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The vision of alienation : an analytical approach to the works of Patrick White Schermbrucker, William Gerald 1966

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THE VISION OF ALIENATION An analytical approach to the works of Patrick White through the first four novels by WILLIAM GERALD SCHERMBRUCKER B.A., University of Cape Town, 1957 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF Master of Arts in the Department of English We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May, 1966 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements for an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y shall, make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference and -. study, I further agree that permission., f o r extensive copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s representatives'. I t i s understood that copying of - p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s for. f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my w r i t t e n permission', . Department o f . . ^ ^ The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada 17th August, 1966. Date ABSTRACT i i This study of Patrick White's work is chiefly concerned with the f i r s t four novels, but refers also to some poetry, the short stories, the plays and the three later novels. It traces the development of themes and techniques in these four novels in terms of a r t i s t i c vision and the rendering of that vision. The early, experimental works, up to The Living  and the Dead are treated at considerable length, chiefly to show how the later developments are basically improve-ments and variations on the themes and techniques which have already been used. A second reason for the length of this part of the treatment is that, in the existing criticism of White, these early works are almost entirely ignored. There is need for reappraisal (over and above the original review articles which are about a l l that exist), and this study makes a modest attempt at t h i s . The middle period, to which belong The Aunt1s Story and The Tree of Man (as well as one play and some stories), is presented as the high point of maturity, both of tech-nique and of the vision which the technique embodies. The works have a high degree of structural integration and the vision i s presented with great c l a r i t y and imag-inative appeal. The later novels, Voss. Riders in the Chariot and The Solid Mandala. continue the use of developed techniques from the middle period. There i s an imaginative boldness of design in these later novels, but the themes reveal a i i i vision which appears to be declining into personal reverie and dream. In this period White seems to lose the a b i l i t y to maintain the stance of integrity-in-isolation which he has asserted in the two preceding novels, and appears instead to seek some kind of mystic communion for his heroes. These interpretations of the later novels are sug-gested, but not argued in his study; they have been argued in several published a r t i c l e s . In part, i t is this discrepancy between the mystical or basically sym-bolic vision of the later novels and the un-symbolic, essentially naturalistic vision of the earlier period, which has defined the limitations of the thesis pre-sented. At the present stage of c r i t i c a l interpretation, the vision of the later period appears less significant than the earlier vision. In order that we may resolve the apparent differences between the two visions, i t is necessary f i r s t to define the earlier vision. This study analyses the earlier works, for that purpose. In the fi n a l chapter, a suggestion i s offered as to how the later novels might be approached in a way that would show the later vision to be a consistent development of the earlier vision, through a boldly symbolic technique. Above a l l , this study concentrates on White's vision of the alienated state of man, as the central pre-occupation of his earlier works. It analyses the techniques by which this vision i s rendered, examining the tests of the four novels more closely than has been done in any criticism published to date. TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER PAGE I INTRODUCTION 1 I I REGISTERING THE SICK WORLD Part One: Happy V a l l e y 15 Part Two: The L i v i n g and the Dead 40 I I I PARTICIPATION AND SURVIVAL IN THE ALIEN WORLD Part One: The Aunt 1s Story 59 Part Two: The Tree of Man 101 IV THE PROBLEM OF SYMBOLISM IN THE LATER NOVELS 138 FOOTNOTES 144 BIBLIOGRAPHY 153 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION In the arts we find the record in the only form in which these things can be recorded of the experiences which have seemed worth having to the most sensitive and discriminating persons. . . . The arts, i f rightly approached, supply the best data available for deciding what experiences are more valuable than others. The qualifying clause is all-important however. Happily there i s no lack of glaring examples to remind us of the d i f f i c u l t y of approaching them rightly. (I.A.Richards) Between 1935 and the present time, Patrick White has published seven novels, four plays, a collection of short stories, two uncollected stories and a small book of poems in a limited edition. Much of his work has been ignored by the public and superficially recognised by c r i t i c s , and his books appear to have been more talked about than read or understood. His f i r s t novel, Happy Valley (1939), won a minor Australian award which probably represented a patriotic gesture rather than a tribute to a r t i s t i c merit. His fourth novel, The Tree of Man (1955), became an Ameri-can best seller, and prompted Australian literary society to ask: "Who is this man who has returned so quietly among us".2 His f i f t h novel, Voss (1957), won the 1959 W.H. Smith 1.1000 prize, and the Miles Franklin prize; i t became a Book-of-the-Month Club selection, and was issued as a paperback by Penguin. In England, the second and third novels, The Living and the Dead (1941) and The Aunt1s Story 2 (1948), have recently been reprinted, and the latter has been issued in paperback form in Australia and America. Certainly by 1958 White's fame was growing to large pro-portions. In that year a reviewer noted that his name had already been coupled with those of Lawrence, Faulkner, Tolstoy, Hardy, Conrad and Jane Austen, and subsequent additions to this l i s t include Dostoevsky, Proust, Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Pasternak and others. In Australia, White has been regarded for a decade or more as the most serious and important of local novelists, by artists and c r i t i c s 3 alike. And he has been given prominence in recent antho-logies and writings on Australian culture. One English c r i t i c has predicted a Nobel Prize for White and his novels have been reviewed admiringly by many well-known l i t e r a t i , including Edwin Muir, James Stern, Walter Allen, Ted Hughes, Anthony Alvarez and others. Alongside the streams of eulogy there has also been a steady flow of scorn and disparagement, both in the popular press and in scholarly journals. Meanwhile White has re-mained silent about himself and his art, except for one brief, factual article published in 1958. Nevertheless the published testimony of some of his acquaintances suggests that he is attentive to what is said about him and is f r e -quently annoyed by published misinterpretations of his work. In view of the strong interest which White has aroused in the literary world, and the fame which he has won at home and abroad, the state of criticism of his work is surpris-ingly inadequate. Although i t is over thirty years since his f i r s t publication appeared, no one has yet produced a 3 book-length assessment of his achievement--and this des-pite the fact that his works appear regularly on the pre-scribed reading l i s t s of several Australian universities. Two short pamphlets in the "Writers and their Work" and "Australian Writers and their Work" series have appeared, giving plot outlines and tentative, generalised pointers to his main a r t i s t i c values. Most of the numerous maga-zine articles which have come out, are also superficial and generalised in their criticism. Of the dozen or so articles which make intensive analyses within a usefully limited scope, at least half avoid the central issues and either openly purport to give esoteric interpretations or else seek to place White in significant relationship to other literary or intellectual figures and movements.^ A small number of theses have been written or are in progress, but only one of these has so far resulted in a valuable contribution to published discussion.^ Thus we have a situation in which a novelist is widely esteemed (and sometimes denigrated), and whose name is bandied about in c r i t i c a l discussion; but the fundamental nature of his works as a whole has never yet been clearly defined. As a f i r s t step towards such a definition, this thesis sets out to analyse the characteristics of White's vision as i t is expressed in each of the novels considered. The necessary analysis involves separate consideration of technical and thematic elements--an a r t i f i c a l division in some ways, but a useful one since i t enables the analysis to be given a convenient form. Likewise, the use of the term "theme", though undesirable in dealing with such a novelist, i s unavoidable; i t provides a convenient name for discussing the intellectual and emotional significance of each work, and of the whole canon. White's themes are never simply didactic. His work is mainly an exposition of his vision and therefore his meaning for the individual reader i s determined by his success in sharing his vision, rather than in merely intellectual persuasion or narrative excitement. Thus in using the term "theme" we must not be seduced into thinking that White is making clear-cut statements about l i f e . He has certain pre-occupations which he i s concerned to portray in the light in which he sees them, and his portrayal i s often logically enigmatic or incomplete. We might expect from the t i t l e , that The  Living and the Dead, for instance, offers the reader a way out from death to l i f e , or at least a clear definition of the two states, and most reviewers have read i t with these expectations. But that novel, like almost a l l of White's work, presents l i t t l e more than a record of the conscious-ness of i t s characters, without concluding how they can g change for the better. The nature of White's vision w i l l be considered ful l y in relation to each of the four novels treated. And, because in reading almost any of Patrick White's works we are struck f i r s t by their somewhat unusual, and often unique technical features, i t seems best, in di s -cussing his works, to analyse techniques before elaborating the themes. Inevitably the two aspects are interdependent, so that by the end of each technical analysis, thematic aspects to be described are already largely apparent. 5 One of the c h i e f problems i n c r i t i c i s i n g White's techniques i n that of terminology, p a r t i c u l a r l y w i t h regard to the complex f i e l d of symbolism. To separate White's f i r s t f o u r , from h i s l a s t three novels, according q to a basic naturalism/symbolism dichotomy would seem, on the face of i t , to be a reasonable c r i t i c a l p r o p o s i t i o n ; but i t becomes questionable i n the l i g h t of such argu-ments as those of Ernst C a s s i r e r which r e - d e f i n e the nature of symbolism. Nevertheless, at t h i s stage i n White c r i t i c i s m , i t i s convenient to use t h i s apparent dichotomy, i n order to separate out those novels i n which la r g e symbolic forms r e v e a l a metaphysical p e r s p e c t i v e of the a r t i s t ' s v i s i o n . A more immediate problem i s that of f i n d i n g terms f o r the a n a l y s i s of symbolic and rhythmic patterns (and the H e s e l t i n e quotation below, p.11, i l l u s t r a t e s t h i s d i f -f i c u l t y ) . As a working s o l u t i o n , we can use the terms " p a t t e r n " and "rhythm" as they have passed i n t o current d i s c u s s i o n from E.M.Forster's Aspects of the Novel (and E.K.Brown's e l a b o r a t i o n of Forster--Rhythm i n the Novel). And we can d i s t i n g u i s h broadly between symbol and m o t i f , somewhat a r b i t r a r i l y , as f o l l o w s . Symbols are metaphorical images. (As T i n d a l l says, humanly, i n h i s approach to a d e f i n i t i o n , " I f symbol i s analogy, i t i s r e l a t e d to metaphor, but the account of that r e l a t i o n s h i p can wait awhile. For the present i t i s enough to say that the symbol seems a metaphor one h a l f 12 of which remains unstated and i n d e f i n i t e . " Symbols are employed by the author to represent i n b r i e f , or i n 6 essence, something which he has created or i s about to create i n a l a r g e r p e r s p e c t i v e i n h i s work. Thus, when, i n The Tree of Man. Ray Parker breaks a s a p l i n g , h i s a c t i o n i s symbolic. The breaking i s an image of h i s v i o l e n t d e s t r u c t i v e n e s s , and the s a p l i n g represents not only the n a t u r a l world against which h i s d e s t r u c t i v e n e s s i s aimed, but a l s o h i m s e l f . He i s l i k e the s a p l i n g and he w i l l break himself through h i s l i f e of violenceand crime. Thus the breaking of the s a p l i n g i s a symbol of Ray's character and the main thread of h i s s t o r y , as i t i s t o l d i n the n o v e l . M o t i f s are symbols of a p a r t i c u l a r k i n d which are always r e c u r r e n t . There i s no such t h i n g as a motif which occurs only once. They are not a means of r e p r e s e n t i n g i n b r i e f something which i s created i n a l a r g e r p e r s p e c t i v e , but a means of r e l a t i n g d i f f e r e n t experiences and d i f f e r e n t s e c t i o n s of the novels to one another. The r e l a t i o n s h i p s thus created can have two p r i n c i p a l e f f e c t s . F i r s t , as i n the case of the breast motif i n The L i v i n g and the Dead (which i s examined below), they e s t a b l i s h a rhythmic pro-g r e s s i o n i n the sequence of events, u n i f y i n g the p a r t s of the novel i n a manner which creates something l a r g e r than the sum of the p a r t s . W i l l i a m York T i n d a l l ' s words about a Faulkner novel deal with p r e c i s e l y t h i s e f f e c t i n another context: The Sound and the Fury must be read twice or e l s e , though moved, we may miss the devices that move us and create u n i t y of e f f e c t from m a t e r i a l s that might seem l o o s e l y j o i n e d . On second reading we f i n d p a r t l i n k e d t o p a r t by elaborated themes of t r e e , m i r r o r , water and f l o w e r - - t o mention only a few.13 7 What T i n d a l l here c a l l s "themes" are what I c a l l m o t i f s . Secondly, when the r e l a t i o n s h i p s set up are between im-pressio n s (of the characters or the n o v e l i s t ) r a t h e r than between sequences of events, the recurrence of the motif helps to e s t a b l i s h the fundamental nature of the a r t i s t ' s themes. Such m o t i f s form part of the idiom of h i s s e n s i -b i l i t y . Thus i n The Aunt' s Story. the bones motif ( a l s o discussed below), p e r s i s t e n t l y focusses the reader's a t t e n t i o n on the o n t o l o g i c a l d u a l i t y which i s the e s s e n t i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the p a r t i c u l a r v i s i o n of l i f e which White i s t r y i n g to r e n d e r . ^ Before proceeding to a n a l y s i s of the works, i t i s worth c o n s i d e r i n g b r i e f l y , some p o i n t s about e x i s t i n g White c r i t i c i s m . In t h i s way we may come to appreciate the nature of the c r i t i c a l problem f o r which t h i s t h e s i s i s o f f e r i n g one s o l u t i o n , and we may a l s o note some of the as s i s t a n c e which i s a v a i l a b l e to the reader. At the present time, of I a l l that has been w r i t t e n , only three short a r t i c l e s can be s a i d to o f f e r r e a l l y v a l u a b l e approaches to white's a r t , and of these, only two attempt to tr a c e some of the pre-occupations common to a l l the works. This f a c t would be l e s s s u r p r i s i n g , i f h i s works were i n need of no i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , and i f they d i d not bear such s t r i k i n g r e -semblances to one another, both t e c h n i c a l l y and t h e m a t i c a l l y , as they do. The f a c t s as they e x i s t suggest three s i g -n i f i c a n t c o n c l u s i o n s . F i r s t , White i s a d i f f i c u l t w r i t e r to understand and needs e l u c i d a t i o n , but the c r i t i c s are happier t o p r a i s e h i s works than to e l u c i d a t e them. Secondly, 8 the timid and indirect approach of present criticism is l i k e l y to disguise White's achievement by relating i t to other things, rather than illuminate i t by reveal-ing i t s innate qualities. Thirdly, unless criticism soon comes to grips with the problem of defining White's achievement by means of analysis grounded in the text of his works, his art i s in danger of being lost to the pre-sent generation to whom his a r t i s t i c vision is a valuable offering. The f i r s t of these points—that White is a d i f f i c u l t writer needs some elaboration. The cultural and geographic influence upon his sensibility make i t d i f f i c u l t to place him in any distinct literary tradition. Brought up as a colonial of wealthy family, unhappily intruding upon the English Public School world, White hastened back home at the end of his schooling, aged seventeen, and spent two or three years working on farms. For the next fifteen years he was frequently on the move, subject to the influences of Cambridge, pre-war travel in Germany and other European countries as well as the United States, three years of "artsy" London l i f e , and service in the war. He served in Palestine and Egypt, and f i n a l l y , for a year, in Greece, where he almost decided to settle, "in the vaguely comic role of a Levantine beachcomber." After demobilisation however, White remained for a time in London, where his literary successes had given him the choice of staying and establishing himself in the intellectual world. But in 1946 he decided to return to Australia, and has lived there, quietly, avoiding publicity ever since. To the undoubted 9 i n f l u e n c e on h i s s e n s i b i l i t y of these places and events must be added those of h i s undergraduate study of modern languages, and h i s declared i n t e r e s t i n music and the graphic a r t s . He admits to having always been "something of a f r u s t r a t e d p a i n t e r and a composer manque'". Jewish mysticism and modern psychology have a l s o taken up much of h i s a t t e n t i o n , as v a r i o u s of h i s works r e v e a l . But i f White i s a complex w r i t e r , because of the un-usual combination of i n f l u e n c e to which he has been exposed, the very d i v e r s i t y of those i n f l u e n c e s suggests the f u t i l i t y of t r y i n g to understand h i s work p r i m a r i l y through one or other of them. The demarcation of i n f l u e n c e s and sources i s l i k e l y to prove an i n t e r e s t i n g and va l u a b l e task f o r l a t e r c r i t i c i s m ; at the present time, the e s s e n t i a l ob-j e c t s of study are the works themselves. A second source of d i f f i c u l t y i s the boldness w i t h which White conceives and employs h i s techniques. When he published h i s second novel i n 1941, he already had behind him three novels discarded and one pu b l i s h e d , a book of poems, two published s t o r i e s , and some success i n w r i t i n g f o r the stage--at the age of 29 he was a f a i r l y experienced w r i t e r . With the confidence of t h i s experience and (pre-sumably) w i t h reasonable f i n a n c i a l independence to r e l i e v e him of the temptation to compromise h i s i n t e g r i t y by w r i t i n g to s e l l , he was i n a p o s i t i o n to develop h i s i n -c r e a s i n g l y personal a r t i s t i c idiom, which i s n o t i c e a b l e e s p e c i a l l y from The Aunt 1s Story onwards. In order to appreciate the e f f e c t s of t h i s idiom, there i s no s u b s t i t u t e f o r a c l o s e s c r u t i n y of the i n d i v i d u a l works and the whole 10 canon. Criticism must offer guidance on this basis, and, with few exceptions, i t has so far failed to do so. Nevertheless, even some of the most questionable inter-pretations of White which do exist are valuable to present inquirers. For, in the absence of va l i d , central ex-positions, i t is helpful with an original and d i f f i c u l t writer like White, to know at least what is the wrong way to read him, and why i t i s wrong. In the pool of interpre-tations there are several honest attempts on the part of Buckley, Brissenden, Dutton and others to argue the merits of various views. Such published arguments invite reasonable discussion, and i t is partly by this means that I support ideas in this thesis. This kind of discussion i s p a r t i -cularly useful in examining The Tree of Man--that decept-ively "ordinary" book--which has received more general, c r i t i c a l analysis than any of the other novels. The disputing of misinterpretations, despite i t s dan-gers, does at least provide the interested reader with a selection of different views and thus is probably a more profitable form of criticism than that of merely affirming the opinions with which one agrees. S t i l l , i t remains valuable to underline the names of c r i t i c s whose opinions are f e l t to be valid and pertinent to the pursuit of true judgement. This i s particularly true in a study of White, because i t is only rather obscure c r i t i c s who seem to have understood him in any depth and with accuracy. The short articles by Gzell, Heseltine and Loder (listed in the Bibliography) stand out as searching and detailed assess-ments, based solidly on White's texts and clearly argued 11 w i t h i n the l i m i t s of t h e i r defined i n t e n t i o n s . These three a r t i c l e s have two common feat u r e s (which t h i s t h e s i s a l s o purports to share): F i r s t , they i n s i s t on viewing each novel as part of a wider development which the canon represents, so that each work stands complete w i t h i n i t s e l f , but acquires a much f u l l e r meaning when seen as part of the whole. Secondly, they recognise that White i s "a man obsessed w i t h the images which c o n s t i t u t e h i s s e n s i b i l i t y " ^ and that i t i s only when the reader grasps h i s use of the image i n the symbolic and mo t i v a l idiom which he creates to render h i s v i s i o n , that h i s themes can achieve the f u n c t i o n of a r t i s t i c communication. H e s e l t i n e i s worth quoting on t h i s : From h i s very e a r l i e s t work, there has been estab-l i s h e d i n White's work a lar g e fund of r e c u r r i n g i n t e r e s t s which force t h e i r way i n t o h i s prose as ch a r a c t e r s , s i t u a t i o n s , images. I t i s t h i s fund of images, metaphors, v e r b a l m o t i f s , which i s at the b a s i s , not only of h i s s e n s i b i l i t y , but of h i s s t y l e . White's whole career can be seen as the pro g r e s s i v e e x p l i c a t i o n of the m a t e r i a l s of h i s s e n s i b i l i t y i n t o the patterned and evaluated elements of h i s mature s t y l e . In b r i n g i n g the basic s t i m u l i of h i s imagination more and more i n t o the foreground of h i s judging mind, White has developed a r i c h voca-bulary of f e e l i n g , emotion, and b e l i e f , an i n t e r -l o c k i n g and c o n s i s t e n t p a t t e r n of image and symbol.(62) C r i t i c s a s i d e , our primary concern must be, as I have s a i d , w i t h the t e x t of White's novels, and the v i s i o n which they r e v e a l . A v i s i o n of l i f e a r i s i n g i n a complex and r e f i n e d s e n s i b i l i t y , and the rendering of that v i s i o n through a patterned and o r i g i n a l a r t i s t i c idiom, do not 12 make f o r easy reading. White's novels have o f t e n been c a l l e d p o e t i c , and some of T . S . E l i o t ' s remarks are d i r e c t l y r e l e v a n t to him: Poets i n our c i v i l i z a t i o n , as i t e x i s t s at present, must be d i f f i c u l t . Our c i v i l i z a t i o n comprehends great v a r i e t y and complexity, and t h i s v a r i e t y and complexity, p l a y i n g upon a r e f i n e d s e n s i b i l i t y , must produce v a r i o u s and complex r e s u l t s . The poet must become more and more comprehensive, more a l l u s i v e , more i n d i r e c t , i n order to f o r c e , to d i s -l o c a t e i f necessary, language i n t o h i s meaning.19 To plumb White's meaning, we have to read and re-read; we have o f t e n to stop and t h i n k i n order to t r y and appre-c i a t e a p a r t i c u l a r e f f e c t . E v e n t u a l l y , as we become more and more f a m i l i a r w i t h h i s methods and h i s v i s i o n , we are able to read him without i n t e r r u p t i o n , and then the f u l l f o r c e of a r t i s t i c communication i s achieved. There w i l l always be some readers who are not "captured by the i n i t i a l appeal of the t e x t u r e " and who w i l l t h e r e f o r e "resent having 20 to hunt f o r the t o t a l meaning of a n o v e l " . White's t e c h n i c a l performance becomes, f o r them, an a r t i f i c i a l 21 and u n e x c i t i n g " e x e r c i s e i n the drawing-room" . For others , the labour i s d e c i d e d l y worth-while, as i t gives them a new and va l u a b l e way of seeing l i f e ; and the d i s -covery of that s i g n i f i c a n t v i s i o n through the c l o s e l y woven patt e r n s and rhythms of word and image i s a source of s u r p r i s i n g a e s t h e t i c pleasure. For such readers "the i n i -t i a l appeal of the t e x t u r e " expands i n t o a f u l l e r s a t i s -f a c t i o n w i t h each c a r e f u l reading. F i n a l l y , I should p o i n t out that i n l i m i t i n g t h i s study 13 almost e x c l u s i v e l y to the f i r s t four novels, two purposes are served—one p r a c t i c a l and the other c r i t i c a l . The f i r s t i s simply that of a l l o w i n g enough space to each of the four novels, to be able to i n v e s t i g a t e i t i n s u f f i c i e n t depth. S i g n i f i c a n t elements of theme and technique are e x p l i c a t e d i n d e t a i l . Often i t has been d e s i r a b l e to dwell at great l e n g t h on what might, at f i r s t s i g h t , appear to be d i s p r o p o r t i o n a t e l y s l i g h t d e t a i l s . Only thus have I been able to show how White achieves s i g n i f i c a n t e f f e c t s f o r a s e n s i t i v e reader, through the most economical means. The c r i t i c a l purpose i s that of s t r e s s i n g the r e l a t i v e im-portance of the e a r l i e r novels i n the t o t a l canon. Two of these novels have had no s p e c i a l i s e d , c r i t i c a l a t t e n t i o n at a l l , and a l l four tend o f t e n to be regarded as mere preludes to the massive achievement of Voss and R i d e r s . Yet i t seems to me that i n these f i r s t novels White renders h i s v i s i o n most c l e a r l y ( i f complexly), and that the v i s i o n i t s e l f i s more meaningful because i t i s not impaired by the metaphysical a d d i t i o n s and the tendency to p r i v a t e b i t t e r -ness which e x i s t i n v a r y i n g degree i n the three l a t e r books. This i s not to depreciate the t o t a l value of the l a t e r novels, nor to suggest that the e a r l i e r four are White's most im-p r e s s i v e work on a l l counts. For instance, Voss i s the product of a much more c o n t r o l l e d and mature technique than Happy V a l l e y , while the range of i n t e r e s t i n Riders i s d e c i d e d l y greater than that i n The Aunt's Story. And the Himmelfarb s e c t i o n i n Riders i s a triumph by almost any d e f i n i t i o n of the moral f u n c t i o n of the n o v e l . However, i n terms of s i g n i f i c a n c e of v i s i o n - - o f a r t as a v e h i c l e 14 f o r the rendering of pe r c e p t i o n and sensation, r a t h e r than a t o o l of supernatural i n s i g h t or the p r o j e c t i o n of dreams and hopes--the f i r s t four novels, e s p e c i a l l y The Aunt 1s Story and The Tree of Man are White's most considerable achievement. That, at l e a s t i s the argument of t h i s t h e s i s , as f a r as i t goes. In the b r i e f , f i n a l chapter, I o f f e r a new suggestion as to how the three l a t e r novels might be read as bold, new t e c h n i c a l forms, embodying the c o n s i s t e n t v i s i o n of the e a r l i e r p e r i o d . This suggestion, however, d e r i v e s l i t t l e support from the d i v e r s e c r i t i q u e s which have so f a r appeared, and would r e q u i r e a separate t h e s i s f o r i t s s u b s t a n t i a t i o n . 15 CHAPTER I I REGISTERING THE SICK WORLD Here i s no no t i o n of keeping a r t f r e e from middle-brow preoccupations l i k e s o c i a l r e a l i t y ; but an anguished concern to r e g i s t e r a s i c k world and to make contact w i t h something which might r e s t o r e the springs of human goodness and v i t a l i t y . (John Holloway on The Waste Land)l PART 1. HAPPY VALLEY Throughout h i s novels, White i s p r i m a r i l y concerned w i t h man's s t a t e of a l i e n a t i o n from the world i n which he l i v e s . In the l a t e r novels, the st a t e of a l i e n a t i o n i s seen to c o n s i s t i n two c o n d i t i o n s - - o n t o l o g i c a l d u a l i t y and i n d i v i d u a l i s o l a t i o n — a n d the experience of these con-d i t i o n s - - l i f e - - i s explored from sev e r a l d i f f e r e n t s p o i n t s of view. In the f i r s t two novels, White does not see the components of a l i e n a t i o n so c l e a r l y as he does l a t e r , and h i s p o i n t of view i s l i m i t e d to that of the h i g h l y s e l f -conscious and a r t i c u l a t e k i n d of person. He i s unable to enter i m a g i n a t i v e l y i n t o the consciousness of i n a r t i c u l a t e or slow-witted people. As a r e s u l t h i s treatment of the 2 l a t t e r i s somewhat confused and l a c k s moral r e a l i s m . The i c h a r a c t e r s of the two novels form a scale of the v a r i o u s p o s s i b i l i t i e s of i n t e l l e c t u a l l u c i d i t y , of r a t i o n a l s e l f -awareness; but White's sympathy i s c l e a r l y w i t h those at the upper end of the s c a l e . His rendering of the conscious-16 ness of i n a r t i c u l a t e people i s given from an e x t e r n a l , l a r g e l y s a t i r i c p o i n t of view, i n which s o c i a l c r i t i c i s m i s mixed w i t h i n t e l l e c t u a l snobbery. In the l a t e r novels, White d i s t i n g u i s h e s between i n t e l l e c t u a l dishonesty and i n t e l l e c t u a l r e t a r d a t i o n , and reserves h i s s a t i r e f o r the former, w h i l s t the l a t t e r r e c e i v e s a great deal of sympathy. In Happy V a l l e y , and (to a l e s s e r extent) The L i v i n g and  the Dead, the d i s t i n c t i o n i s b l u r r e d i n the general d i s -content w i t h the nature of e x i s t e n c e . This l i m i t a t i o n of v i s i o n i s the major defect of the two e a r l y novels j u s t as the range of v i s i o n , and the c l a r i t y and f o r c e w i t h which i t i s rendered are the major achievements of the two sub-sequent novels. Despite t h e i r l i m i t a t i o n s of theme and technique (seve-r a l of which are d e a l t w i t h below), the f i r s t two novels are i n t e g r a l p a r t s of the White canon. As such they have considerable value f o r the reader, both as separate works of a r t and as p a r t s of the t o t a l oeuvre. a. HAPPY VALLEY: TECHNIQUE S t y l i s t i c a l l y , Happy V a l l e y i s a p a s t i c h e . In t h i s n o v e l , White r e v e a l s v i r t u o s i t y i n the use of a number of o r i g i n a l and d e r i v a t i v e methods, but he has not yet learned to r e s o l v e the v a r i o u s elements i n t o an a r t i s t i c u n i t y . The formal u n i t y which does e x i s t i s somewhat too a r t i f i c i a l , somewhat too c o n t r i v e d , being simply an o v e r - a l l s t r u c t u r e imposed upon a hotch-potch of elements which are sometimes i r r e l e v a n t and sometimes di s c o r d a n t . I t i s as though White d i d not r e a l i s e the i m p l i c a t i o n s , f o r the work as a whole, 17 of what he has done i n i n d i v i d u a l p a r t s of i t . The r e s u l t i s a somewhat di s o r g a n i s e d l i n k i n g together of u n r e l a t e d or overplayed tours de f o r c e . The most s t r i k i n g of these d e f e c t s i s the o v e r - i n -dulgence of the stream-of-consciousness technique, which has the e f f e c t of a l l o w i n g v a r i o u s c h a r a c t e r s - - e s p e c i a l l y the main one, O l i v e r - - t o be conscious of too much f o r the s t a t e of development which they are supposed to have reached at a given p o i n t i n the n o v e l . Two examples w i l l i l l u s t r a t e t h i s . In the two years or so i n which the a c t i o n takes p l a c e , O l i v e r H a l l i d a y goes through a number of experiences from which he apparently manages to d e r i v e a s a t i s f a c t o r y a t t i t u d e to l i f e . This i s presented i n h i s thoughts at the end of the book: A f l u x of moving t h i n g s , l i k e experience, fused, and A l y s Brown, he f e l t , i s p a r t of me f o r a l l time, t h i s i s not a l t o g e t h e r l o s t , i t i s s t i l l an i n t i m a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p that no v i o l e n c e can m o r t i f y . This i s the part of man, to withstand through h i s r e l a t i o n -ships the ebb and flow of the seasons, the s u l l e n h o s t i l i t y of rock, the anasthesia of snow, a l l those passions that sweep down through negligence or design to consume and d e s o l a t e , f o r through H i l d a and A l y s he can withstand, he i s immune from a l l but d e s t r u c t i o n of the i n e s s e n t i a l outer s h e l l , (p.327)3 Now t h i s i s a p e r f e c t l y i n t e l l i g i b l e c o n c l u s i o n inasmuch as we have followed O l i v e r i n h i s search f o r values and h i s d i s c o v e r y of them, through h i s experience w i t h A l y s , i n terms now presented i n t h i s f i n a l passage. We n o t i c e how the passage begins i n O l i v e r ' s consciousness and ends 18 i n d i r e c t l y , as though the n a r r a t o r i s speaking ("... he can withstand. . . . " ) , and from t h i s we recognise that O l i v e r has now acquired the i n s i g h t which the n a r r a t o r has been l e a d i n g him to i n the course of the s t o r y : that human r e l a t i o n s h i p s are man's only source of strength and comfort i n the world of v i o l e n c e and death. But much e a r l i e r i n the n o v e l , and even before O l i v e r had met A l y s , White presents O l i v e r c o g i t a t i n g on the nature of l i f e and show-ing that he has i n s i g h t already. He recognises, on p.74, that h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h h i s wife i s something that must be maintained, i n s p i t e of the decay of h i s romantic i d e a l s , because i t brings "order out of chaos." I t would be no good to " t i p the whole l o t overboard . . . because H i l d a and Rodney and George clung to the fragments, were founded on something that you thought had e x i s t e d before" (p.74). So he already knows what he i s seen to d i s c o v e r at the end of the book. Again, when