Saturday, March 31, 2007

Summary of Part one chapter four

Again, we are looking back at what happened after Tietjens found out that it was Sylvia in the car. We are place just before where, in the previous chapter Tietjens had mentioned of being startled by the mention of O Nine Morgan by the doctor's batman and yet had not gone into detail. In this chapter we get a better sense of how O Nine Morgan's death effects him. We get a more detailed account of why Tietjens did not send O Nine Morgan home and how Tietjens blames himself for his death.
A draft comes back led by a drunk subaltern Pitkins. Tietjens is asked by his quartermaster-sergeant, for directions before putting the draft into the tents with the other men. Tietjens in his pajamas (because his slacks are being pressed for the ceremony of the signing of the marriage contract of Levin) and a British warm goes outside and learns of a railway accident due to the French strikers.Tietjens gives commands on what to do with the men. Tiejens watches soldiers in a quick march with affection.
The next day, Tietjens is riding Schomburg a horse captured from the Germans on the Marne, again looking back at the night before. He had managed to keep thoughts of Sylvia at arms length, was keep awake by McKechnie telling him his story of how he had taken leave to divorce his wife which he acting under the "conscientious scruples of the younger school of the day" (364) had refrained from doing. He also learns that McKechnie is the nephew of his good friend Macmaster. Tietjens had then inspected the breakfasts of the various fatigues and inspected the cookhouses.
At breakfast he was "detained by the colonel in command of the depot, the Anglican padre, and McKechnie" (365). Tietjens contemplates good naturely about his religious standing while walking to his orderly hut. He receives a letter from Levin warning about the draft how they would be there for probably another 7-10 days and that he should draw all the tents he could. Levin also explains that the French railway strikers had sabotaged a mile of railway,and that had completely blocked the lines, and how the French civilians would not let their own breakdown gangs make any repairs and that Tietjens' Canadian railway troops would be probably wanted.
Tietjens learns of Girtin "the respectable man with the mother to whom Tietjens had given the two hours leave the night before" had not returned (368). Tietjens, near the end of the chapter, learns what really happened. "Apparently trying to annoy the Canadian, the beery lance-corporal of the Garrison Military Police had hustled the mother. Gritin had remonstrated; very moderately, he said. The lance corporal had shouted at him. Two other Canadians returning to camp had intervened and two more police. The police had called the Canadians--conscripts, which was almost more than the Canadians could stand, they being voluntarily enlisted 1914 or 1915 men. The police --it was an old trick-- had kept them talking two minutes after the last post had sounded and then had run them in for being absent off pass-and for disrespect to their red hat-bands"(375). He then marked the charge explained and told the Canadians to get ready for parade knowing that he would get into a "row" for letting them go because the provost-marshal,O'Hara,"loved his police as if they had been ewe lambs"(375).
Tietjens learns that he is being sent up to the front at a civilian request to look after the horses of the XIXth division. At first Sergeant - Major Cowley presumed it was because of the Earl of Beichan. "The Earl Of Beichan, a Levantine financier and race horse owner, was interesting himself in army horse, after a short visit to the lines of communication. He also owned several newspapers. So they had been waking up the army transport-animals department to please him..."(372). Tietjens furiously decries going up to the front for Beichan. He then learns that it was really his brother Mark, the permanent secretary to the Ministry of Transport, that had made the request. He feels an instant of dismay. He feels that his "violent protest" would be like a smack to the face of his brother. He also remembers how Valentine had begged Mark to get him a job as a divisional officer and then pictures her "lower lip quivering and tears in her eyes"(374).Tietjens takes his men on parade after letting Girtin and the other two Canadians go that had been charged of absence from the draft.
Tietjens wrote a report on the "undesirability of lecturing his men on the causes of the war"(376) and had lunch.
Now then placed back in the present again;Tietjen's sitting on Schomburg.
Soldier comradeship: Tietjens as motherly:
*We find Tietjens in the middle of the night standing in his pyjamas and greatcoat, while the troops march past, in order to bring his troops in smartly: "Extraordinarily glad...A strong passion...How damn well these fellows move!...Cannon fodder...Cannon fodder...That's what their steps say..."His whole body shook in the grip of the cold that beneath his loose overcoat gnawed his pyjamaied limbs. He could not leave the men........It was sheer exhilaration to freeze there on the downside in the extraordinarily pure air with the extraordinarily fine men. They cam around, marking time with the stamp of guardsmen. He said, with tears in his voice...." (Ford, 362)
*Tietjens says: Damn it! The men ought not to be standing in the cold like that.... Fury filled him with dispair"(359)
*McKechnie is worried about Tietjen's going outside in his Pyjamas and chastizes him is a motherly way: "Good God man, you aren't going out in nothing but you pyjamas. Put your slacks on under your British warm...." and "I wish you would not go out like that... I'll make you some cocoa..." (360).
Tietjens Toryism:
"McKechnie said in reference to Tietjens' protruded foot: ......."If the fellows in Whitehall are determined to do old Puffles in, why don't they recall him?" The legend was that an eminent personage in the Government had a great personal dislike for the general in command of one army-the general being nicknamed Puffles. The Government, therefore, were said to be starving his command of men so that disaster should fall upon his command. "They can recall generals easy enough," McKechnie went on, "or anyone else!" A heavy dislike that this member of the lower middle classes should have opinions on public affairs overcame Tietjens.....All their comrades were to be sacrificed as a rear-guard to their departing host. That whole land was to be annilhilated as a sacrifice to one vanity. Now the draft had been called back. That seemed proof that the Government meant to starve the line!"(358).
Tietjens Freudism:
*Tietjens is sitting in his "flea bag...his eyes going over and over again the words with which his report on his own case had concluded"(355), when the doctor's batman had uttered the words "Poor --- O Nine Morgan!..." and over the whitish sheet of paper on a level with his nose Tietjens perceived thin films of reddish purple to be wavering , then a glutinous surface of gummy scarlet pigment. Moving! It was once more an effect of fatigue, operating on the retina, that was perfectly familiar to Tietjens. But it filled him with indignation against his own weakness. He said to himself: Wasn't the name of the wretched O Nine Morgan to be mentioned in his hearing without his retina presenting him with the glowing image of the fellow's blood?"(355). Tietjen's says that what is happening is an effect of fatigue. He denies that the reason for him seeing blood everytime O nine Morgan is mentioned is that his death really bothers him and he has not had time or the will to deal with it. This is what Freud calls repression.
*"[A]t two in the morning picking a leaf from a rose tree and slobbering over it, without knowing what he was doing. And then discovering ti was half for a pug-nosed girl whom he presumed smelled like primrose; and half for ...England!...And why these emotions? ...... He said to himself: "It is probably because a hundred thousand sentimentalists like myself commit similar excesses ofg the subconscious that we preserve in this glorious but atrocious undertaking. All the same I never knew I had it in me!" A strong passion!...For this girl and this country!"(363)
Parade etiquette:
Tietjens says: "I'd go out... but I don't want to have to put that filthy little Pitkins under arrest. He only drinks because he's shell shocked. He's not man enough else, the unclean little Noncomformist..." McKechnie said: "Hold on! I'm Presbyterian myself..." Tietjens answered "You would be!..." He said: "I beg your pardon.... There will be more parades.... The British Army is dishonoured forever..."

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