Friday, March 23, 2007

Summary of Part one chapter three

Like a game of cat and mouse:
*"It was Sylvia who had made, unknown to him, the appointement with through which the girl had met him. Sylvia had wanted to force him and Miss Wannop into each other's arms. Quite definitely. She had said as much. But she had only said that afterwards. When the game had not come off. She had had too much knowledge of amatory manoeuvers to show her hand before..."(348)
*"What in the world was wrong with Sylvia? She was giving away her own game and that he had never known her to do"(350).
*"Sylvia did not make mistakes like that. It was a game. What game? He didn't even attempt to conjure! She could not expect that he would in the future even extend to her the shelter of his roof... What then was the game? He could not believe that she was capable of vulgarity except without a purpose" (350).

This chapter best brings out Sylvia's sadism although she plays it off as though she really cares for him. It also brings out more of the love triangle that is going on between Tietjens and Valentine and Sylvia and Tietjens. Holes are filled in of details between what happened between Sylvia and Tietjens that was not known before.
We are in the present looking back at what happened after Tietjens realized that it was Sylvia in the car. Levin had related to Tietjens monstrous news of Sylvia's activities. The reason that Levin did not tell Tietjens right away that Sylvia was in the car was because the general had taught Levin to consider that Tietjens was "an extraordinarily violent chap who would certainly knock Levin down when he told him that his wife was at the camp gates" (341). Levin had been making references to mysterious "rows" in the previous chapter,which is now to be understood as referring to several letters that Sylvia had sent to the general accusing Tietjens of stealing two pairs of her best sheets, amongst a great deal more. "It was difficult for Tietjen's to make out exactly what she had said. His channel of information had been Levin, who was too gentlemanly to say anything direct at all "(sounds like Tietjens!!)(351). The General is convinced that Tietjens,"as Man of Intellect, had treated Sylvia badly, event to the extent of stealing two pairs of her best sheets, and he was also convinced that Tietjens was in close collusion with Sylvia....he was almost ready to believe that Tietjens was at the bottom of every trouble that occured in his immence command" (352-3). Sylvia had apparently held some sort of conference on Tietjen's case in Campion's salon which Sylvia was presiding at, with more intimate members of his headquarters and exposed Tietjens various wrongs. She had convinced them that she was distressed because she had not received any letters from Tietjens and wanted proof that he was alive. That was why she came all that way and was sitting at the bottom of the hill in the car that night.
Tietjens is in his camp bed, in the doctor's lent hut, with a stiff glass of rum punch and his officers pocket book "complete with pencil because he had to draft before eleven a report as to the desirability for giving his unit special lectures on the causes of the war"(340). There are two other people in the hut: Tietjens had invited MacKechnie whose actual real name was James Grant McKechnie and the doctors batman. They are having a conversation and this is annoying to Tietjens who is trying to introspectively "recapture what exactly were his relations with his wife. Before the doctor's batman had interrupted him by speaking startlingly of O Nine Morgan" (343). Tietjens is in an "extraordinary state "the idea had suddenly occurred to him that his parting form his wife had set him free for his girl...the idea had till then never entered his head"(345). Tietjens then takes out his pocket book and starts to write his and Sylvia's history from the beginning to the end trying to imitate a report to General Headquarters.
Tietjens stoicism

*Tietjens is methodically going through his and his wife's history. Tietjens wanted to refrain from drinking because he "was to think cold-bloodly of Sylvia, and he made a practice never of never touching alcohol when about to engage in protracted reflection" (344). Comment: Alcohol is known to bring about emotions and he wants to keep his emotions out of it. Tietjens tells of a time when he had alcohol on the battlefield of Somme. "In three or four minutes the whole world changed beneath your eyes..... as far as the Germans were concerned you were supposed to kill the swine; but you didn't feel that the thought of them would make you sick beforehand.. . you were in fact a changed man" (344)
*"He would rather be dead than an open book" (342)
*Tietjens emotions slip and he lets out another groan so loud that "McKechnie from the other end of the hut, asked if he had not said anything. Tietjens saved himself with: "That candle looks from here to be too near the side of the hut. Perhaps it isn't. These buildings are very flammable" (348).
*"What was he doing now with all this introspection? Hang it all he was not justifying himself"(350)
Sylvia's sadism:
*"Why then had she done it? Partly, undoubtedly, out of pity for him. She had given him a rotten time; she had undoubtedly, at one moment, wanted to give him the consolation of his girl's arms.. Why, damn it, she , Sylvia, and no one else, had forced out of him the invitation to the girl to become his mistress. Nothing but the infernal cruelty of their interview of the morning could have forced him to the pitch of sexual excitement that would make him make a proposal of illicit intercourse to a young lady to whom hitherto he had spoken not even one word of affection. It was an effect of a Sadic kind. That was the only way to look at it scientifically" (349).
*[Sylvia] had lived years beside him, apparently on terms of hatred and miscomprehension. But certainly inconditions of chasity. Then, during the tentuous and lugbrious small hours, before his coming out there again to France, she had given evidence of a madly vindictive passion for his person. A physical passion at a any rate"(343).

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