he i s at M o r i a r t y ' s bedside, only a t h i r d of the way through the book, O l i v e r r e v e a l s i m p l i c i t l y that he has already discovered that man's best course i s "to withstand through h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p s the ebb and flow of the seasons u E T C J ] : I dare say most of us are a f r a i d . . . and most of i t r i s e s out of a f e e l i n g of being alone. Being alone i s being a f r a i d . Perhaps one day w e ' l l a l l wake up to the f a c t that we're a l l alone, that we're a l l a f r a i d and then i t ' l l j u s t be too damn s i l l y to go on being a f r a i d , (pp. 124-5) This l a s t example i s not, of course, a piece of stream of consciousness; but the f i r s t example i s , and i t i s 19 t y p i c a l o f t h e way i n w h i c h t h e d e f e c t emerges. One has t h e f e e l i n g as one r e a d s , t h a t Wh i te i s so ab so rbed i n t h e s a t i s f y i n g t a s k o f c a p t u r i n g meaning i n word s , p a r t i c u l a r l y when t h e r e i s an absence o f f o r m a l r e s t r a i n t , such as s t r eam o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s p r o v i d e s , t h a t he l o s e s ' s i g h t o f h i s o v e r - a l l p l a n o f deve l opmen t . The c o n c l u s i o n a t t h e end o f t h e book i s a r t i f i c i a l because i t does no t a r i s e f r om a p r o g r e s s i v e c l a r i f i c a t i o n o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h r o u g h e x p e r i e n c e . Ye t i t i s u n d e n i a b l e t h a t Wh i te p l a n n e d t he book w i t h t h e i n t e n t i o n o f d e m o n s t r a t i n g t h i s a r t i f i c i a l c o n c l u s i o n : The e p i g r a p h f rom Ghand i p r e p a r e s u s f o r " P r o -g r e s s . . . t o be measured by t he amount o f s u f f e r i n g under g o n e ; " O l i v e r , as the c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r , undergoes a c o u r s e o f s u f f e r i n g and f i n a l l y makes t he s t a temen t quo ted e a r l i e r . But because O l i v e r ' s awareness does no t d e v e l o p w i t h h i s s u f f e r i n g , we f e e l t h a t t h e c o n c l u s i o n be l ong s w i t h t h e e p i g r a p h and no t w i t h t h e n o v e l . A second t e c h n i c a l d e f e c t o f t h e n o v e l has t o do w i t h a way i n w h i c h O l i v e r does d e v e l o p . What happens i s t h a t Wh i t e a p p a r e n t l y i s seduced by h i s own s ucce s s i n h a n d l i n g an e s s e n t i a l l y L a w r e n t i a n t e c h n i q u e f o r d e s c r i b i n g human r e l a t i o n s h i p s , so t h a t t he r e l a t i o n s h i p s b e g i n t o a c q u i r e t o o p o s i t i v e a v a l u e f o r t h e n o v e l Wh i te i s w r i t i n g . We can see t h i s i n t h e way the O l i v e r / A l y s r e l a t i o n s h i p d e v e l o p s . When he f i r s t v i s i t s A l y s , O l i v e r f e e l s t h a t s o c i a l c o n v e n t i o n a c t s as a b a r r i e r between them, p r e v e n t i n g c o m m u n i c a t i o n ; but as t h e Schumann r e l a x e s them, and m e l t s t h e i r f o r m a l s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s , we a r e t o l d , " he was l o o k i n g i n t o h e r , a t a c o r e t h a t he had no t n o t i c e d as she 20 winced i n the dispensary and p i t i e d h e r s e l f . " Then he asks why she changed her name: "I t h i n k I wanted to be d i f f e r e n t . . . . That's the only reason, I suppose. " " I t ' s a p r e t t y honest r e p l y . " "You don't leave many loopholes,'"'she s a i d Looking i n t o her face had been to look i n t o an avenue that made him f e e l suddenly u n f u l f i l l e d and c o l d . (p.103) And from t h i s he comes to r e a l i s e that he has never "touched the k e r n e l " i n h i s w i f e : A l l my present t r a n q u i l i t y i s nothing to her, i t cannot reach i n s i d e and touch that k e r n e l which, i n c i d e n t a l l y I have never touched and don't know how. (p.118) From t h i s k i n d l i n g i n O l i v e r of a sense of "otherness" of being White continues to develop the r e l a t i o n s h i p i n Lawrentian terms: O l i v e r and A l y s become l o v e r s and ex-p l o r e a new dimension of human r e l a t i o n s h i p . They f e e l that t h e i r a c t i o n i s moral because they know i t to be r e a l by c ontrast w i t h the mock love preserved by s o c i a l custom, i n a marriage which has d i e d . Then, as a contrast to t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p , the Sidney-Hagen-Ketnble t r i a n g l e i s presented i n a manner very reminiscent of St. M.awr. Sidney, l i k e Lawrence's Lou, i s the well-to-do young lady, h i g h l y c r i t i c a l of the men i n her world, e s p e c i a l l y of the e f f e t e Kemble (equivalent to Lawrence's Rico) who f i n d s i t very t r y i n g to r i d e a horse out i n t o the bush, and whose i d e a l women are "creatures . . . seen through the d i s t a n c e of a speech-day c r i c k e t match or a May Week haze upon the Cam." (p.140) Hagen, l i k e Phoenix, i s a s o r t of sexual scavenger, p i c k i n g up anything he can get. And, j u s t as i n Lawrence's s t o r y , Mrs. Witt was determined to marry the groom Lewis, 21 when he d e f i e d her, so Sidney yearns to dominate Hagen when he becomes i n s o l e n t towards her. Sidney's degrading act i s presented as an immoral use of sex as an instrument of power. But i n the Sidney/Kemble/Hagen set of r e l a t i o n s h i p s , there i s no St. Mawr, so that Lawrence's p o s i t i v e view of sex does not intrude on White's s t o r y . In the O l i v e r / A l y s a f f a i r i t does i n t r u d e , and t h i s i s where the defect becomes apparent. Indeed, when we r e a l i s e how incompatible w i t h the o v e r - a l l theme of Happy V a l l e y i s the development of O l i v e r as a Lawrentian hero, saved by the r e c o g n i t i o n of "otherness" i n himself and A l y s , we are not s u r p r i s e d to f i n d that White f i n a l l y brings the development to a s e n t i -mental c o n c l u s i o n i n order to escape from i t . O l i v e r decides that h i s a f f a i r w ith A l y s was a f i n d i n g of himself not to be r e g r e t t e d , but that i t must not go on: The world makes its demand, I s h a l l run away from myself because of H i l d a , I s h a l l c l o s e my eyes. This i s the world, t h i s i s Happy V a l l e y . This i s a l s o not the world. I stand here and i t i s c o o l , the s t a r s are c o o l , and the r a i n which w i l l not stop. I t i s a very long time since I have r e a l l y been conscious of these t h i n g s , f e l t t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e . . . people walking w i t h upturned faces, l o o k i n g f o r something which they do not f i n d i n themselves, always w i t h faces upturned. I must remain conscious of these, he s a i d . This i s the world, that ignores i t s e l f , f i n d i n g i t s experience i n cleavage and p a i n , the not-world that demands I s h a l l run away from myself, that I too s h a l l be a c r e a t u r e of cleavage and p a i n walking w i t h my eyes cl o s e d . . . . I am being a p o c a l y p t i c , or j u s t p l a i n romantic, he s a i d . . . but h i s mind was without qualm, r e s t e d on a c e r t a i n t y , (pp. 165-166) 22 This passage contains important ideas and we s h a l l have occasion to r e f e r to i t again. But c o n s i d e r i n g the a t t i t u d e which O l i v e r adopts towards the ideas, as i n d i c a -ted i n the f i r s t sentence, i t i s sentimental s l u s h . O l i v e r , a f t e r a l l , i s a t h i r t y - f o u r year o l d doctor who, f o r t y pages p r e v i o u s l y , was shown comforting one of the people wi t h "upturned f a c e s " by e x p l a i n i n g the e s s e n t i a l cleavage of l i f e i n t o the r e a l i t y of l o n e l i n e s s and the deceptive appearance of communication and sharing of the human experience. I f he r e a l l y b e l i e v e d that he could escape the cleavage and p a i n by not r e t u r n i n g to the r e s p o n s i b i l i -t i e s of a husband and f a t h e r , he would not r e t u r n ; or at l e a s t , not so r e a d i l y . But White i s not Lawrence, and although he has been unable to r e s i s t l e t t i n g O l i v e r look i n t o the avenue i n A l y s ' face, he f i n a l l y wrenches himself back to h i s proper course. A l y s i s reduced to a safe memory i n O l i v e r ' s mind. White's handling of the Lawrentian method of d e s c r i b i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s has l e d him i n t o an i n v o l u n t a r y assent to Lawrence's scale of v a l u e s , but he f i n a l l y reneges. The book, however, s u f f e r s d i s u n i t y , e s p e c i a l l y as the Lawrentian p r e s e n t a t i o n has o f t e n been convincing. These two kinds of t e c h n i c a l d e f e c t , which we have examined, form an important c o n t r a s t to the s u c c e s s f u l i n t e -g r a t i o n of t e c h n i c a l and thematic elements which i s more c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of White's work than the d e f e c t s , even i n these e a r l y novels. (By the t h i r d n o v e l , h i s m a t u r i t y i s such that d e f e c t s are hard to f i n d . ) The reason why i t i s important to make t h i s c o n t r a s t i s that White has been so severely c r i t i c i s e d on t e c h n i c a l matters that the reader 23 may be f o r g i v e n f o r b e i n g c on f u s ed by t he c r i t i c s as t o where r e a l v a l u e s l i e . I f we see c l e a r l y where Wh i te has f a i l e d , we a r e b e t t e r a b l e t o see where he has s u c ceeded . We can now t u r n t o n o t e some o f t he more s u c c e s s f u l t e c h -n i q u e s , w h i c h appear f i r s t i n t h i s n o v e l , and a r e d e v e l o p e d i n l a t e r w o r k s . Two r e c e n t c r i t i c a l a r t i c l e s have commenced t h e enormous l y i m p o r t a n t t a s k o f u n r a v e l l i n g some o f the s t r a n d s o f r e c u r r e n t symbo l i sm and m e a n i n g f u l a s s o c i a t i o n w h i c h go t o make up r h y t h m i c p a t t e r n s i n t h e i n d i v i d u a l n o v e l s and t he canon as a w h o l e — f o r the s i g n i f i c a n c e a t t a c h e d t o symbols and m o t i f s i s g e n e r a l l y c o n s i s t e n t t h r oughou t a l l t h e n o v e l s . Happy V a l l e y assumes a c e r t a i n i m p o r t a n c e as t h e n o v e l i n w h i c h many o f t he se f i r s t appea r . Undoub ted l y t h e r e w i l l be r e a d e r s and c r i t i c s who w i l l i n s i s t t h a t each o f t he se works s t and s a l o n e and t h a t Wh i t e cannot e x p e c t us t o r e a d one n o v e l as a complement of o t h e r s . They do s t a n d a l o n e , but t h e f a c t r ema in s t h a t each work does a l s o i l l u m i n a t e t h e o t h e r s . C o n s i d e r f o r i n s t a n c e how t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e of T h e o d o r a ' s hawk i n The A u n t 1 s S t o r y i s r e - i n f o r c e d f o r the r e a d e r f rom t h e memory o f t he hawk i n Happy V a l l e y . Here i s T h e o d o r a ' s hawk: The l i t t l e hawk t o r e and pau sed , t o r e and p a u s e d . Soon he wou ld t e a r t h rough t he woo l and t he maggots and r e a c h the o f f a l i n t he b e l l y o f t he sheep. Theodo ra l o o k e d a t t he hawk. She c o u l d no t j udge h i s a c t , because he r eye had c o n t r a c t e d , i t was r e d d i s h g o l d , and he r c u r v e d f a c e c u t t h e w i n d . Dea th , s a i d F a t h e r , l a s t s f o r a l o n g t i m e . L i k e t h e bones o f the sheep t h a t wou ld l i e , and d r y , and w h i t e n , and c l a t t e r unde r h o r s e s . But t h e a c t o f t he hawk, w h i c h she w a t c h e d , h a w k - l i k e , was a moment of s h r i l l beau t y t h a t r o s e above t he e n d l e s s n e s s of bones . 24 The red eye spoke of worlds that were b r i e f and f i e r c e . (The Aunt's Story p.33) Later she shoots the hawk, and White makes i t c l e a r to us that t h i s i s an act of sel f - a b n e g a t i o n ; She would destroy that part of her which i s l i k e the hawk--an i n v o l u n t a r y agent i n the phenomenal world of nature. She took aim and i t was l i k e aiming at her own red eye. She could f e e l the blood-beat the other side of the membrane. . . . A f t e r that Theodora o f t e n thought of the l i t t l e hawk she had so d e l i b e r a t e l y shot. I was wrong, she s a i d , but I s h a l l continue to destroy myself, r i g h t down to the l a s t of my several l i v e s , (pp. 73-74) W i t h i n the one no v e l , the recurrence of t h i s motif forms a s i n g l e and complete rhythmic strand (which develops a v a r i a t i o n when Theodora shoots the c l a y ducks to d i s s o c i a t e h e r s e l f from the n a t u r a l world (pp. 124-125). But the rhythm acquires a v a l u a b l e extension from the use of the hawk, i n Happy V a l l e y , as a symbol of the c r u e l , u n f e e l i n g world of nature. The main appearance of the symbol i s i n the context of a p a i n f u l s t i l l - b i r t h : A l l i t s l i f e [the hawk] would probably know no p a i n , not l i k e Mrs. Chalker, w r i t h i n g about on the bed at Kambala. The hawk was absolved from t h i s , absorbed as an agent i n t o the whole of t h i s f r ozen landscape, i n t o the mountains that emanated i n t h e i r s i l e n c e a d u l l , f r ozen p a i n while remaining exempt from i t . (p. 18) The hawk symbol i s only one of many such centres of expanding a s s o c i a t i o n and s i g n i f i c a n c e which f i r s t occur i n Happy V a l l e y . Future compilers w i l l annotate White's 4 use of such t h i n g s as c o l o u r s , music, e s p e c i a l l y organ 25 mus i c and C h o p i n ' s p i a n o mus i c , and even such m i n u t e p a r t i c u l a r s as a c r u s t o f f l i e s on an e y e l i d . ^ C h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n , i n s p i t e o f t h e d e f e c t s t o w h i c h we have r e f e r r e d i s a n o t h e r i m p o r t a n t a s p e c t o f t e c h n i q u e i n Happy V a l l e y . I n p a r t i c u l a r , t h e r e a r e t h e v a r i o u s p e r s o n a e - o f t h e a r t i s t ' s t r o u b l e d s e l f , A l y s , O l i v e r , Amy Quong, E r n e s t M o r i a r t y and S i dney F u r l o w , who, t o a g r e a t e r o r l e s s e r d e g r e e , e x h i b i t a t o rmented c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f t he s t a t e o f a l i e n a t i o n . And j u s t a s , say , H a r d y ' s Henchard becomes a more s i g n i f i c a n t f i g u r e when we know J u d e , o r as one E l G reco f a c e i s emphas i sed f o r us i n c e r t a i n ways when we have seen s e v e r a l , so A l y s Brown adds a d i m e n s i o n t o Theodo ra , i n c r e a s i n g t h e commun i ca t i v e e f f e c t o f W h i t e ' s a r t . M o r i a r t y and W a l t e r Gage (The  T r e e of Man) a r e d i f f e r e n t i m p r e s s i o n s o f t he weake r , l e s s r e s i s t a n t i l l u m i n a t u s who i s a l s o C l a y ( o f t h e s t o r y ) and A l f Dubbo of R i d e r s , and o t h e r s . Then t h e r e a r e t h e v i c t i m s o f W h i t e ' s ( no t a l t o g e t h e r h a r s h ) s a t i r e . These a r e t h e i n a r t i c u l a t e p e o p l e , i m -p r i s o n e d w i t h i n t h e m s e l v e s and h a l f w a n t i n g t o communicate, but u n a b l e t o do so. In g e n e r a l , Wh i te i s u n a b l e a t t h i s p o i n t i n h i s deve l opment , t o ge t beh i nd t h e f a c e s of t h e s e p e o p l e ( a s he does i n The T ree o f Man f o r i n s t a n c e ) , so t h a t t he s a t i r e , where i t i s good, i s t h e o n l y r e a l v a l u e i n t h e s e c h a r a c t e r p r e s e n t a t i o n s . O f t e n i t i s r a t h e r a r t i f i c i a l , but homorousj; and no t w i t h o u t i n t e r e s t : Qfr F u r l o w ] l i k e d t o s i t w i t h S i d n e y , sometimes a l o n e , t o know t h a t she was t h e r e , p h y s i c a l l y a t l e a s t . They u n d e r s t o o d each o t h e r , he f e l t , no t t h a t he wou ld have 26 admitted this to his wife, nor that he would have been able to explain the nature of this understanding, or even on what i t was based. Mr Furlow avoided explanation as savouring of intellectual enterprise. But i t was there, this understanding, a l l the same. He looked at her over his glasses and said: How about some kidneys pet? It was his contribution to the relationship. (HV p.283) Happy Valley i s then, a rather patchy novel in which various techniques are unassimilated in the total structure. Judged on i t s technical aspects alone, i t i s a failure, for, as Vincent Buckley says, " i t proves unable to bear the weight g of i t s author's preoccupations." Yet the fact that those preoccupations do come through to us, gives the book con-siderable thematic interest, as we shall see. b. HAPPY VALLEY: THEME In Happy Valley. White presents his vision of the human condition. This presentation constitutes the theme of his novel, and i t f a l l s into two parts: On one hand there is the attempt simply to render l i f e , either impersonally as narrator, or through the subjective consciousness of the characters. This i s the descriptive or mimetic aspect of the presentation. On the other hand there is a certain element of prescription in which the artist asserts his con-cept of moral values and suggests how these may be attained. In the former aspect White is revealing his own form of realism; in the latter aspect, his response to the realities which he sees. We may note from the outset that the thematic 27 development of White's work represents h i s attempt to f i n d a s a t i s f a c t o r y response to the r e a l i t i e s of l i f e as he sees them. I t i s a p r o g r e s s i v e attempt to f i n d a means of r e s i s t i n g the anguish which the consciousness of a l i e n a t i o n produces i n honest and s e n s i t i v e men. The attempt to describe the r e a l i t y seen beneath the appearance i n Happy V a l l e y i s c a r r i e d out w i t h a y o u t h f u l b i t t e r n e s s . The a r t i s t takes on the mask of r e b e l against s o c i e t y and intends to shock h i s readers i n t o self-awareness. L i f e , says White, i s not the Happy V a l l e y that i t appears to the<-casual observer, who sees only c h i l d r e n h a p p i l y at p l a y , and s m i l i n g married couples d i s c u s s i n g the weather and the races, (p.224) Rather, i t i s a " d u l l f r ozen p a i n " (p.18) emanating from the c r u e l t y of nature. U n l i k e the hawk which appears to be exempt from p a i n , man must s u f f e r because of h i s human consciousness. The c r e a t o r i s p i c -tured as a malevolent "God making a clockwork toy, then s c r a t c h i n g h i s head and seeing that i t might work too w e l l , so he put i n an e x t r a mechanism" (p.22). This mechanism i s man's i n t e l l i g e n c e which enables him, through the con-sciousness of p o s s i b i l i t i e s and the r e c o g n i t i o n of d e s i r e s , to know the agonies of f r u s t r a t i o n and boredom--to recognise that the universe i s a l i e n to him. Happy V a l l e y i s presented as an epitome of man's s t a t e : I t i s that p e c u l i a r l y tenacious scab on the body of the known earth. You waited f o r i t to come away l e a v i n g a patch of pinkness underneath. You waited and i t d i d not happen, and because of t h i s you f e l t there was something i n i t s nature p e c u l i a r l y perverse. What was the purpose of Happy V a l l e y i f , i n s p i t e of i t s l a c k of relevance, i t clung t e n a c i o u s l y to a f o r e i g n t i s s u e , w a i t i n g and w a i t i n g f o r what? I t seemed to have no design. You could not f e e l i t . You a n t i c i p a t e d a moral doomsday, 28 but i t d i d not come. So you went about your business, t r i e d to f i n d reason i n t h i s . A f t e r a l l , your e x i s t -ence i n Happy V a l l e y must be s u f f i c i e n t i n i t s e l f , (p.115/6) O l i v e r , i n whose consciousness t h i s passage appears, does at l e a s t have the dubious advantage of knowing that he i s aware of h i s s t a t e . He i s l i k e Samuel Johnson's Rasselas, who, bored by the Happy V a l l e y i n A b y s s i n i a , comes to r e a l i s e that "man has s u r e l y some l a t e n t sense f o r which t h i s p l ace a f f o r d s no g r a t i f i c a t i o n , " but who can a l s o , perhaps, " r e c e i v e some solace from the m i s e r i e s of l i f e , from the consciousness of the d e l i c a c y w i t h which he f e l t 9 and the eloquence w i t h which he bewailed them." I t i s t h i s " d e l i c a c y " and t h i s "eloquence" which enable O l i v e r to create h i s e x q u i s i t e world of memory and imagination as a refuge from r e a l i t y . He i s set up as the character w i t h the greatest degree of self-awareness i n the novel and he forms a c o n t r a s t to the human cabbages at the other end of the s c a l e . Moreover, O l i v e r ' s response to h i s dream world develops as the p l o t unwinds, and t h i s becomes the major thematic statement i n the no v e l . E a r l y on we f i n d O l i v e r r e c a l l i n g h i s experience of transcendent rapture as he responded to the music i n a P a r i s i a n church: The organ music "came rushing out of the l o f t , u n f u r l i n g banners of sound," and making him c r y . You could f e e l a s t i l l n e s s and a music a l l at once. You were at once f l o a t i n g and s t a t i o n a r y , i n time, a l l time, and space without b a r r i e r , passing w i t h a f r e s h e r knowledge of the t a n g i b l e to a poi n t where t h i s d i s s o l v e d , became the s p i r i t u a l , ( p . 2 0 ) ^ This enthusing experience i s repeated more i n t i m a t e l y f o r 29 O l i v e r when A l y s p l a y s the piano i n her home, and he i s l e d to t h i n k that he can triumph over h i s confinement i n the world of "cleavage and p a i n , " by running o f f w i t h A l y s i n t o a p r o j e c t e d f a i r y - l a n d of h i s hopes. This apotheosis eludes him, as we s h a l l see, and he i s l e f t f i n a l l y i n an a t t i t u d e of s t o i c acceptance of h i s conscious anguish. At the other end of the scale of self-awareness are the Furlows and the Belpers. These people s h u f f l e onwards towards death, f i l l e d w i t h boredom and emptiness. They are dimly aware of t h e i r p l i g h t as human beings, but they are unable to see the i s s u e s c l e a r l y or to consider ways and means of winning through to f u l f i l m e n t . Mr Furlow "never paused to ask himself i f h i s l i f e was based on anything at a l l " (p.83). "He hadn't a mind, only a mutual understanding between a number of almost dormant i n s t i n c t s " (p.83-4). He found f a t stock p r i c e s " i n e x h a u s t i b l e " even a f t e r several readings (p.82). And as f o r t h i n k i n g , "Mr Furlow never thought, he r e l i e d on a process of slow f i l t r a t i o n and t r u s t e d to providence to give the mechanism a j o g " (p.87). His wife would o f t e n respond to the challenge of each new day by w r i t i n g , "not that she had anything to w r i t e , but i t was soothing to cover a c l e a n sheet of paper w i t h words" (p.82). And her other c h i e f method f o r r e s i s t i n g sheer p h y s i c a l s t a s i s i s the p l a y i n g out of her r o l e of s o c i a l p r e t e n t i o u s n e s s , f o r "mentally, Mrs Furlow always wore a t i a r a " (p.81). The Belpers r e s i s t the anguish of consciousness by s e a l i n g up every idea or experience that comes t h e i r way, 30 in a platitude. In fact Mr Belper i s "a kind of Captain Cook of platitude" (p.105). He sticks to generalities like "the future of the country," "the national physique," and "the canalization of surplus energy" (p.107). This anaesthetic mode of speech is particularly effective in disguising for the Belpers, the moral issues involved in their financial problems. When Mr Belper has to explain to Alys his failure to invest her money wisely, he rests in the balm of an empty phrase: It's the C r i s i s , her husband said. Because often in the past platitude had helped him out of a conversational hole, was something to cling onto at home or at the club, where the Crisis was answerable for much, i t gave you a feeling of being not altogether to blame, (p.315) And when he suffers from the memory of the foolish handling of his own money, his wife helps him out in the Belper manner: That was only a flutter I expect. Yes, agreed Mr Belper, grasping at the opportunity and closing his mind to the rest. (p. 317) Near the end of the book, White draws a contrast between the conscious and the unconscious individual, in the persons of Alys and Mrs Belper. The latter i s said to have made her l i f e "an endless stream of narrative," and Alys realises that she has done so in order to blur the vision of reality of which she has a sort of subconscious fear. But to furnish your l i f e with incident was no ultimate escape, except for a Mrs Belper perhaps. She had never moved in the current of Mrs Belper's stream, a pool rather, and you looked down, aware of the reflected images, frightening sometimes, but never distorted by the slurring of a stream. It was better 31 l i k e t h i s , t he t r u t h of t he u n d i s t o r t e d images . There i s n o t h i n g t o f e a r , she s a i d , even i n c o n -t e m p l a t i o n o f t he d e p t h s , (p.321) I n t h i s l a s t t h o u g h t , A l y s g i v e s e x p r e s s i o n t o a majo r theme o f t h e l a t e r n o v e l s , e s p e c i a l l y The A u n t ' s S t o r y . She p r e f i g u r e s Theodora l i v i n g i n " t h e s o l i t a r y l a n d o f the i n d i v i d u a l e x p e r i e n c e , " and p r e f e r r i n g t he i n t e g r i t y o f h e r own c l e a r v i s i o n t o t he h a s t e , c o n f u s i o n and s e l f -d e c e p t i o n w h i c h t h e w o r l d c a l l s s a n i t y . J u s t as A l y s h o l d s on t o he r c l e a r v i s i o n o f t r u t h , w i t h o u t f e a r , so a l l t he c h a r a c t e r s i n Happy V a l l e y seek t o a t t a i n o r t o g r a sp some k i n d o f p e a c e . The p a r t i c u l a r f o rm o f " p e a c e " w h i c h each w i l l seek, w i l l depend on t he deg ree s of m o r a l i n t e g r i t y and s e l f awareness i n each i n -d i v i d u a l p e r s o n a l i t y . C lem Hagen and V i c M o r i a r t y , f o r i n s t a n c e , have a l i t t l e s e l f - k n o w l e d g e , but t h e y l a c k t he w i l l t o u se i t and become, i n s t e a d o f m o r a l l y i n t e g r a t e d p e r s o n a l i t i e s , p a t h e t i c f i g u r e s o f c o n s c i o u s s e l f - d e c e p t i o n — p a r t i c u l a r l y V i c . They a r e bo th weary f rom the boredom o f t h e i r l i v e s and t h e y a r e drawn t o g e t h e r by a common hope f o r e x c i t e m e n t i n t he n o v e l t y of a l u s t f u l a d u l t e r y . The d e c e p t i o n o f E r n e s t t hen becomes a h y p n o t i c game o f chance f o r V i c , and t h i s i s p a r t o f t he r e a s o n why she keeps t h e a f f a i r g o i n g a f t e r Hagan has become r e p u l s i v e t o h e r . A l t h o u g h she i s aware o f the m o r a l i n j u r y she i s i n f l i c t i n g on he r h u s b a n d - - e s p e c i a l l y a t a t ime when he i s opp re s s ed by p h y s i c a l weakness and a sense o f s o c i a l r e j e c t i o n - - s h e s i m p l y w i l l no t assume h e r r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s a g a i n s t t h e l u r e o f p r o m i s c u i t y . Her murder , and E r n e s t ' s q u a s i - s u i c i d a l d e a t h a r e t r a g i c i n t he s t r i c t e s t c l a s s i c a l s en se . She 32 knew what she was d o i n g and guessed what m i gh t come of i t , and t h i s deg ree o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s made he r a p o t e n t i a l l y . h e r o i c s a v i o u r o f he r s e n s i t i v e husband; but the gods had s i m p l y no t equ ipped her w i t h t h e m o r a l cou rage t o t u r n and f a c e t h e c h a l l e n g e o f r e a l i t y . L i k e Mrs H a l l i d a y , V i c i s a lway s t h i n k i n g how t h i n g s w i l l be b e t t e r i n t h e f u t u r e , "when we go t o the N o r t h S h o r e , " t h u s a v o i d i n g he r need t o come t o g r i p s w i t h t he h o l l o w t e r r o r o f l i f e i n t h e p r e s e n t . O l i v e r sums up t h e s i t u a t i o n . - when he d e s -c r i b e s t he M o r i a r t y house as a house f i l l e d w i t h " t h e f u t i l i t y and p a i n o f w i l f u l d e s t r u c t i o n , " (p.294) and " two p e o p l e t r y i n g t o e scape f rom the i n e v i t a b l e . " By c o n t r a s t , O l i v e r r e a l i s e s t h a t t h e r e i s no e s c a p e . The r e a l i t i e s of l i f e i n c l u d e p a i n and e n d l e s s s u f f e r i n g as w e l l as a r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r o t h e r s . No amount of r u n n i n g away w i l l exempt man f rom t h e s e c h a n g e l e s s c o n d i t i o n s , as O l i v e r r e a l i s e s when, s e t t i n g o f f w i t h A l y s , he i s h a l t e d by E r n e s t M o r i a r t y * s body i n t h e r o a d . And Wh i te goes on t o p r e s e n t , i n O l i v e r , h i s p o s i t i v e answer of 1939, t o t h e p r o b l e m o f l i v i n g . By t he end o f t he book, O l i v e r has d e v e l o p e d t h r e e p h i l o s o p h i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . F i r s t o f a l l , he i s u t t e r l y a r e a l i s t i n te rms of r a t i o n a l and courageous a g n o s t i c i s m . He r e a l i s e s t h a t t h e r e i s o n l y one way i n w h i c h man can a l t e r the c o n d i t i o n s o f h i s e x i s t e n c e : by d y i n g . The c o n s c i o u s i n d i v i d u a l must e i t h e r k i l l h i m s e l f , as E r n e s t M o r i a r t y has done i n -d i r e c t l y , o r e l s e he must t a k e a p e r s o n a l s t and o f some k i n d i n o r d e r t o endure w i t h d i g n i t y ( o r a t l e a s t w i t h a measure o f s e l f - c o n t e n t . ) 33 [The Moriartys] have t r i e d to cut o f f the insuperable. They have broken themselves, he f e l t , and A l y s and I s l i p p i n g down the road, headed f o r what vague dream, are j u s t as i r r a t i o n a l perhaps, (p.278) Because you cannot cast o f f the ways and customs, except i n death, as M o r i a r t y has. You s u b s t i t u t e f o r t i t u d e . . . and c a l l i t a moral v i c t o r y , (p.278) The way i n which t h i s " f o r t i t u d e " i s to operate comes home to him at the end, i n a passage already quoted: "This i s the p a r t of man, to withstand through h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p s . . . f o r through H i l d a and A l y s he can withstand." (p.327 see p. 17 above.) The second c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of O l i v e r ' s p o s i t i o n by the end, i s h i s acceptance of p e r s o n a l , moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , i s s u i n g from the f a c t of human interdependence. His sense of duty to h i s wife and c h i l d r e n has never deserted him, even i n the deepest poi n t of h i s involvement w i t h A l y s . We have already seen how, e a r l i e r on, he "wanted to t i p the whole l o t overboard, only that was impossible, because H i l d a and Rodney and George clung to the fragments, were founded on something that you thought had e x i s t e d before" (p.74). And l y i n g i n bed w i t h A l y s , i n the temporary peace of sexual f u l f i l m e n t , he r e t a i n s a l u c i d conscience, t o -gether w i t h a sense of o v e r a l l f r u s t r a t i o n i n h i s l i f e : I ought to f e e l s o r r y , but there i s no r e g r e t , which i s perhaps a p e r v e r s i o n of the moral sense, i f f i n d i n g y o u r s e l f i s a p e r v e r s i o n , because t h i s i s what I have done . . . , but the world makes i t s demand, I s h a l l run away from myself because of H i l d a , I s h a l l c l o s e my eyes. This i s the world. This i s Happy V a l l e y . This i s a l s o not the world, (p. 165) 34 Later O l i v e r debates w i t h i n himself the whole problem of what he c a l l s "cleavage" i n which the tension a r i s i n g between the r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s of the i n d i v i d u a l t o himself and to s o c i e t y threaten to d r i v e him to d e s p a i r . His answer i s a compromise revealed i n h i s act of l e a v i n g the V a l l e y and A l y s f o r the sake of h i s f a m i l y r e s p o n s i -b i l i t i e s , w h i l e r e t a i n i n g the memory of h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h A l y s as an a c t i v e moral stimulus i n h i s l i f e . T h i s l a s t statement brings us to the t h i r d c h a r a c t e r -i s t i c of O l i v e r ' s p o s i t i o n : h i s b e l i e f i n the joy and the power to survive which the i n d i v i d u a l can d e r i v e from meaningful personal r e l a t i o n s h i p s . He a r t i c u l a t e s t h i s b e l i e f i n the passage at the end of the book which we have noted twice already. But he has already acted or t r i e d to act on t h i s b e l i e f , e a r l i e r . On page 127, f o r i n s t a n c e , he f e e l s impelled to do f o r M o r i a r t y what A l y s has done f o r him: to break through b a r r i e r s i n t o the i s o l a t e d conscious-ness of another person by some v i t a l act of communication. He must send medicine to M o r i a r t y , though more, he wanted to give him more, he wanted to give so many people the impossible through the e x i s t i n g w a l l that somehow the human p e r s o n a l i t y seems to e r e c t . Only she played Chopin and i t crumbled to non-existent b r i c k and they looked at each other, each time f o r the f i r s t , (p. 127) 12 The paradox i n which t h i s theme i s here stated--the value and at the same time the v i r t u a l i m p o s s i b i l i t y of a chieving human r e l a t i o n s h i p s - - i s a c e n t r a l and p e r s i s t e n t aspect of White's v i s i o n . I t may be considered more f u l l y i n r e l a t i o n to the l a t e r works. The thematic content of Happy V a l l e y i s v a l u a b l e i n 35 i t s e l f , as w e l l as forming a u s e f u l s t a r t i n g p o i n t f o r an understanding of the l a t e r , more s i g n i f i c a n t developments. I t i s r e v e a l i n g to n o t i c e , however, at l e a s t one p a r t i c u l a r i n which t h i s novel already marks an advance on some work which was published e a r l i e r . I r e f e r to the poem "When Thoughts Are S t i l l and Formless," f i r s t published i n a l i m i t e d e d i t i o n i n 1935, and anthologised i n 1946, and to the s t o r y "The Twitching C o l o n e l , " which appeared i n the 13 London Mercury i n 1937. From a comparison of these works, we can see how O l i v e r H a l l i d a y ' s search f o r i n t e g r i t y of being and the p a r t i a l l y s a t i s f y i n g r e s o l u t i o n of h i s problem spring from a developing a r t i s t i c v i s i o n . The poem shows us the a r t i s t r e g i s t e r i n g a conscious impression of the d u a l i t y i n the human c o n d i t i o n - s u b -j e c t i v e and o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y , the a c t u a l l i m i t a t i o n s of existence and the imagined p o s s i b i l i t i e s , "the world," and "the not world," of O l i v e r ' s "cleavage." White begins h i s poem w i t h a strange and e l u s i v e comparison: There are days when thoughts are s t i l l and formless as the o l d people s i t t i n g on benches i n parks: I