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A discussion of some aspects of the English visionary novel Smith, Marion W. A. 1966

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A DISCUSSION OF SOME ASPECTS OF THE ENGLISH VISIONARY -NOVEL by Marion W. A. Smith B.A., University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1964. A Thesis Submitted i n P a r t i a l F u l f i l l m e n t of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts i n the Department of English. We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard University of B r i t i s h Columbia A p r i l , 1966 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I a g ree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r ag ree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x -t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n -c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Depar tment o f The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a Vancouve r 8, Canada Date "J*1a~y / A DISCUSSION OF SOME ASPECTS OF THE ENGLISH VISIONARY NOVEL The Nature of my Work i s Visionary or Imaginative It i s an Endeavour to restore what the Ancients c a l l ' d the Golden Age-Blake. ABSTRACT This thesis i s an investigation of the thematic and s t y l i s t i c s i m i l a r i t i e s i n three novels: Wuthering  Heights, Moby-Dick, and Women i n Love. The most outstand-ing s i m i l a r i t y i s that a l l the novels focus on the idea of the Unity behind a l l created things, a Being above, through and i n a l l created beings. In Wuthering Heights th i s Unity i s described i n terms of the Eternity of Love; i n Moby-Dick, i t i s I n f i n i t y ; i n Women i n Love, i t i s the Reality which l i e s beneath the surface manifestations of a l l things. In each of these novels, also, the protagon-i s t gains knowledge of thi s Unity through love. Inspired by love, he moves from perception of unity, through pur-gation of the s e l f , to union with Being. The visionary novels express e s s e n t i a l l y the same ideas as many philosophic and r e l i g i o u s works which deal with the union of man with the I n f i n i t e , or with man's attainment of the eternal Ideals. But the visionary novels contrast with such r e l i g i o u s or philosophic works i n that they present the way to union i n purely human, purely material terms. In the visionary novels, also, c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of poetry, such as symbolic language and heightened rhythm, are used to focus the reader's attention on the i n f i n i t e i i which shines through the f i n i t e world of the novel. In the visionary novel, both i n theme and technique, the i n f i n i t e and the f i n i t e become one. i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER PAGE INTRODUCTION 1 1 Some Basic Concepts of the Visionary Novel. 4 2 The Vis i o n i n a L i t e r a r y Form: Blake 35 3 Some Problems of Technique i n Presenting Visionary Insights i n the Novel Form.. 53 4 Three Novels of Vis i o n 80 Moby-Dick 81 Wuthering Heights 96 Women i n Love 108 CONCLUSION 130 BIBLIOGRAPHY 136 INTRODUCTION As the once d e f i n i t e boundaries between genres fade, and types of l i t e r a t u r e become more d i f f i c u l t to de-f i n e , i t i s useful to introduce new descriptive categories for l i t e r a r y works. Accordingly, the phrase "visionary novel" i s used i n t h i s thesis as a convenient term under which may be loosely grouped several novels, widely sepa-rated by time and place of composition, but possessing d e f i n i t e s t y l i s t i c and thematic s i m i l a r i t i e s . In recent years, p a r t i c u l a r l y since the r i s e of modern psychology, i t has been noted by writers such as C. G. Jung, Jacques Maritain, and Archibald MacLeish, that works thought of as "poetic" spring from similar psychic experiences, and that most embody some latent recognition of the experience which preceded the creative e f f o r t . Every "poetic" work, therefore, contains some echo of the experience which has consciously or unconsciously sparked the creative l i f e . At the same time, Jung and Maritain, among others, have noted the close correspondence between the creative poetic process thus described and the r e l i -gious experiences recorded by mystics of many ages and various dogmas. Further, philosophers such as Paul T i l l i c h see a close connection between both these experiences and the e c s t a t i c , creative phenomenon of love. Poetry,-2 r e l i g i o n , and love, may, from t h i s point of view, be thought of as concerned with one experience, e s s e n t i a l l y e c s t a t i c and creative. I t i s with t h i s one experience that the visionary novel i s c e n t r a l l y concerned, and, although i n the novel form t h i s experience i s usually concerned overtly with love, r e l i g i o u s and poetic analogies may often be used to explain iifcs nature. In.this thesis the "visionary novel" i s under-stood to be a l i t e r a r y work i n the novel form, whose p l o t seems to be governed by the laws of causation and to be set i n time and space, and i n which the form and meaning are structured to present the complete progress of an i n d i -vidual toward the attainment of an e c s t a t i c experience i n which he gains knowledge of the I n f i n i t e , Eternity, God, or Love, although that end need not be e x p l i c i t l y l a b e l l e d . I t i s a work which presents i n i t s e l f the way of i n d i v i d u a l progression from apprehension of the visionary presence, through preparation of the s e l f , to comprehension of the whole. In a visionary novel, the v i s i o n , the f i n a l ecstasy, may not be completely attained, the character may not reach the end of the progression, but i n the work the path which must be taken and the nature of the future resolution are made clear. To f a c i l i t a t e a discussion of the visionary novels, I thought i t valuable to consider f i r s t some of the basic 3 ideas about th i s central