Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Summary of part one chapter two

Sylvia the Hunter
In book one Sylvia refers to men as sport(149). This is fitting because Tietjens refers to Sylvia as a hunter:
*"Tietjens groaned and sank more deeply into his beef case. It was if an unseen and unsuspected wild beast had jumped on his neck from an overhanging branch" (314).
*"To Tietjen's it was as if an immense cat were parading, fascinated and fatal around that hut. He had imagined himself parted from his wife"(315).
The next morning after the air raid the "All Clear" came at once.Tietjens gets a buff memorandum slip that is marked private and reads:
"E.C. Genl., For God's sake keep your wife off me. I will not have skirts round my H.Q. You are more trouble to me than all the rest of my command together (314) After Tietjens receives this message he starts insulting everyone, because of their supposed feminine aspects, for example: "His feminine solicitude enraged and overwhelmed Tietjen's with blackness"(314), "That's your sort of Oxford young woman's rhyme"(315), "And here was Levin with the familiar Feminine-agonised wrinkle on his bronzed-alabaster brow.." (326).
Captain McKenzie and Tietjens are waiting for their draft to move off. Tietjens moves in and out of shock over Sylvia and her games. Tietjens keeps going over the last time he saw her. Tietjens and McKenzie play their poetry game.
The hut fills with soldiers and then things get hectic enabling Tietjen's mind to forget about Sylvia- at least momentarily. Captain Tietjens is in charge of taking care of the soldiers who need to make their wills and Captain McKenzie is in charge of men who want to withdraw money. We learn that there is a confession area for the men.
Tietjens is reminded of Sylvia again by Pte. 197394 Thomas Johnson "a shining faced lump of beef, an agricultural off jobman from British Columbia where he had worked on the immense estates of Sylvia Tietjens' portentous ducal second cousin Rugeley.
Colonel Levin gives grief over the draft not being sent out yet and wastes their time, Sergeant -Major Cowley defends, giving a sense of how long things took to get done and the confusion that everyone is in, not knowing if they are coming or going "they had urgent instructions not to send up the draft without the four hundred Canadian Railway Service men who were to come from Etaples. These men had only arrived that evening at 5:30.. at the railway station. Marching them up had taken three quarters of an hour......"(324)
Levin takes Tietjens for a walk and talks of his soon to be marriage of Nanette. He beats around the bush a while, trying to hint unsucessfully that Sylvia is in the General's car, at the gate, down the hill beside the camp guard-room. Tietjens "for a lunatic moment" thought it was Miss Wannop.
"Sentimental happiness had descended upon him merley because he had imagined her! He imagined her little, fair, rather pug-nosed face; under a fur cap, he did not know why. Leaning forward fhe would be, on the seat of the general's car, glazed in, a regular raree show! Peering out, shortsightedly on account of the reflections on the inside of the glass..." (334-5) comment; notice the difference when Tietjens has hallucinations of Sylvia verses his imagination of Valentine. Sylvia is a lot more fantastic; fairytale like verses Valentines realness.
Tietjens gives leave to a man who "wants to go to his mother who is waiting in a decent estaminet at the end of the tramline just out side the camp where the houses of the town begin"(335). He tells the man of the potenial danger of what might happen if he missed the draft- being shot by a firing squad at dawn.
Tiejens thinks about what Valentine might think of him if she heard him tell the man that. Valentine was "unreasonable" says Tietjens. She would consider it brutal to speak to a man of the possibility of his being shot by a firing party. A groan burst from him at the thought that there was no sense bothering about what Valentine Wannop would or would not think of him..." comment: this groan that burts from can be seen as a Freudism. Like the screams throughout the novel the release of supressed emotions.
Tietjen's Troyism
"It was at that date the settled conviction of His Majesty's Expeditionary Force that the army in the field was the tool of politicians and civilisans In moments of routine that cloud dissipated itself lightly; when news of ill omen arrived it settled down again heavily like a cloud of black gas. You hung your head impotently" (327).
Parade etiquette
*"Now, if [Tietjens] said: "Look here, colonel..." or "Look here, Colonel Levin.." or "Look here, Stanley, my boy..." For the one thing an officer may not say to a superior whatever their intimacy was: "Look here, Levin.." If he said then: "Look here, Stanley, you're a silly ass. It's all very well for Campion to say that I'm unsound because I have some brains. He's my godfather and has been saying it to me since I was twelve.....But when you say it you're just a parrot......If Tietjens should say that to this popinjay, would that be going farther than an officer in charge of detachment should go with a member of the Staff set above him, though not on parade and in a conversation of intimacy? Off parade and in intimate conversation all His Majesty's commission, there can be no higher rank and all that Bilge!... For how off parade could this descendant of an old-clo' man from Frankfurt be the equal to him, Tietjens of Groby? He wasn't his equal in any way- let alone socially..."(332)
*"even off parade you might well be the social equal of a Staff colonel, but you jolly well had to keep from showing that you were his superior. Especially intellectually. If you let yourself show a Staff officer that he was a silly ass- you could say it as often as you liked as long as you didn't prove it!- you could be certain that you would be for it before long. And quite properly. It was not English to be intellectually adroit. Nay it was positively unEnglish.."(333).

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