t i s the d e s c r i p t i o n of these people that i n t e r e s t s us here: Stoop-backed, whiskered, c h i n on hand; And pale window-thoughts b l i n k i n g at the g l a r e . In the next l i n e s he gives a judgement on the e x t e r n a l appearance of t h e i r l i v e s , from the p o i n t of view of an o b j e c t i v e observer: There i s no reason f o r t h e i r being, For t h e i r heaped up existence on benches i n parks; But immediately he detects evidence of another aspect of t h e i r l i v e s , beneath the u n a t t r a c t i v e e x t e r i o r ; he recognises the i n d i v i d u a l , s u b j e c t i v e consciousness, 3 6 i n c o r p o r a t i n g perhaps dreams, hopes, memories, d e s i r e s : Yet sometimes between the s l i t s of t h e i r eyes, Out of a moth-ball stupor, of j e t bonnets and mustiness, F l i c k e r s the glimpse of another worlds: The smooth d r i f t of s u n l i g h t through the trunks of t r e e s , And cowslips s t a r r e d w i t h t e a r s . The absurd d u a l i t y of man--his p h y s i c a l l i m i t a t i o n versus the expansiveness and freedom of h i s imagination, "the moth-ball stupor, of j e t bonnets and mustiness," versus "the smooth d r i f t of s u n l i g h t through the trunks of t r e e s " -- i s one main feature of White's p e r s i s t e n t v i s i o n . In t h i s poem the v i s i o n i s expressed w i t h i n the l i m i t a t i o n s of pure statement and an imagist technique. In "The Twitching C o l o n e l " we pass d i r e c t l y i n t o the consciousness of one of the o l d men who might have been s i t t i n g there i n the park. The Colonel's e x t e r n a l appearance w i l l be revealed as that of a d e t e r i o r a t i n g r e l i c . ("Colonel T r e v e l l i c k i s breaking up, see how he s i t s , how the face t w i t c h e s , the red and the blue, as he s i t s . . . .") C h i l d r e n f o l l o w him w i t h ghoulish f a s c i n a t i o n , w a i t i n g f o r the t w i t c h . His landlady gently dissuades him from l o i t e r i n g i n pubs. ("With a l l those medals i t ' s a shame, and you a c o l o n e l and a gentleman.") His d a i l y r o u t i n e has become an automatic, h a b i t u a l monotony. But endless reminiscence of h i s l i f e i n I n d i a , p a r t s of which, even Mrs Whale f i n d s worth the hearing: T e l l me about the t r i c k , asks Mrs Whale, and i t i s Saturday night and P i m l i c o , the pungent voice of Mrs Whale, of geraniums i n pots. T e l l me about that t r i c k , the one w i t h the rope, and what they do w i t h those snakes, you t e l l i t so w e l l . (p.606) And by now the Colonel i s dependent on h i s memories to shut 37 out the sordid r e a l i t i e s of b o d i l y decay, and the g i g g l i n g c h i l d r e n , and the vo i c e s that "murmur with a l a c k of con-sequence or a c t u a l meaning, the par r o t v o i c e s . . . the u n i n t e l l i g i b l e b l u r of sound, of s y l l a b l e s confused and c l i n g i n g beyond the envelope of m i s t " (p.605). L i k e Mrs Moore i n F o r s t e r ' s Passage to I n d i a , he has been s e n s i t i v e to the s p i r i t u a l mysteries of I n d i a . U n l i k e the other o f f i c i a l s who e x h i b i t "a r e c o i l i n g from that which i s feared or h a l f understood wh i l e not w i l l i n g to understand but watch at a dis t a n c e i n mocking s a f e t y , " (p.606) and u n l i k e Maud "throwing a hawser round e m p i r i c a l r e a l i t y and headaches and cups of tea so that she i s attached to her-s e l f beyond escaping," (p.607) Colonel T r e v e l l i c k i s ready 14 to give up the " c e r t a i n c e r t a i n t i e s " of h i s m i l i e u , i n order to seek some kind of apotheosis i n h i s experience of the O r i e n t . In the dance of the rope and the snake he has known the " a c t i v i t y that d i s c a r d s hands, shaking o f f the surcharge of f l e s h , " and, i n con t r a s t to the E n g l i s h "ex-ten s i o n of a l i e that i s e a t i n g and d r i n k i n g , " (p.605) and Maud's "hawser" he has seen the O r i e n t a l mystery, "the rope ascending i n t o space," (p.605) and heard "the c r y of r e l e a s e achieving transformation" (p.605). At f i r s t , h i s memory of these things i s s u f f i c i e n t sustenance f o r the Col o n e l . But, i n due course, he needs something more t a n g i b l e than a v i c a r i o u s memory: I s h a l l s t r i p myself, the on i o n - f o l d s of p r e j u d i c e , t i l l standing though conscious I see myself complete or e l s e consumed l i k e the Hindu conjurer who i s t r a n s l a t e d i n t o space, (p.606) 3 8 So, f i n a l l y , he creates h i s own magical transformation, by s e t t i n g f i r e to the lodging house and dancing on the roof u n t i l he ascends i n the " t e n d r i l , p r e s s i n g against the sky." By t h i s r e s o l u t i o n of h i s s t o r y i n s u i c i d e , White r e v e a l s a l a c k of maturity which we see c o r r e c t e d i n the s t o r y of O l i v e r H a l l i d a y . As a serious answer to the problem, the Colonel's s u i c i d e appears r a t h e r n e g a t i v e l y sentimental. I t i s too much of a dramatic contrivance and i t must be seen c h i e f l y as a rebuke to a s o c i e t y which d r i v e s i t s s e n s i t i v e members to despair. In Happy V a l l e y O l i v e r r e a l i s e s that death i s a r e t r e a t from the problem, and the p o i n t i s d r i v e n home i n the shockingly unsentimental deaths of the M o r i a r t y s . O l i v e r too had had experiences of transcendence--in t h i s case through music. He too thought to r e a l i s e h i s dream—by running o f f w i t h A l y s . But by t h i s time, White's r e a l i s m over-rode h i s sentiment-a l i t y , and so O l i v e r turns around and comes back home. I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g that White a c t u a l l y suggests t h i s l a t e r r e a l i s m i n "The Twitching C o l o n e l " : We n o t i c e that the incongruous f u n e r a l pyre becomes a source of "musical" rapture f o r the watchers: The p i z z i c a t o c r a c k l e of g l a s s , the trombone undertone of wood that groans and percussion of a f a l l i n g beam, so the senses sway, so the bodies sway i n time, the faces held to r e c e i v e a golden r a i n with a s i g h i n g r e l i e f , (p. 608) But t h i s dream-like trance i s soon broken, and what the faces a c t u a l l y r e c e i v e i s the s i g h t of t h e i r neighbour "dancing" 39 on t h e b l a z i n g r o o f . The s t o r y ends w i t h sombre r e a l i s m : We go i n t o our h o u s e s . We c l o s e ou r d o o r s . The f i r e i s e x h a u s t e d . We c reep away. I t i s s ometh ing we do no t u n d e r s t a n d . We a r e a f r a i d . The t h e m a t i c e v o l u t i o n f rom "When Thoughts A r e S t i l l and F o r m l e s s " t o Happy V a l l e y t h e n , i s one i n wh i ch Wh i te l e a r n s how t o communicate h i s v i s i o n t h r o u g h h i s a r t , as t h e v i s i o n i t s e l f becomes more r e a l t o t he a r t i s t . In t h e poem he p r e s e n t s t he i d e a of l i f e as a p a i n f u l d u a l i t y , t h r ough s t a tement and image. I n t he s t o r y , he b e g i n s t o g i v e l i f e t o t he i d e a and t he i m a g e - - t o embody them; but h i s s a t i r i c i n t e n t i o n i s t oo c r u d e l y t h r u s t upon t h e a r t w h i c h c o n s e q u e n t l y l o s e s some o f i t s power t o convey a r t i s t i c v i s i o n . The v i s i o n i s s t i l l m a i n l y a s e t o f p h i l o s o p h i c a l c o n c e p t s . On l y w i t h t he c r e a t i o n o f O l i v e r H a l l i d a y , d e v e l o p e d w i t h c o n s i s t e n t r e a l i s m and g i v e n added d i m e n s i o n by c o n t r a s t and s i m i l a r i t y w i t h o t h e r c h a r a c t e r s i n the n o v e l , does Wh i t e b r i n g h i s v i s i o n t o p o w e r f u l a r t i s t i c e x p r e s s i o n . So, f o r a l l i t s f a u l t s , Happy V a l l e y r ema i n s a n o v e l wo r t h y o f a t t e n t i o n , even a p a r t f rom W h i t e ' s o t h e r work , because o f i t s c a p a c i t y t o e x e r c i s e the m o r a l i m a g i n a t i o n of t he r e a d e r , t h rough t h e c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f O l i v e r . 40 PART 2. THE LIVING AND TFE DEAD It is hardly possible to get through a f i r s t reading of The Living and the Dead without feeling to some extent disgruntled and weary. Almost a l l the reviewers in 1941 had such reactions: "Egotistically mannered," "boring," "too much thoughtfulness, not enough l i f e , " "ultra-realism," and so on. One reviewer started to psycho-analyse White ("the book is a childish attack on mother,") and another was reduced to smearing: "Sex for Three." Since that time, no c r i t i c seems to have got to the heart of the novel. Most appear to have been deflected by the cover blurb into misinterpretations. They have looked for a thesis or at least a clear pattern in which X i s an epitome of the living and Y of the dead. Thus: Cover blurb: The chief characters are brother and sister, Elyot and Eden Standish. It is Eden who represents the living . . . . Her brother . . . never really touches the world. Buckley: Its theme (for i t i s , in a wavering way, a roman ^ thlse) i s the way in which emotional death is communicated from one generation to another. The dead, represented chiefly by Catherine Standish and her son Elyot, possess the earth and reduce i t ; yet the l i v i n g , represented chiefly by Elyot's sister Eden, may inherit (and renew?) i t . * Brissenden: . . . ultimately there seems to be no striking difference between the living who know themselves and have learned to live with the know-ledge, and the dead who know nothing.^ Buckley.(substantiating an earlier version of Brissenden's above statement): The reason is clear; 41 the p r o s e , so r e m o r s e l e s s l y and g l i t t e r i n g l y i n t e n t on d i a g n o s i s , f a i l s i n f a c t t o c r e a t e t he d i s c r i m i n a t i o n i n s i s t e d on .3 Thus we have a n o v e l w h i c h i s no t o n l y b o r i n g i n t he f i r s t i n s t a n c e , but i s a l s o - - a c c o r d i n g t o t he c r i t i c s — t h e m a t i c a l l y u n s u c c e s s f u l . I s h a l l t r y t o show t h a t The L i v i n g and t he i Dead i s a w e l l i n t e g r a t e d work o f a r t , and t h a t i t has c o n s i d e r a b l e v a l u e f o r t he r e a d e r who i s w i l l i n g t o app roach i t u n h u r r i e d l y , and w i t h o u t p r e c o n c e p t i o n s as t o t h e n a t u r e o f i t s theme. I t i s a book w h i c h r e q u i r e s more t han one r e a d i n g f o r a f a i r a p p r e c i a t i o n , and t h i s i s u n d o u b t e d l y a d i s a d v a n t a g e ( t hough i t p l a c e s Wh i te i n some good company- -James, J o y c e , W o o l f - - ) . F u r t h e r m o r e , one o r two f e a t u r e s of c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n i n t h i s n o v e l a r e c e r t a i n l y poor ( e s p e c i a l l y t he sometimes u n c o n v i n c i n g a t t e m p t s t o r e n d e r t he m e n t a l i t y o f J o e , • 4 c a b i n e t - m a k e r ) . But beyond t he d i f f i c u l t i e s and d e f e c t s l i e a r t i s t i c r e w a r d s , b o t h f o r s t u d e n t s of Wh i te and f o r r e a d e r s g e n e r a l l y . Fo r t h e r e a d e r who seeks more t h a n easy e n t e r t a i n m e n t i n a n o v e l , I c on tend t h a t t h e rewards j u s t i f y t he d i f f i c u l t i e s and ou twe i gh t he d e f e c t s . Our p r e s e n t c o n c e r n i s t o ob se r ve v a l u e s , u s i n g t he c a t e g o r i e s a l r e a d y e s t a b l i s h e d : t e c h n i q u e s and themes. a . THE LIVING AND THE DEAD: TECHNIQUE The o u t s t a n d i n g t e c h n i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f The L i v i n g  and t h e Dead a r e W h i t e ' s r e n d e r i n g o f s t ream o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s and h i s h a n d l i n g o f s t r u c t u r a l d e v i c e s w h i c h F o r s t e r and 42 E.K.Brown c a l l pattern and rhythm. Stream of consciousness is used more extensively and more successfully in this novel than in Happy Valley. Throughout the book, the story i s told almost exclusively through the consciousness of characters, usually one of the Standishes. The impersonal narrator intrudes briefly, from time to time, but never exceeds his function of pro-viding objective, narrative statements, as the following complete paragraphs i l l u s t r a t e : His hands shook, (p.14) Later on, i t was the spring, Maynard left for the United States. A job with commercial artists that took him to New York. (p. 151) Elyot spoke of selling the house, (p. 329) White's failures to separate and to develop progressiv the consciousnesses of his characters, which we noted in Happy Valley are overcome in The Living and the Dead. Each personality is carefully and consistently individualised. Eden's f i r s t appearance (apart from the i n i t i a l scene) on p.63 where we are introduced from the beginning both to her emotional nature and to comparisons and contrasts between her and her mother and brother (the consciousness here i s Mrs Standish's): She was darker, smaller than the boy. Her small, intense face wrinkled often in emotional storms. You were conscious early of her watching eyes. In a moment of romantic stress, her mother decided on the name of Eden. There was no particular reason for this . . . . Mrs Standish decided on the name. Behind i t perhaps a sense of her own frustration. But she never pinned this down. At three the l i t t l e boy was a solemn, sturdy child, (p.63) 43 Every other i n d i c a t i o n of the c h i l d r e n ' s characters given i n the novel i s an extension and development of these f a i n t renderings. There are no i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s . E l y o t remains "solemn" as he was on h i s f i r s t appearance f i v e pages p r e v i o u s l y ("And the baby looked at her solemnly, sometimes too solemnly, she thought" p.58). He never has an "emotional storm". Indeed, even as he witnesses the running down of the drunk, he remains morbidly s t a t i c , i n v o l v e d mentally but not emotionally: I must do t h i s , h i s mind shouted, tossed out i n t o the screaming of the bus. The l i g h t s spun. The whole neighbourhood moved, except h i s f e e t . He was anchored where he stood. He was the audience to a d i s t a n t pantomime, (p.14) On the other hand, the promise of v i o l e n t emotionalism i n the "storms" of the i n f a n t Eden* s face i s i n c r e a s i n g l y r e a l i s e d as she develops. At the f i r s t a b o r t i o n i s t ' s she s u f f e r s " a wave of nausea" from which, by c o n t r a s t w i t h E l y o t ' s experience j u s t noted, her mind i s l e f t s t a t i c w h i l e her body surges i n t o a c t i o n i n v o l u n t a r i l y : Now, he s a i d , advancing. Let me see. Now, she s a i d , the face, t h i s face, f l o a t e d on a wave of nausea, j e r k e d forward on the l e a p i n g nerve. . . No, she s a i d . She heard her heels s t a r t l i n g the c h a i r . Not--not now, she s a i d . I didn't e x a c t l y r e a l i s e . I didn't know. Perhaps a l i t t l e longer, she s a i d . Perhaps. Perhaps. Her own f e e t , they went pl a p , p l a p , she heard them plap plap, a f t e r her i n the passage, moving i n the now s t a t i c dream. She could f e e l h i s face rooted there under the e l e c t r i c bulb. Then her n a i l s were on the shut door. This meticulous consistency of c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n i s t y p i c a l 44 o f W h i t e ' s work f rom t h i s n o v e l onwards . But beyond mere c o n s i s t e n c y o f r e n d e r i n g , what g i v e s r e a l v a l u e t o W h i t e ' s u se o f t he s t ream o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s t e c h n i q u e i s t he q u a l i t y o f i t s images . One m igh t say t h a t Wh i te has h e l p e d t o b r i n g i n t o the modern s t r e a m - o f -c o n s c i o u s n e s s n o v e l , c l a r i t y , economy and c o n c r e t e n e s s , as t he Imag i s t p o e t s d i d i n t o modern p o e t r y . And i t i s i n The L i v i n g and t h e Dead t h a t t h i s f e a t u r e o f W h i t e ' s i s seen most e x t e n s i v e l y , f o r i t i s i n t h i s n o v e l t h a t he makes the l e a s t c o n c e s s i o n s t o t h a t " p r i m e v a l c u r i o s i t y " o f t he r e a d e r w h i c h demands t h e p e r p e t u a l " and t h e n . . . " " and t h e n . . . " o f a s t o r y . T h i s n o v e l i s W h i t e ' s most r e f i n e d work , i n t he sense t h a t he u se s an i m a g i s t i c t e c h n i q u e t o r e c o r d m i n u t e i m p r e s s i o n s on a huge c a n v a s . In l a t e r work s t he i m p r e s s i o n s t end t o be l a r g e r and more e m p h a t i c , l o s i n g d e t a i l where t hey g a i n i n a p p r e c i a b i l i t y . The c o n c r e t e n e s s o f W h i t e ' s d e t a i l e d i m p r e s s i o n s i n The L i v i n g and t he Dead may be i l l u s t r a t e d by c o n t r a s t w i t h t he more a b s t r a c t r e n d e r i n g w h i c h we f i n d , a t t i m e s , i n V i r g i n i a W o o l f : Wool f (To t h e L i g h t h o u s e ) : She l i k e d C h a r l e s T a n s l e y , she t h o u g h t , s u d d e n l y ; she l i k e d h i s l a u g h . She l i k e d h im f o r b e i n g so ang r y w i t h P a u l and M i n t a . She l i k e d h i s awkwardness. The re was a l o t i n t h a t young man a f t e r a l l . And L i l y , she t h o u g h t , p u t t i n g he r n a p k i n b e s i d e he r p l a t e , she a lway s has some j o k e o f h e r own. One need neve r b o t h e r about L i l y . She w a i t e d . She t u c k e d her n a p k i n unde r the edge o f he r p l a t e . W e l l , were t hey done now?' ' We n o t i c e he re t h a t Mrs Ramsay ' s memories a r e o f q u a l i t i e s i n p e o p l e , w h i c h a r e m e r e l y n a m e d - - " h i s l a u g h , " " B e i n g so 45 angry," "awkwardness," and so on. The concrete details concerning the napkin establish the physical reality of her existence, as opposed to non-physical consciousness, ' and her handling of the napkin suggests her impatience underlying her conscious thoughts; but the thoughts them-selves lack imaginative appeal. They remain abstractions, whose significance does not expand. They do not suggest anything beyond their generalized conception. Against this we can set almost any passage from the White novel: Oh dear, sighed Eden, or the last wave of sleep, as i t curved, broke, became the bus she would soon take, the early morning coughs of the business men on buses, and cold, smooth pennies in her hand. (p. 327) And even Elyot's thoughts about his conception of Connie are given to us in image impressions: But Connie's face persisted, altered by a sudden storm, and Connie sitting crumpled by the skirting board. Intensity of passion in Connie Tiarks surprised more than i t repelled. There was no end to the unsuspected. Connie was a different person. When you had made for yourself the abstract, selfless Connie, a l l neatly docketed out of your own intellectual conceit. Then the pressure of the eiderdown, (p.322) It is not that White removes abstraction entirely from the stream of consciousness--which would be unreal--but that he constantly focusses the impressions of consciousness in clear, sensory images. Some of the best images occur when White uses a single impression (often recurrent) to render the essence of a personality: 46 . . .Connie Tiarks. He remembered her chiefly as a creature of transit, an incident on a sofa, another under a mulberry tree. Connie Tiarks would always be th i s . Her hands were always on the verge of reaching for gloves, (p.142) There was no end to the poverty of certainty in the l i f e of Connie Tiarks, she was inevitably always reaching for her gloves. (p.143) I am an old maid, she said. She f e l l asleep playing bezique with old ladies in terraces. If only had begun to be written on Connie's lumpy face. (p. 316) Then there is Wally Collins, described abstractly as "rootless by achievement", and presented more directly in images of rootlessness: Wally Collins was at home in crowds, the slick and gaudy places where you lived high, round about Leicester Square and Piccadilly, the Metropole at Brighton, Broadway and 52nd, or Atlantic City. He got around. Because Wally Collins was a rootless one, an amoeba in the big green pond. His grips were always only half unpacked, the ties hanging out . . . . (p.222) The images which White creates with such effect in this novel are inter-related within the stream of consciousness. Even on a f i r s t reading one is aware of certain recurrent images and motifs and upon closer scrutiny the reader discovers a most intricate series of patterns. We see, for instance, aspects of Mrs Standish perpetuated separately in her two children, and this development of character is pinned down at various stages by the recurrence of such motifs as solipsism, presented through images of living in a box, or an envelope, or of the pulling of bedsheets around 47 o n e ' s body. The re i s t h e c e n t r a l Wh i te m o t i f o f t he l o n e l y , u p l i f t e d f a c e , s t a n d i n g out f rom the sea of p e o p l e . As i n a l l t h e o t h e r n o v e l s r e s p o n s e s t o mus i c s e r ve as i n d i c e s of t h e e m o t i o n a l s t a t e s and the p e r s o n a l i t i e s o f c h a r a c t e r s ; and a t t he t r i v i a l end o f t he s c a l e we f i n d b r o o d i n g , hou se - caged women spong ing du s t o f f p o t t e d p l a n t s (pp.21, 79) as i n The A u n t ' s S t o r y ( p . 51). The e x t e n s i v e p a t t e r n s and rhy thms i n w h i c h t he se and o t h e r m o t i f s a r e woven, and w h i c h have such an i n s t a n t and e n d u r i n g a e s t h e t i c a p p e a l when t h e y a r e r e c o g n i s e d and t h e i r manner o f o p e r a t i o n i s g r a s p e d , cannot be e x p l i c a t e d e i t h e r q u i c k l y o r w i t h com-p r e h e n s i v e c o v e r a g e . We can make g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s and c o n -s i d e r m ino r examp le s . To do more wou ld r e q u i r e vo l umes . P a t t e r n i s e v i d e n t i n such t h i n g s as t h e c i r c u l a r i t y o f t he p l o t i n The L i v i n g and t he Dead. As i n M o o r e ' s E s t h e r W a t e r s , a p a r a g r a p h i n the l a s t c h a p t e r i s a w o r d -g f o r - w o r d r e p e t i t i o n o f one i n the f i r s t . Then t o o , a l l but one of t he l o v e a f f a i r s i n The L i v i n g and t he Dead f o l l o w a s e t p a t t e r n ; p h y s i c a l a t t r a c t i o n , t he g rowth o f a n t i p a t h y , mu tua l f r u s t r a t i o n i n t e l l e c t u a l l y , t h e n p h y s i c a l l y ; f i n a l l y d i s g u s t , decay and t h e d e a t h o f t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p l e a v i n g t h e i n d i v i d u a l s i s o l a t e d , weary and w i t h a p a i n f u l sense o f g u i l t . As t h e symbols and m o t i f s a r e c a r r i e d ove r f r om one p a t t e r n t o a n o t h e r so t he p a t t e r n s become i n t e r - r e l a t e d i n a p r o g r e s s i v e c ompa r i s on w h i c h a c q u i r e s i t s own a r t i s t i c l i f e and c r e a t e s what F o r s t e r c a l l s a " r h y t h m i c e f f e c t " i n t he n o v e l . We can see a c l e a r example o f t h i s i n the way Wh i t e u se s b r e a s t s as a s y m b o l i c i n d e x of t he n a t u r e and 48 development of relationships in two separate love a f f a i r s , that between Elyot and Muriel, and that between Catherine and Wally. When Elyot f i r s t sees Muriel we are told that "he found her repulsive. Her voice cut. She was reduced to voice, and the steely texture of her dress, that moved with her body, metal plated. He could see the nipples when she turned to him" (p.199). After a few drinks, "even the steeliness, the Muriel Raphael, flowed, the l i t t l e patches of molten steel or quicksilver in the glass of claret" (p.200). Now he sees more than the metal-plated nipples: "The volatile mesh of steel no longer hid, you knew by heart the contour of a molten breast." Fourteen pages later, in a second meeting, he is intellectually repelled by the talk from her mouth, "the small erection of white lacquer," but the sensual attraction of her breasts persists: A parting of the ways, only just visible in fur, gave up a scent of violets. It was the strange, ridiculous convention, Elyot f e l t , that your mind and eyes were able to make obvious comment on the physical fact, this was accepted, though under cover of irrelevant words. The breasts of Muriel Raphael were quite irrelevant to words. Her smile, her eyes . . . openly acknowledged this. (p.214-5) Knowing her weapons, Muriel embroiders a scarlet nipple on the dress she wears when Elyot takes her out, thus managing to prolong a relationship which has already degenerated into mutual boredom at the intellectual level ("Food, said Elyot. . . . The unsurprised waiter was suggesting quail . . . . Quail Muriel? Elyot asked. Oh yes, she said remotely. 49 Quail" (p.245). And although Elyot already finds "that there was no excitement in the contact of flesh," (p.246) when their hands meet, nevertheless under the drug of music, he allows the scarlet nipple to recall the original, sensual attraction of her breasts: "She had the deep voice of saxophones. She had a scarlet nipple. Oh where, oh where can my l i t t l e dog be, i t was s t i l l the same party. . . . " (p.247). And so to the taxi where, as the talk d r i f t s on, "there was no visible hesitation in the rise and f a l l of the scarlet nipple" (p.252). Finally to bed, where he could possess the whole of Muriel with his hands" (p.252). However coitus leaves him with "a bitter mouth," (p.252) and as he leaves her smoking on the bed, he observes, as a sordid finale to the relationship, that "ash had fallen between her breasts" (p.253). "Outside," we are told, ". . . he was sick of his bones, and the stubble on bones that he touched, he half suspected two hollows in his skull" (p.253). Meanwhile the relationship between Catherine and Wally is already developing. Mrs Standish is too old to have breasts as appealing as Muriel's. Wally observes however that despite being "a bit of a back number in the face, she s t i l l got through nicely on the bust, had a bit of carriage to her name, you remembered you wasn't exactly addressing the wall" (p.227). So in the awkward moments when each of the strangers i s deciding whether to try and make a relationship out of the chance meeting, Mrs Standish "watched the hand, the l i t t l e black hairs below the cuff" (p.228) 5 0 (thus extending a rhythmic strand which began with Willy's hands on p.31) and Wally "measured with his eyes the evidence of bust" (p.228). From here on the progress of their affair is measured, and i t s quality suggested, by White's presentation of the respective consciousness of bust and hands. Wally's high point arrives: "She was that sincere, moved, the way her bust, that you put out a hand. Sometimes i t made him sweat, just how i t happened, and a dame of her class" (p.265). Then Catherine's: "He came up and took her from behind, his hands upon her breasts. She closed her eyes. Her face sagged. He was leading her, anywhere, she let him, a l l she desired was a complete sur-render of the w i l l " (p.268). The decline in this relationship begins when he sees someone else: "His eyes rested on the cleavage of a blond bust that blossomed from the contours of an armchair" (p.272). A page later she notices "the moist stare that betrayed in Wally the concentration on the physical," and almost im-mediately the ash symbol returns: "She felt the soft give of the ash-trodden carpet . . . . She looked nowhere in particular, into a marble wasteland" (p.274). Later, when Wally telephones her after a long silence, her body's natural decline i s indicated through the returning motif of the breast: "The body spread without symmetry in the bed, dropped, the breasts, at eleven o'clock, the body had not yet taken on shape" (p.294). Wally's interest, naturally enough, has turned to "the blond bust that blossomed" and the image of her is given in a veiled recurrence of the breast motif: "In those pyjamas with i n i t i a l s on the doings," 51 " a n A.D. i n s a t i n n e a r where i t showed t h r o u g h " ( pp . 2 9 5 - 6 ) . Soon Mr s . S t a n d i s h i s dead . The u se o f t h e b r e a s t m o t i f , i n t h e s e and o t h e r i n s t a n c e s i n t he n o v e l , c r e a t e s r h y t h m i c e f f e c t s beyond t he s i g n i f i c a n c e o f i t s i n d i v i d u a l o c c u r r e n c e s . I t marks t h e r i s e and f a l l of a number o f s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s ; and i t l i n k s t h e s e r e l a t i o n s h i p s t o one ano the r so as t o suggest t h e r e p e a t e d and i n e v i t a b l e r e c u r r e n c e o f an a r c h e t y p a l p a t t e r n . And t he p a r t i c u l a r c h o i c e o f the b r e a s t as t h e f u n c t i o n a l symbol i s v a l u a b l e , beyond i t s a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s t o t h e theme o f s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s , because i t a l l o w s a f u r t h e r l a y e r o f meaning t o be p r e s e n t e d , namely t h e i m -permanence o f n a t u r a l , phenomenal r e a l i t y . F o r Mrs S t a n d i s h * s b r e a s t s droop as she app roaches d e a t h , and t h e a g e i n g W a l l y t r a n s f e r s h i s a t t e n t i o n s t o the young, bosomy b l o n d e . Thus Wh i te r e v e a l s t he t r a n s i e n c e of beauty and of human s a t i s f a c t i o n . The m o t i f becomes a complex but d i r e c t means f o r t he r e n d e r i n g o f v i s i o n . THE LIVING AND THE DEAD: THEME Once a g a i n , i t i s i n te rms o f v i s i o n t h a t t h e theme o f The L i v i n g and t he Dead must be d e s c r i b e d . I t can be seen as a w a s t e l a n d n o v e l i n w h i c h " l i v i n g " and " d e a d " a r e n o t so much c h o i c e s a v a i l a b l e t o man as t h e y a r e a s p e c t s o f e x i s t e n c e seen t o be i n e v i t a b l e and comp lementa ry . A l l men a r e b o t h l i v i n g and dead, and though we may choose d i f f e r e n t ways i n w h i c h t o "be a l i v e " y e t a complementary s t a t e of d e a t h i s i n h e r e n t i n a l l p o s s i b l e c h o i c e s . The 52 i r o n y a t t he c e n t r e o f W h i t e ' s v i s i o n i s t h e i n s e p a r a b l e wedd ing of t h e d e f i n i n g p o l a r i t i e s o f e x i s t e n c e . And t h e i r o n y i s g i v e n added d i m e n s i o n i n the f a c t t h a t a l t h o u g h i t o p e r a t e s i n s p i t e o f human c h o i c e , c h o i c e r ema in s d e s i r a b l e . Whether we r e s i g n our c a p a c i t y t o e x e r c i s e c h o i c e , and s i m p l y d r i f t i n t he c u r r e n t s o f s o c i a l c o n v e n t i o n , l i k e Mrs S t a n d i s h , or whe the r we commit o u r s e l v e s t o a cho sen c o u r s e o f a c t i o n , l i k e J o e , t he end i s t he same: f r u s t r a t i o n and d e a t h . Y e t , p a r a d o x i c a l l y , commitment t o a cho sen c o u r s e s t i l l appea r s t o have v a l u e . C o n s e q u e n t l y , t h e c h o i c e o f non-commitment w i t h i n t h e a r e a s of c h o i c e c u r r e n t l y a v a i l a b l e (wh i ch i s as f a r as E l y o t g e t s ) , i s seen t o be s u p e r i o r t o t he commitment o f Joe and Eden because t h e i r s i s i n v o l u n t a r y and i r r a t i o n a l , m o t i v a t e d by p a s s i o n s beyond t h e i r c o n t r o l . They have no t e x e r c i s e d c h o i c e i n t h e i r commitment, w h i l s t E l y o t r ema i n s f r e e t o choo se , and s t i l l s e e k i n g . H i s s u p e r i o r i t y i s i r o n i c , however, f o r i t p r o v i d e s no o b v i o u s l y b e t t e r s t a t e o f l i f e t h a n J o e ' s o r E d e n ' s o r Mrs S t a n d i s h * s . We f i n d E l y o t a t t he end r e p u d i a t i n g t he " l i v i n g d e a d " (p.331) w h i c h h i s mother had become t h r o u g h r e s i g n a t i o n o f he r w i l l , and r e p u d i a t i n g a l s o t he " p r o t e s t of s e l f d e s t r u c t i o n " w h i c h Eden and J o e e x e m p l i f y , i n f a v o u r o f someth ing u n a t t a i n a b l e , " a n i n t e n s e r form o f l i v i n g . " I n t he commencement o f t h i s n e b u l o u s que s t he f e e l s " l i k e someone who had been a s l e e p , and had o n l y j u s t awoken" ( p .335). Awoken t o what? i s t h e unanswered q u e s t i o n . E l y o t r ema in s one o f t h e l i v i n g dead , even though he seeks t o a c h i e v e some b e t t e r s t a t e . These pa r adoxe s a r e p r e s e n t e d t h r o u g h t h e t o t a l 53 s t r u c t u r e o f t h e p l o t , t o wh i ch t h e c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f E l y o t a c t s as a k e y . I t i s w i t h h i s c o n s c i o u s n e s s t h a t the n o v e l opens and c l o s e s , and i t i s f rom h i s p o i n t o f v i e w t h a t t h e f i n a l v i s i o n o f l i f e emerges. E l y o t ' s c o n s c i o u s n e s s i s d e v e l o p e d as a l i m i t e d p e r s o n a of t h e n o v e l i s t , whose v i s i o n i t embod ies . The c o n s c i o u s n e s s of a l l t he o t h e r c h a r a c t e r s a r e d e v e l o p e d i n c o u n t e r p o i n t , o r harmony, t o the ma in theme ( E l y o t ' s c o n s c i o u s n e s s ) , so as t o g i v e t he v i s i o n d e p t h and s cope . I n f a c t , t o bor row t h e l anguage o f mus i c c r i t i c i s m , t he ma in theme i s s t a t e d i n t h e t e n pages o f t h e f i r s t c h a p t e r , and t he o t h e r 315 pages a r e a s o r t o f symphonic deve lopment o f t he s t a tement t h r ough s e v e r a l movements, c o n c l u d i n g w i t h a b r i e f r e - s t a t e m e n t . On page 19, f o r example , t h e t o t a l s i g n i f i c a n c e o f E d e n ' s and Mrs S t a n d i s h ' s l i v e s a r e g i v e n i n i m a g i s t i c c a p s u l e s w h i c h a r e expanded t h r ough t he c o u r s e of t he n o v e l . Thus Eden: She s a t w i t h her f a c e i n her hands a t du sk . She s a t b e s i d e anemones. These , s t i l l h udd l ed i n t h e i r b r i t t l e f r i l l s , were no t q u i t e dead . They r u s t l e d l i k e a k i n d o f i m m o r t e l l e . They wore the i n t e n s e and u sed up e x p r e s s i o n o f E d e n ' s f a c e , p e r s i s t e n t i n her s t r u g g l e a g a i n s t c o n v e n t i o n a l p r o c e d u r e . In t he n o v e l , E d e n ' s l i f e i s u n f o l d e d t o r e v e a l h e r e n d l e s s p e r s i s t e n c e i n t h i s s t r u g g l e . When J u l i a wants Conn ie t o s l e e p i n E d e n ' s bed , Eden sc reamed. They wou ld no t t o u c h h e r . I t was a r e s i s t a n c e of p a s s i o n , l i k e e v e r y t h i n g she d i d , t h e d a r k , emphat i c f a c e t h a t f a i l e d t o c o n t a i n i t s own e m o t i o n s . She sa t t h e r e s c r eam ing w i t h p a s s i o n i n bed . (p.91) From s c h o o l , she w r i t e s home 54 T h i s p l a c e i s h e l l , t h e l a s t t e r m s . Do you eve r f e e l t h a t you w i l l s u f f o c a t e j u s t f r om b e i n g cooped up w i t h so many u s e l e s s women? . . . Sometimes I can get away on my own. I f I 'm c a r e f u l . And damn what happens anyway, ( p . 