experience as they ari s e i n the writings of philosophers/ theologians, and l i t e r a r y c r i t i c s . Such discussion of the nature of the " v i s i o n , " or e c s t a t i c experience, often centres on the way, or path, which leads to the attainment of the v i s i o n , and necessarily includes a discussion of the t r a d i t i o n a l l i t e r a r y methods of repre-senting what i s generally agreed to be an indescribable phenomenon. The discussion of Blake's Prophetic Books i n the second chapter i s r e a l l y a summation of the mystic ideas considered i n the f i r s t chapter, showing how the central themes of the mystics were amalgamated i n one work, and presented i n symbolic rather than philosophic terms. Blake's work l i e s half-way between the discursive prose i n which theologians and philosophers outlined t h e i r ideas, and the f i c t i o n a l narrative seemingly presented i n r e a l i s -t i c terms which the visionary novelists use,: as a symbolic vehicle of t h e i r ideas. In the t h i r d chapter, therefore, I thought i t necessary to point out some of the peculiar s t y l i s t i c devices which are employed by a novelist who i s attempting to present a symbolic t a l e i n a r e a l i s t i c set-t i n g . The l a s t chapter i s a discussion of three visionary novels: Wuthering Heights, Moby-Dick and Women i n Love. This discussion shows that despite obvious differences i n content and format, a l l three novels are structured to present the visionary way as a central motif. CHAPTER ONE SOME BASIC CONCEPTS OF THE VISIONARY NOVEL Man i s that great and true Amphibiuni, whose nature i s disposed to l i v e , not l i k e other creatures, i n divers elements, but i n divided and distinguished worlds: ... one v i s i b l e , the other i n v i s i b l e . 1 In asserting his love of mystery and f a i t h i n a s p i r i t u a l realm S i r Thomas Browne presents a b e l i e f i n an i n v i s i b l e or supersensory world which i s the basis of most systems of magic and r e l i g i o n , and which i s accepted by many philosophies. The author of the R e l i g i o Medici shows himself to belong to a great class of men who are disposed to believe i n some i n v i s i b l e world, i n some other power beyond the powers of body and i n t e l l e c t which can be d i -r e c t l y experienced i n the phenomenal world. Often, man attributes to t h i s further power the perfection which he seeks i n his eternal restlessness, and which neither the body nor the mind can a t t a i n . Richard Hooker, i n his Laws of E c c l e s i a s t i c a l P o l i t y , expresses this b e l i e f most suc-c i n c t l y : That there i s somewhat higher than these two Csensual and i n t e l l e c t u a l perfection"! , no other proof doth need than the very process of man's desire, which being natural, should be f r u s t r a t e , i f there were not some further thing wherein i t r e s t at length contented, x S i r Thomas Browne, "Religio Medici" (text of 1682), as found i n Seventeenth Century Prose and Poetry, selected and edited by Alexander Witherspoon and Frank J . Warnke (New York, 1957), p. 339. 5 which i n the former i t cannot do. In this passage Hooker echoes the argument for b e l i e f i n the noumenal world which has been put forward by r e l i g i o u s leaders and philosophers from Buddha to Plato, Blake, and modern Ch r i s t i a n apologists. He states that most men rec-ognize the inadequacies of the phenomenal world and con-sciously desire some other state. They therefore consider this i n v i s i b l e world to be the "perfection, 1 1 the " i n f i n i t y " which they crave, and think of i t as comparable to, but immeasurably beyond, the perfection of the mind and the body. Man early constructed systems and d i s c i p l i n e s which would lead him toward perfection and the I n f i n i t e . Around the year 604 B.C. Lao-tsze, a Chinese philosopher, described the nature of the I n f i n i t e or the Ultimate Mean-ing i n his Tao-Teh. This early description i s important since i t contains most of the basic ideas which were to inter e s t men on the search for the peace of perfection. Lao-tsze connected man's dreams of perfection and a l o s t Golden World with the movement toward a union with the Ultimate Meaning. He believed that the i n d i v i d u a l should Richard Hooker, "The Laws of E c c l e s i a s t i c a l P o l i t y , " The Writings of Richard Hooker, edited by the Rev. John Keble (Oxford, 1888), I, 256 (Bk. I, Chp. XI:4). 6 be moved by an i n s t i n c t of love and desire to transcend his own li m i t a t i o n s as an i n d i v i d u a l and surrender himself to the Ultimate. The peace and t r a n q u i l i t y of t h i s state was, he affirmed, the highest good, and was attained only by the cleansing and the s a c r i f i c e of the s e l f . Of p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t are three points i n the method Lao-tsze postulated for the recognition of the Tao, the true Way and Ultimate Meaning. The f i r s t i s his state-ment of the r e l a t i o n between the v i s i b l e and the i n v i s i b l e worlds, i n which he affirms that knowledge of the l a t t e r may be obtained through a true r e l a t i o n with the former: In the beginning a l l things proceeded from God - the Universal Mother - and we gain a knowledge of Him through his works, just as we gain insight into the character of a mother, by studying that of her children.3 The other two points touch on the attributes and actions which a s s i s t i n the attainment of Tao. The f i r s t a t t r i b -ute i s love, which i s e s p e c i a l l y singled out as a " g i f t " or "treasure" which w i l l bring man to the Way. "Love alone r e s i s t s a l l , conquers a l l : with love i n one's heart 4 one i s armed wxth the power of Heaven." The second point concerns the " g i f t " of spontaneous or i n s t i n c t u a l actions, Lao-tsze, "Tao Teh," as translated by G.G. Alexander, Lao-tsze: The Great Thinker (London, 1895), p. 93 (stanza L I I ) . 