact that life is continuing, the circumstance has changed and the flight must be finished. It is settling into the next of Heidegger’s concepts: Dasein or BeingIn, the realization of thrownness and that one can do nothing about it. Back in my campus’ library, I come across a new copy of The Book of Common Prayer, the prayer book of the Anglican Church, similar to the Catholic Church’s catechism. The Anglican church of Saint Mary Magdalene’s stirs in my memory, a church I visited briefly during my tenure at Oxford. The church owns an old building near the shopping district of Oxford and exudes the odor of incense in services past – the

34 history connected with such a place is unlike any I’ve encountered in the states. My only experience with a highly liturgical service before was a visit to a Greek Orthodox church my freshman year of college. The service was typified in the unexpected hospitality of the English – tea and biscuits were served afterward and members of the church made sure to meet and talk with the new visitors. Contrary to most experiences with churches stateside, the church welcomed and accepted me and did not question where I came from – they were only concerned with where I was going. They met me in the center of my geworfenheit and set themselves alongside it. Even as a visitor, I was embraced as one of the old crowd. Even in the United States, I must remember what it means to be one of the old crowd. I must continue and attempt to pick up the threads of my old life, though some are changed or missing entirely. I must learn again who my friends truly are and deepen those friendships once more. The world of Oxford and the world of Sioux Falls can be reconciled, and I can succeed where Frodo could not - there is no boat to take me hence from this world. As quickly as my reverie began, it ends. I am awakened in the back room of my university’s too-small library, staring down at a new copy of the Book of Common Prayer, with a lingering smell of incense, imagined and yet so real. My library does not have the same old book smell that brings what George MacDonald termed “the faintness of rapturous delight,” yet I am still surrounded by books speaking to me through generations and helping me to understand this geworfenheit.

35

Acknowledgements: These people helped me greatly with the writing of these essays and are thanked here for their help: Audrey Anderson Betty Anderson LaRissa Felt Dan Hodges Kimberly Kinder Kevin Muirhead Dr. Meriel Patrick Dr. Emma Plaskitt Courtney Whitney

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