134) Her i n t e r e s t i n Ma r x i sm , h e r a f f a i r w i t h Joe and her a f f a i r w i t h Maynard a r e a l l m o t i v a t e d p r i m a r i l y by h e r r e b e l l i o u s n e s s . She a l l o w s Maynard t o t a k e her t o bed as a g e s t u r e o f d e f i a n c e when he accu se s her of " h o l d i n g b a c k " (p.146). T h i s e x p e r i e n c e o f sex d i s g u s t s he r ( " t h e sense o f a c h i n g n au sea , t h e dead w e i g h t , " p.147 ) but she ag ree s t o go o f f t o D ieppe w i t h h im because he p r e s e n t s i t as an o p p o r t u n i t y t o t o s s out a l l c o n v e n t i o n a l r e s e r v e s , (p.148) Her L e f t i s t a c t i v i t i e s a re i n i t i a l l y a c t s o f r e b e l l i o n a g a i n s t E n g l i s h s o c i e t y , but she soon f i n d s t h a t Ma rx i sm r e q u i r e s i n t e l l e c t u a l d i s c i p l i n e f rom h e r , so she r e b e l s a g a i n s t t h i s a s p e c t o f i t : She had a b e l i e f i n h e r p a s s i o n . She l o o k e d a t her hands and t r i e d t o i g n o r e t he v o i c e o f t he B loomsbury i n t e l l e c t u a l s p i l l i n g s t a t i s t i c s f rom R u s s i a , f rom S p a i n . Her p a s s i o n was someth ing a p a r t f rom economic e q u a t i o n s , ( p . 180) She i s a t t r a c t e d t o J o e , who t u r n s ou t t o be a m i a b l e enough and a l s o a r e b e l . He e n j o y s h i s work, But b e h i n d a l l t h i s , t h e h a b i t , t he s u b s t a n t i a l d e t a i l , t h e r e was much t h a t he h a d n ' t a c coun ted f o r . You s t i l l had t o r e c k o n w i t h a k i n d o f s h a p e l e s s f o r c e . I t made you wonder. I t was a f o r c e o f o p p o s i t i o n t h a t showed i t s e l f i n moments o f p a i n , i n j u s t i c e , and hunge r . You r e s e n t e d t h e d i c t a t o r s h i p o f someth ing t h a t you d i d n ' t u n d e r s t a n d , even i f i t h a d n ' t y e t t ouched you p e r s o n a l l y . . . . So t h a t Joe B a r n e t t , i n h i s more t h o u g h t f u l , s e l f l e s s moments c o n s i d e r e d a p o s s i b l e e x i s t e n c e f r e e f rom t h i s a b s t r a c t d i c t a t o r -s h i p . He c o u l d no t f o r m u l a t e t he d e t a i l s o f h i s 55 desired utopia. But he was conscious inside him of a strange, peaceable, physical sensation that per-suaded him a state of Tightness must exist, that rightness must predominate, (p. 186) It is in this spirit of Utopian escapism that he goes to make his "sacrifice" in Spain. Eden is l e f t hollow by his absence, and when he dies, she can do nothing but set off on a f i n a l , suicidal protest against fate. This i s no more an affirmation of brotherhood or commitment than is Joe's empty death. Mrs. Standish, on the other hand accepts the l i f e which fate hands out to her, with pathetic d o c i l i t y . On page 19 she too is disclosed in an image: I have brought some l i l i e s , said Mrs.Standish, we must have a party, l i l i e s and people, and what shall we have to eat. The excitement of his mother's voice refreshed by an inspiration, as i t came in on a September evening. Eden's groan. She is the obverse of Eden. An "inspiration" for her amounts to an item in the conventional, social routine suggesting i t s e l f to her mind. She w i l l be occupied for days with formal details, and the inherent value of her activities is never considered. The decline of Mrs Standish into this state of moral abdication i s one of the novel's most s k i l l f u l l y handled strands of development rendered through rhythm and pattern with recurring motifs. The central development can be sketched b r i e f l y . As a young g i r l , Kitty Goose, exhibits none of the drooping weariness of thellater Catherine Standish, but i s carried along on impulses of v i t a l i t y : 56 K i t t y Goose stepped down i n t o the s t r e e t . She could not p u l l too hard at a he s i t a n t door, almost j e r k i n g from i t s socket e i t h e r knob or arm. (p.21) But she r a p i d l y develops a nagging sense of meaninglessness as she acquires an i n c r e a s i n g s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s , or l u c i d i t y , i n the e x i s t e n t i a l i s t sense: She was a teacher, she t o l d h e r s e l f , w i t h a l i t t l e s t a r t of amazement, of f e a r , f o r she was no d i f f e r e n t i n the g l a s s , unchanged from the face that swept d i r e c t i o n l e s s on a wave of Swinburne i n the room at home. And s t i l l d i r e c t i o n l e s s , the teacher i n the lane, i n s p i t e of o f f i c i a l mornings at a r a i s e d t a b l e watching her superior hands u n d e r l i n e i n red i n k , she was the blown grass i n country lanes, (p.29) This d i s t u r b i n g process of s e l f d i s c o v e r y i s soon o v e r l a i d f o r her by her involvement i n s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Her beau a r r i v e s , having kept her w a i t i n g i n the c o l d of winter and s e l f - s c r u t i n y , and we are t o l d , "she d i s s o l v e d i n g r a t i t u d e " (p.29). And she le a r n s to d i s p e l the anguished thoughts which t r o u b l e her, by posing i n some s o c i a l r o l e or another. You played the charade f o r a l l you were worth, i g n o r i n g the moments of u n c e r t a i n t y , (p.35) As a young b r i d e , I t was fun, i n a world of endless p o s s i b i l i t y created when she married W i l l y , (p.39) And l a t e r , when t h i s r o l e p a l l s , as a mother: She was a c t u a l l y going to have a c h i l d . I t made her f e e l r a t h e r solemn. I t invested her wi t h d i g n i t y , (p.45) And she enjoyed t h i s , her new possession. I t was a safeguard, she f e l t unconsciously, against the exp r e s s i o n l e s s malaise, (p.47) As one excitement a f t e r another grows to a climax and 57 then fades out, and as they grow less and less frequent, she learns to f i l l her l i f e with the mere forms and processes of social convention, and so she continues, with an occasional, dim recurrence of the old lucidity. She yawns at herself in mirrors and is forever picking flowers apart--a major motif of the novel, this, found also i n , for instance, T.S.Eliot's "Portrait of a Lady". She has a la s t , pathetic fl i n g with Wally, and sinks into death. She i s one of the po s s i b i l i t i e s of existence open to Elyot. She is rendered with great skillrtechnically, and i s made memorable through the moral realism which informs White's vision of her: Her nails blanched against each other, fastened against a strand of hair, almost as i f she suspected l i c e . Or perhaps not. Perhaps more probable that Mrs Standish was bored, bored, BORED, though i f she had expressed i t herself, she would certainly have said: j1a i des ennuis. mon cher. (p.182) Out of this pattern of the pos s i b i l i t i e s of living death and suicidal l i f e , Elyot emerges as an alienated figure, tormented by his lucid consciousness. At the end, when his mother and sister have lef t him and he has "no longer even the tyrrany of a personal routine," (p.334) he climbs into a bus "bound nowhere in particular," and passes on through the wasteland hoping dimly for some means of establishing a living relationship with his fellow 9 travellers, "like the voices of people who wake and find they have come to the end of a journey, saying: Then we are here, we have slept, but we have really got here at last." 58 For those readers who can i d e n t i f y w i t h E l y o t Standish, The L i v i n g and the Dead i s an important n o v e l , p r e s e n t i n g , w i t h s k i l l f u l complexity, an honest and v i v i d experience of l i f e i n i t s mysterious and p a r a d o x i c a l nature. Those who f i n d E l y o t unworthy of sympathy w i l l probably not make the e f f o r t to comprehend the nove l . For one reader at l e a s t , E l y o t stands w i t h Theodora and Himmelfarb and Stan Parker, as a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e human f i g u r e , conceived i n t r u t h and rendered w i t h great a e s t h e t i c appeal. 59 CHAPTER I I I PARTICIPATION AND SURVIVAL IN THE ALIEN WORLD YOUNG MAN (yawning, addressing the audience) I have j u s t woken, i t seems. I t i s about . . . w e l l , the time doesn't matter. The same a p p l i e s to my o r i g i n s . I t could be that I was born i n Birmingham . . . or Brooklyn . . . or Murwillumbah. What _is important i s t h a t , thanks to a succession of meat p i e s (the g r i s t l e - a n d - g r a v y , cardboard kind) and many cups of pink t e a , I am a l i v e ! Therefore . . . and t h i s i s the r a t h e r p a i n f u l p o i n t . . . I must go i n soon and take p a r t i n the p l a y , which, as u s u a l , i s a piece about e e l s . As I am a l s o a poet . . . though, to be p e r f e c t l y honest, I have not yet found out f o r sure . . . my dilemma i n the p l a y i s how to take p a r t i n the c o n f l i c t of e e l s , and survive at the same time . . . becoming a kind of Roman candle . . . f i z z i n g f o r ever i n the dark. ( P a t r i c k White, prologue to The Ham Funeral) PART I . THE AUNT'S STORY The t i t l e s of White's f i r s t three published novels are an index to the development of h i s concern as an a r t i s t - - t o h i s s e l e c t i o n and treatment of subject-matter. I t i s a development from the general to the p a r t i c u l a r , a c l a r i f i c a t i o n , a narrowing down of focus, w i t h i n c r e a s i n g a t t e n t i o n given to the d e p i c t i n g of i n d i v i d u a l character and consciousness. An e a r l y , unpublished novel i s recorded w i t h the general, a b s t r a c t t i t l e "No More R e a l i t y " (1935).*" Then comes Happy V a l l e y (1939), d e a l i n g w i t h s o c i e t y at l a r g e , as represented i n the f a i r l y wide range of characters peopling 60 a small town. The Living and the Dead (1941), presents a smaller number of individuals and i s designed to reveal certain limited states of consciousness as embodied in the three Standishes; the rendering of consciousness is narrower in range and more intense in texture, than in Happy Valley. In The Aunt1s Story (1948), White's vision is focussed even more exclusively and more intensively on a single main character. We see then that the development is from society, to a small number of individuals, to one individual. The canvas remains of constant size (about 110,000 words in each case) whilst man, the subject, is magnified until a single image almost f i l l s the picture. The portrait of Theodora, constantly expanding through the time dimension of the novel, so f i l l s The Aunt's Story as to make i t a vividly intense product of White's vision, more so than any other novel, from Happy Valley to The Solid Mandala. In the four later novels, beginning with The Tree of Man. White once again reduces the size of the central images, in order to f i t more on to the canvas. And although The Solid Mandala and, to a lesser extent, Riders in the Chariot achieve intensity through the parallel presentation of complementary or similar characters, i t i s a complex intensity, achieved at the expense of the vivid simplicity of The Aunt's Story. But the image of Theodora must not be taken to represent a belief on White's part that essential human values reside in only one kind of person, let alone in a single individual. Theodora is by no means an ideal figure, tormented as she is by the lucidity that brings her f i n a l l y to a mental 61 a s y l u m . She i s , r a t h e r , by n a t u r a l endowment and t he a c c i d e n t s o f b i o g r a p h y , a p e r s o n i n whom s e l f - a w a r e n e s s i s accompan ied by ext reme a n g u i s h . W h i t e ' s r e a l i s m p r e v e n t s h im f rom m i n i m i z i n g t h e a n g u i s h , i n r e v e a l i n g t he i n t e g r i t y o f h e r l u c i d s t a t e . The same r e a l i s m e n a b l e s him t o see t h a t t h e p e o p l e who e x i s t on l e s s e r p l a n e s o f s e l f - a w a r e n e s s t han T h e o d o r a ' s have the same c l a i m s on h i s m o r a l i n t e r e s t as an a r t i s t , as she d o e s . That t hey a r e d i f f e r e n t f rom Theodora and f r om one a n o t h e r , i s c l e a r ; but i t i s a l s o c l e a r t h a t t h e y a r e f e l l o w - s u f f e r e r s o f h e r s i n the w o r l d o f c l e a v a g e and p a i n . F u r t h e r m o r e , Wh i t e sees t h a t , even f o r t h e s e l e s s c o n s c i o u s i n d i v i d u a l s , i t i s o n l y by s t r i v i n g t o apprehend " t h e m y s t e r y and t h e p o e t r y , " w h i c h l i e beneath " t h e i n e s s e n t i a l o u t e r s h e l l , " t h a t t h e y can "make t h e i r l i v e s b e a r a b l e . " A l l t h i s comes t h r ough t o us i n The T ree o f Man, w h i c h i s i n some ways a complementary volume t o The A u n t ' s S t o r y ; The ext reme fo rm o f l u c i d s e l f - a w a r e n e s s , i n t he p e c u l i a r image o f Theodo ra , i s b a l a n c e d by t he u n e x c e p t i o n a l , ave rage f i g u r e s o f S t a n and Amy P a r k e r . What s t r i k e s us i s no t so much t he o b v i o u s d i f f e r e n c e s between the P a r k e r s and Theodo ra , but t h e g e n e r i c s i m i l a r i t y o f t h e i r r e a c t i o n s t o t h e i r l i f e e x p e r i e n c e s - - t h e c o m p u l s i o n t o see and u n d e r -s t and the m y s t e r i e s o f t h e i r e n v i r onmen t , as f a r as t h e y a r e a b l e , and t he g rowth o f a t o r m e n t i n g sense of a l i e n a t i o n . Both n o v e l s a r e a f f i r m a t i o n s o f t he r i g h t ( o r pe rhap s even t he d u t y ) , and t h e power o f the i n d i v i d u a l t o a c c e p t what he can see o f t h e f a c t s o f e x i s t e n c e , and t o s u r v i v e w i t h t h a t v i s i o n . 62 Yet a n o t h e r a s p e c t o f W h i t e ' s r e a l i s m i s t o be found i n t h e s e two n o v e l s o f t h e m i d d l e p e r i o d : The a n g u i s h o f t h e c e n t r a l f i g u r e s h a v i n g been r e c o g n i s e d , i t i s i n no way s e n t i m e n t a l i z e d . That i s t o s ay , t h e p r o b l e m o f a n g u i s h i s n o t r e s o l v e d i n some manner w h i c h p u t s a s t r a i n on t h e r e a d e r ' s c r e d e n c e . Wh i t e s i m p l y r e n d e r s t he s t a t e o f man w i t h t h e h o n e s t y o f h i s v i s i o n and does no t a t t empt any t h e o r e t i c a l s o l u t i o n . A l t h o u g h Theodora and S t an do come a t l a s t t o s t a t e s o f p e r s o n a l r e s o l u t i o n and p e a c e , t h e means o f a t t a i n i n g t h e s e s t a t e s i s i n s c r u t a b l e i n t h e n o v e l s . Wh i te p r e s e n t s them t h r ough p s y c h i c m a n i f e s t a t i o n s r a t h e r t h a n p h i l o s o p h i c a l argument of t he R a s s e l a s v a r i e t y . Two l a t e r n o v e l s , Voss and R i d e r s i n t h e C h a r i o t , a r e mar red by t h e i r s t r a n g e a t t e m p t s t o sugges t t he p o s s i b i l i t y o f a s p i r i t u a l o r s u p e r n a t u r a l communion, w h i c h r e l i e v e s t h e sense o f i s o l a t i o n f rom the angu i s h o f t he c o n s c i o u s i n d i v i d u a l , and w h i c h , i n Vo s s , e n a b l e s one p e r s o n t o e x e r c i s e a c e r t a i n s p i r i t u a l i n f l u e n c e on a n o t h e r . I n The S o l i d M a n d a l a . Wh i te d i s p e n s e s w i t h m y s t i c i s m , but h i s c o n c e r n t o d e l i n e a t e c e r t a i n p s y c h o l o g i c a l t y p e - d i v i s i o n s t end s t o c l o u d h i s v i s i o n o f t h e f undamenta l p r ob l ems o f e x i s t e n c e . The r e l a t i v e weaknesses o f theme i n t h e l a t e r n o v e l s a r e no t a c t u a l l y s u r p r i s i n g , when we come t o c o n s i d e r how much i s a c h i e v e d i n The A u n t ' s S t o r y and The T ree o f Man. In t h i s m i d d l e p e r i o d , Wh i te has more o r l e s s e xhau s ted h i s ma in theme; he has g i v e n a r t i s t i c embodiment t o t h e c h i e f p e r c e p t i o n s w h i c h make up h i s v i s i o n . I n subsequent work he can a m p l i f y and v a r y ( e . g . We may c o n s i d e r L a u r a , M i s s H a r e , A n t h e a , Waldo and o t h e r s , as v a r i a t i o n s and 63 deve lopment s o f t h e c h a r a c t e r of Theodo ra , and H a r r y R o b a r t s , Mrs G o d b o l d , A r t h u r Brown and o t h e r s , as s i m i l a r e x t e n s i o n s o f S t an P a r k e r . ) He c an a l s o b ranch o f f i n c e r t a i n new d i r e c t i o n s ( e . g . The a n t i - N i e t z s c h e a n a s p e c t o f V o s s . ) The l a t e r works a l s o show an i n c r e a s i n g l y s a t i r i c i n t o l e r a n c e o f mo ra l b l i n d n e s s i n s o c i e t y . (One t h i n k s o f t h e " c r u c i f i x i o n " o f H i m m e l f a r b , and t h e p o r t r a i t o f t he " C h e e r y S o u l " i n t he p l a y and s t o r y . ) But i n t h e two n o v e l s o f t h e m i d d l e p e r i o d , the c r u c i a l p r o d u c t s o f W h i t e ' s v i s i o n as an a r t i s t a r e p r e s e n t e d most d i r e c t l y and w i t h a matured t e c h n i q u e . These n o v e l s a r e , so t o speak, h i s g o s p e l s . The m a t u r i t y o f t e c h n i q u e i n t h e s e n o v e l s i s e v i d e n t i n a number o f ways w h i c h w i l l be c o n s i d e r e d a t l e n g t h . I n The A u n t 1 s S t o r y t h e deve lopment of c o n s c i o u s n e s s i s h a n d l e d s k i l l f u l l y t h r ough t he o v e r a l l s t r u c t u r e and t he i n t e r n a l p a t t e r n s . I n The T ree o f Man the sense o f i n -c o m p l e t e n e s s and d i s l o c a t i o n i n the p r o s e becomes a means o f r e n d e r i n g t he m e n t a l i n adequacy and i n a r t i c u l a t e n e s s o f t he c h a r a c t e r s . In both n o v e l s , t he web of images and m o t i f s i s l e s s f i n e l y woven t h a n i n The L i v i n g and t h e Dead, and t h i s makes f o r a c l e a r e r and more emphat i c r e n d e r i n g , a t t he expense o f t he more m i n u t e i m p r e s s i o n s . Rhy thmic s t r a n d s and p a t t e r n s o f m o t i f a r e r e s e r v e d f o r t he e x p r e s s i o n o f t h e most c e n t r a l a s p e c t s o f theme. F o r i n s t a n c e , t he i n d i v i d u a l s e a r c h f o r u n d e r s t a n d i n g , i n The  A u n t 1 s S t o r y , i s g i v e n r h y t h m i c i n t e n s i t y and a sense o f p e r p e t u i t y by i t s r e c u r r e n c e i n t he sequence o f q u e s t e r s - -Theodo ra , L o u , K a t i n a . And t he " b o n e s " m o t i f , w h i c h i s so 64 i m p o r t a n t t o t he a r t i s t ' s v i s i o n i n t he n o v e l , i s g i v e n g r e a t e r e f f e c t i v e n e s s by t he f a c t t h a t t h e r e a r e fewer s econda r y m o t i f s t han i n The L i v i n g and t h e Dead, a . THE AUNT'S STORY: TECHNIQUE The most n o t i c e a b l e t e c h n i c a l f e a t u r e o f The A u n t 1 s S t o r y i s i t s d i v i s i o n i n t o t h r e e v e r y d i f f e r e n t p a r t s . In t h e c o u r s e o f a f i r s t r e a d i n g i t i s o f t e n d i f f i c u l t t o see e x a c t l y how t h e s e p a r t s i n t e r - r e l a t e . Thelma H e r r i n g ' s 2 e l a b o r a t i o n of t he Odyssey theme i n The A u n t 1 s S t o r y p r o v i d e s a v a l u a b l e c l u e ; f o r we s hou l d ob se r ve t h a t t h e n o v e l i s p l o t t e d b r o a d l y as a s t o r y o f q u e s t , w i t h a b e g i n n i n g , a m i d d l e and an end. The s i g n i f i c a n c e of T h e o d o r a ' s que s t w i l l be c o n s i d e r e d l a t e r i n t he a n a l y s i s o f themes. What i s i m p o r t a n t t o n o t i c e a t t h i s p o i n t , i s how t h e t h r e e p a r t s a r e c o n s t r u c t e d so as t o d e v e l o p t he s e p a r a t i o n between two d i f f e r e n t and i n t e r w o v e n r e c o r d s of e x p e r i e n c e - - t h e o b j e c t i v e n a r r a t i v e and t he s u b j e c t i v e a ccoun t o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s , b o t h g i v e n by the n a r r a t o r . The n a r r a t o r i s o m n i s c i e n t and r e n d e r s t he s t o r y t h r oughou t i n the t h i r d p e r s o n . H i s p o i n t o f v i e w i s d u a l , however. I t i s a l t e r n a t e l y T h e o d o r a ' s and t h a t of a " n o r m a l " p e r s o n ; and because o f t h e way i n wh i ch t he n a r r a t i v e s h u t t l e s back and f o r t h f rom t h e s e two d i f f e r e n t s t a n d p o i n t s , i t o f t e n r e q u i r e s t h e c l o s e s t a t t e n t i o n on t he p a r t o f t he r e a d e r i f he w i s h e s t o f o l l o w whether t h i n g s a r e happen ing i n " f a c t " , o r m e r e l y i n T h e o d o r a ' s m i n d . (The appearance o f t he H o l s t i u s f i g u r e i s a good examp le . ) T h i s e lement o f a m b i g u i t y i s u n d o u b t e d l y d e l i b e r a t e on W h i t e ' s p a r t , f o r 65 i t creates in us, i n i t i a l l y , the same kind of doubt as to the difference between reality and i l l u s i o n , as Theodora experiences. Here then i s the objective story of Theodora's quest, as i t can be separated from the medley, for our final appreciation of the novel: In Part One Theodora grows up to become a lonely, middle-aged spinster. After the failure of her affair with Huntley Clarkson, she comes to a desperate realization that her l i f e lacks something which her immediate environ-ment cannot provide. She is ready to begin her quest, though she i s not quite sure of i t s object: At this point, Theodora sometimes said, I should begin to read Gibbon, or find religion, instead of speaking to myself in my own room. But words, whether written or spoken, were at most f r a i l slat bridges over chasms, and Mrs Goodman had never encouraged religion, as she herself was God. So i t will not be by these means, Theodora said, that the great monster Self w i l l be destroyed, and that desirable state achieved, which resembles, and would imagine, nothing more than air or water, (p.134) Then her mother dies, so that she is released from social ties and can act freely, but she does not know what to do: If she l e f t the prospect of freedom unexplored, i t was less from a sense of remorse than from not knowing what to do. (p.10) She rejects the temptation to "die again" for her mother (i . e . to f a l l into nostalgic reverie) as she had done once when her father died. (p.135) So she decides in the end, rather uncertain of her object, to travel: "Will you really go away, Aunt Theo?" asked Lou. 66 "Yes," s a i d Theodora, " I s h a l l go away." "Then there w i l l a l o t of other s t o r i e s to t e l l . " " I expect not," Theodora s a i d . "Why?" asked Lou. "Because there are people who do not have many s t o r i e s to t e l l . " There were the people as empty as a f i l i g r e e b a l l , though even these would f i l l at times w i t h a sudden f i r e . (p.136) In Part Two we f i n d her at the Hotel du M i d i i n the South of France, u t t e r l y d i s i l l u s i o n e d a f t e r her t r a v e l s round Europe, but s t i l l w a i t i n g , and with hope not q u i t e ex t i n g u i s h e d : S t i l l , there w i l l always be people, Theodora Goodman s a i d , and she continued to wait w i t h something of the superior acceptance of mahogany f o r f r e s h a c t s . (p.141) She has chosen t h i s h o t e l because i t s brochure a d v e r t i s e d a l a r d i n exotique and she "considered i t s p o s s i b i l i t y " (p.142). So she goes h o p e f u l l y i n t o the l a r d i n , and we are reminded as she does so that the r e s t of Europe has f a i l e d her, so that t h i s i s her l a s t hope: As she stepped out, she hoped that the garden would be the goal of a journey. There had been many goals, a l l of them deceptive. In P a r i s , the metal hats j u s t f a i l e d to t i n k l e . The great soprano i n Dresden sang up her soul for love i n t o a wooden cup. . . . Throughout the gothic s h e l l of Europe, i n which there had never been such a buying and s e l l i n g , of semi-precious a s p i r a t i o n s , b u l l s * blood, and s t u f f e d doves, the stone arches cracked, the aching w i l d e r n e s s , i n which the ghosts of Homer and St. Paul and T o l s t o y waited f o r the crash, (p. 145-6) The garden turns out to be a harsh, d e s t r u c t i v e place (developed as a wasteland symbol of the w o r l d ) , and a f f o r d s her no p r o f i t ; n e i t h e r does the h o t e l (developed as a 67 symbol of Europe's "gothic s h e l l " ) , nor i t s i n h a b i t a n t s . The h o t e l burns down, k i l l i n g or s c a t t e r i n g the r e s i d e n t s , and l e a v i n g the p e r s i s t e n t j a r d i n to su r v i v e behind the smoky r u i n s . Thus Theodora's t r a v e l s have come to nothing: Europe has crumbled and the world remains a p r i c k l y cactus garden. She i s now d i r e c t i o n l e s s again, and u t t e r s the vague suggestions of r e t u r n i n g to A u s t r a l i a , which she c a l l s " A b y s s i n i a " since the geographical world has now become as unreal to her as the Abyssinian Meroe was when she was a c h i l d on her f a t h e r ' s farm. In Part Three, Theodora i s r e t u r n i n g to A u s t r a l i a when her quest takes a dramatic t u r n . She suddenly decides to r e b e l against the conventions of the known, s o c i a l world, by disappearing i n t o anonymity. She steps i n t o the pre-dawn darkness from her t r a i n , l e a v i n g i t to go "with a l l i t s magnificence of purpose, towards C a l i f o r n i a " (p.275). Then she escapes from the truck i n which Jake i s t a k i n g her to a motel, and chooses f o r d i r e c t i o n "the road that opened" (p.277). This leads her to the Johnsons' house where, s t r i p p e d of her i t i n e r a r y , her documents and her name, she stays a few hours. F i n a l l y she i s d r i v e n away from the Johnsons' by the si g h t of a c l o c k which reminds her of the world from which she i s t r y i n g to escape, towards " h u m i l i t y , to anonymity, to pureness of being" (p.284). So she wanders up the h i l l where she f i n d s an o l d , deserted, "blank house" (p.289). Here she waits for "some u l t i m a t e moment of c l e a r v i s i o n " (p.290) which comes, i n due course, i n the h a l l u c i n a t o r y f i g u r e of H o l s t i u s . With h i s appearance, and h i s conversation, her psychic balance becomes strangely a l t e r e d , so that she 68 i s able to adopt an a t t i t u d e of complete composure and acceptance i n the face of the paradoxes and tensions which have t o r t u r e d her mind f o r decades. Completely at peace, having a t t a i n e d the object of her quest, she allows the doctor to take her o f f to the asylum, and the novel ends. While t h i s o b j e c t i v e n a r r a t i v e , or p l o t , i s worked out, Theodora's inner l i f e - - h e r p r i v a t e world of personal r e a l i t y — i s revealed i n the novel Largely through the sub-j e c t i v e n a r r a t i v e , which forms a record of her consciousness. White i n d i c a t e s the progress of t h i s inner l i f e , by g r a d u a l l y narrowing the range of her consciousness, u n t i l she becomes almost completely s o l i p s i s t i c . And the extent of Theodora's d e v i a t i o n from o b j e c t i v e "normality" i s emphasized through-out by the f a c t that the n a r r a t o r i s c o n s t a n t l y a l t e r n a t i n g between the two c o n t r a s t i n g p o i n t s of view. Thus her pro-gress i s measured by the constant j u x t a p o s i t i o n of her consciousness w i t h the " f a c t u a l " account. Having seen the " f a c t s " of the s t o r y , we can now trace out the more complex account of Theodora's consciousness. From the beginning of her l i f e - s t o r y Theodora i s shown to have a r a t i o n a l , e n q uiring mind. She does not shrink from examining a l l aspects of things that she encounters, and her examination o f t e n leaves her with a sense of mystery. Thus i n her mother's garden she f i n d s : There was a small pale grub c u r l e d i n the heart of the rose. She could not look too long at the grub-t h i n g s t i r r i n g as she opened the p e t a l s to the l i g h t , (p.21) Her s i s t e r would repudiate, would w i l l i n g l y deny the e x i s t -ence, of such d i s t a s t e f u l t h i n g s : 69 "Horrid, beastly grub," said Fanny, who was as pretty and as pink as roses, (p.21) At this stage in her development, Theodora is unable to do anything more than merely accept this difference between herself and Fanny, and go on living in the routine of the family. Theodora had not yet learned to dispute the apparently indisputable. But she could not condemn her pale and touching grub. She could not subtract i t from the sum total of the garden. So, without arguing, she closed the rose. (p.21) Her consciousness of mysteries in the nature of things grows, with each of several experiences, and she begins to be plagued by a desire to understand. The house continued to s t i r with the great mystery that had taken place i.e. Pearl's pregnancy and dismissal . There was always a great deal that never got explained. "I would like to know," said Theodora, "I would like to know everything." (p.39) "I shall know everything," Theodora said. To wrap i t up and put i t in a box. This is the property of Theodora Goodman. But until this time things floated out of reach. She put out her hand they bobbed and were gone. (p.40) Up to this point, the contrast developed is not so much one between subjective and objective narratives, as between generally different intellectual attitudes to l i f e . On the one hand, Theodora (like her father) notices the inexplicable or mysterious things and tries to puzzle them out. On the other hand, Fanny (like her mother) manages to see only the things which w i l l not puzzle her: 70 Father once said to Mother that Fanny would always ask the questions that have answers, (p.40) But near the end of t h i s f i r s t chapter of Theodora's story (Chapter Two), her experience w i t h The Man Who Was Given His Dinner leads to something more than a mere i n t e l l e c t u a l a t t i t u d e . I t leads to a sudden i n v e r s i o n of v i s i o n , a kind of Joycean epiphany i n which the "normal" appearance of o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y i s momentarily d i s t o r t e d : "What do you do?" she asked. "I look f o r go l d . " "Why?" "Because," he s a i d , " i t i s as good a way of passing your l i f e as any other." This sounded funny. I t made the w a l l s d i s s o l v e , the stone w a l l s of Meroe, as f l a t as water, so that the people s i t t i n g i n s i d e were now exposed, t r e a d l i n g a sewing machine, baking a l o a f , or adding up accounts. But the man walked on the d i s s o l v e d w a l l s , and h i s beard blew. (p.41) Meanwhile, the man himself r e c o g n i s i n g her c a p a c i t y f o r e n t e r t a i n i n g doubt about the d i s t i n c t i o n between i l l u s i o n and r e a l i t y : "They say people who take to the mountains 're crazy, "he yawned. "And perhaps they're r i g h t . Though who's crazy and who i s n ' t ? Can you t e l l me that young Theodora Goodman? I bet you couldn't." (p.45) The remaining four chapters of Part One repeat and expand so as to create a loose p a t t e r n , the elements e s t a b l i s h e d i n Chapter Two. In each of these chapters, Theodora recog-n i s e s more and more, the mysterious nature of e x i s t e n c e , and i s t r o u b l e d by her i n a b i l i t y to r e s o l v e the mysteries. The d i f f e r e n c e between h e r s e l f and most of the people she knows, 71 becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y evident to her, and i s clouded by overtones of fe a r and r e j e c t i o n : [Tina Russell] looked at Theodora, sensing something that she would not understand, and p o s s i b l y something from which she must defend h e r s e l f , or even hate, (p.49) She hated Theodora s t i l l , she hated what was unex-p l a i n e d , (p.63) [Frank P a r r o t t j would have hated her f o r the i n c i d e n t of the hawk, hated her out of h i s v a n i t y , but because there was something that he d i d not understand, he remained instead uneasy, almost a l i t t l e b i t a f r a i d , (p.74) She a l s o recognises a k i n s h i p w i t h a small number of p e o p l e — her f a t h e r , V i o l e t Adams, Mora'itis.--and i n her contact w i t h them, she experiences a s e r i e s of p r o g r e s s i v e l y stronger epiphanies, of the same kind as the o r i g i n a l one she had w i t h The Man Who Was Given His Dinner. Thus, a f t e r her f a t h e r ' s death, her " r e a l " environment d i s s o l v e s i n t o a grey waste land: She walked out through the passages, through the sleep of other people. She was t h i n as grey l i g h t , as i f she had j u s t d i e d . She would not wake the others. I t was s t i l l too t e r r i b l e to t e l l , too p r i v a t e an experience. As i f she were to go i n t o the room and say: Mother, I am dead, I am dead, Meroe' has crumbled. So she went outside where the grey l i g h t was as t h i n as water and Mero'e had, i n f a c t , d i s s o l v e d . Cocks were crowing the legend of day, but only the legend. Meroe was grey water, grey ash. (p.88) S h o r t l y before the end of Part One, the tension e x i s t i n g between her inner v i s i o n of s u b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y 72 (which has burst into her consciousness at the various moments of epiphanal illumination) and her existence and social activity in the outer, "normal" world, becomes too much for her to continue to accept passively. The incident of the shooting of clay ducks at the fair is rendered as a psychological projection of her desire to break through the surface of apparent re a l i t y , to cut through the canvas world (as Lieselotte does in Part Two, p.176) and discover a world of truth: She stood already in the canvas landscape, against which the ducks jerked, her canvas arms animated by some emotion that was scarcely hers. Because the canvas moments w i l l come to l i f e of their own accord . . . . The Man who was Given his Dinner, and Mora'itis, for some, had already shown her this. Now she stood in the smell of f l i n t and powdered flesh, from which the world of Huntly Clarkson had receded, and she took aim at the clay heads of the jerking ducks. She took aim, and the dead, white, discarded moment f e l l shattered the duck bobbed headless. "Good for Theodora," Ralph said. . . . They watched the clay ducks shatter each time Theodora fired, and i t was as i f each time a secret l i f e was shattered, of which they had not been aware, and probably never would have, but they resented the possibility removed. It was something mysterious, shameful, and grotesque, (p.124) By this symbolic act of destruction, Theodora has asserted for herself, and in the sight of others, not only the difference between herself and them, but also her right and her power to live according to her own vision of reality: Behind them the others walked, half knowing, in their silence, ever since Theodora had shot the clay heads off the ducks, that she was separated from then for ever by something that their smooth minds would not grope towards, preferring sofas to a hard bench, (p.125) 73 The l a s t sentences of Part One i n d i c a t e the degree to which her inner v i s i o n has progressed away from o b j e c t i v e n o r m a l i t y : Even the simplest, everyday things now puzzle her, and i t i s i n t h i s c o n d i t i o n that she f e e l s the need to embark on her quest: I s h a l l go, s a i d Theodora, I have already gone. The s i m p l i c i t y of what u l t i m a t e l y happens hollowed her out. She was part of a s u r p r i s i n g world i n which hands, f o r reasons no longer obvious, had put t a b l e s and c h a i r s , (p.137) In Part Two of The Aunt's Story, we have the middle stage of Theodora's inner development. This s e c t i o n of the novel i s probably the most elaborate t e c h n i c a l s t r u c t u r e i n the White canon, and i t i n v i t e s extensive c r i t i c i s m . There are such matters, f o r example, as the d e r i v a t i v e l i n k s w i t h Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain, and ( i n the c o n s t r u c t i o n of the chapters) w i t h Joyce's Dubliners. At t h i s p o i n t we are concerned only w i t h the way i n which the dual s t r u c t u r e of s u b j e c t i v e and o b j e c t i v e consciousness of Part Two, and i t s i n t e r - r e l a t i o n w i t h the other p a r t s , r e v e a l the progress of Theodora's experience i n a l i e n a t i o n . The f i r s t three chapters of Part Two (Chapters Seven, Eight and Nine), present the morning, afternoon and n i g h t , r e s p e c t i v e l y , of Theodora's f i r s t day at the HOtel du M i d i . In the course of t h i s day, she encounters and converses wi t h a l l the r e s i d e n t s of the h o t e l . I t i s important to r e a l i z e that almost a l l of these c h a r a c t e r s , though they d e f i n i t e l y e x i s t as separate beings (which some c r i t i c s have 3 doubted), are nevertheless c l o s e l y r e l a t e d to Theodora by personal h i s t o r y . They may be regarded as a l t e r ego 74 figures, specimens of what she may be or of what she may become—or, in the case of Katiria, what she was. They are mostly sensitive people who have been subjected to experiences of enormous frustration, disillusionment, terrible violence, or fear, and, like Theodora, they feel alienated from the world and in need of communication. (Thus they a l l pounce on Theodora as soon as they can, to see what comfort or sympathy she can offer them.) And in her contact with them, Theodora finds much with which she is familiar, from her own experiences of frustration and alienation: The Demoiselles Bloch giggled, for many past crackers let off under the visitor's chair. But Theodora was less perplexed than thoughtful. In this landscape a familiar rain descended on to the palms and crossword puzzles. Somewhere in the interior, springs groaned for Sunday afternoon, (p.153) Theodora sat. Confident her intuition would identify, she waited for Lieselotte to appear. As she had suspected, Lieselotte was a snowdrop, quivering but green veined. Depravity had tortured the original wax . . . . (p.174) "There is no denying that I am an a r t i s t . " "Or an old clown," said Theodora, who knew by revelation the way that Alyosha Sergei could somersault through a house, and how she was tired walking up and down, emptying his f u l l ashtrays, and mopping up the l i t t l e damp patches where his thought dripped, (p.177) She i s even able--as is hinted in the last quotation--to forget herself imaginatively into the former lives of these people, especially Mrs Rapallo, Katina and Sokolnikov. 