4 Lao-tsze, "Tao Teh," p. 105-6 (stanza LXVII). 7 i n t u i t i v e actions without d e l i b e r a t i o n . He says, "Perfect 5 kindness acts without thinking of kindness," and this i n -s t i n c t i v e goodness propels man along the way i f i t i s given free r e i n . To Lao-tsze, Tao was the "Meaning," the Ultimate, but i t was also a way to l i v e l i f e i n harmony with, or at one with, the Ultimate. The idea of union as a way of l i f e was not generally accepted by the mystic cults or r e l i g i o n s of the east. To Buddhists, for example, death was the pre-r e q u i s i t e of union with the Ultimate. In the west, however, men seemed to prefer to see union with the Ultimate as both a way of l i f e and l i f e ' s goal. This i s aptly demonstrated in the most important discussions of man's r e l a t i o n with the Ultimate, the Dialogues of Plato. In the Symposium, the Republic the Parmenides, the Meno, and the Timaeus, Plato speaks of the Ideal categories as they a f f e c t man's everyday existence, as they are the objects of man's quest, and as they embody the Ultimate Reality. Although Plato does not attempt to unify his i d e a l concepts, nor to present his ideas i n a complete metaphysical system, he does present many ideas concerning the quest for union, and he i s the ultimate source for many schools of Lao-tsze, "Tao-Teh," p. 105-6 (stanza LXVII). 8 metaphysical thought. Plato's i n t e r e s t i s usually centered on the I n f i n i t e i n one of i t s aspects, i n the Idea of Unity, of pure Being, of Demiourgos, or of God (the supreme cate-gory of the moral i d e a l ) . In the Symposium and i n the Republic Plato outlines the steps to the attainment of the i d e a l , steps of great i n t e r e s t to anyone comparing them with "the way" followed i n the visionary novel. In the Symposium Plato presents his idea of the Good as that which makes a man happy. This happiness i s the perfection of happiness, not i l l u s o r y or transito r y as that of the senses, but analogous to that which Hooker much la t e r described as the aim of man. A l l men, says Socrates, desire the everlasting possession of the Good which i s also the Beautiful. They have a love which impels them toward that which they neither are nor have, but for which they have the inherent capacity. To Plato, t h i s Love i s the intermediary between the divine and the mortal. Diotima describes Love's function: He interprets ... between gods and men, con-veying and taking across to the gods the prayers and s a c r i f i c e s of men, and to men the commands and r e p l i e s of the gods; he i s the Consult Plato, The Dialogues of Plato, translated by Benjamin Jowett (Oxford, 1953), I, 573 f f . and I I , 75 f f . Subsequent quotations from th i s e d i t i o n w i l l be c i t e d i n the text. 9 mediator who spans the chasm which divides them, and therefore i n him are a l l bound together .... For God mingles not with man; but ihrough Love a l l the intercourse and converse of God with man, whether awake or asleep, i s car r i e d on. Symposium, I, 573. At the end of her discussion, Diotima makes clear the realm of which she speaks, saying, "the wisdom which understands t h i s i s s p i r i t u a l . " One important aspect of Love which Diotima em- \ phasizes i s the r e l a t i o n which Love bears to creation. Because of i t s e s s e n t i a l l y creative nature Love leads men to beget children, or b e a u t i f u l works of art, or works of j u s t i c e and goodness. Diotima "then continues to d i f f e r e n -t i a t e between the values of these creative acts and out-li n e s a staircase of values i n which Love leads to acts of creation of higher and higher value. The priestess postulates that man should t r u l y love one f a i r form. Soon, as she explains: ... he w i l l of himself perceive that the beauty of one form i s akin to the beauty of another, and then i f beauty of form i n gen-er a l i s his pursuit, how f o o l i s h would he be not to recognize that the beauty i n every form i s one and the same! and when he perceives th i s he w i l l abate his v i o l e n t love of the one, ... and w i l l become.a lover of a l l be a u t i f u l forms.7 Symposium, I, 580. E l i s i o n misses out "which he w i l l despise and deem a small thing." Plato l a t e r q u a l i f i e d his p o s i t i o n and allowed that the f i r s t necessary physical love need not be rejected by the. soul who progresses. 10 This stage i s one of preparation and i n i t i a t i o n through Love. Love, at t h i s stage, i s centred on the physical, for i t i s only through the manifestations of the phenomenal world that the noumenal realm may be under-stood. With th i s preparation and i n i t i a t i o n i n Love, the doors of man's perception are cleansed, as Blake was to describe i t many years l a t e r , and everything appears to man as i t i s , i n f i n i t e . ^ In the next stage of the progression i n Love man comes to consider the inward beauty which love has re-vealed to him as more honourable than that physical beauty which had detained him before. Later, the i n i t i a t e rec-ognizes and loves the abstract i d e a l of Beauty as i t i s expressed i n laws and constitutions and comes to the ap-prehension of the One-ness that underlies a l l these mani-festations. "At l a s t , " as Diotima says, "... on that shore he grows and waxes strong and ... the v i s i o n i s revealed to him of a single science which i s the science of beauty everywhere" (I, 581). This v i s i o n of the science of beauty everywhere i s a v i s i o n of the Ultimate, "beauty ab-solute, separate, simple and everlasting, which, without diminution and without increase, or any change, i s imparted Paraphrase of William Blake, "The Marriage of Heaven and H e l l , " The Complete';"iBoetry of William Blake, edited by Geoffrey Keynes (New York, 1941), p. 657. 