75 In her f i r s t day of meeting these three she has elaborate day-dreams in which she sees and participates in their histories. There are, by my count, fourteen passages in these three chapters in which, without warning in the text or format, Theodora is suddenly living in a world projected by her imagination and experience, from the stimulus of some act or remark of one of the three. The fact that Theodora has day-dreams, does not in it s e l f show that she is losing her hold on "reality", until we realise what White is presenting through these fantasy projections. Briefly, they are a means of rendering Theodora's conception of the inner r e a l i t i e s behind the outer presentation which the characters give of themselves and their histories. They are epiphanal experiences in which the meaning, for Theodora, of these people i s experienced in her imaginary construction of their stories. Thus, when she f i r s t sees Katina, she perceives, even without having spoken to her, that she i s a child of innocence who has not yet consciously confronted the alienating world; and she yearns to save the child from this fate. White renders a l l this by a day-dream, sparked off by Katina's mentioning to her governess, her memory of an earthquake. Theodora imagines herself as Katina's governess, protecting her by love from the world of tragedies, shielding her innocence: In the sun, Katina herself was a small round white f l i n t . That I could pick up and f l i n g , wrapped in my love, Theodora f e l t , into the deathless, breathless sea. (p. 149-50) "Come," they called. "Run. It i s the w i l l of God. The earth i s going to split open and swallow 76 the houses of the poor." She takes the child to the beach. They were thrown out, a l l of them, out of the functionle houses on to the l i t t l e strip of sand. Their bodies lay on the live earth. They could feel i t s heart move against their own. Theodora held the body of the child. She f e l t the moment of death and l i f e . (p.150-51) The day-dream is interrupted by the g i r l conversing with her actual governess, until the words "I shall die" set Theodora off again on a brief conclusion to her fantasy. Then she returns to the phenomenal world when a cloud which she is imagining becomes Katina's handkerchief in the path. The relationship which subsequently develops between the two women actualizes the roles of innocent and protectress, established in this half-intuitive, half-prophetic fantasy. Theodora's consciousness of Katina is absolutely selective according to her perception of innocence endangered as the central reality of Katina's existence. At no time in Part Two i s she aware of anything relating to Katina, except what is s t r i c t l y relevant to this perception. In similar ways, Theodora perceives the underlying r e a l i t y , as she conceives i t , of Mrs Rapallo and General Sokolnikov. In each case she discovers the same desperate sadness and disillusionment with which she herself is familiar beneath the affected exterior. But although she finds them similar to herself in this respect, she is shown to progress beyond the range of their companionship, through her pene-tration of their facades; in the affair of the nautilus shell, she sees the emptiness and affectation with which they f i n a l l y manage to deceive themselves. "It i s not surprising 77 at a l l , Alyosha Sergei," she says of the shell (p.223). He, on the other hand, finds i t "fantastic" and stands, holding i t in his hands, transported back to childhood (p.224). Then Mrs Rapallo arrives, desperate for her shell: "I shall have my shell," she said, "General Sokol-nikov, i t is a l l I have got." (p.225) When they struggle for the shell, and smash i t in the passage, they depart in mortification, leaving Theodora to contemplate "the slight white rime" in the carpet. By her recognition of their childish reliance on an empty and useless symbol of beauty and perfection (pp. 163-164), she passes beyond their level of consciousness, into a deeper isolation. We are told that "Theodora herself f e l t considerably reduced" (p.225). In the last two chapters of Part Two, Theodora, having lost a l l hope of establishing a meaningful sense of community, focusses her interest almost exclusively on Katina. Since the la t t e r , at the beginning of Chapter Ten, i s s t i l l naive and innocent, her protection represents for Theodora the last possibility for meaningful involvement in the wasteland world, but i t is not an involvement which wil l integrate Theodora in the human community. Rather, i t is an act of wish-fulfilment, like a dream, in which she reveals her desire not to have to suffer the anguish which she is suffering. In attempting to protect Katina, Theodora is in effect dramatising her agony--her yearning that the bitter cup of l i f e might pass. She wishes that she could have remained in the innocence of childhood, instead of becoming, through her lucid consciousness and her honesty, one of the "burnt ones." 78 A p a r t f rom the p o s s i b i l i t y o f s a v i n g K a t i n a , a lmos t t h e o n l y o t h e r c i r c u m s t a n c e s of wh i ch Theodora i s aware, a t t h i s s t a g e , a r e t he c o n f e s s i o n s o f S o k o l n i k o v and Mrs R a p a l l o . ( A d m i t t e d l y i t i s c u r i o u s t h a t someth ing a p p a r e n t l y m o t i v a t e d her t o v i s i t Mrs R a p a l l o i n her room [p.254] and, i n t he absence o f an e x p l a n a t i o n , t h i s appea r s t o be a s l i g h t weakness i n c h a r a c t e r deve l opmen t ; but i t i s t he o n l y one o f t h i s k i n d , and i t i s i n c l u d e d f o r t he sake o f t he p l o t , b r i n g i n g t he two women t o g e t h e r a t an i m p o r t a n t t i m e . ) F o r t h e r e s t , Theodora speaks o n l y when spoken t o , o r when i t i s n e c e s s a r y t o e a t , o r t o e scape f rom t h e - f i r e . She i s n o t , as I may have s u gge s t ed , a b s o l u t e l y unaware o f t he t r i v i a o f her e n v i r o n m e n t , but t h e images w h i c h now make up the l i t t l e t r i c k l e o f t h i s a r e a o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s a r e s i g n i f i c a n t l y na r rowed down t o i m p r e s s i o n s o f d e a t h and decay " t h e b o d i e s o f dead f l i e s " (pp . 227 and 233), words " s t i f f as b i s c u i t s " ( p .254), " t h e sodden f a c e s o f o l d l e t t e r s and t he y e l l o w s m i l e s o f p h o t o g r a p h s " ( p .256). F o r K a t i n a however, Theodora has a c o n c e r n , a t the s t a r t o f Chap te r Ten, w h i c h i s i n t e n s e and d o m i n a t i n g . F o r K a t i n a a l o n e , h e r i m a g i n a t i o n s t i l l r i s e s ou t o f t he w o r l d of appea rance s t o p r o j e c t t h e f a n t a s i e s o f t r u t h : Now K a t i n a P a v l o u w a l k e d w i t h o u t d i r e c t i o n . Her eyes were d a r k . She had w r i t t e n , Theodora knew, i n t h e b l u e c a h i e r t h a t she had bought f rom the p a p e t e r i e b e s i d e t he p o s t o f f i c e , she had most c e r t a i n l y w r i t t e n : Your v o i c e i s t he f i r s t v e l v e t v i o l i n ' t h a t my h e a r t b e a t s a g a i n s t i n so much sadness wrapped  w a i t i n g f o r you my l o v e t o t a k e , (p.227) She l i s t e n s t o K a t i n a ' s c o n v e r s a t i o n s and senses t h e g rowth 79 o f a d i s t u r b i n g c o n s c i o u s n e s s w i t h i n t he g i r l . So she t r i e s t o communicate w i t h h e r : [ K a t i n a l t u r n e d her f a c e a g a i n s t t he g l a s s , and t h e n , u n a c c o u n t a b l y , began t o c r y . F o r K a t i n a P a v l o u had become t he amazed and f r i g h t e n e d i n s t r u m e n t r e c o r d i n g some c l i m a t i c d i s t u r b a n c e , s t i l l t oo sudden t o a c c e p t o r u n d e r s t a n d . " D e a r e s t K a t i n a , " Theodora s a i d , " i t wou ld be e a s i e r i f you wou ld t e l l . " " I t i s n o t h i n g , " c r i e d K a t i n a . The windows o f t he l i t t l e w i n t e r g a r d e n , b l u r r e d by t h e a c t i o n o f t h e s a l t a i r , d i d no t d i s c l o s e . The re was no g u i d e . (p.232-233) She f e e l s t h a t " t h e p i c n i c w i l l d i s c l o s e " K a t i n a ' s p a r t i c u l a r p r o b l e m t o h e r (p.233) and she d i s c o v e r s a t t h e p i c n i c t h a t t h e g i r l i s i n f a t u a t e d w i t h Wetherby . She senses t h e i n e v i t a -b i l i t y o f W e t h e r b y ' s c o r r u p t i v e i n t e n t i o n : I t was n e c e s s a r y t h a t K a t i n a P a v l o u s hou l d d i s c o v e r f i r e . And Theodora Goodman, w a t c h i n g the cha rade move w i t h a l l t he hopes and h e s i t a t i o n s o f t he human mechanism, knew t h a t because she l o v e d and p i t i e d , t he h u m i l i a t i o n and t he p a i n were a l s o n e c e s s a r i l y h e r s . (p.238) At t h e end o f C h a p t e r Ten, K a t i n a i s f i l l e d w i t h t he t r a n s i t o r y j o y o f young l o v e , and l o o k s out t o A f r i c a , as Theodora h e r s e l f had l o o k e d o u t , i n he r y o u t h , t o t he A b y s s i n i a n Meroe : She f e l t K a t i n a P a v l o u , who was heavy and warm w i t h some i n n e r p e r f e c t i o n o f h e r own. But p e r f e c t i o n , a l a s , i s b r e a k a b l e , whether i t i s m a r b l e , o r t e r r a -c o t t a , o r t h e more f r a g i l e g roups o f human s t a t u a r y . "How f a r i s A f r i c a , do you suppose ? " K a t i n a P a v l o u a s k e d . " F a r enough , " Theodora Goodman s a i d . (p.242) I n Chap te r E l e v e n comes T h e o d o r a ' s f i n a l d i s i l l u s i o n -ment, f o l l o w e d by t he d e s t r u c t i o n o f t he h o t e l . Obsessed 80 with her need to protect Katina from Wetherby, she tries to shock him into a moral awareness of his selfishness, t e l l i n g him, "You w i l l love your obsession. You w i l l love the faces of mirrors. You wi l l love your own anxiety" (p.245). But he i s not deterred, and he announces his intention of taking Katina to the tower, much to Theodora's distress: Theodora herself had never been as far as the tower, but she suspected i t . Especially now. She suspected the dark smell of damp stone and possibly a dead bird. She loathed the folded body of the dead bird, and the maggots in i t s eyes. Disgust knotted her hands. (p.246) Sokolnikov warns her that her protection is useless, for, as he says, "you can also create the ill u s i o n of other people, but once created, they choose their own r e a l i t i e s " (p.250). But she rushes, anyway, hatless to the tower, which by now "would have f i l l e d with mist, and the intolerable, pervasive smell of crushed nettles" (p.251). When she finds Katina, she realises that innocence cannot be protected from the harshness of existence: "Have you ever been inside the tower, Miss Goodman?" Katina Pavlou asked. And now Theodora f e l t inside her hand the hand coming alive. She felt the impervious lips of stone forming cold words. She dreaded, in anticipation, the scream of nettles. "No," said Theodora, "I have not been inside the tower. I imagine there is very l i t t l e to see." "There is nothing, nothing," Katina said. "There is a smell of rot and emptiness." But no less painful in i t s emptiness, Theodora f e l t . " S t i l l I am glad," said Katina Pavlou, speaking through her white face. "You know, Miss Goodman, when one i s glad for something that has happened, something nauseating and painful, that one did not suspect. It is better f i n a l l y to know. (p.253) 81 In the f i n a l scene of Part Two, a f t e r the burning of the h o t e l , Theodora and K a t i n a express t h e i r common s t a t e of d i s i l l u s i o n e d a l i e n a t i o n from the world: " I s h a l l go away," Katina Pavlou s a i d , touching the bones i n Theodora's hand. " I s h a l l go to my own country. Now I know. I s h a l l go." "And what s h a l l you do, Miss Goodman?" Katin a Pavlou shivered. "I? I s h a l l go now," Theodora s a i d . " I s h a l l go too." She touched the smooth, c o l d s k i n of a l e a f of aloe. "Where?" Katin a Pavlou asked. " I have not thought y e t . " " I may even r e t u r n to A b y s s i n i a , " Theodora s a i d , (pp. 264-265) At the end of Part One, Theodora decided to leave her A u s t r a l i a n environment to t e s t the p o s s i b i l i t y of d i s c o v e r i n g elsewhere, some kind of s a t i s f a c t i o n or peace f o r her anguished consciousness. In Part Two she has already searched through the home-lands of European c u l t u r e , and they have f a i l e d her; i n these f i v e chapters she l i v e s out her l a s t hopes of f i n d i n g s a t i s f a c t i o n through r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h people much l i k e her i n t h e i r experiences of l i f e . We have seen how the hope which enabled hex i n i t i a l l y to i n v o l v e h e r s e l f through fantasy i n the l i v e s of others, has been p r o g r e s s i v e l y dampened, as revealed through the narrowing focus of her consciousness. With the s h a t t e r i n g of her i l l u s o r y hopes f o r Katina she now has nowhere to turn--at l e a s t , that i s , i f we take Europe and the H$tel du M i d i as r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the whole world outside A u s t r a l i a , as indeed the name of the h o t e l and i t s cosmopolitan guest l i s t suggest. 82 I n P a r t T h r e e , t h e r e f o r e , we f i n d t h a t t he range o f T h e o d o r a ' s c o n s c i o u s n e s s i s e x t r e m e l y e g o c e n t r i c a t t h e s t a r t , and a b s o l u t e l y so by the end . On t he f i r s t page , we r e a d t h a t " i n s p i t e of o u t e r appea r ance s , Theodora Goodman sugge s ted t h a t she had r e t r e a t e d i n t o her own d i s t a n c e and d i d no t i n t e n d t o come o u t " ( p .269). I n s p i t e o f h e r f e l l o w - t r a v e l l e r ' s a n x i o u s a t t e m p t s t o engage her i n c o n -v e r s a t i o n , and her sense o f c o n v e n t i o n a l o b l i g a t i o n t o r e s p o n d , she s i m p l y cannot b r i n g h e r s e l f t o say a word t o h im . I ndeed , t h e s t r i k i n g f a c t about P a r t Th ree i s t h a t Theodora says so l i t t l e i n i t . The o n l y c o n v e r s a t i o n s w h i c h she i n i t i a t e s o r i n any way s u s t a i n s beyond a ba re minimum, a r e t ho se w i t h Zack and H o l s t i u s - - t h e one a boy i n whom h e r r e c o g n i t i o n o f k i n s h i p r s t i l l evokes a s l i g h t r e s p o n s e , i n s p i t e o f t he d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t o ve r K a t i n a , and the o t h e r a f i g u r e p r o j e c t e d by he r own i m a g i n a t i o n , and w i t h whom her c o n v e r s a t i o n s a r e t h e r e f o r e s o l i p s i s t i c . To Mrs Johnson she h a r d l y a d d r e s s e s a g r a t u i t o u s wo rd , e x cep t once t o say someth ing about H o l s t i u s , and once t o e n q u i r e about Zack (pp.296, 297). Her u n w i l l i n g n e s s t o speak i s a n e g a t i v e i n d i c a t i o n o f he r w i t h d r a w a l i n t o t he w o r l d o f p r i v a t e r e a l i t y . Wh i te t e c h n i c a l s k i l l e n a b l e s h im , however, t o g i v e a p o s i t i v e r e n d e r i n g o f t h i s w i t h d r a w a l w i t h o u t compromi s i ng e i t h e r t h e s o l i t u d e o r t he p a s s i v i t y wh i ch he has b u i l t up so c a r e f u l l y as a s p e c t s o f he r f i n a l s t a t e . T h i s p o s i t i v e mode i s t he c r e a t i o n o f t h e H o l s t i u s f i g u r e . To have a t t e m p t e d t o r e n d e r T h e o d o r a ' s c o n s c i o u s n e s s i n t h i s f i n a l s e c t i o n , t h r ough a d i r e c t s t r e a m - o f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s t e c h n i q u e 8 3 would no t o n l y have d e s t r o y e d the e f f e c t of p a s s i v i t y , but wou ld have added t o an a l r e a d y demanding n o v e l , a f i n a l p a t c h o f w e a r y i n g , m e n t a l j u n g l e - - a s t ream of "madnes s " , i n t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l t e r m . But i n d e v e l o p i n g t he H o l s t i u s f i g u r e , Wh i t e i s a b l e t o p r o v i d e Theodora w i t h a means of e x p r e s s i n g he r s t a t e of mind d i r e c t l y and d r a m a t i c a l l y , y e t w i t h o u t a p p e a r i n g t o be m o t i v a t e d i n some way t o r e t u r n f rom her i s o l a t i o n t o a w o r l d o f appa ren t commun i ca t i on and i n t e r a c t i o n . I n he r c o n v e r s a t i o n s w i t h H o l s t i u s , he a lway s t a k e s t h e i n i t i a t i v e and he a l o n e u n d e r s t a n d her p o s i t i o n . She a c c e p t s h i s compan ion sh ip and u n d e r s t a n d i n g , and i n d o i n g so she r e v e a l s , t o t he r e a d e r , her f i n a l , s o l i p s i s t i c s t a t e . She a c c e p t s H o l s t i u s as a b e i n g a t l e a s t as r e a l as he r f a t h e r , and Mrs R a p a l l o and o t h e r s ( p . 2 9 2 ) ; t he r e a d e r knows " b e t t e r " and r e a l i s e s t h a t she has no commun i ca t i on , e x c e p t w i t h h e r s e l f . P a r t One o f The A u n t ' s S t o r y fo rms a c omp le t e s t o r y on i t s own. By e xpand i ng t h i s s t o r y i n t o i t s second and t h i r d p a r t s , i n t he ways we have seen , Wh i te c r e a t e d a n o v e l o f d e p t h and i m p o r t a n c e . The Theodora a t t h e end o f P a r t One i s j u s t t h e sad and l o n e l y f i g u r e of a s p i n s t e r , h e r f a t h e r ' s d a u g h t e r , h e r n i e c e ' s a u n t . The e f f e c t of P a r t s Two and Three i s t o g i v e her c o n s i d e r a b l e magn i t ude . She a c q u i r e s some o f t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f an a r c h e t y p a l human f i g u r e . W h i t e ' s t e c h n i q u e o f d e v e l o p i n g t he t h r e e p a r t s i s such t h a t t h e i r i n t e r - r e l a t i o n p roduce s ca l i n g e r i n g on of echoes o f 3 i n c r e a s i n g s i g n i f i c a n c e . When we c l o s e t h e book, and re spond i n t hough t and memory t o i t s over a l l e f f e c t , t he image of T h e o d o r a - - w h i c h S i dney No l an has sugges ted so w e l l i n h i s 84 cover p a i n t i n g - - f i l l s the mind w i t h a powerful sense of the d i g n i t y which man can a t t a i n i n the face of anguish, a sense of great admiration f o r Theodora's triumph against " r i v e r s of f i r e , " i n f u l f i l m e n t of her personal d e s t i n y , w i t h h u m i l i t y . No g i r l that was thrown down by l i g h t n i n g on her t w e l f t h b i r t h d a y , and then got up again, i s going to be swallowed easy by r i v e r s of f i r e . (p.45) White has made a powerful a s s e r t i o n of the power of the i n d i v i d u a l to maintain a conscious i n t e g r i t y i n s p i t e of the d e s t r u c t i v e f i r e s of;the world. In t h i s achievement, the p a r t - s t r u c t u r e i s the a l l - i m p o r t a n t technique. Of the many secondary techniques i n The Aunt's Story, two stand out as s p e c i a l l y e f f e c t i v e , as i n the previous n o v e l ; the use of recurrent m o t i f s to render c e r t a i n concepts which are basic to White's v i s i o n , and the c r e a t i o n of rhythmic p a t t e r n , e s p e c i a l l y i n the recurrence of embryonic Theodora-figures. The main p o i n t about the handling of m o t i f s , i n t h i s and subsequent novels, has already been stat e d : C e r t a i n c e n t r a l m o t i f s are used more emphatically than before, and they t h e r e f o r e become a more powerful means of communication. Part of the emphasis i s achieved through a r e d u c t i o n i n the number of secondary m o t i f s , and thus of the web of minor impressions. The advantage gained probably j u s t i f i e s t h i s pruning. The emphatic s i g n i f i c a n c e given to the c e n t r a l m o t i f s , and t h e i r c a p a c i t y f o r rendering e s s e n t i a l s of White's v i s i o n can be observed through a b r i e f c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the motif of bones. A consciousness of bones beneath the outer 85 flesh i s early established in the novel as a symbol for the apprehension of truth beneath the outer appearance: Theodora is attracted to the black h i l l s of Meroe, because There are certain landscapes in which you can see the bones of the earth. And this was one. You could touch your own bones, which is to come a l i t t l e closer to truth. (p.61) The nature of the motif i s , then, directly established in this passage, though we may already have noted i t in operation earlier: And Lou came and sat beside her. Lou did not speak, but she could feel very positively the thin bone of an arm pressed close against her waist, (p.13) "Did Granny Goodman want to die?" asked Lou. And again Theodora could feel the thin bone of an arm pressed close against her waist, (p.17) Certainly we should be well aware of i t s meaning, after the occurrence on page 61. We understand that Charlie King i s being contrasted to Theodora when his hands are described as boneless: By this time i t was "The Blue Danube" that Charlie King always played. His hands rippled like a pair of kid gloves. They had no bones. Pouring the suave water that Fanny's tulle skirt caught, (p.77) Likewise, the motif establishes a sense of community between Theodora and Mora'itis: "Bare," smiled Moraitis, for a fresh discovery. "Greece, you see, is a bare country. It is a l l bones." "Like Meroe," said Theodora. "Please?" said Moraitis. "I too come from a country of bones." "That is good," said Moraitis solemnly. "It i s easier to see." (p.112) 86 "Good -bye , M i s s Goodman," s a i d M o r a ' i t i s . "I s h a l l remember we a r e c o m p a t r i o t s i n t he c o u n t r y o f t he bones , (p.113) I n a l a t e r r e c u r r e n c e , t h e m o t i f i s u sed t o i n d i c a t e t he deve lopment o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s i n K a t i n a . A f t e r h e r f a l l f rom i n n o c e n c e , and f o l l o w i n g t he pas sage a l r e a d y quoted i n w h i c h K a t i n a a s s e r t s t h a t " i t i s b e t t e r f i n a l l y t o know" about t h e p a i n f u l a s p e c t s o f l i f e , Theodora sees a change i n h e r : Under t he s t i l l s k i n o f K a t i n a P a v l o u 1 s f a c e t he b l o o d had no t y e t begun a g a i n t o f l o w . S i n c e y e s t e r d a y , Theodora saw, t he bones had some. (p.253) Much more c o u l d be s a i d , but t he p o i n t , I t h i n k , i s made. The m o t i f r e c u r s a t many key p o i n t s i n t he n o v e l , no t j u s t as a p r e d i c a t a b l e l a b e l , but as a means o f r e n d e r i n g c o n s c i o u s -ne s s o f t he ambiguous n a t u r e o f r e a l i t y . The r e c u r r e n c e o f t he T h e o d o r a - f i g u r e s i s a w e l l h a n d l e d d e v i c e , f u n c t i o n i n g i n two c h i e f ways: By r e p e t i t i o n , i t adds a s u g g e s t i o n o f u n i v e r s a l i t y and p e r p e t u i t y t o T h e o d o r a ' s s t o r y , and i n t h i s r e s p e c t i t i s p a r t o f t he o v e r l l , r h y t h m i c s t r u c t u r e ; and by t he v a r i a t i o n s w h i c h accompany t h e r e p e t i t i o n , i t r e v e a l s T h e o d o r a ' s own deve lopment i n each p a r t o f t he n o v e l . What I have c a l l e d t he T h e o d o r a - f i g u r e s a r e t h e t h r e e c h i l d r e n , among t h e a c q u a i n t a n c e s o f he r a d u l t l i f e , w i t h whom she f e e l s " t h e t r i u m p h of the r a r e a l l i a n c e s " ( p .283). T h i s sense of a l l i a n c e has been a r e c u r r e n t e x p e r i e n c e o f he r l i f e . The re was he r f a t h e r , M o r a ' i t i s , t he Man who was G i v e n h i s D i n n e r , and o t h e r s - - b u t a f t e r he r m o t h e r ' s d e a t h , and the b e g i n n i n g o f her q u e s t , i t i s an e x p e r i e n c e e s p e c i a l l y 87 r e l a t e d t o the t h r e e c h i l d r e n . I n them, she sees images of h e r s e l f as she w a s - - a n i n n o c e n t , q u e s t i o n i n g the m y s t e r i e s o f l i f e . We have seen a l r e a d y h o w , ' i n c h i l d h o o d , Theodora "wanted t o know e v e r y t h i n g . " I n P a r t One, Lous i s s i m i l a r l y p r e s e n t e d : "I w i s h . . . " s a i d L o u . "What do you w i s h ? " "I w i s h I was y ou , Aunt T h e o . " And now Theodora a sked why. " Becau se you know t h i n g s , " s a i d L o u . " Such a s ? " " O h , " she s a i d , " t h i n g s . " Her eyes were f i x e d i n w a r d l y on what she c o u l d not e x p r e s s , (p.136) And K a t i n a , who, on t h e i r f i r s t m e e t i n g , " q u e s t i o n e d Theodora i n s i l e n c e " (p.152), i s c l e a r l y o f t he same k i n d . Theodora r e c o g n i s e s K a t i n a ' s k i n s h i p w i t h L o u , and speaks t o he r " i n t h e a c c e n t s o f an a u n t " (p.184). K a t i n a t e l l s her o f t h e s t a g n a t i o n o f h e r home e n v i r o n m e n t : " Papa was a c o l o n e l once . Now they l i v e i n h o t e l s . They f o l l o w t he sea son , and Papa p l a y s b r i d g e . " (p.186) And Theodora sees i t : " C e s t r i d i c u l e de c r o i r e . " s a i d t he v o i c e o f t he a s t r i n g e n t l o t i o n , " q u ' o n s ' amuse ra a D e a u v i l l e ou  a A i x . " " M a i s a l o r s , " s a i d t h e C o l o n e l , t h r o w i n g down t h e c a r d p r e p a r a t o r y t o p i c k i n g i t up a g a i n , " A l l o n s a  Baden Baden . " I n a n t i t h e s i s t o the concep t o f " s ' a m u s e r " , and t he i m p l i -c a t i o n s o f s u p e r f i c i a l i t y i n Baden Baden, K a t i n a says she "wou ld l i k e t o mar r y a s c i e n t i s t , and s a i l w i t h him up t h e Congo" (p.185), t o p e n e t r a t e t he d a r k n e s s o f l i f e ' s m y s t e r i e s , i n s t e a d o f b l i n d i n g h e r s e l f t o them. 88 Zack, though much younger than Lou or Katina, and though he appears only momentarily at the end, i s a l s o a per c e p t i v e , questioning person, with whom Theodora recognises k i n s h i p . "And your name i s what?" she asked. "Zack," he s a i d f i r m l y , as i f i t could not have been anything e l s e . She could not read him, but she knew him. "Are you v i s i t i n g with us?" he asked. Because she was blank, he added, "Are you going to be here some time?" "No," she s a i d . She shook her head, but i t was the f i n a l i t y of sadness. "Why?" he asked. "You w i l l know i n time," she s a i d , "that i t i s not p o s s i b l e to stay." He looked at her queerly . . . . (p.282) In these three f i g u r e s , then, Theodora recognises people l i k e h e r s e l f , whom she can understand to some extent, and t r y to p r o t e c t . When she leaves Zack the k i n s h i p i s rendered with pathos, i n a d e l i c a t e , l a s t image: Zack came and looked at her. Now he was very c l o s e . "You don't want to stay with us," he s a i d , l o o king at her s t r a i g h t . She was c l o s e to h i s f r i n g e d eyes, which had approached t i l l h i s forehead touched hers, and she could f e e l the soft questioning of the lashes of h i s eyes. "Oh Zack," she s a i d , "you must not make i t d i f f i -c u l t . " (p.288) The recurrence of the f i g u r e s i n v o l v e s important v a r i a t i o n s , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n respect of Theodora's a t t i t u d e towards them. At the end of Part One, she approaches her separation from Lou, with a f a t a l i s t i c r e c o g n i t i o n of the f a c t of human i s o l a t i o n : 89 Theodora l o o k e d down t h r ough t he d i s t a n c e s t h a t s e p a r a t e , even i n l o v e . I f I c o u l d pu t out my hand, she s a i d , but I c a n n o t . And a l r e a d y the moment, t h e moments, the d i s a p p e a r i n g a f t e r n o o n , had i n c r e a s e d t h e d i s t a n c e t h a t s e p a r a t e s . There i s no l i f e l i n e t o o t h e r l i v e s , (p.137) F a t a l i s t though she i s , i n t h i s r e s p e c t , she i s no t t o t a l l y so, f o r she s t i l l has he r arm round t he c h i l d , " a f o r m a l g e s t u r e of p r o t e c t i o n " ( p . 