11 to the ever growing and perishing beauties of a l l things" (I, 581). This perception of the essence of beauty i s the goal toward which a l l men should s t r i v e . Man should, at his highest l i v e " i n the contemplation of beauty abso-lu t e " which would, i n turn, enable him to create and "to bring f o r t h , not images of beauty, LTas he could on lower l e v e l s ^ but r e a l i t i e s ... and bringing fort h and nourish-ing true virt u e to become the fr i e n d of God, and be immor-t a l , i f mortal man may" (I, 582). In th i s v i s i o n of Love Plato has formulated i n philosophical terms the v i s i o n of man's quest which i s to be of central importance i n th i s discussion of the v i s i o n -ary novel. Plato has placed his emphasis on Love as a mediating factor between God and man, and as a means of progress i n the attainment of the i d e a l . He makes p l a i n the necessity of a love r e l a t i o n s h i p with one physical object i n order to heighten the perception of the physical and penetrate to apprehension of the noumenal world of pure being which unites a l l manifestations of the physical world. Most important^ Plato understands that the end of the quest i s "friendship with God," a love r e l a t i o n s h i p with the I n f i n i t e , and that as a r e s u l t of t h i s quest, man w i l l create a " r e a l i t y " that other men may be ever directed on thei r path. That these ideas of the progress toward the ide a l 12 were central to Plato's thought i s shown by his r e i t e r a t i o n of the basic ideas of the progression i n a more po s i t i v e and compelling form, i n the myths and images of his great-est work, the Republic. In t h i s work Plato has Socrates describe the major two-fold and minor f o u r - f o l d d i v i s i o n of knowledge of the Good, through which the questing soul must pass to gain knowledge of e s s e n t i a l goodness. Nor-throp Frye gives a succinct and i n t e l l i g i b l e summation of this d i v i s i o n i n his Fables of Identity. There are two major d i v i s i o n s , the i d e a l or i n t e l l i g i b l e world, and the physical or ob-j e c t i v e world. On the upper l e v e l of the i n t e l l i g i b l e world there i s the nous, the knowledge of r e a l i t y i n which the subjective form, or human soul, i s united with the objec-t i v e form or idea. Below i t i s the dianoia, knowledge- about r e a l i t y , of the kind given by mathematicians. Below t h i s , i n the upper l e v e l of the lower d i v i s i o n i s p i s t i s of knowledge of the physical world, the know-ledge of bodies which the human body i s equip-ped to receive, and at the bottom i s eikasion, or opinion, knowledge about the physical world, whose r e l a t i o n to p i s t i s corresponds to the r e l a t i o n of dianoia to nous.9 At t h i s point i t would be well to define the na-ture of the love and i t s associate knowledge. Paul T i l l i c h , working i n a t r a d i t i o n of German mysticism, and e s p e c i a l l y influenced by Jacob Boehme and Swedenborg, sees Love as Northrop Frye, Fables of Identity: Studies i n Poetic Mythology (New York, 1963), p. 411. 13 e s s e n t i a l l y e c s t a t i c i n nature. In his discussion of "The Ontology of Love" he states: "Love i n a l l i t s forms i s e c s t a t i c . The moment of love i s a moment of s e l f - t r a n s -cendence. This, implies the e c s t a t i c character of Being i n the sense of our transcending into the other s e l f while . . . 10 • remaining within our own s e l f . " Love is'the medium through which the estrangement of two objects i s overcome. As T i l l i c h continues: "It CloveD takes away the strange character of the object, the opposite. 'In love the sepa-rated s t i l l e x i s t s , but no more as separated, but as united, 11 and the l i v i n g feels the l i v i n g . ' " Thus unity, the v i s i o n of the One to which man i s s t r i v i n g , i s achieved through love. True knowledge or wisdom i s a r e s u l t of t h i s unity i n love and i s c l o s e l y connected to love. That i s why Plato was able to speak of the progression in' love i n the Symposium, and the progression through knowledge in the Republic. Paul T i l l i c h again explains t h i s con-nection very c l e a r l y : If love dissolves the fixed o b j e c t i v i t y or strange opposition, knowledge i s an act of love, because this i s just i t s function. Paul T i l l i c h , "The Ontology of Love," Four E x i s t -e n t i a l Theologians, edited by W i l l Herberg (New York, 1958), p. 310. 11 T i l l i c h , p. 310. 14 The other s e l f or r e s i s t i n g r e a l i t y becomes united i n understanding, i t comes home to us .... Gnosis i s loving "recognition," i t i s "cognized again," as what i t i s : an estranged part of the l i f e process to which we belong.12 This idea of the nature of knowledge i s not new. Not only i s i t accepted i m p l i c i t l y by Plato, i t i s stated e x p l i c i t l y by Plotinus i n his Letter to Flaccus: Knowledge has three degress - opinion, s c i -ence, il l u m i n a t i o n . The means or instrument of the f i r s t i s sense, of the second, d i a -l e c t i c , or the t h i r d , i n t u i t i o n . To the l a s t I subordinate reason. It £ intuitional i s absolute knowledge, founded on the i d e n t i t y of the mind knowing with'the object known.13 In modern times, Jacques Maritain expresses the manner of thi s " i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , " t h i s "oneness," using ideas and descriptions that have echoed down the ages i n the great t r a d i t i o n of Catholic mysticism: ... the prime fa c t that i s to be observed i s a sort of interpenetration C i n thi s e a s e l between Nature and Man. This interpenetra-t i o n i s quite peculiar i n essence: for i t i s in no way a mutual absorption. Each of the two terms involved remains what i t i s , i t keeps i t s e s s e n t i a l i d e n t i t y , i t even asserts more powerfully t h i s i d e n t i t y of i t s own, while i t suffers the contagion or impregnation of the other. But neither one i s alone; they are mysteriouslyec:ommingled*-*4 1 2 T i l l i c h , p. 310, 13 Plotinus, "Letter to Flaccus," as quoted by Caroline F.E Spurgeon, Mysticism i n English L i t e r a t u r e (Cambridge, 1913), p. 154. 14 . . . Jacques Maritain, Creative I n t u i t i o n i n Art and Poetry (Washington, 1953), p. 5. 15 Maritain i s here speaking of the rel a t i o n s h i p i n which man finds himself when he perceives beauty. In this r e l a t i o n s h i p , says Maritain, man knows beauty, be-cause "to know i s to become another i n so far as i t i s another," and t h i s i s pr e c i s e l y the rel a t i o n s h i p described above; one participates i n the other without becoming the other. Although i t i s necessary for our purposes to understand the nature of the Love and Knowledge which Plato discusses, such metaphysical questions are not his main i n t e r e s t . To Plato, i t was more important to under-stand the way to a comprehension of those Ideals. I t i s , therefore, to present this idea of the way that Plato f i r s t presents the s t r u c t u r a l image of the l i n e and l a t e r reinforces t h i s concept with the allegory of the Cave. Plato recognizes the mental l i m i t a t i o n s of his audience and advances his ideas i n concrete story form, t r a n s l a t i n g his abstract ideas into human actions, and presenting his insights against a background of recognizable human experi-ence. Man e a s i l y accepts the idea of the Sun as a neces-sary medium of sight because he r e a l i z e s that he sees only dimly i n the evening. Drawing an analogy between the sun, the concrete image of experience, and the abstract idea of the good, man therefore recognizes that without the true Essence i r r a d i a t i n g his mind he cannot see the world about 16 him i n i t s true form. In his use of the image of the sun Plato com-bines the role of philosopher with that of the poet. He recognizes that, when speaking of the noumenal world, "the chief recommendation to reason i s through imagination" 16 (that i s , the image-making f a c u l t y ) . What Plato would not recognize, of course, i s that poetry and metaphysics are both concerned with the same basic subject: that Being which i s behind, above, and through a l l things. The difference between the two studies l i e s i n the method of presentation. Plato presents concrete anal-ogies or images of the action of the soul or the states through which i t progresses, but he discusses his ultimate subject i n abstract terms addressed s o l e l y to the i n t e l -l e c t : But of the heaven which i s above the heavens, what earthly poet ever did or ever w i l l sing worthily? There abides very being, the colourless, formless, intangible essence v i s i b l e only to mind - beauty not i n the likeness of face or hands, or i n any form of speech, or knowledge, or animal, or p a r t i c -ular thing i n time or place, but i n beauty absolute, separate, simple, everlasting -the source and course of the perishing beauty of a l l other things. Phaedrus, II,^111. Compare William York T i n d a l l , The L i t e r a r y Symbol (Bloomington, Indiana, 1962), p. 102. "C The image i s not l i k e the symbclJZ) ... both are s o l i d analogies, but whereas our symbol presenting i t s e l f , suggest something i n d e f i n i t e , his image, suggesting something almost d e f i n i t e as i t s e l f , seems limit e d , i f not altogether assigned." (la •> 17 Metaphysics seeks to render the essence of Being through the medium of abstractions. Poetry, on the other hand, "has a limited t o l e r a t i o n for abstractions. ... C Poetry seeks• the image, rather than the idea, and tendCsH to 17 seek the latent basis of concrete imagery i n the idea." The poet may, as the Chinese poet Lu Chi states " ITstandD at the hub of things," at the centre of awareness, and "contemplate the mystery of the universe," i n much the same way as a philosopher who i s searching for the U l t i -mate. But, i n his work, the poet must render his insights, must " L trapll Heaven and Earth i n the cage of form."^ The poet must see patterns of unity behind the.aspects of the physical world, and i n his work, as Archibald MacLeish says, he "makes them mean - makes them, mean not i n other C i e , a b s t r a c t ^ terms, but i n the i r own. The poet, therefore, must not merely provide an analogue or image for the nature of Being,^ but, through a rendition of concrete experience^communicate an understanding of i t s e s s e n t i a l nature. He may use metaphor, simile, analogy and images to point out the unity underlying and r e l a t i n g a l l phe-17„ Frye, p. 57 18 Archibald MacLeish, Poetry and Experience (London, 1960), p. 7. 19 MacLeish, p. 8. 18 nomena, but to communicate the i n f i n i t e nature of the E.eing which i s t h i s unity, the poet employs symbol. The symbol i s then a true amphibium, l i v i n g i n divided and distinguished worlds, for i t presents a con-crete analogy of the poet's thought, while "celebrating or 20 constructing suitable f e e l i n g s " to project the concrete into the dimension of the i n v i s i b l e . As Coleridge writes on the same subject: a symbol ... i s characterized by a trans-lucence of the s p e c i a l i n the i n d i v i d u a l , or of the general i n the s p e c i a l , or of the universal i n the general; above a l l by the translucence of the eternal through the temporal. I t always partakes of the r e a l i t y which i t renders i n t e l l i g i b l e . . . . 2 1 And Carlyle r e i t e r a t e s i n a d i f f e r e n t vein: •In the Symbol proper ... there i s ever, more or less d i s t i n c t l y and d i r e c t l y , some em-bodiment and revelation of the I n f i n i t e ; the I n f i n i t e i s made to blend i t s e l f with the F i n i t e , to stand v i s i b l e , and as i t were, attainable there.22 In the symbol, however, the meaning i s both con-23 cealed and revealed, as C a r l y l e says, for i n f i g u r i n g 20 Compare T m d a l l , p. 3. 