136). T h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p i s " b o t h c l o s e and d i s t a n t " (p.129), f o r though he r c l o s e n e s s cannot c r e a t e a " l i f e l i n e " t o t he c h i l d , i t r ema in s a c l o s e n e s s of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f some k i n d . She s i t s w i t h Lou and f e e l s t h e " p r e s s u e " o f he r body and " h e r b r e a t h t h a t was a lmos t h e r own" (p.136). In l e a v i n g h e r , she l e a v e s a w a r n i n g a g a i n s t d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t , by t e l l i n g her t h a t the m y s t e r i e s of l i f e do no t open up t o the k i n d of u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h a t Lou d e s i r e s t o have (p.137). T h i s i s h e r l a s t a c t o f p r o t e c t i o n f o r t h e g i r l . I n P a r t Two, Theodora beg i n s her r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h K a t i n a a t t h e p o i n t where her r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h L o u , i n P a r t One, c e a s e d . Her f i r s t impu l se , i s one o f p r o t e c t i o n as we have s een : The p r o t e c t i n g arm around L o u ' s w a i s t becomes t he arm p r o t e c t i n g K a t i n a f rom t h e v i o l e n c e o f t h e e a r t h q u a k e (p.151). But a f t e r K a t i n a ' s b a p t i s m i n t o a d u l t -hood, i n the t o w e r , T h e o d o r a ' s a t t i t u d e t o he r protege 'e changes . She cea se s t o make g e s t u r e s of p r o t e c t i o n o r a s s i s t a n c e . Inasmuch as K a t i n a r e p r e s e n t s T h e o d o r a ' s y o u t h , we may say t h a t t he tower e p i s o d e shows Theodora t h a t t h e r e i s no r e t r e a t t o i n nocence f rom the r e a l i t y o f he r mature v i s i o n . She h e r s e l f cannot r e t u r n t o i n n o c e n c e , and K a t i n a 90 cannot stay there. Protection is useless. When the hotel burns we get an image of Katina which signifies her own development and also the realizations which Theodora has attained: They were watching Katina Pavlou walk out of the burning house. She walked with her hands outstretched, protecting herself with her hands, not so much from substance, as some other f i r e . She could not yet accept the faces. As i f these had read a reported incident, of which, she knew, the details had been inevitably f a l s i f i e d . But Katina Pavlou had seen the face of f i r e . (p.263) So, by the end of Part Two, Theodora and Katina are equals, in that both have been burnt by the fires of the world. Or, more accurately, Katina has reached the f i r s t stage of maturity, Theodora's stage at the end of Part One. For she s t i l l hopes that a change of environment w i l l alter essential conditions. Theodora envisages the process of Katina's departure, in search of her "own country": Already from her corner [of the train], Katina Pavlou watched the slow smoke rise from x^hite houses and sleepily finger the dawn. She sat upright, to arrive, to recover the lost reality of childhood. Her eyes were strained by sleeplessness. "Yes, Katina," Theodora said. There was no reason to suppose that this was not the sequence of events. (p.264) Thus, through Lou and Katina, Theodora re-experiences the stages of her own development. She herself has reached a second stage of maturity. She i s , at the end of Part Two, bereft of hope, and she is so weary and resigned to the inevitability of the "sequence of events," that she cannot even offer Katina the dubious comfort of physical contact 91 or verbal sympathy. She had put her arm around Lou and warned her against d i s i l l u s i o n , but with Katina she is now completely passive and f a l l s back finally on the routine matter of getting to bed, rather than explain her reference to Abyssinia: "You wi l l go where?" Katina Pavlou asked. "Come, Katina, you are almost asleep," Theodora Goodman said. "We must join the others. Listen. They are calling us." (p.265) And then when the evolution of the isolated, world-weary figure appears to be complete, ironically, the pattern begins again with Zack. In him she encounters a stage of innocence, earlier than Lou's (which i s i t s e l f ealier than Katina's). She picks him out from the other children at f i r s t sight (p.281), and when he talks with her in the wash-room, she feels a "pact" is born between them (p.283). Their encounter i s like her own childhood encounter with The Man who was Given his Dinner. Just as, at the end of that meeting, she knew, with a sense of inevitabil i t y , that in spite of the man's promise, he would not return (p.46), so now she looks back and sees that Zack has accepted the fi n a l i t y of her departure, "was taking i t for granted" (p.288). Because he i s s t i l l innocent and uninitiated in the world, she can s t i l l bring him some comfort through simple, physical contact, as she could with Lou at the end of Part One, and with Katina at the beginning of Part Two but not at the end. But the degree of change from Part One is now apparent in that her physical touch i s ambiguous: We are not sure how far the adult is comforting, and how far she is being comforted by the memory of childhood and 92 innocence: He had rubbed his cheek against her cheek. Their blood flowed together. Her desperate words, ordinarily dry, had grown quite suddenly fleshy and ripe. Their locked hands lay in solid silence. "If I go," she asked, "will you remember me Zack?" (p.288) Thus we see how the recurrence of the Theodora-figures functions to suggest the universality of Theodora's experience, and to mark her own stages of development. The progress in alienation of the self-conscious, lucid figure, of which Theodora is the type, could be shown schematically in five stages marked by the Theodora-figures: STAGE I Zack Pt. 3. Theodorai in early childhood, early Pt. 1. STAGE II Lou at end Pt. 1. Katina at beginning Pt. 2. Theodora at school, middle Pt. 1. STAGE III Katina at end Pt. 2. Theodora at end Pt. 1. STAGE IV (Mr Goodman) (Moraitis) (Man who was Given his Dinner) Theodora at end Pt. 2. STAGE V Theodora in Pt.3. One dimension of the plot is simply the interaction of the lives of these various figures. Theodora's progress from one stage to the next i s emphasized for us when she meets people who are behind her; also, as the pattern becomes familiar to the reader he applies i t retrospectively, recog-nising, for instance at the end of Part Two, when Theodora 93 i s at Stage IV, that The Man who was Given h i s Dinner was at Stage IV, when she was at Stage I. The Aunt 1s Story t e l l s us only one of the many s t o r i e s of which we have caught c e r t a i n moments as they crossed Theodora's s t o r y . The sense of p e r p e t u i t y of the Theodora story i s achieved w i t h subtle completeness, by her meeting Zack (Stage I) when she i s at the l a s t stage. b. THE AUNT'S STORY: THEME I t has been necessary to dwell at such i n o r d i n a t e le n g t h on the techniques of The Aunt's Story, before con-s i d e r i n g thematic elements per se, because of the nature of the themes. For the o v e r a l l theme of the novel i s i m p l i c i t i n the major techniques. I t i s the development of i n d i v i d u a l consciousness i n the world of White's v i s i o n , the coming to a f u l l e r and f u l l e r awareness of the c o n d i t i o n s of d u a l i t y and i s o l a t i o n which are the primary f a c t s of existence as White sees i t . The p a r t - s t r u c t u r e , the use of mo t i f s and rhythm, and other techniques, are designed to render the u n f o l d i n g of t h i s consciousness through experience; and the nature of Theodora's consciousness can only be understood through the forms of her experience which the techniques represent. The p a r t - s t r u c t u r e i s i t s e l f a movement towards i s o l a t i o n and t h i s i s , Theodora's consciousness. The m o t i f -p a t t e r n s and the rhythms are themselves the organic growths •. which stand apart from the o b j e c t i v e n a r r a t i v e , and create d u a l i t y i n the nove l . The form of the novel i s the form of Theodora's consciousness, which i s the theme. We may however make an attempt to conceptualize the thematic elements of 94 duality and isolation by following the chain of abstract-ions which exist in the novel and which from time to time, give a conceptual definition of the nature of Theodora's state of consciousness, as an intellectual guide to the nature of the theme which is being evolved in the a r t i s t i c technique. Theodora is increasingly conscious of the duality and isolation which constitutes the state of alienation to which she fi n a l l y attains. The exact nature of this duality cannot be contained in a pair of opposite terms, such as l i f e and death, fact and fancy, sense and in t e l l e c t , i l l u s i o n and r e a l i t y , though such antitheses are helpful. Part of the nature of duality is rendered through the complex of motifs: Roses are both beautiful and grub-ridden and Theodora accepts that both aspects are part of the "sum total" (p.21). There i s the apparent reality of Meroe, but there i s also "another Meroe," "a dead place" (p.23). Existence i s in two worlds: She began to feel old and oracular listening to Frank Parrott's voice, as i f she didn't belong. There was this on one side, and l i f e of men keeping sheep and making money, and on the other, herself and Meroe. She was as remote as stone from the figures in the f i r s t landscape of which Frank Parrott spoke. (p.83) It is a duality which separates those who are aware of i t , from those who are not, as we see in many instances. In the duck-shooting episode at the f a i r , the separation is conceptually recognised by the "others" who see that "ever since Theodora had shot the clay heads off the ducks. . . , 95 she was separated from them for ever" (p.125). On the other hand, for those who have the vision of duality, there is a communion of isolation, established largely through _the "bone" motif, but also conceptualized in more objective terminology though rarely: And now Theodora began to think that perhaps the man was a l i t t l e bit mad, but she loved him for his mad-ness even, for i t made her feel warm. (p.45) She smiled the mysterious smile of some-one who reads poetry and shares secrets, and Theodora smiled also, because i t was true. (p.57) This thing which had happened between Moraitis and herself she held close, like a woman holding her belly, (p.117) Consciousness of the mysterious duality at the heart of existence produces, in Theodora, the personal anguish of uncertainty as to the world of one's "true" identity. By talking to her unrecognised self in the person of Holstius, Theodora demonstrates that, in the end, she has accepted her "true" existence in one of the two worlds; but up to this point in the novel, she is increasingly uncertain where the real part of herself is to be found. She stares at her face in mirrors, and on one occasion, "she spoke to the face that had now begun to form, i t s bone" (p.51). She observes in her reflection, "the dark eyes asking the unaswerable questions" (p.52). She is often struck by the strangeness of her own body: Theodora unfolded her hands, which had never known exactly what to do, and least of a l l now. Her hands, she often f e l t , belonged by accident, though what, of course, does not. She looked at them, noticing their strangeness. (p.152) 96 Theodora saw how very awkward at times her own f e e t were i n t h e i r t h i c k black shoes. (p.55) The theme of anguish begins i n the s l i g h t u n c e r t a i n t y suggested i n the l a s t quotation and reaches i t s climax j u s t before the end of the n o v e l . Her consciousness of existence i n two worlds produces an i n t o l e r a b l e t e n s i o n , and once again there are conceptual aids to our understanding, given i n ' t h e t e x t : "Ah, Theodora Goodman," says H o l s t i u s , "you are torn i n two" (p.293). And when she asks " i n agony" what she can do or say about t h i s , he r e p l i e s , "1 expect you to accept the i f i i e c o n c i l a b l e halves." In one sense, t h i s i s p r e c i s e l y what she has been doing ever since she f i r s t became aware of the d u a l i t y - - " s h e could not subtract the grub from the sum t o t a l of the garden" (p.21). But the acceptance which her mind i s here urging upon her through the H o l s t i u s pro-j e c t i o n i s more than mere i n t e l l e c t u a l r e c o g n i t i o n . She must recognise the d u a l i t y , but she must recognise a l s o that i t i s an absolute c o n d i t i o n of e x i s t e n c e , and she must th e r e f o r e give up her quest f o r some un d e r l y i n g synthesis. Fanny, w i t h a c e r t a i n conventional accuracy, has sometimes c a l l e d her mad (pp. 73, 271). And by embarking on her quest Theodora has i m p l i c i t l y assented to the d e n i g r a t i o n of the l a b e l , f o r she has sought e i t h e r some new understanding, or a new environ-ment, which w i l l a l l o w her to be c a l l e d sane. Now, by f u l l y accepting the absolute f a c t of d u a l i t y , she w i l l achieve confidence i n the i n t e g r i t y of her p o s i t i o n , and w i l l be able to say to Fanny and others ( i n the words of the epigraph), "When your l i f e i s most r e a l , to me you are mad." As H o l s t i u s says, i n perhaps the most important c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of the 97 theme, You cannot reconcile joy and sorrow. . . . or flesh and marble, or i l l u s i o n and reality, or l i f e and death. For this reason, Theodora Goodman, you must accept. As you have already found that one constantly deludes the other into taking fresh shapes, so that there is sometimes l i t t l e to choose between the reality of il l u s i o n and the i l l u s i o n of r e a l i t y , (p.293) Theodora's acceptance of this gospel of integrity is clearly shown in the next paragraph, where her situation is like that of a candidate for religious confirmation: Resistance had gone out of her as she lay, her head against the knees of Holstius, receiving peace, whether i t was from his words, and she was not altogether sure that he spoke, or from his hands. His hands touched the bones of her head under the damp hair. They soothed the wounds. (p.293) The courageous integrity of her fin a l position is prefigured earlier in the response which she has--and which separates her from others—to the Jack Frost murders: Theodora continued to see Jack Frost's irreproachable facade, through which Frost himself had f i n a l l y dared to pitch the stone. (p.103) But unlike Frost, who destroyed others in order to assert his vision of re a l i t y , Theodora is characterized by her humility and her desire not to bother anybody. "You w i l l submit," says Holstius. "It is part of the deference which one pays to those who prescribe the reasonable l i f e . They are admirable people really, though limited. Theodora nodded her head to each point she must remember. "If we know better," Holstius said, "we must keep i t under our hats." (p.299) In the humility of these last words, The Aunt's Story 98 offers us a more positive, human response to the anguish of the consciousness of duality than, for instance, Moby  Dick or "The Hollow Men", in both of which the problem i s treated. In Melville's novel, Ahab affects super-human pride in his passion to "strike, strike through the mask" of pasteboard which i s formed by " a l l visible objects".^ His inability to accept the absolute fact of duality leads him to a megalomaniac, epic quest which is no better fi n a l l y than Eden Standish's "protest of self destruction." His integrity is the integrity of pride. Theodora's humble mtegrity--which even Voss comes to accept in the last hour-is a nobler attitude. And in Eliot's poem, the duality i s recorded well enou Between the idea And the reality Between the motion And the act Falls the Shadow. But the final "whimper" of this poem is the unresolved angui of man who lacks the humility, simply to accept the absolute state of man's "Between"—ness. Unless our personal judgment of Theodora i s that she is ultimately a phoney, we must accept that she i s a more significant human figure than the hollow men, in her response to the condition of duality. Another aspect of alienation remains, and this is the basic isolation of the individual consciousness, whether "mad" or not. This theme is presented, as I have said of a l l the themes, through technical form--in this case the l i t e r a l isolation of Theodora's consciousness, to a final state in which she can communicate only with herself qua Holstius. But we can also observe in the text, a number of conceptual statements of the theme. 99 We should not expect, of course, any significant communication between the two groups of individuals who are divided from one another by the factor of consciousness of duality. We do not expect much rapport between, say, Theodora and Fanny or the Parrotts, and the following incident is typical: "Evenin' Theodora," said Mr.Parrott. "You'll know everybody. Make yourself at home." This also made i t easy for Mr. Parrott. Be dismissed himself, because for the l i f e of him he never knew what to say to Goodman's eldest g i r l . (pp.74-75) But between those of Theodora's kinship (as I have called i t ) we might expect to find sympathy leading to communication. On the surface, this would appear to be the case, for we find Theodora establishing a friendship with Violet Adams, The Man who was Given his Dinner, Moraitis and others. Yet their communication is such that i t leaves the individual s t i l l essentially isolated. The epigraph to Part One t e l l s us this: She thought of the narrowness of the limits within which a human eoul may speak and be understood by i t s nearest of mental kin, of how soon i t reaches that solitary land of the individual experience, in which no fellow footfall is ever heard. George Goodman realizes in the moment of death that "the narrowness of the limits'1 , is f i n a l : "And we are close," he said. "It is not possible for us to come any closer." • • o e • e "In the end," his voice said out of the pines, "I did not see i t . " Then Theodora, with her face upon his knees, realized that she was touching the body of George Goodman, (p.88) 100 Moraitis, too, "accepted the isolation" (p.115). As indeed does Theodora herself: There is no l i f e l i n e to other l i v e s , (p.137) In the end, her experience of isolation i s so overwhelming that she reaches the state of pure philosophical solipsism in which she doubts the existence of anyone, even of herself and Holstius with whom she has appeared to communicate so positively: Fact corrected expectation. Just as the mind used and disposed of the figments of Mrs Rapallo, and Katina Pavlou, and Sokolnikov. And now Holstius. She watched the rough texture of his coat for the f i r s t indications of decay. "You suspect me," Holstius said. She spat into the f i r e . She heard the strong hiss of .spittle. "I suspect myself," Theodora said, feeling with her fingers for the grain in the table. (p.292) And Theodora's final state of acceptance, which we have considered in relation to the condition of duality, includes also the fact of isolation. The last sentence of the novel presents a final image of her wearing on her hat the rose--the symbol of her personal existence (p.299)— which "trembled and glittered, leading a l i f e of i t s own." 101 PART 2 THE TREE OF MAN P a t r i c k W h i t e ' s n e x t n o v e l , The T ree o f Man, has g i v e n r i s e t o a g r e a t d e a l of c r i t i c a l p e r p l e x i t y , w h i c h i s w o r t h d i s c u s s i n g because i t u n d e r l i n e s t he b a s i c c o n t e n t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s : t h a t W h i t e ' s n o v e l s can o n l y be f u l l y u n d e r s t o o d as i n t e r - r e a l t e d p a r t s o f t h e r e n d e r i n g of a c o n s i s t e n t a r t i s t i c v i s i o n . U n t i l we have u n d e r s t o o d the l i n e s o f deve lopment w i t h i n the works t h e m s e l v e s , i t seems f u t i l e , and i s o f t e n q u i t e c o n f u s i n g , t o t r y t o u n d e r s t a n d i n d i v i d u a l works i n terms o f p r e c o n c e i v e d c a t e g o r i e s or i n r e l a t i o n s t o e s t a b l i s h e d gen re s w i t h i n t h e h i s t o r y o f t he n o v e l . We must l o o k f i r s t a t t h e v i s i o n w h i c h i n f o r m s a l l t h e wo r k s , and not a t s u p e r f i c i a l r e s emb l ance s t o o t h e r wo r k s , as so many c r i t i c s have done i n r e l a t i o n t o The T ree  o f Man. The T r ee o f Man and W h i t e ' s comments on i t p r o v i d e a c l a s s i c i l l u s t r a t i o n f o r L a w r e n c e ' s a d v i c e about t r u s t i n g t he t a l e , n o t t he w r i t e r . " I wanted t o t r y t o sugges t i n t h i s book e v e r y p o s s i b l e a spec t o f l i f e , t h r ough t h e l i v e s o f an o r d i n a r y man and w o m a n , s a y s W h i t e . T h i s e x t r a -o r d i n a r y s t a t e m e n t , a lmos t i n v a r i a b l y quoted i n c r i t i c i s m o f the n o v e l , i s u n d o u b t e d l y t he main cause o f the l a r g e measure o f agreement, a t a s u p e r f i c i a l l e v e l , w h i c h we f i n d i n t h a t c r i t i c i s m . The f o l l o w i n g q u o t a t i o n i s t y p i c a l of many j udgment s : I t i s a l a r g e , gene rou s , complex n o v e l w h i c h , d e s p i t e c e r t a i n weaknes ses , does succeed i n g i v i n g a r e m a r k a b l y comprehens i ve p i c t u r e o f the l i f e o f a man and h i s f a m i l y . P a t r i c k Wh i te succeeds i n s u g g e s t i n g t he 102 universality of the joys and sorrows of common humanity; and the novel conveys a sense of the rhythm of l i f e , the inevitable pattern of birth, growth and decay.2 And i t is through this emphasis on universality, as we find i t in the reviews of the novel, that i t was recommended to the American public, and thus became a best-seller under partly false pretences. Excerpts from these American eulogies are on the cover of the English edition, and they include such remarks as, A timeless work of art from which no essential element of l i f e has been omitted. (James Stern) A majestic and impressive work of genuine art that digs more deeply into the universal experiences of human living than a l l save a few great books. (Orville Prescott) More recently however, criticism has revealed a certain uneasiness about these epic, universal pretensions: "I wanted to try to suggest in this book every possible aspect of l i f e , through the lives of ordinary man and woman." The Tree of Man must be praised for the gallantry of the attempt rather than for the sureness of i t s achievement.3 And even Brissenden noted uneasily, So far as The Tree of Man is concerned i t may be that White has been praised more for his intentions than for what he actually succeeded in doing.^ This disparity between the attempt and the achievement is one of the most frequent criticisms of White. We have seen i t already in relation to The Living and the Dead; and i t had actually been used against The Tree of Man even before the "universal human saga" definition was applied and found to be unrealised. In 1957, A.D.Hope, in one of his denigrations 103 of the book, described i t as an unsuccessful attempt to write within the frontier-novel tradition or genre. White, he said, had been "unable to resist the pattern that seems imposed on Australian f i c t i o n " and yet had failed to make " a l l the cliches of Australian f i c t i o n " relevant to his theme. Subsequent writers have denied Hope's primary assumption that the novel is a celebration of pioneering, but they in turn have failed to provide a satisfactory alternative view. The course of perplexity is undoubtedly the character-ization of Stan, and to a lesser extent Amy. Those who have tried to reconcile the strange rendering of conscious-ness with the unexceptional narrative framework of the novel have been unable to do so, and have therefore tended to overlook the rendering of consciousness, as the unsatisfactory part of an otherwise good book. Buckley, who considers i t "White's finest work," summarily dismisses the central character "because we are given no clue to his inner l i f e . " ^ I shall try to show that there are clues to Stan's inner l i f e (as well as to Amy's and other characters' inner lives) and that these are a central component of the novel. Our understanding of this point i s assisted by G.A. Wilkes, who writes pertinently: Stan Parker is the mute visionary in The Tree of Man. He represents an element in the book that c r i t i c s have shied away from, even though i t i s a central element, and one persistent in White's work from i the beginning.^ In thus "shying away", c r i t i c s have avoided the chief vehicles of consciousness in the novel. A valid reading must focus 104 attention on them, for Stan and Amy, like Oliver Halliday, like Elyot Standish, like Theodora, are born into the world of White's consistent vision--a world of alienation, of duality and isolation--and i t is through their consciousness that the vision is rendered. But whereas in the three previous novels, existence in White's world has been explored from the point of view and through the consciousness of highly self-conscious, intellectually nimble individuals, whose lucid perceptions of the paradoxes which White conceives have tormented them to distraction, now, in this fourth novel, the point of view is of a different kind. For Stan Parker and Amy, who between them form the main focus of the novel, are slow, inarticulate, uncomprehending people. Wilkes' "mute visionar is an apt expression. But the fact that they are less able than other White figures to conceptualize the nature of their experiences of l i f e , does not alter the facts in which those experiences inevitably originate. " I do not understand says Amy, about her wayward son's motives, "but I know" (p. 355). To say, as White himself and others have done, that the Parkers are "ordinary" and therefore more representa tive of humanity than is Theodora, is only to say (and i t is probably true), that there are more individual people in the world like Stan, than like Theodora. But i f the Parkers are, in this s t a t i s t i c a l sense, more average than Theodora there is no reason why we should consider them more (or less) essentially human than she i s . To suggest,las Wilkes does, that The Tree of Man "might almost have been written to put an end to the theme of alienation" is entirely misleading. 105 As l e s s a r t i c u l a t e people than most of White's c h a r a c t e r s , the Parkers are not aware of t h e i r experience i n a b s t r a c t concepts or p h i l o s o p h i c terms. They do not say, as the Young Man does i n the passage I have p r e f i x e d to t h i s chapter (on page 59), "my dilemma i n the p l a y i s how to take p a r t i n the c o n f l i c t of e e l s , and s u r v i v e at the same time." But they do experience t h i s "dilemma". Stan, f o r i n s t a n c e , i s aware of the same c o n f l i c t between h i s p a r t i c i -p a t i o n i n the world of s o c i a l r e a l i t i e s , and h i s s u r v i v a l as an i n d i v i d u a l , conscious of p e r s o n a l m y s t e r i e s , - a s the Young Man d e s c r i b e s . And although Stan does not c a l l i t a dilemma or t a l k of c o n f l i c t and s u r v i v a l , h i s slow, i n s t i n c t i v e mind does express h i s awareness of the f r u s t r a t i n g and absurd c o n d i t i o n of l i f e , i n i t s own way; and on one o c c a s i o n at l e a s t , he f i n d s the same image as the r a t i o n a l l y , p h i l o s o p h i c young man has used: A l l these men, r o c k i n g on t h e i r h e e l s or i n c l i n i n g g r a v e l y were anxious f o r Stan Parker to assume t h e i r s i z e , to t e l l them something from h i s own h e r o i c l i f e . So they i n c l i n e d , and waited. There was one t h i n g to t e l l . But he c o u l d not. "Go on," he s a i d , shaking the hands from o f f the sleeve of h i s c o a t . "Leave me. There's n o t h i n g to t e l l . " S e v e r a l s u r p r i s e d gentlemen mumbled through r e s p e c t a b l e l i p s of p u r p l e grapeskins, "What's got i n t e r y e r , mate?" " T e l l what?" "The f l i c k i n t r u t h i s not t o l d , so nobody asked f o r i t , or n o t h i n . See?" Stan Parker looked round the p l a c e , seeing t h a t i t was now p r e t t y f u l l , and w r i t h i n g , yet he was alone w i t h h i s thoughts, could look at a w a l l , i f he chose, between the heads of e e l s . (p.333). There i s a second, f a l s e c r i t i c a l assumption which i s 106 also worth some discussion. Again, White himself is pro-bably the main source of error. He adds to the statement quoted earlier, But at the same time, I wanted to discover the extraordinary behind the ordinary, the mystery and the poetry which alone could make bearable the lives of such people, and incidentally my own l i f e since my return. "Mystery" and "poetry" are misleading terms, insofar as they suggest some kind of neo-Wordsworthian or Faulknerian uplifting of the heart. Buckley reads the book, apparently expecting to find that Stan's l i f e w i l l f i n a l l y be made "bearable" through the attainment of some easily explicable panacea. He complains of "a certain perversity" in White's rendering of the sense of peace at the end of Stan's l i f e . "We can have no clue," he says, "to the significance of this reconciliation with the actual, because i t i s put in g gratuitously." Likewise, Wilkes comments that for a l l i t s insistence on the values of the workaday world, i t s mystique of man immersed in nature, The Tree  of Man shows that fulfilment for Stan l i e s not within l i f e as normally lived, but beyond i t . This is the source of an uncertainty in the book--the tension between what the novel is apparently advocating, and what i t enacts."9 We may consider later just what White means by "mystery and poetry". Meanwhile, i t is necessary once again to insist that White i s a consistent novelist of vision, not a prophet or a teacher; that he i s concerned to render l i f e as he sees i t , to "imitate" in the Aristotelian sense; he is not concerned to advocate vitalism or stoicism, or any other ethical or philosophical code--at least not in 1955. As a 107 sensitive human being, he has a particular understanding of the nature of existence, and this is his vision; and as an a r t i s t , he has both the vision and the technique to render the vision in communicable form. His art offers us a way of seeing l i f e , not a road to contentment. As an a r t i s t , he also has the right to be judged in terms of the vision which he renders in his text. A close scrutiny of the text reveals that there i s nothing to justify the expectations which Buckley, Wilkes and others claim are unsatisfied. On the contrary, the one direct clue which White does, in fact, give, as a preliminary guide to the meaning of his novel, suggests something quite unlike an answer to human problems, such as the c r i t i c s have looked for: The t i t l e of the book, and the poem from which i t comes (part of which is included in the text and is identified for the reader on the obverse of the t i t l e page) suggests a continual state of human distress and personal limitations—of mankind ("the tree") endlessly disturbed, and of individual men ("the saplings") taking turns in a sequence of harassed and short-lived l i f e cycles: The tree of man was never quiet: Then 'twas the Roman, now 'tis I. The gale i t plies the saplings double, It blows so hard, 'twill soon be gone: Today the Roman and his trouble Are ashes under Uricon. White's novel, then, explores the condition of man who is both part of the general tree, blown by the wind but continuing to survive, and also an individual sapling, bent double by the gale and soon to disappear into ashes. In treating this theme, White extends the rendering of his 108 vision of l i f e as a state of alienation, and he must be allowed the same c r i t i c a l open-mindedness as we are accustomed to allow to writers from George Eliot to Faulkner, whose sensibilities are generally recognised, as having complex modern bases. White's work wi l l not be pinned down under such labels as "the mystique of man immersed in nature," nor be adequately explicated by eulogies and comparisons. An examination of technical and thematic elements w i l l show precisely how i t is an embodiment of that vision of which the only safe generalization that can be made--on the basis of the previous novels—is that i t is likely to focus on the problem of alienation; and the title-poem confirms this expectation. a. THE TREE OF MAN: TECHNIQUES Just as the part structure of The Aunt1s Story was designed to render Theodora's experience of l i f e , so The Tree  of Man is structural in a series of parts corresponding to Stan and Amy's l i f e experience. The three parts of the earlier novel revealed the narrowing focus of a primarily mental, or intellectual awareness of the chain of events within the inner world of Theodora's own mind. The four parts of The Tree of Man reveal a progression in which the objects of experience exist in the stable world of objective reality--the outer world; and the pattern of awareness is not a narrowing down, but a cycle related to the natural, seasonal cycle. The parts develop the Parkers' consciousness through youth, early maturity, middle age and old age, corresponding to spring, summer, autumn and winter. 109 In P a r t One, we see the Parkers a c t i v e l y blossoming i n the springtime of t h e i r l i v e s , e s t a b l i s h i n g themselves on the land , p l a n t i n g and c l e a r i n g and b u i l d i n g . And t h e i r consciousness of obj e c t s and events s e l e c t s p a r t i c u l a r aspects of the spring season: In the c l e a r morning of those e a r l y years the cabbages stood out f o r the woman more d i s t i n c t l y than other t h i n g s , when they were not melt i n g i n a tenderness of l i g h t . The young cabbages, that were soon a prospect of veined leaves, melted in'the mornings of thawing f r o s t . Their blue and purple f l e s h ran together w i t h the s i l v e r of water, the jewels of l i g h t , i n the smell of warming earth. (p.26) I t was a season of a c t i v i t y and l i f e that might hold almost any i s s u e , as she walked w i t h her p a i l , evenings, to the w a i t i n g cow. (p.52) In P a r t Two, the ground-breaking a c t i v i t y of youth slackens o f f and people begin to congregate around t h e i r v i l l a g e , The women to dawdle through t h e i r shopping, the men, w i t h l e s s excuse, to waste time. Summer was a time of white dust and yellow g r i t . (p.101) The Parkers produce c h i l d r e n and f a l l i n t o a kind of summer stupor of contentment and p r o d u c t i v i t y : The sturdy woman with her two c h i l d r e n continued standing amongst the t r e e s . (p.136) New pat t e r n s of l i f e , of paddock and yard and orchard, would be traced on the sides of the h i l l s and the l i t t l e g u l l i e s . But not yet. In time. In slow time too, of hot summer days. (p.102) These were, on the whole, becalmed years, i n s p i t e of the v i s i b l e evidence of growth. Any reference to the fu t u r e was made, not with c o n v i c t i o n , but i n accordance w i t h convention. (p.125) 110 This dreamy p e r i o d comes to an end w i t h the outbreak of v a s t , d e s t r u c t i v e f o r c e s of nature and man--"the f i r e that could consume, apparently, whole i n t e n t i o n s " (p.169), and "the great joke of war" (p.194). P a r t Three, the autumn of "the tree of man", i s f i l l e d w i t h a. sense of f a i l i n g powers, of inadequacy to t a c k l e the personal problems of l i f e which become more and more ponderous; The days of autumn i n which she walked were p e r f e c t i n themselves. The wind dropped at that time of the year. Birds rose i n d o l e n t l y and a l i g h t e d w i t h ease. Quinces f e l l and r o t t e d a f t e r a time; she sat on a doorstep and could not p i c k them up . . . . Only the human being might s t i l l erupt, and assume f r e s h forms, or d i s i n t e g r a t e . She watched her husband walking through the stubble. He had begun to s h r i v e l a b i t . His neck was o l d . What i f she should f i n d Stan f a l l e n i n the grass w i t h h i s face l o s t i n an expression she d i d not know? (p.234) The c h i l d r e n grow up and depart from home, l e a v i n g the parents empty: There was nothing, of course, that you could e x p l a i n by methods of l o g i c ; only a l e a f f a l l i n g at dusk w i l l d i s t u r b the reason without reason. Stan Parker went about the place on which he had l e d h i s l i f e , by which he was consumed r e a l l y . This i s my l i f e , he would have said i f he had expressed himself other than by acts of the body. But there were seasons of stubble and dead grass, when doubts d i d press up. (p.302) Of course her son had gone away by t h i s time, so Amy Parker went q u i c k l y out. Then what have I got? ahe asked, as the v o i d h i t her . . . . She longed f o r some knowledge of which others were apparently possessors. I have nothing, I know nothing, she suspected. Her breath panted to l e a r n , as her ankles turned on stones, but there was no i n d i c a t i o n where or how to begin, (p.366) I l l In Part Four, the Parkers and their homestead slip further and further towards decay and death. The cycle of individual existence is coming to an end, while the wide, impersonal world continues in i t s endless cycles: The garden at Parkers' had almost taken possession of the house, (p.371) The wooden homes stood, each in i t s smother of trees, like oases in a desert of progress. They were in process of being forgotten, of fa l l i n g down, and would eventually be swept up with the bones of those who had lingered in them. (p.408) Stan and Amy are grandparents, and they move slowly and weakly through the winter of their l i v e s . In the f i r s t pages of this section Stan has a physical collapse, and the un-pleasantness of winter is mentioned several times. Amy comforts herself by polishing furniture "with long methodical sweeps until i t l i t the winter with the glow of old red wood" (p.373). Visitors come and go, and the Parkers begin to live more and more in memories, recalled in the calm of physical repose: Amy Parker got back ponderously onto the veranda. Whole afternoons she waited for other witnesses of the past, but saw young people who had not yet lived, and strangers who were blank or kind. . . . So she got cranky at times, ugly. Or appeared herself with the past. Growing serene and even wise with these snapshots that she could produce at wil l from out of her sleeve. The past is a miracle of minor saints, (p.383) The old people begin to know the depths of fear, and Stan has "a presentiment of death" (p.421): There he sat. A grey light prevailed, by chance or intention, similar to that which is seen in bedrooms at morning. This i s the light in which a man becomes aware that he wil l die. 112 The I am going to die, he said. It did not seem possible. (p.420) Amy's climaxes of fear come with Mrs O'Dowd's death and the Ouigley murder though she always manages to forestall an ultimate confrontation of the fact of death by placing her confidence in other people, particularly Stan: She was thinking a l l this time of the twin knives turning in Doll Quigley and Mrs. O'Dowd. Then what tortures are in store? she asked, and was afraid, even though she was going home to her husband, a quiet man who would stand up at the last moment perhaps, and say something. Stan w i l l know, she said. So she was comforted. So the green sky of winter flowed by. (p.£85) Stan, on the other hand, comes to a gradual acceptance of the inescapable conditions of l i f e and the approach of death: Peace i s desirable in i t s e l f , he said, and so in the absence of evidence that he would receive more, he accepted this with humility and gratitude. (p.432) He s i t s , just before his death, on a patch of grass"which was quite dead-looking from the touch of winter" (p.493); and as he dies, we learn that "he prayed for greater clarity and i t became obvious as a hand" (p.497). Amy's last thoughts in the novel reveal her consciousness of his death, in terms of the subtraction of one individual from the continuing human species: Stan i s dead. My husband. In the boundless garden, (p.497) This contrasts nicely with her springtime confidence in the permanent unity of husband and wife: Their lives had grown together. They would continue in that way, because i t was not possible to divide their common trunk. 