21 Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "The Statesman's Manual," The Complete Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, edited by Professor Shedd (New York, 1856), I, 437. 22 Thomas Ca r l y l e , Sartor Resartus (London, 1908), p. 165, 2 3 C a r l y l e , p. 165. 19 forth the eternal, p a r t i a l l y through an i n d i r e c t emotional response, the symbol i s necessarily i n d e f i n i t e . By i t s very nature, the symbol att r a c t s to i t s e l f a m u l t i p l i c i t y of d e f i n i t e meanings which are u n i f i e d i n the t o t a l form. The ultimate meaning l i e s i n none of those separate mean-ings or relationships, but i n the t o t a l i t y of meaning, which i n this case i s greater than the sum of i t s parts. Symbols, then, do not simply propound an idea as Plato does i n his philosophic discourses. The symbol, as the vehicle of poetic a r t , i s "less informative than a f f e c t i v e . " Through the symbol the reader "knows" the i n f i n i t e , he can i n t u i t i t r a t i o n a l l y , as Jacques Maritain says, but he may not be able to comprehend i t by means of his i n t e l l e c t . At t h i s point a r e l a t i o n s h i p becomes apparent between poetic art and r e l i g i o n , that other body of thought concerned with the nature of Being and the r e l a t i o n s h i p be-tween the phenomenal and noumenal worlds. Jacques Maritain, in Creative I n t u i t i o n i n Art and Poetry, points out the shared nature of the central experience of both poetry and r e l i g i o n . He states: By Poetry, I mean, not the p a r t i c u l a r art which consists i n writing verses, but a pro-cess more general and more primary: that T i n d a l l , p. 217. 20 intercommunication between the inner being of things and the inner being of the human s e l f which i s a kind of div i n a t i o n (as was r e a l i z e d i n ancient times; the Lat i n vates was both a poet and a divine) .25 Although poetry and r e l i g i o n are both, i n truth, concerned with the intercommunication between Being and being, they d i f f e r from each other i n th e i r attitudes toward t h i s ex-perience. To the r e l i g i o u s , the experience of the One i s the aim and end of l i f e ; to the poet, i t i s only the neces-sary prerequisite to his creative task. Jacques Maritain expresses a sim i l a r idea when he states: poetic creation pre-supposes, as a p r i -mary requirement, a grasping, by the poet, of his own s u b j e c t i v i t y , i n order to create. The poet's aim i s not to know himself .... To a t t a i n , through the void, an i n t u i t i v e ex-perience of the existence of the s e l f , or the Atman, i n i t s pure and f u l l a c t u a l i t y i s the s p e c i f i c aim of natural mysticism. I t i s not the aim of poetry. The es s e n t i a l need of the poet i s to create, but he cannot do so without passing through the door or knowing, as obscure as i t may be, of his own subjec-t i v i t y . 26 Having recognized his soul and the A l l , the poet must turn his back upon t h i s experience as a thing i n i t -s e l f . He must create through the use of phenomena of the physical world, and must recognize the v a l i d i t y of thi s world i n his ar t . After a l l , i t i s only through the 'Maritain, p. 2. Maritain, p. 113. 21 medium of this world that men can understand one another. The poet must understand that I n f i n i t y i s perceived through the outer or phenomenal world; i t must never be ignored. The poet must be able to render the I n f i n i t e seen i n a l l things, f o r , "he who sees the I n f i n i t e i n a l l things," says Blake, "sees God." 2^ To review a few points: I t should be remembered that Plato was concerned with the same subject matter as the great r e l i g i o u s thinkers or poets when he portrayed the way to the Vis i o n of Reality. In his use of imagery and analogy Plato was also bordering very clo s e l y on those other two modes. But, i t was not u n t i l the f u l l focus of philosophy was turned onto the question of the nature of Being that philosophy crossed to the realm of r e l i g i o n and r e l i g i o n was expressed i n the symbolic mode. The main figure i n th i s transmutation of Plato's philosophy into r e l i g i o n was Plotinus, anf.Egyptian by b i r t h , who l i v e d from A.D. 204 to A.D. 270. Plotinus was a product of the i n t e l l e c t u a l centres of Alexandria, who studied under Anmonius Saccas at Rome. Plotinus followed the mystical tendencies of his master, and from about A.D. 244 he himself taught i n Rome, gathering about him a band of d i s c i p l e s who la t e r c a r r i e d on his teaching. Blake, p. 620. 22 Plotinus derived most of his teaching from very limited sections of Plato's work, subjected to what, to the confirmed P l a t o n i s t , i s outrageous misreading. Such "misreading," however, had the advantage of modifying Platonic philosophy to agree more cl o s e l y with mystic doctrines which were then popular. The most important change which Plotinus i n s t i -tuted i n the Platonic doctrine was his i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the Idea of the Good, the idea of Unity, the idea of pure Being, with the unity of the Godhead. The source of t h i s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , was, f i r s t , the basic mystic doctrine of "unity i n d i v e r s i t y , " and, more p a r t i c u l a r l y , a misreading of the second part of the Parmenides i n which Plato d i s -cussed the nature of the one and the many, being and non-being, the whole and the part. Some Platonists of note i n s i s t that "Plato intended C t h i s section!) p a r t l y as an i l l u s t r a t i o n of the vanity of absolute metaphor, p a r t l y as an elementary lesson i n l l o g i c , L but • the ... Neo-Platonists took i t as an example of true d i a l e c t i c s , lead-ing up to the i n t u i t i o n or s p i r i t u a l apprehension of the 2 8" ineffabl e One." ' The Neo-Platonic misreading of Plato's ideas may not be as great as, for example, Shorey affirms, 28' '"Paul Shorey, Platonism Ancient and Modern (Berkeley, 1938), p. 45. 23 but some d i s t o r t i o n did c e r t a i n l y occur. In addition to the affirmation of the Unity, which l i e s behind a l l things, Plotinus added the concept of the "World Soul," derived from the Timaeus, and the idea of the world as an i n f i n i t e l i v i n g thing. From the Meno and Phaedo he assimilated the idea that a l l man's knowledge i n th i s earth i s a "reminiscent and imperfect recapture of the heavenly v i s i o n . " Most important, however, was the idea adopted from the Phaedo of the " p u r i f i c a t i o n of the p h i l o s -ophic soul from the clogs of appetite and sense and i t s f l i g h t to communion with God." The importance i n t h i s con-t e x t of the passage i n t'he Republic and t'he Symposium which have been already discussed can hardly be over-em-29 phasized. The above i s a very cursory statement of some of Plotinus' ideas, but, from th i s outline i t i s possible to see the s i m i l a r i t y of the ideas of Plato and Plotinus, and the change to agreement with the basic ideas of r e l i -gion and mysticism. Plotinus formulates the idea of the existence of the One Pure Being which i s Unity. He further states that t h i s Unity " i s not i n a certa i n place, but wherever anything i s able to come into contact with him, W 29 • * For a more complete account of the derivations and changes see Shorey, p. 45 f f . 24 there he i s present." He also discusses the necessary knowledge of and completion of the soul, effected by pur-gation of the s e l f , and the progress though self-conscious 31 unity i n pure thought to e c s t a t i c union with the One. Plotinus did not draw a l l his ideas s t r i c t l y from his own experiences or from Plato. He also included ideas from the works of the legendary "Hermes Trismegistus," the mystic Corpus Hermeticum or Pimander. The ideas ex-pressed i n t h i s work were sim i l a r to many of the mystic doctrines which flourished from about 200 B.C. u n t i l A.D. 200, es p e c i a l l y i n Alexandria. Hermeticism was b a s i c a l l y Platonic, with Zoroastrian and eastern mystic accretions. From th i s philosophy Plotinus derived his theory of Emanations. In this theory, Plotinus presents his idea of three p r i n c i p l e s of Being which are, roughly speaking, d i f -ferent manifestations of the same essence. These three are the soul, from which men are fashioned, the i n t e l l e c t or nous which contains the ideas that are the prototypes of a l l created things and constitutes the i n t e l l i g i b l e world, and Pure Being who i r r a d i a t e s a l l three p r i n c i p l e s and i s 30 Plotinus, Ennead VI:9. As quoted by Caroline Spurgeon, p. 18. 31 Paraphrase of Caroline Spurgeon, p. 20. 25 r e f l e c t e d back from each. ^ This theory gave r i s e to a concept of the correspondences or analogical connections of the things of the worlds governed by these three p r i n -c i p l e s of being. Men believed "as above, so below," and t r i e d to recognize p r e c i s e l y the "reciprocal r e l a t i o n " which governed the universe. This idea was one of the most important of those scraps of alchemical or Hermetic lore which influenced the popular mind i n the Middle Ages and i t s impact was considerably greater after 1463 when Ma r s i l i o Ficino, the I t a l i a n scholar, translated and taught Plotinus and Plato, and translated the Corpus. > This b e l i e f i n the correspondence between the physical and s p i r i t u a l worlds had much to do with the man-ner i n which l a t e r mystics and r e l i g i o u s thinkers expressed t h e i r thoughts. They r e a l i z e d that when speaking d i r e c t l y of the s p i r i t they could only work with abstract terms, yet for communication they must refer to something known and accepted by the i r audience. As a result, mystics often spoke of physical experiences to describe s p i r i t u a l states. One of the greatest exponents of the doctrine of corres-pondences, Jacob Boehme says, "I speak ... i n bodily fash-ion for the sake of my reader's understanding." And For a f u l l e r explanation see Shorey, p. 48. 26 Evelyn Underhill, when speaking of the mystics states: Such symbolism as t h i s - a l i v i n g symbolism of experience and action, as well as of statement - seems almost e s s e n t i a l to mystical expression. The mind must employ some device of the kind i f i t s transcendental perceptions - wholly unrelated as they are to the phenomena with which the i n t e l l e c t i s able to deal - are ever to be grasped by the surface conscious-ness.33 Another aspect of th i s Hermetic theory transmit-ted by Plotinus had. great influence on the symbolic render-ing of the s p i r i t u a l l i f e . Plotinus' idea of three related p r i n c i p l e s , which gave r i s e to the doctrine of correspon-dences, also influenced many persons^ understanding of the doctrine of the T r i n i t y , explained by St. Paul as that God who i s "above a l l , and through a l l , and i n you a l l " (Ephesians, 4:6). As Being i s transcendent, God i s the transcendent object of ardent contemplation and longing; as the nous i s immanent, God provides a basis for a r e l a -tionship with Himself through the physical world. The physical world, then, not only corresponds to the s p i r i t -ual, but embodies the s p i r i t u a l i n a v i s i b l e presence. S i r Thomas Browne merely expresses a prevalent opinion when he states i n Religio Medici: 33 Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism: A Study i n the Nature  and Development of Mans S p i r i t u a l Consciousness (New York, 1961), p. 78. 27 The severe schools w i l l never laugh me out of the philosophy of Hermes that t h i s v i s i b l e world i s but a picture of the i n v i s i b l e , where-in , as i n a p o r t r a i t , things are not t r u l y but i n equivocal shapes, and as they counterfeit some r e a l substance i n that i n v i s i b l e frame-work.