113 The brief, final chapter simply emphasizes the continuity of the l i f e of "the tree of man" after the loss of one stem: So that in the end there were the trees. The boy walking through them. . . . So that, in the end, there was no end. We see then, how the part structure establishes Stan's and Amy's consciousness in complete association with the seasonal cycle of the natural world. The association is actual rather than symbolic for Stan and Amy are integrated with the phenomenal world (just as Theodora becomes integrated with the private world of her imagination) and the pattern of their consciousness i s simply part of an overall natural pattern. We see, for instance, how the plain, historical perspective of their lives f a l l s into the same pattern (and is likewise rendered through the part structure). Their history i s that of plants: In Part One, they grow and put down their roots. In Part Two, they produce f r u i t . In Part Three, they are stripped of their f r u i t . In Part Four, (in a pun which sounds s i l l y in quotation, but not in i t s con-text, they witness the "strokes . . . which f e l l members of the family" Q>.492j), and they f i n a l l y wither and die. The four-part structure thus exists both in the con-sciousness of the characters and in the objective narrative. Where Macbeth says "My way of l i f e / I s fallen into the sere, the yellow leaf;/And that which should accompany old age,/ . . .," he uses a nature image which happens to suit Shakespeare's purpose at that particular point in the play (just as, later, he uses the image of a bear tied to a stake, which is quite unnatural). But in The Tree of Man, nature is used much more fundamentally than as a source of occasional images. The seasonal cycle i s established through the part-114 structure, in such a way as to establish the nature of the Parkers' central experiences of l i f e , and their consciousness of those experiences. Superimposed upon this experience- of the inevitable, natural cycle, is the Parkers' ironic consciousness that they do not share i t s permanence. They know that they are, so to speak, annuals in a perennial garden, and this conscious-ness is rendered, as we shall note, by the use of certain motifs and images which are objects of mystery and wonder. The structure and the consciousness of mystery thus stand in an incongruous relationship to one another and provide the technique for rendering the theme of duality. Finally, we should notice that the shaping of the Parkers' consciousness in the form of a natural cycle establishes the basis of their epistemology as they confront the problem of duality in their l i v e s . The natural cycle is the form of their experience, and the natural world is the primary substance of reality for them. They are predominantly "earth-bound" as Theodora is predominantly "earth-loosed" and even the mysteries of l i f e are usually apprehended by them through such natural events as storm and lightning. In the two novels, White renders his vision of duality from complementary points of view. Stan's rootedness is nature is the obverse of Theodora's withdrawal into solipsism. Both worlds--the objective, phenomenal world of nature, and the subjective, imagined world of private apprehension--are real according to White's vision and together they constitute the paradoxical duality of existence. Theodora's consciousness moves, largely by means of the part-structure of The Aunt's  Story, until i t is fixed predominantly in the latter world, the subjective. In "earth-bound" language she goes mad. 115 The Parkers' consciousness is similarly established as predominantly rooted in the former world, the objective. To put this point another way: Theodora makes a crossing from "this" world into another world, and the part-structure of her story shows this. Stan and Amy have intimations of another worlds, but they do not make the * crossing; they remain fixed in the natural cycle which the part structure of their story renders. They do not "go mad?', but remain in the world of nature until they are "felled". The use of motifs in The Tree of Man is less obtrusive than in any of the other novels. This is largely because of the fact, that in establishing the natural world as the centre of reality for the Parkers, White's a r t i s t i c idiom becomes a common idiom. In other words, the main motifs he chooses for rendering natural experiences are so common in literature and l i f e , that they do not stand out m the way that the bones motif or the mirror motif does, in other novels. We think of "the tree of man", for instance, as a large and rather vague symbol, and we can easily f a i l to observe the frequent and meticulous use of trees as a motif. Yet there are over f i f t y recurrences of the motif, in the novel, and the following examples illustrate the range of it s usage as an index of individual character and of man's relationship with nature: Ray Parker, whose l i f e and character are presented as unnaturally destructive, is revealed to us at certain moments through the motif: He loved to shin up and clamber from branch to branch, until he was almost bending the crest, and now this 116 sensation was most imperative. To touch the t h i c k wood. To struggle w i t h and f i n a l l y overcome i t . (p.133) He was p e r p e t u a l l y wandering through bush, hacking or s c r a t c h i n g , l o o k i n g f o r b i r d s or something to k i l l . . . . Ah, i f I could escape, he s a i d , bending a s a p l i n g t i l l i t broke, (p.227) His sense of oppression and per s e c u t i o n , which provokes g r a t u i t o u s acts of savagery, i s rendered through the mo t i f , i n h i s con-sciousness, when he hacks up Con's f a m i l y snapshots: A f t e r a b i t he stopped. I t was under a t r e e . I t was a b i g o l d banksia, f u l l of dead heads, the trunk and branches of the t r e e t o r t u r e d i n t o abominable shapes, f u l l of dust and u g l i n e s s . A l l beauty and goodness were excluded from that p l a c e , the sky being o b l i t e r a t e d f o r the moment. The boy was s h i v e r i n g , that took out the k n i f e . . . . (p.240) Again, when he r i d i c u l e s Thelma's hopes f o r n a t u r a l , domestic s t a b i l i t y h i s own sense of oppression w i t h i n the home i s rendered through h i s consciousness of t r e e s : He sat l o o k i n g out of the window at skeins of grey r a i n that were being f l u n g across the paddocks, and black t r e e s r e s t r a i n e d so f a r by t h e i r r o o t s , (p.251) The a n t i t h e s i s of Ray's d e s t r u c t i v e s p i r i t , h i s f a t h e r ' s harmonious involvement i n the n a t u r a l world, i s al s o developed through the moti f . Stan b u i l d s h i s f i r s t , temporary abode out of "bags and a few s a p l i n g s " (p.37). When h i s l og house i s complete, i t forms part of the n a t u r a l surroundings: Seen through the t r e e s , i t was a p l a i n but honest house. ; . " ( P . i i ) And though he has had to cut down t r e e s , h i s d e s t r u c t i o n has been f o r a n a t u r a l , c r e a t i v e purpose, and we are t o l d that "the stumps had ceased to bleed" (p.11) i n due course. Subsequently, h i s l i f e experiences are 117 rendered in terms of the motif--even down to the detail of seeing a hand which lands near him in battle as "a tendril that had been torn off some vine" (p.203). As a great storm breaks on his f r a i l homestead and threatens to destroy i t , he feels that "God blew from the clouds, and men would scatter like leaves" (p.43); and he i s aware, as the wind rises, of "the passionate striving of trees" (p.43). Late in l i f e , his sense of peace, acquired through mere acceptance of his existence in the world of nature i s beautifully rendered through a variation of the motif: He had developed a passion for carpentry in recent years, and could now see with peculiar distinctness the grain on the particular wood on which he was working, and the nick near a dovetail which had been worrying him because of the blemish i t would leave. Otherwise, the simplicity and rightness of his work was greatly satisfying. In his fever he could not have been cleaner swept. A l l that he had lived, a l l that he had seen, had the extreme simplicity of goodness. Any acts that he relived in that ample darkness of the room were per-formed with the genuine honesty of freshly planed wood. (p.406) And for those readers who may relish the very faintest a r t i s t i c touch, such anguish as Stan s t i l l has at the thought of death i s rendered in the ultimate elaboration of the motif: Oh God, oh God, he was saying from time to time, but very quietly and dustily, like sawdust, (p.407 Getting back to the bolder strokes, we find at • the end of Stan's l i f e , the most direct and obvious appear-ance of the motif, which stands also as one of the tree symbols, independent of i t s recurrence as a motif, for part 118 of i t s meaning: That afternoon the old man's chair had been put on the grass at the back, which was quite dead-looking from the touch of winter. Out there at the back, the grass, you could hardly c a l l i t a lawn, had formed a ci r c l e in the shrubs and trees which the old woman had not so much planted as stuck in during her lifetime. There was l i t t l e of design in the garden originally, though one had formed out of the wilderness. It was perfectly obvious that the man was seated at the heart of i t , and from this heart, the trees radiated, with grave movements of l i f e , and beyond them the sweep of a vegetable garden. . . . (p.493) From these quotations alone, we see that although the tree motif is used extensively in the novel, i t s force can easily be missed in a casual reading, or i t may simply be read as a loosely applied symbol. In a closer reading, we discover that recurrence with variation creates a motival rhythm, revealing character and the nature of consciousness. Of the common natural objects and phenomena which form other relatively unobstrusive motifs in the novel, the most important are those of roses, lightning, cabbages, possessive love, gazing out of a window, plants rubbing and "sawing" against houses. The way in which these motifs are used to render vision i s something which White's readers perceive as they become familiar with his works, and they could each be discussed in the way that we have discussed the tree motif. A second kind of motif, in The Tree of Man, and one which i s more characteristic of White's work as a whole, is the motif which is unusual, either in i t s e l f , or in the way i t is presented, or in the concepts to which White relates 119 i t . The nutmeg grater, for instance, i s , in i t s e l f , an uncommon object and we therefore notice i t s few recurrences as a motif, more than we do, say, cabbages in the novel. We recall i t as we recall the nautilus shell or Mrs Goodman's paper knife. The nutmeg grater and the Parkers' separate attitudes to i t , are a tiny indication of the change which takes place in their romantic idealism, between the early spring and the late winter of their l i v e s . At the end, Amy is s t i l l a l i t t l e excited by the useless object, while for Stan i t i s just some "irrelevant thing" which "he had for-gotten" (p.496). Another motif of this second kind is that of ants--common enough, but presented unusually, as in Mr Gage's painting (p.290), or where Amy i s "staring eye to eye with the ant" (p.28). Also there are a few occasions when the bones motif of The Aunt's Story crops up, though these are, naturally, rare in The Tree of Man, since this motif is used to render a form of consciousness which i s dominant in Theodora and only vestigial in the Parkers. One of the best, though slightest, examples of the unusual motif, is detail of gristle in the neck, which forms a rhythmic indication of the consciousness of age. It occurs f i r s t where "Stan Parker knew by his mother's shoulders and the gristle in her neck, that she would die soon" (p.9). There follow^ , in the course of the novel, several re-appearances and variations of the motif, including one which illustrates clearly how Stan's consciousness is physical, where Theodora's is mental: Stan Parker sat there in the lovely morning, feeling his neck, which was g r i s t l y , and his sides, of which 120 the ribs were weak. If he could have put his hand on his own soul and judged i t s shape, age, toughness and durability, he would have done so. . . .He continued to smile through a haze of exhaustion, watching the young man work at a normal rate. (p.376). (Theodora's self awareness is revealed, not through feeling her neck, or watching the way a younger person acts, but through studying her own face in a mirror and contemplating the nature of what she sees). Besides the part-structure and the use of motifs, a> third, main technical feature of The Tree of Man is the unusual prose style. This aspect of the novel has been much dis-cussed, and either condemned or condoned. Critics have consistently failed to admit the possibility that the strange effects which White achieves through this technique may be a successful realisation of a deliberate a r t i s t i c intention. They concur in finding the main effect one of confused and disconnected expression; and, with one voice, they regret this lack of c l a r i t y . White, we are led to believe, has attempted some original purpose (variously specified), and has failed to achieve i t perfectly, through becoming too "manneristic".^ The intention of this rendering has not been sought at any depth, or with a willingness to be educated to perceive new technical p o s s i b i l i t i e s . Instead, i t s effect has been pooh-poohed as a poor derivative from Forster, Hemingway, Joyce, Lawrence and Faulkner. The kind of reading which this thesis is urging for White's work can, once again, be usefully c l a r i f i e d , by establishing the apparent error of the c r i t i c s in this respect, and by offering 121 an emphatically different alternative. We shall therefore examine a representative statement by a mature and scholarly c r i t i c , whose article on The Tree of Man has been described as "excellent"*'*" by another White scholar, and has been anthologised in a collection which purports "to assist L_the] 12 common pursuit of true literary judgment." The famous style becomes almost a separate subject for analysis, precisely because i t is so often and so obviously something else than an instrument of c l a r i t y ; so often i t has only a factitious relation to the things he is writing about. The more complex the material, the more decorative and evasive the prose seems to become. In an earlier novel, The Aunt1s  Story (1948), for example, the whole of the second half of the novel i s imprisoned in a soft cocoon of imprecision. The prose is at i t s best when he i s evoking simpler, more direct sensations, perceptions, and imaginings. But at moments of complex c r i s i s , i t is pretentious and evasive (p.326): The woman Amy Parker began to turn out the house during those days, to fold quantities of brown paper, to make l i t t l e hanks out of lengths of string, to glance through old letters and come across yellow photographs . . . This photograph she stood upon a chest in the bedroom, propped against a vase, and would go there g u i l t i l y to look at i t . Before resuming the business of her house. Arranging and furbishing. "Here are some handkerchiefs that I put by, Stan, and that you have not used," she said once to her husband, with the clear overtones of voice used by one whose secret l i f e is cloudier. She brought the pile out to show that i t was true, that there should be at least this between them. She was a good wife, putting a handkerchief in his pocket before he went on a journey, and brushing the fallen hair from his collar with her hand. He accepted a l l this, of course. And today, which was the day he had agreed to advise 122 a young man, a Peabody, about the purchase of some land at Hungerford, which is the other side of Bangalay. This passage seems an uneasy mixture of exactitude and affectation. The psychological observation i s correct, but the language is sometimes almost coy in i t s pretentiousness; the last sentence, for example, has something ludicrous about i t . And the affectation is the result of his attempt to take in too many . diverse influences: some passages are a sort of fruit salad of modern prose. H.J.Oliver mentions Forster; but Joyce, Faulkner, Hemingway and Lawrence are a l l in the bowl as well.13 The nub of Buckley's objection is that "the style has only a factitious relation to the things White is writing about;" the prose is "evasive". The psychological accuracy of observation, is seen as the true merit of the passage. We reconstruct the thinking that l i e s behind this conclusion, something like this: "Yes, this i s real; this woman, at this autumn period of her life--her children gone, old age approaching--staves off boredom by domestic r i t u a l s , wandering about the house, sorting out old snapshots, getting her husband's handkerchiefs ready; yes, stealing nostalgic, and even guilty, glances at a picture of herself as a g i r l . So she hands Stan these handkerchiefs, to establish her wifely role, and (for the plot) because he's going out. Where? To help young Peabody buy land (Good! Stan is now the elder advising the youth on essential matters). Oh, there's more . . . 'at Hungerford'. So what? More s t i l l . . . 'which is the other side of Bangalay.' Oh come now, this is irrelevant and a bit pretentious, a sort of 'and-they-came-to-Jericho-which-is-on-the-further-side-of-Jerusalem' effect." 123 On the face of i t , such a response would seem j u s t i f i a b l e . Why, after a l l "at Hungerford" and why the solemn and gratuitous information "which is the other side of Bangalay"? The answer, I think, is that the place and i t s distance from Durilgai are uppermost in Stan1s and Amy's consciousness, for specific reasons, and we have to understand that the narrator is rendering their consciousness when words are used in the manner of this last sentence. In part, the information and i t s serious conveyance represent simply the sense of importance which attaches to the unusual event of Stan's leaving the homestead. But, more importantly, they reveal the nature of the Parkers' consciousness, in response to Amy's adultery. Stan is not exactly sure of the nature of the disturbance which has occurred in his recent absence from home, and Amy is not quick-witted or vicious enough to recognise and jump at this new opportunity for i n f i d e l i t y . But now that Stan is going away again, i t does register in their minds that some important fact i s related to the distance of his absence, in time and space. And, being the kind of people that they are, their consciousness of this factor in the journey is rendered through fixing of their minds on definite places, rather than in abstract terms. We are not told ". . . at Hungerford, which would mean an absence of six and a half hours from home--hours in which the thing that had happened might happen again." This point i s , of course, only one of the details in the long quotation from Buckley; but i t i s a central one, for i t i s both the main ground of his objection, and the 124 c u l m i n a t i o n i n t he pas sage o f W h i t e ' s r e n d e r i n g o f a p a r t i c u l a r e p i s o d e o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s . I t i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h Amy ' s l o o k i n g a t t h e p h o t o g r a p h , and her c a r e f o r S t a n ' s h a n d k e r c h i e f s , i n p r o v i d i n g a m u l t i p l e r e n d e r i n g of he r p r e s e n t ( c l o u d y ) c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f her a d u l t e r y . The s e t t i n g up and l o o k i n g a t the pho tog raph i s p a r t of a who le s t r eam o f n o s t a l g i c a c t i o n s w h i c h have been se t o f f i n he r by he r l o v e r , and w h i c h f l o w t h r o u g h the p r e v i o u s f i f t e e n pages o f t he n o v e l . And the r i t u a l o f h a n d k e r c h i e f s i s an e x t e n s i o n o f her d e s i r e f o r a tonement , f i r s t seen i n he r a t t i t u d e t o S tan a f t e r t h e f i r s t a c t o f a d u l t e r y : She wanted t o do someth ing f o r h im. " H e r e ' s a n i c e p i e c e , S t a n , " she s a i d , " w i t h t h e fast on t h a t you l i k e . " (p .313 ) We see t h e n , how W h i t e ' s p r o s e s t y l e i s p a r t o f an i n t e g r a t e d t e c h n i c a l complex wh i ch r e p a y s c l o s e r e a d i n g . In c o n s i d e r i n g t he two p h r a s e s d i s c u s s e d above, we see how e f f e c t i v e l y Wh i te u se s t he s m a l l e s t s t y l i s t i c u n i t s . By means o f a s e r i e s o f s l i g h t p r o s e d i s t o r t i o n s o f t h i s k i n d , he has c r e a t e d a s u b s t a n t i a l e f f e c t i n the book as a w h o l e , wh i ch annoyed some of t ho se who d i d no t a p p r e c i a t e the method and i t s r a t i o n a l e . W h i t e ' s s t y l e i s i ndeed " t h e v e r y l i n c h p i n o f what he 14 has t o s a y " . I n The T ree of Man i t r e n d e r s the n a t u r e o f t h e P a r k e r s * c o n s c i o u s e x p e r i e n c e — a s l ow p r o g r e s s i o n o f s e n s a t i o n s , w h i c h a r e m a i n l y p h y s i c a l i n t he sense t h a t t h e y r e l a t e c h i e f l y t o t he o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t i e s o f t he n a t u r a l w o r l d ; t he o r d i n a r y and r e p e t i t i v e c y c l e s of even t and a t t i t u d e o f an i n t e l l e c t u a l l y u n d e r - d e v e l o p e d c o u p l e , whose 125 sensitivities to the ironies and paradoxes of l i f e is primitive and instinctual, rather than sophisticatedly rational and abstract. Hence, for example, Amy's consciousness of the spring morning with a l l i t s promise of productivity, is presented through her selective vision of certain objects, the significance of which is sensed rather than abstractly perceived: In the clear morning of those early years, the cabbages stood out for the woman more distinctly than other things, when they were not melting, in a tenderness of l i g h t . The young cabbages, that were soon a prospect of veined leaves, melting in the mornings of thawing frost. Their blue and purple flesh ran together with the silver of water, the jewels of l i g h t , in the smell of warming earth. But always tensing. Already in the hard, later light the young cabbages were resistant balls of muscle, until in time they were the big, placid cabbages, a l l heart and limp panniers, and in the middle of the day there was the glandular stench of cabbages. (pp.26-27) This is not a direct stream-of-consciousness technique, but a carefully selective rendering in which her impressions are translated through the narrator's vocabulary. (It is White, not Amy, who, for instance, describes the stench as "glandular".) But her perceptions are s t i l l simply rendered rather than described or commented on. The reader may translate the perceptions into concepts i f he wishes," but Amy cannot; and i f we resist this temptation, and simply accept her perceptions as images, we have a direct experience of her consciousness. Another interesting and noticeable feature of the prose, 126 is the repeated use of simple, generic tertrts--the man, the woman, the husband, the mother, the son--in place of actual names (or often, as a prefix, as in "the woman, Amy Parker"). Admittedly this does tend to create a sort of "Adam-and-Eve-in-Australia" effect.*'*' Yet this effect is subsumed in the larger purpose—the rendering of the nature of the Parkers' consciousness. In order to understand this point, we have f i r s t to realise that when the narrator uses an expression like "the man, Stan Parker", the phrase-ology conveys not so much an objective awareness of his presence, as Stan's subjective self-awareness (or Amy's awareness of him). This is the way Stan and Amy think and we do not find the device occuring in relation to, say, Thelma or Ray, except when they come into Stan's or Amy's consciousness. Thus i t is only when Thelma and Dudley arrive at Durilgai that the latter i s referred to as "the husband" rather than "her husband" or plain "Dudley". Amy asks Stan: "Do you like this man, the solicitor?" and he replies, "He seems a good sort of man." To be constantly aware of oneself and others by personal name, is the property of a more lucid, analytic mind than the Parkers possess. For to be aware of a person primarily by name, is to be aware of his personal identity, rather than his generic existence. Since the Parkers' central experience of reality is rooted in the physical properties and rhythmic cycles of the natural world, so they are aware of themselves and one another primarily as fellow-participants in the affairs of that world — l i t e r a l l y , as animals, and sharing some of the anonymity with which we regard animals. They differ 127 from one another in the broad, sexual division and in other generic ways. Their personal attributes are limited, more or less, to circumstantial accidents, as when Amy becomes "the forsaken woman" (p.28), when she is l e f t alone in the house. Normally she is "the woman" or "the wife", and Stan i s "the man". In Part One, she is "the thin g i r l " (p.22), "the young woman" (p.3), and he is "the man", "the young man, her husband" (p.31). Mrs. O'Dowd is consistently "the neighbour woman" (p.56) and "the fubsy woman" (p.57). They never get to know the name of the child picked up in the flood. He is simply "the child" and, later, "the lost boy," because this i s how the Parkers are aware of him. By the fourth part, Stan i s "the grandfather" (p.407) and "the old man" (p.495), as well as simply "the man." Thus the simple denominators are part of the overall techniques of rendering the nature of their consciousness and the pattern of i t s growth. b. THE TREE OF MAN: THEME The theme of The Tree of Man might be described in the same general terms as those used about The Aunt's Story, which I repeat from p.93 above: The overall theme of the novel i s implicit in the major techniques. It is the devel-opment of individual consciousness in the world of White's vision, the coming to a fuller and fuller awareness of the conditions of duality and isolation which are the primary facts of existence as White sees i t . But the nature of the Parkers' awareness of these facts is different from Theodora's, as they are different kinds of people. In discussing 128 Happy Valley, we saw how White's characters are spread out in a scale of self-awareness (see pp. 27-31 above), on which Oliver represents the extreme high, and the Belpers and Furlows the extreme low. The latter were described as "dimly aware of their plight as human beings, but . . , unable to see ways and means of winning through to f u l f i l -ment" (p. 29 above). In Theodora, White extends his treatment of the "Oliver end" of the scale; in the Parkers, he gives his f i r s t f u l l consideration to the "Furlow end." The principal difference between the Parkers and Theodora is that in their response to consciousness of duality in l i f e , the former remain on the "normal" side of the dividing l i n e . Thus the part-structure of The Tree of Man does not (as that of The Aunt's Story did) act as a striking means of rendering the theme of duality. We must recall that in each novel the part-structure " i s designed to render the unfolding of consciousness" (p.93 above). Whereas Theo-dora's increasing "abnormality" corresponds to the movement towards isolation in the structure of her story, the overall "normality" of Stan and Amy is matched by the normal, cyclical l i f e processes which the part structure of their novel renders. The part-structure thus reveals their inte-gration in the unified, natural world. However, against the background "normality" of the part- * structure, White presents the Parkers' occasional intimations of mysteries behind the appearance of things, and this way the experience of duality occurs. To c a l l i t the theme of duality is perhaps misleading, for Stan and Amy do not conceptualize two p o s s i b i l i t i e s , like Theodora's two Meroes 129 or Oliver's "world" and "not world". Like the Furlows, their awareness i s dim, and i t would therefore be more accurate to say that they experience vague ontological doubts. Nevertheless, their experience is basically similar to that of White's more conscious characters, whose articulate concepts of duality do not help them to greater ontological certainty. In' continuing to use the term "duality" we reflect that White's vision does not change between The  Aunt's Story (or even Happy Valley) and The Tree of Man, despite the different degrees of cerebral capacity of his characters. The clearest indication of the Parkers' consciousness of duality comes through the impact on their sensibilities of certain objects and events of wonder. For Stan, there are boyhood memories of Shakespeare and the Old Testament, and for Amy, the silver nutmeg grater. Both of them respond with awe to the mysterious violence inherent in nature, for those who can see i t , in i t s expression through lightning, storms, fires and the flood. Then too, the dramatic destruction of Glastonbury creates for each of them strange experiences of unreality which recur in their thoughts and dreams over long periods of time. A l l these things break in upon the monotony of the Parkers' li v e s , casting doubt on the reality of their immediate, experiential shere. They respond with fear and puzzlement, and sometimes with romantic dreams of superhuman joy. Both kinds of response are evident, for instance, in Chapter Five, in the storm and i t s aftermath. 130 The storm occurs immediately a f t e r the f i r s t discordant moment i n the Parkers' marriage. ("It was the f i r s t time i n t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p that there were any loose ends" p.42 .) As the wind and r a i n begin to e x h i b i t t h e i r power, •* to "rouse the t e r r o r " and "bash the small wooden box" which i s t h e i r shack, Stan remembers the Old Testament and wonders whose side God i s on--his or the storm's: Surrounded by the r e s e n t f u l inanimacy of rock and passionate s t r i v i n g of the t r e e s , he was not sure. In t h i s s t a t e , he was possessed by an unhappiness, r a t h e r p h y s i c a l , that was not yet f e a r , but he would have l i k e d to look up and see some expression of sympathy on the sky's face. (p.43) As trees snap and s p l i n t e r , "man and woman were f l u n g against each other with the ease and s i m p l i c i t y of tossed wood" (p.44) and they s u r v i v e . A f t e r the storm, Stan remembered again the f i g u r e s that had plodded through the pages of h i s boyhood i n the face of drought and famine and war, and the great deserts of human and d i v i n e i n j u s t i c e , as he l a y on the horsehair sofa. And here he was, s t i l l fumbling through the more personal events. He could not i n t e r p r e t the l i g h t n i n g that had w r i t t e n on t h e i r l i v e s , (p.45) Immediately a f t e r t h i s evocation of the consciousness of mystery, we are given an i n d i c a t i o n of the romantic hopes (which Stan and Amy both share): He had not learned to t h i n k f a r , and i n what progress he had made had reached the c o n c l u s i o n he was a p r i s o n e r i n h i s human mind, as i n the mystery of the n a t u r a l world. Only sometimes the touch of hands, the l i f t i n g of a s i l e n c e , the sudden shape of a tree or presence of a f i r s t s t a r , h i nted at eventual r e l e a s e , (p.46) L a t e r i n the n o v e l , sev e r a l romantic i n c i d e n t s occur but, 131 though they are exciting at f i r s t , they do not provide "eventual release." Madelaine, who represents a separate romantic dream for each of the pair, becomes at last, for Stan, just the memory of a hair-singed woman vomiting wretchedly on the lawn at Glastonbury. For Amy, she develops into the dowdy Mrs Fisher "with the butter on her mouth after scones" (p.451). And the romance is dissolved: Altogether she could not dissolve too completely the lovely effigy of Madelaine that had been hers. So poetry that has been used up must go out of the system. It must be got rid of as bile i f necessary, (p.448) The word "poetry" in this last quotation reminds us of White's statement that he intended, in this novel, "to discover the extraordinary behind the ordinary, the mystery and the poetry which alone could make bearable the lives 16 of such people." In the light of such "mystery and poetry" as we find in this novel, we have to interpret White's statement not as a promise of the discovery of some rapturous or sublime state, but as something akin to Katina Pavlou's realization that " i t is better fi n a l l y to know" about the distressing facts of l i f e , rather than to remain in ignorant joy. White offers the idea that Stan's and Amy's lives are 'more bearable than, say, Mrs Gage's, simply because they are aware of the condition of duality, while she remains in restless ignorance, running about in her "enchanted car." "Mrs. Gage's own l i f e had f i l l e d the foreground. She could not have believed in much else" (p.383). The Parkers' consciousness of duality forms one part of their experience of alienation. The other part is their 132 sense of isolation. This is expressed chiefly through Stan's and Amy's repeated discoveries that they are unable to communicate fully with one another, as well as through a more general inability to express themselves. Both factors are extensively treated in the novel and they form perhaps the most striking feature of the Parkers' experience. She was ashamed of not being able to say those things she should. A l l day long she had listened to the bell on the cow, the laughing of a bird, the presence of her silent house. Her thoughts had chattered loudly enough but took refuge now. (p.31) He watched her hand, and the old sock that she held on the wooden acorn. And she drew the wool together, sitting at the centre of the night. He watched, and they were indeed the centre, but precariously, and he wanted to be certain. This made him chew the l i t t l e stub of pencil, and would have undoubtedly resulted in something f i n a l , i f i t was to have been given to him to express himself in his l i f e . But i t was not. Except sometimes he had formed the lines of prayers, (p.Ill) In part, the general lack of self-expression is a product of the conservative tradition of the farming community. This i s comically epitomized in the r i t u a l i s t i c scene where Ossie Peabody comes to buy a calf: He saw Stan walking across his land. Both men looked away. They had known each other for so long, each took i t for granted that he was recognised. Eventually they would meet and talk together, or shape words, between grunts, and silences, and glances, and memories of a l l that had happened to each other over the years, (p.154) The same kind of basic, conversational economy exists between Stan and Amy: 133 His wife came to him and s a i d , "You are going over to Joe Peabody's." I t was a statement, not a question, as she stood w i t h her hands i n the pockets of her cardigan, watching her husband scrape the t o o l s . And Stan Parker made no answer, i t was a n o i s e , r a t h e r , of c o n f i r m a t i o n , which she had learned by t h i s time to i n t e r p r e t , (p.372) But Stan p a r t i c u l a r l y f e e l s h i s i n a r t i c u l a t e n e s s as something much more personal and important than a mere featu r e of r u r a l conservatism. His tormenting sense of i n a b i l i t y to say the r i g h t things to Amy, to make her under-stand what he f e e l s , becomes at l a s t a p a t h e t i c , f a t a l i s t r e a l i z a t i o n that "he would never reach her" (p.460). A f t e r h i s death, even h i s daughter who i s so much more a r t i c u l a t e than her parents, "remembered h i s s i l e n c e s , which she had f a i l e d to penetrate . . . but which she suspected at times contained something of worth" (p. 491). The Parkers then, l i k e Theodora, are conscious of t h e i r a l i e n a t i o n i n c o n d i t i o n s of d u a l i t y and i s o l a t i o n . A l s o l i k e Theodora, but i n d i f f e r e n t ways, they each come to (or, i n Amy's case, approach) a f i n a l s t a t e of r e s o l u t i o n , i n which they are able simply to accept the nature of t h e i r l i v e s , and cease to f r e t . Although these f i n a l s t a t e s are i n s c r u t a b l e i n that we are not able to f e e l t h e i r e f f e c t f o r the Parkers, they are nevertheless st a t e s which are c l e a r l y defined i n the t e x t . B r i e f l y , Stan comes to a growing r e a l i z a t i o n i n Part Four that "peace i n i t s e l f i s d e s i r a b l e " and he i s content simply to accept the nature of l i f e and die i n peace. Amy l i v e s on beyond the end of the novel i n the knowledge that 134 she has fi n a l l y achieved an un-possessive attitude towards someone she loves (her grandson) and that through this relationship, and less intimate social involvement, she wil l be able to endure the conditions of l i f e . Stan's realization begins when he trips and nearly shoots himself. He decides to go to a Communion Service and we are told, Then he hoped for God. It was very peaceful kneeling there on the carpet, once you had got down to i t , leaning on the varnished r a i l , which heat had cracked in i t s seasons. Pease is desirable in i t s e l f , he said, and so in the absence of evidence that he would receive more, he accepted this with humility and gratitude, (p.432) Later, when the young evangelist leaves him sitting in the garden, with tracts blowing away into the undergrowth, his reconciliation with the natural world (which is strongly rendered through an appearance of the tree motif considered above) leads him to see even a gob of spittle as God, and "a jewel." As he continues to stare at this humblest manifestation of human existence, his simple acceptance of l i f e i s complete: A great tenderness of understanding rose in his chest. Even the most obscure, the most sickening incidents of his l i f e were clear. In that l i g h t . How long wil l they leave me like this, he wondered, in peace and understanding? (p.496) We may not know why Stan reaches his "peace and under-standing" but we do know how. He simply ceases to worry about trying to combat the mysteries and the anguish of l i f e . He accepts that l i f e " i s not intended to be easy" (p.465), that "the objects of earth" are "incredible" and that the "blaze of sunlight" is "intangible" (p.497). So 135 he dies with a complete sense of resolution of care, rendered in what we might c a l l a "psychological image": "that One, and no other figure, is the answer to a l l sums" (p.497). Amy's resolution is not so complete as Stan's, though i t too is clearly defined. Throughout the novel, Amy's maternal instincts have motivated her to love and mother f i r s t , the boy from the flood, and later, Thelma and Ray. But she realises through several stages that she has failed to schieve a valuable relationship with these children, mainly because her love has been too possessive. Ray charges that she "would k i l l a person dead to see what was inside" (p.362). And later, "she no longer experienced any desire to possess" Thelma, "because she had failed to do so" (p.384). Her relationship with Ray's child now promises to satisfy her: Amy Parker had not attempted to possess this remote child, with the consequence that he had come closer than her own. She was placid with him. She was an old woman of course. It was easier. Even in her moments of irony, or foreboding that this l i t t l e boy would eventually do or say some cruel thing, or invest himself with some: mystery that would not be for her to solve, her well-being was not disturbed, (p.398) Her attitude, given her different interests and personality, is one of acceptance like Stan's. At the end, l i t t l e Ray is "the grandson, Elsie's boy, in whose eyes her own obscure, mysterious l i f e would grow transparent at last." The central theme of The Tree of Man is then, the 136 nature of l i f e i n the world of a l i e n a t i o n , as i t i s ex-pressed through the consciousness of two simple, i n a r t i c u l a t e people. The Parkers stand at the other extreme of i n t e l l e c t u a l l u c i d i t y from Theodora Goodman and remain m y s t i f i e d and locked i n the world of c y c l i c a l nature. Their sto r y com-plements Theodora's story to make up a comprehensive rendering of man's consciousness of l i f e , as White's v i s i o n enables him to see i t . The rendering i s achieved through the int e g r a t e d use of mature n o v e l i s t i c techniques. Nothing i n these novels i s f a c t i t i o u s ; eveything i s subordinated to the thematic purpose, the a r t i s t i c embodiment of v i s i o n . The Aunt's Story and The Tree of Man are White's major n a t u r a l i s t i c novels. Beginning w i t h Voss. i n which he was "above a l l . . . determined to prove that the A u s t r a l i a n novel i s not n e c e s s a r i l y the dreary, dun-coloured o f f s p r i n g of j o u r n a l i s t i c r e a l i s m , " White's v i s i o n i s expressed i n the large symbolic forms of the l a t e r p e r i o d . Even i n The S o l i d  Mandala a fundamental symbolic conception u n d e r l i e s the apparently n a t u r a l i s t i c surface; the characters embody Jungian concepts of p e r s o n a l i t y and become complementary symbols of u n i v e r s a l man. Another d i f f e r e n c e between the e a r l i e r novels and the three l a t e r ones i s that the l a t t e r show an i n c r e a s i n g l y b i t t e r a t t i t u d e to s o c i e t y . In The S o l i d Mandala the harsh p r e s e n t a t i o n of man's f r a i l t y , the concentration on aspects of hatred and d e s t r u c t i v e n e s s , and the horror scene at the end where one dog i s swallowing lumps of Waldo's body and the other i s chewing at h i s g e n i t a l s , a l l bespeak a mind 137 which has lost some of the balance which controls the vision of the two novels of the middle period. Elements of mis-anthropy infect the art. The direct line of continuation from the theme of The Tree of Man i s not, therefore, in the subsequent novels; but we find i t in several of the short stories collected in The Burnt Ones. In particular, the stores "Dead Roses," "Clay" and "The Letters" are essentially images of "the burnt ones," those who because they are conscious of alien-ation, live in an anguished search for peace. 138 CHAPTER IV THE PROBLEM OF SYMBOLISM IN THE LATER NOVELS Of the seven published novels, a major d i v i s i o n can be made between the f i r s t four and the l a s t three. This d i v i s i o n i s evident i n a number of f a c t o r s which are a l l r e l a t e d to a basic thematic development. White's a r t i s t i c v i s i o n remains more or l e s s constant throughout the works - (though i t does acquire c e r t a i n aspects of maturity a f t e r The L i v i n g and the  Dead, as we have seen). But the l a t e r novels do more than simply render the v i s i o n . Beginning w i t h Voss. White turns to metaphysics i n what appears to be an attempts to discover some form of f a i t h w i t h which to r e s i s t the anguish of the consciousness of a l i e n a t i o n . He turns away from the n a t u r a l i s t i c b a s i s of the f i r s t four novels i n order to explore the p o s s i b i l i t y of t r a n s -cending the mind and the body through a s p i r i t u a l communion between those who are aware of the d e s i r e f o r such transcendence. The suggestive rendering ( i t i s never a d i d a c t i c p r e s e n t a t i o n ) of t h i s communion or f e l l o w s h i p of i l l u m i n a t i appears to be the main purpose f o r which White uses the symbolic mode i n Voss and Ri d e r s . The f e l l o w s h i p i s based on a general s i m i l a r i t y of v i s i o n such as e x i s t e d between Theodora and Mora'itis — "compatriots i n the country of the bones." I t i s represented i n Voss. c h i e f l y by the symbolic, imaginary r e l a t i o n s h i p s between Voss and Laura, and i n R i d e r s , c h i e f l y by the symbol of the chariot.*" Voss and Riders are ambitious novels of superb t e c h n i c a l performance and i n t r i c a t e theme. For many readers, the achieved form alone i s enough to make these novels extremely v a l u a b l e : 139 Flawed and imperfect though i t i s , Riders i n the  Chariot: nonetheless remains, i n Manfred Mackenzie's phrase, "a wonderful t h i n g " , wonderful both f o r the a u t h e n t i c i t y with which the i n d i v i d u a l segments i n i t s f a n t a s t i c s t r u c t u r e are rendered, and f o r the splendour and o r i g i n a l i t y of i t s basic design.^ And i t i s true that whatever may be our response to and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the c e n t r a l themes, there are s u f f i c i e n t i n d i v i d u a l elements of i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c b r i l l i a n c e as w e l l as s a t i r i c f o r c e , to c a l l f o r t h high p r a i s e . Nevertheless, the e s s e n t i a l meaning of these novels, t h e i r o v e r a l l thematic 3 conception as "meta-novels" cannot be ignored. Even i f we choose to l i m i t our c r i t i c a l responses to extensions of elements from the e a r l i e r novels (such as the rendering of Laura as a Theodora-figure, or of Mrs Godbold as a "mute v i s i o n a r y " ; l i k e Stan P a r k e r ) , we are s t i l l not coming to terms w i t h the c e n t r a l e f f e c t s of these works. I t i s a f t e r a l l r e l a t i o n s h i p s which the symbolic frameworks present, and the meaning of these r e l a t i o n s h i p s i s p r o b l e m a t i c a l . Various i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s have been t e n t a t i v e l y suggested, but they are mostly concerned w i t h the a r t i s t i c conventions--the symbolism--through which the r e l a t i o n s h i p s are presented, and not w i t h t h e i r meaning. At any r a t e no-one has yet explained t h i s meaning at a l l s a t i s f a c t o r i l y , and most c r i t i c s are p a t e n t l y bewildered and even a l i t t l e annoyed: There i s something, t a i n t e d about a c r e a t i v e habit which i n s i s t s on an a l l e g o r i c a l reading and then b l u r s the meaning i t p o i n t s to . . . . There are dangers i n presenting a heroic theme i n a symboliste mode; and i n Voss there i s a mandarin q u a l i t y which i s r e f r e s h i n g l y missing from The Tree of Man.^ 140 The problem i s whether an equivocal assessment of the events, encouraged by the author, does not tend to d i s i n t e g r a t e what he has created: and whether the kind of i n t e r r o g a t i o n of the author's i n t e n t i o n which the book i n v i t e s i s adequately received when the reader accepts the i n v i t a t i o n and presses the inquiry.5 In The S o l i d Mandala White r e t u r n s from h i s metaphysical journey, not q u i t e to na t u r a l i s m , but to a symbolic rendering based on p s y c h o l o g i c a l r e a l i s m , according to Jungian concepts. In t h i s l a t e s t novel, the two p r i n c i p a l characters embody the Jungian concepts of "logos" and "eros" as complementary aspects of human p e r s o n a l i t y , and t h i s basic dichotomy i s r e f l e c t e d a l s o i n the minor char a c t e r s . White shows, through the outcome of the p l o t , that communication i s impossible between people i n whom d i f f e r e n t aspects p r e v a i l . (Thus Arthur, eros-dominated, and Waldo, logos-dominated, are i n permanent antipathy which ends i n murder.) Furthermore, though communication i s p o s s i b l e between two " e r o t i c " or two " l o g i s t i c " people, because t h e i r i n t e r e s t s and m e n t a l i t i e s are s i m i l a r , i t i s only i n a pu r e l y " e r o t i c " r e l a t i o n s h i p that any happiness r e s u l t s from the r e l a t i o n s h i p . In so f a r as the two brothers represent two aspects of one i n d i v i d u a l , The S o l i d Mandala i s a symbolic novel r e v e a l i n g the t r a g i c i n c o n g r u i t y i n the make-up of human p e r s o n a l i t y : one i s e i t h e r s t u p i d and happy (with one's own p s y c h o l o g i c a l k i n ) , or i n t e l l i g e n t and miserable, depending on whether one i s predominantly e r o t i c or predominantly l o g i s t i c . In con-j u n c t i o n , w i t h i n the i n d i v i d u a l and the race, the two aspects war against one another and produce d e s t r u c t i v e hatred. 141 In view of the extent to which White's e a r l i e r novels are s u c c e s s f u l i n i n t e g r a t i n g themes and techniques to create coherent and v a l u a b l e renderings of h i s v i s i o n , there i s something suspect about c r i t i c i s m which w r i t e s o f f the l a t e r novels as t h e m a t i c a l l y c o r r u p t . For t h i s reason, and because we are admonished by the f a c t that previous White c r i t i c i s m has so of t e n been wide of the mark, i t i s perhaps wiser to suspend judgment on the l a t e r p eriod u n t i l some c r i t i c has analysed i t s p r i n c i p a l features i n the way I have t r i e d to do f o r the e a r l i e r . However, i t may be worth suggesting f o r futu r e c r i t i c s , that Voss and Riders need i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i n the l i g h t of the symbolic f u n c t i o n achieved i n The S o l i d  Mandala. We should not underestimate White's c a p a c i t y f o r o r i g i n a l i t y , and there i s c e r t a i n l y a case to be made f o r viewing h i s l a t e r work i n terms of modern p s y c h o l o g i c a l thought. We have already seen how the i n t e r p l a y of the H o l s t i u s f i g u r e and Theodora, at the end of The Aunt's Story, enabled White to create a symbolic p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n of Theo-dora's conscious s t a t e . And the c h i e f characters i n The  S o l i d Mandala are c o n s i s t e n t l y r e a l i s e d as complementary aspects of a s i n g l e , archetypal p e r s o n a l i t y . And we r e c a l l the symbolic e f f e c t of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the Young Man and h i s anima i n The Ham Funeral. S i m i l a r l y , i t might be p o s s i b l e to accept the p r i n c i p a l characters of Voss and Riders as pure symbols of d i f f e r e n t aspects of p e r s o n a l i t y , of d i f f e r e n t m o t i v a t i o n a l forces (Cp. the four Tempters of E l i o t ' s Murder i n the Cathedral), w i t h i n the e n t i t i e s of i n d i v i d u a l (archetypal) p e r s o n a l i t i e s , represented by each novel as a whole. Such a reading might enable us to i n t e r -pret these novels as f u r t h e r i n t e g r a t e d renderings, i n a 142 plane more b o l d l y symbolic than has been recognised, of White's v i s i o n , r a t h e r than attempts to suggest the p o s s i b i l i t y of a metaphysical s o l u t i o n to the problem of i s o l a t i o n which i s inherent i n the s t a t e of a l i e n a t i o n . Thus we should see a l l the main characters as aspects of ourselves, rather than "a t i n y e l i t e , whose members recognise one another through some s i x t h sense"P Indeed, i t may be that White's use of a lar g e symbolic mode i n these l a t e r novels i n an unrecognised attempt to render more c o n c r e t e l y , that f i n a l s t a t e of acceptance which, i n Theodora and Stan, i s presented as i n s c r u t a b l e . Such at l e a s t , i s the i n t e r e s t i n g suggestion which we may d e r i v e from C a s s i r e r ' s comments on symbolism and freedom: The "freedom" which man i s able to wrest f o r himself does not imply that he has removed himself from nature, from her being and operations. He cannot overturn or break through the organic l i m i t s which are f i x e d f o r him j u s t as f o r any other l i v i n g being. But w i t h i n those l i m i t s , indeed by means of them, he fashions a breadth and s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y of movement which i s a c c e s s i b l e and a t t a i n a b l e only by him. Ue x k u l l once remarked that the formal s t r u c t u r e (Bauplan) of each l i v i n g t h i n g , and hence the determinate r e l a t i o n s h i p between i t s stimulus world and i t s f u n c t i o n a l world, encloses t h i s being as f i r m l y as the w a l l s of a p r i s o n . Nor does the human being escape t h i s p r i s o n by des t r o y i n g i t s w a l l s ; he escapes only by becoming conscious of them. Here the Hegelian statement holds g o o d — t h a t he who knows about a l i m i t a t i o n i s already f r e e of i t . This becoming aware i s the beginning and end, the alpha and omega, of human freedom. Knowing and t a k i n g account of n e c e s s i t y i s the genuine process of l i b e r a t i o n which " s p i r i t " , i n c o n t r a d i s t i n c t i o n to "nature", has brought to p e r f e c t i o n . The v a r i o u s symbolic forms--myth, language, a r t , and s c i e n c e - - c o n s t i t u t e the i n d i s p e n s i b l e p r e c o n d i t i o n f o r t h i s process. They are the true media—which man himself has c r e a t e d — b y v i r t u e of which he has been able to separate himself from the world, and i n t h i s very separation, to bind himself a l l the c l o s e r to i t . ^ 143 Although G a s s i r e r i s using the word "symbol" here more b a s i c a l l y than i s imp l i e d when we c a l l Voss and Riders symbolic, the relevance of t h i s statement i s c l e a r . I t could be argued that i n h i s l a t e r novels, White achieves "the genuine process of l i b e r a t i o n which ' s p i r i t ' , i n c o n t r a d i s t i n c t i o n to 'nature', has brought to p e r f e c t i o n " , and that t h i s process i s rendered through a r a d i c a l l y symbolic form, i n keeping with the ambitious venture i n t o freedom, which i s consciousness of l i m i t a t i o n . But t h i s i s only s p e c u l a t i o n , and f o r the present the symbolic f u n c t i o n of the l a t e r novels remains to be understood and appreciated, i f indeed i t i s not the major flaw that i t appears to be. 144 FOOTNOTES (CHAPTER I) 1 P r i n c i p l e s of L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m (New York, 1925), p.33. 2 E d i t o r i a l note, Meaniin. XV (1956), 223. 3 Note the r e f s . to White i n e.g. "The Legend and the L o n e l i n e s s , " Overland. No. 23 (1962), 33-38. See a l s o Roger Fry's review of Voss. A u s t r a l i a n L e t t e r s . I (1958), 40-41. 4 T.G.Rosenthal, "White Heat," A u s t r a l i a n Book Review. IV (November, 1964), 6. 5 See e.g. C o l i n Roderick, "Riders i n the C h a r i o t : An E x p o s i t i o n , " Southerly. XXII (1962), 62-77, where the novel i s t r e a t e d as "a f i c t i o n a l essay in. Jewish mysticism" and i s regarded as a p o s s i b l e testimony of conversion, on White's p a r t . 6 See e.g. John Coburn, "The Metaphysics of Voss," 20th Century. XVIII (1964), on the r e l a t i o n of Voss to Shopenhauer. 7 S y l v i a G z e l l , "Themes and Imagery i n Voss and Riders  i n the C h a r i o t . " A u s t r a l i a n L i t e r a r y Studies. I I (1965), 180-195. 8 On the other hand, the developing s t r a i n of s o c i a l c r i t i c i s m i n the novels, e s p e c i a l l y the l a t e r ones, does d i s p l a y a more or l e s s s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d argument. But i t i s only a minor purpose of the works as a whole, and as such, i s given only scant treatment i n t h i s study. 9 In using the term "naturalism" ( p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the f i r s t and l a s t chapters of t h i s t h e s i s ) , I do not wish to l i n k White w i t h the d e t e r m i n i s t i c philosophy of such people as D r e i s e r and N o r r i s . I use " n a t u r a l i s m " - -and u n f o r t u n a t e l y there seems to be no more s u i t a b l e t e r m — t o denote a technique of mimetic a r t which l i m i t s i t s subject-matter to experience w i t h i n the n a t u r a l 145 world, and does not attempt to f i n d symbolic equi-v a l e n t s f o r supernatural experience. This i s the p h i l o s o p h i c a l meaning of the term according to the O.E.D.: "A view of the world and of man's r e l a t i o n to i t , i n which only the operation of n a t u r a l (as opposed to supernatural or s p i r i t u a l ) laws and f o r c e s i s admitted or assumed." White's e a r l i e r novels d i s p l a y such a view. However, the technique of n a t u r a l i s m does not exclude the use of symbols as a means of i n t e r p r e t i n g or l i n k i n g experiences. 10 See h i s The Logic of the Humanities, t r a n s . Clarence Smith Howe (New Haven, 1960), esp. pp.41-85. 11 (London, 1927), and (Toronto, 1963), r e s p e c t i v e l y . T i n d a l l (see footnote 12 below) r e f e r s f r e q u e n t l y to Brown and F o r s t e r , and t h e i r terms "rhythm" and "p a t t e r n " . 12 W i l l i a m York T i n d a l l , The L i t e r a r y Symbol (Bloomington, 1955), p.12. 13 T i n d a l l , p.228. 14 I t i s worth no t i n g that A.E.Housman (whose i n f l u e n c e on White i s most evident i n The Tree of Man) uses the symbol of bones i n a manner c l o s e l y r e l a t e d to White's usage. See "The Immortal P a r t , " i n A Shropshire Lad (London, 1896.) I am g r a t e f u l to Dr. E l l i o t t B. Gose J r . f o r p o i n t i n g t h i s out to me. 15 P a t r i c k White, "The P r o d i g a l Son," A u s t r a l i a n L e t t e r s . I (1958), 39. 16 Loc. c i t . 17 Harry P. H e s e l t i n e , " P a t r i c k White's S t y l e , " Quadrant. VI I (1963), 62. 18 Loc. c i t . 19 "The Metaphysical Poets," The Sacred Wood (London, 1921). 146 David Daiches, The Novel and the Modern World (Chicago, 1960 rev. edn.), pp. 190-191. E.M.Forster, Aspects of the Novel (Harmondsworth, 1962), p. 165. 147 FOOTNOTES (CHAPTER II Part 1) 1 B o r i s Ford (ed.), The P e l i c a n Guide to E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e . Vol., VII: The Modern Age. (Harmondsworth, 1963), p.70. 2 For the use of t h i s term and the terms "moral imagi-n a t i o n " see L i o n e l T r i l l i n g , The L i b e r a l Imagination (New York, 1960), pp. 84-88, 215. B r i e f l y , moral r e a l i s m i s a form of sympathetic a p p r e c i a t i o n of the m u l t i p l i c i t y of human s i t u a t i o n s and a f f a i r s . T r i l l i n g i l l u s t r a t e s w i t h a s t r i k i n g image: the r e c o g n i t i o n which comes to a l o v i n g f a t h e r , who has observed the behaviour of h i s many c h i l d r e n , of the endless v a r i e t y of p o s s i b l e human a c t i v i t y and m o t i v a t i o n . The moral imagination i s the f a c u l t y man e x e r c i s e s i n seeking values through moral r e a l i s m . T r i l l i n g sees the novel of the past two c e n t u r i e s as "the most e f f e c t i v e agent of the moral imagination." Through use of the moral imagination, i n reading a n o v e l , we do more than merely see or admit another person's p o i n t of view. We become aware of states of mind and f e e l i n g , of which we had p r e v i o u s l y been ignorant, i n part or wholly. Our consciousness, our experience of l i f e may thus be s i g n i f i c a n t l y extended. 3 Page r e f s . throughout r e f e r to edns. l i s t e d i n the B i b l i o g r a p h y . 4 E s p e c i a l l y yellow, blue, pink, black: Happy V a l l e y , pp. 137 f f . , The Aunt's Story, pp. 71, 74, 303. 5 See Happy V a l l e y pp. 20, 153, Riders p. 265 6 Happy V a l l e y p. 127, The Aunt's Story p.27 7 Happy V a l l e y p. 139, Voss p.417. 8 Geoffrey Dutton (ed.), The L i t e r a t u r e of A u s t r a l i a (Ringwood: A u s t r a l i a , 1964), p. 414. 9 Rasselas Chapter 2. 148 10 Compare Ruth's experience i n Riders p. 265. 11 The Aunt 1s Story epigraph. 12 We n o t i c e , i n passing how the Schumann which f i r s t enables them to communicate has now y i e l d e d place to Chopin i n whom they presumably f i n d a more personal idiom as the means of mutual understanding. 13 V o l . XXXV, 602-609. 14 T . S . E l i o t , ''Preludes,'* C o l l e c t e d Poems 1909-1962 (London, 1964), p.23. 15 See f n . 2 above. 149 FOOTNOTES (CHAPTER I I Part 2) 1 Geoffrey Dutton (ed.), The L i t e r a t u r e of A u s t r a l i a (Ringwood: A u s t r a l i a , 1964), p.414. 2 R.F.Brissenden, P a t r i c k White, B r i t i s h C o u n c i l : W r i t e r s and t h e i r Work Se r i e s (London, 1966), p.18. 3 The L i t e r a t u r e of A u s t r a l i a , p.415 4 E.g. He heard her v o i c e d a r k l y down the funnel of the telephone. He went over each l i t t l e d e t a i l of phrase, i n what had become a m i s t , h i s mind was a mist i n which things j o s t l e d unexpectedly. She had l e f t him w i t h the r e c e i v e r i n h i s hands. He looked at these. They were blun t , r e d d i s h . They returned a r e c e i v e r care-f u l l y because unaccustomed to the a c t , the shape. But he could see her t h i n mouth working, shaping on words i n the funnel of a telephone. T a l k i n g on the telephone was l i k e having your mouth up against another person's mouth. I t made him gulp down words l i k e water running down the sink. (p.191) 5 See e s p e c i a l l y Chapter 8 of Aspects of the Novel. 6 Aspects of the Novel, pp. 34, 48. 7 (Harmondsworth, 1964), p.126. 8 White uses the device d i f f e r e n t l y from Moore. White's p l o t i s a flashback r e t u r n i n g to the i d e n t i c a l moment, whereas Moore's i s a movement forward i n time, r e t u r n i n g to the i d e n t i c a l p l a c e . 9 We n o t i c e how i n The Ham Funeral, White's next work, The Young Man opens the p l a y w i t h the words " I have j u s t woken, i t seems" (see p.59 below), which leads us to suspect that White may be d e l i b e r a t e l y drawing a t t e n t i o n to the developmental i n t e r - r e l a t i o n of h i s works. See Loder's a r t i c l e on The Ham Funeral and i t s place i n White's development ( l i s t e d i n the B i b l i o g r a p h y ) . 150 FOOTNOTES (CHAPTER I I I Part 1) 1 L i s t e d i n W i l l i a m Rose Benet, The Reader's Encyclopedia (New York, 1965), under White. 2 See the Biblio g r a p h y . 3 C. F. F o r s t e r on War and Peace, Aspects of the Novel, p. 170. 4 Chapter XXXVI. 151 FOOTNOTES (CHAPTER III Part 2) 1 Patrick White, "The Prodigal Son," Australian Letters, I (1958), 39. 2 R.F.Brissenden, "Patrick White," Meanjin, XVIII (1959), 420. 3 G.A.Wilkes, "The Tree of Man".Southerly, XXV (1965), 26. 4 Brissenden, op. c i t . , 412. 5 A.D.Hope, "The Literary Pattern in Australia," UTQ, XXVI (1957), 124. 6 Vincent Buckley, "Patrick White and his Epic," Australian Literary Criticism ed. Grahame Johnston. (Melbourne, 1962), p.197. 7 Wilkes, op. c i t . , 28. 8 Buckley, Australian Literary Criticism, p. 197. 9 Wilkes, op. c i t . , 31. 10 Buckley, The Literature of Australia, p. 421. 11 Brissenden, Patrick White, p.26. 12 Australian Literary Criticism, p. v i i . 13 Buckley, Australian Literary Criticism, pp. 192-193. 14 Heseltine, "Patrick White»s Style," 74. 15 Buckley, Australian Literary Criticism, p.194 and Brissenden, Patrick White, p.27. 16 Patrick White, "The Prodigal Son," Australian Letters, I (1958), 39. 152 FOOTNOTES (CHAPTER IV) 1 See the v a r i o u s e x p o s i t i o n s of Voss and Riders l i s t e d i n the B i b l i o g r a p h y . 2 Brissenden, P a t r i c k White, p.38. 3 James McAuley, "The Gothic Splendours of Voss." Southerly. XXV (1965), 3A. 4 Buckley, The L i t e r a t u r e of A u s t r a l i a , p.424. 5 McAuley, 44. 6 See Psyche & Symbol, ed. V i o l e t S. de Laszlo (New York, 1958), pp. 9-22. 7 Buckley, The L i t e r a t u r e of A u s t r a l i a , p.424. 8 The Logic of the Humanities (New Haven, 1960), p.74. 153 BIBLIOGRAPHY I PATRICK WHITE 1. Novels Happy V a l l e y . London, 1939. The L i v i n g and the Dead. London, 1962 ( f i r s t p ublished London, 1941). The Aunt's Story. London, 1958. ( f i r s t published London, 1948). The Tree of Man. London, 1956 ( f i r s t published New York, 1955). Voss. New York, 1957. Riders i n the Ch a r i o t . London, 1961. The S o l i d Mandala. New York, 1966 2. Short S t o r i e s "The Twitching C o l o n e l , " London Mercury. XXXVI ( A p r i l , 1937), 602-609. "Cocotte," Horizon. I (May, 1940), 364-366. The Burnt Ones. London, 1964 3. Poetry "Meeting Again," "Ploughman," London Mercury. XXX (June, 1934), 104-105. The Ploughman and Other Poems, i l l u s t r . L.R.Davies. Sydney, 1935. "When Thoughts are S t i l l and Formless," "Rain i n Summer," An Anthology of A u s t r a l i a n Verse» ed. George Mackaness. Sydney & London, 1952. ( F i r s t published as Poets of A u s t r a l i a . London, 1946 [janexpanded ednT] .) 4. Plays Four P l a y s . London, 1965. 5. Autobiography "The P r o d i g a l Son," A u s t r a l i a n L e t t e r s . I (1958), 37-40. 154 I I SEPARATE PUBLICATIONS ABOUT PATRICK WHITE Brissenden, R.F. P a t r i c k White. London, 1966. ( B r i t i s h C o u n c i l : W r i t e r s and t h e i r Work Series.) Dutton, Geoffrey. P a t r i c k White (3rd edn. rev. and e n l . ) . Melbourne, 1963. ( A u s t r a l i a n W r i t e r s and t h e i r Work Se r i e s . ) Wilkes, G.A., ed. Southerly: P a t r i c k White Number. XXV, 1 (1965). T i t l e s of a r t i c l e s i n d i v i d u a l l y l i s t e d i n I I I below . I l l ARTICLES ABOUT WHITE IN PERIODICALS AND OTHER PUBLICATIONS (Items marked "R" are reviews of new p u b l i c a t i o n s or r e - p u b l i c a t i o n s , included i n t h i s B i b liography because they make p o i n t s not found elsewhere). Arousseau, Marcel. "Odi Profanum Vulgus: P a t r i c k White's Riders i n the Chariot,'' Meanjin, XXI (1962), 29-31. (R) "The i d e n t i t y of Voss," Meanjin, XVII (1958),85-87. "Attempting the I n f i n i t e , " TLS, No. 3120, December 15, 1961, 889-891. Barnard, M a r j o r i e . "The Four Novels of P a t r i c k White," Meanjin. XV (1956), 156-170. "Theodora Again," Southerly. XX (1959), 51-55. (R) Bradley, David. " A u s t r a l i a , Through the Looking-Glass," Overland, No. 23 (1962), 41-45. Brissenden, R.F. " P a t r i c k White," Meanjin, XVIII (1959), 410-425. "The Plays of P a t r i c k White," Meanjin, X X I I I (1964), 243-256. (R) 155 Buckley, Vincent. " P a t r i c k White and h i s E p i c , " 20th Century. XI I (1958), 239-252. A l s o A u s t r a l i a n L i t e r a r y  C r i t i c i s m , ed. Grahame Johnston. Melbourne, 1962. . »»The Novels of P a t r i c k White," The L i t e r a t u r e of A u s t r a l i a , ed. Geoffrey Dutton. Ringwood: A u s t r a l i a , 1964, pp. 413-426. Burgess, O.N. " P a t r i c k White, h i s C r i t i c s and Laura Trevelyan," A u s t r a l i a n Q u a r t e r l y . XXXVI (1961), 49-57. Burrows, J.F. "The Short S t o r i e s of P a t r i c k White," Southerly XXIV (1964), 116-125. (R) "Archetypes & Stereotypes: Riders i n the C h a r i o t . " Southerly XXV (1965), 46-68. C o v e l l , Roger. " P a t r i c k White's P l a y s , " Quadrant. V I I I (1964), 7-12. (R) Donaldson, Ian. "Return to A b y s s i n i a , " EIC, (1964), 210-214. Dutton, Geoffrey. "The Novels of P a t r i c k White," C r i t i q u e . VI, 3 (1963), 7-28. Edwards, A l l a n . "Riders i n the C h a r i o t : A Note on the T i t l e , " Westerly. I (1962), 108-110. G z e l l , S y l v i a . "Themes and Imagery i n Voss and Riders i n the  Ch a r i o t , " A u s t r a l i a n L i t e r a r y Studies, I (1964), 180-195. Herrin g , Thelma. "Odyssey of a S p i n s t e r : A Study of The Aunt 1s  Story," Southerly, XXV (1965), 6-22. H e s e l t i n e , H.P. " F i c t i o n C h r o n i c l e , " Meanjin, XX (1961), 474-491. (R) " P a t r i c k White's S t y l e , " Quadrant, VII (1963)j 61-74. Hetherington, John. 42 Faces. Melbourne, 1962.* (Includes a chapter on White.) Hughes, Ted. " P a t r i c k White's Voss." L i s t e n e r , February 6, 1964, 229-230. (R) 156 Lindsay, Jack. "The S t o r i e s of P a t r i c k White," Meanjin. X X I I I (1964), 372-376. (R) Loder, E l i z a b e t h . "The Ham Funeral and i t s P l ace i n the Development of P a t r i c k White," Southerly. X X I I I (1963), 78-91. Mackenzie, Manfred. " P a t r i c k White's Later Novels: A Generic Reading," Southern Review, I , 3 (1965), 5-17. M a r t i n , David. "Among the Bones," Meanjin. XVIII (1959), 52-58. Mather, Rodney. "Voss," Melbourne C r i t i c a l Review, VI (1963), 93-101. Mc Auley, James. E d i t o r i a l , Quadrant, I I , 4 (1958), 4-5. . ti-rhe Gothic Splendours: P a t r i c k White's Voss." Southerly. XXV (1965), 34-44. Mc Laren, John. "The Image of R e a l i t y i n Our W r i t i n g , " Overland. No. 27-28 (1963), 43-47. "A Note on P a t r i c k White," Meanjin. XV (1956), 223. Naipaul, V.S. " A u s t r a l i a Deserta," Spec.. October 16, 1964 513. O l i v e r , H.J. " P a t r i c k White's S i g n i f i c a n t Journey," Southerly. XIX (1958), 46-49. (R) "The Expanding Novel," Southerly, XVII (1956), 168-170. (R) P h i l l i p s , A.A. " P a t r i c k White and the A l g e b r a i c Symbol," Meanjin. XXIV (1965), 455-461. P o t t e r , Nancy A.J. " P a t r i c k White's Minor S a i n t s , " REL, V, 4 (1964), 9-19. " P u t t i n g the Theatre across i n A u s t r a l i a , " Times (London), J u l y 15, 1963, 14. 157 Roderick, C o l i n . "Riders i n the C h a r i o t : An E x p o s i t i o n , " Southerly. XXII (1962), 62-77. Rorke, John. " P a t r i c k White and the C r i t i c s , " Southerly. XX (1959), 66-74. Stern, James. " P a t r i c k White: The Country of the Mind," London Magazine. V, 6 (1958), 49-56. Tasker, John. "Notes on The Ham Funeral." Meaniin. XXIII (1964), 299-302. (R) Taylor , Andrew. " P a t r i c k White's Short S t o r i e s , " Overland, No. 31 (March, 1965), 17-19. (R) Thompson, John. " A u s t r a l i a ' s White P o l i c y , " A u s t r a l i a n L e t t e r s , I (1958), 42-45. Turner, Ian. "Legend i n t o Myth," Overland. No. 23 (1962) 39-40. Walters, Margaret. " P a t r i c k White," New L e f t Review, No. 18 (1963), 37-50. Wilkes, G.A. " P a t r i c k White's The Tree of Man," Southerly, XXV (1965), 23-33. Wood, Peter. "Moral Complexity i n P a t r i c k White's Novels," Meanjin, XXI (1962), 21-28. IV GENERAL Brown, E.K. Rhythm i n the Novel. Toronto, 1950. C a s s i r e r , E r n s t . The Logic of the Humanities, t r a n s . Clarence Smith Howe. New Haven, 1960. Coleman, P e t e r , ed. A u s t r a l i a n C i v i l i s a t i o n : A Symposium. Melbourne, 1962. 158 Daiches, David. The Novel and the Modern World. Chicago, 1960 ( r e v i s e d edn.). Dutton, Geoffrey, ed, The L i t e r a t u r e of A u s t r a l i a . Ringwood: A u s t r a l i a , 1964. F o r s t e r , E.M. Aspects of the Novel. Harmondsworth, 1962. H o l l i s , Christopher. "Art et L i t t e r a t u r e en A u s t r a l i e , " t r a n s . M a r c e l l e Sibon. Le Table Ronde. No. 183 (1963), 100-104. Hope, A.D. "The L i t e r a r y P a t t e r n i n A u s t r a l i a , " UTQ,, XXVI (1957), 122-132. Jung, C a r l C. Psyche and Symbol, ed. V i o l e t S. de L a s z l o . New York, 1958. Lindsay, Jack. "The A l i e n a t e d A u s t r a l i a n I n t e l l e c t u a l , " Meaniin. XXII (1963), 48-59. Mc Cleod, Alan L. The Commonwealth Pen. New York, 1961. T i n d a l l , W i l l i a m Y. The L i t e r a r y Symbol. Bloomington, 1955. T r i l l i n g , L i o n e l . The L i b e r a l Imagination. New York, 1960. 

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