^ If this idea of the immanence of Being i n physi-c a l objects i s accepted i t follows that a r e l a t i o n s h i p with the I n f i n i t e w i l l be accomplished through a r e l a t i o n -s h i p with the f i n i t e physical manifestation which contains the I n f i n i t e . As William Blake put i t : i To see a World i n a Grain of sand And a Heaven i n a Wild Flower, Hold I n f i n i t y i n the palm of you hand And Eternity i n an hour.35 It was mentioned before, however, that t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p with the I n f i n i t e which involves a knowledge of Being was accomplished through love. Now, any r e l a t i o n s h i p i n which the I n f i n i t e i s perceived i n a f i n i t e object w i l l neces-s a r i l y involve love, but the r e l a t i o n s h i p i n which this i s most apparent i s usually the l o v e - r e l a t i o n between a man and a woman. It i s no wonder, then, that this r e l a t i o n -ship should be a central symbol i n portraying a r e l a t i o n -ship between man and the I n f i n i t e , between a lover and his God. 34 S i r Thomas Browne, "Religio Medici," The Works of  S i r Thomas Browne, edited by Charles Sayle (Edinburgh, 1912),1,20. 3 5 W i l l i a m Blake, p. 597. 28 In the C h r i s t i a n t r a d i t i o n the Bible i s the great source of t h i s symbol. Whether i t was o r i g i n a l l y used to depict a mystic r e l a t i o n s h i p i s of, no import. Passages such as the following lend themselves e a s i l y to symbolic int e r p r e t a t i o n : I SLEEP, but my heart waketh: i t i s the voice of my beloved that knocketh saying, Open to me, my s i s t e r , my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head i s f i l l e d with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night. I have put o f f my coat; how s h a l l I put i t on? I have washed my feet; how s h a l l I d e f i l e them? My beloved put i n his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him. I rose up to open to my beloved; but my be-loved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul f a i l e d when he spake: I sought him but I could not f i n d him, I c a l l e d him, but he gave me no answer. Song of Solomon, 5: 2-5. This beautiful passage would not lend i t s e l f so e a s i l y to symbolic interpretation by C h r i s t i a n mystics i f the New Testament had not so c l e a r l y emphasized the r o l e of love i n r e l i g i o n . One of the most important single i n -fluences for the adoption of love symbolism i n the C h r i s t -ian t r a d i t i o n was the writer of the Fourth Gospel. To the author of John, the most outstanding aspect of the teach-ing of Christ was his insistence on love. The impact of t h i s thought i s at once apparent to the reader who scans a few pages of his work. "For God so loved the world that 36 "3 7 he gave..."; "We love because He f i r s t loved us"; and, John 3:16 3 7 J o h n 4:19 29 most important, "If a man love me, he w i l l keep my words: and my father w i l l love him, and We w i l l come unto him T O and make our abode with him." ° In t h i s Gospel, love i s seen as the central force in the r e l i g i o u s l i f e , the connective between man and God, God and the Chr i s t . At the centre of the message of t h i s Gospel i s the mystic idea of the unity achieved by love. Christ i s reported as saying: And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; and they may be one, even as we are one: I i n them, and thou i n me, that they may be made perfect i n one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and has loved them, as thou has loved me.... Gospel According to St. John 17:22,23, :S The greatest example of t h i s insistence of the primacy of Love i s found i n the F i r s t E p i s t l e General of John i n which th i s insistence on love culminates i n the i d e n t i f -i c a t i o n of God and Love. Beloved, l e t us love one another for love i s of God; and every one that loveth i s born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God i s love. John, 4:7,8. The presence of such teachings on Love and God had much to do with the l a t e r adoption of e r o t i c images and symbols on the portrayal of mystic experience. Of 8John 14:23 30 great importance also, however, was the widely known sym-bol of the "mystic marriage" as i t was used i n the myster-ie s , and the adaptation of the Orphic terminology which was transmitted through Plotinus. One example w i l l perhaps show Plotin u s 1 use of t h i s idea: And who s h a l l know t h i s v i s i o n C o f God the One Apart, the Pure, the SourceZl - with what passion of love s h a l l he not be seized, with what pang of desire, what longing to be molten into one with This, what wondering delight! I f he that has never seen t h i s Being must hunger for I t as for a l l his wel-fare, he that has known must love and rever-ence I t as the very Beauty; he w i l l be flooded with awe and with rapture.... 39 One of the great vehicles for the transmission of ideas of Union, of the correspondence between s p i r i t u a l and physical, and of the s p i r i t u a l nature of love was St. Augustine of Hippo. His Confessions and The City of God were avidly read even during the Dark Ages, and such pas-sages as the following kept a l i v e the t r a d i t i o n of mystic love: What do I love when I love Thee? Not the loveliness of bodies, nor the brightness of l i g h t gladdening the eye, nor the sweet melodies of various songs, nor the spices, nor manna and honey, not limbs i n v i t i n g bodily embrace: not these do I love when I love my God. Yet i t i s an il l u m i n a t i o n I f e e l , ^Plotinus, Enneads, translated by Stephene MacKenna (London, 1930), p. 62 ( I , 6 , v i i ) . 31 and melody, and fragrance, and a sustaining food, and an embrace that possesses my soul - when I love Thee.40 The other figure instrumental i n transmitting mystic knowledge from the f i f t h century into the medieval period was the unknown author who wrote under the pseudonym of Dionysius Areopagiticus. His book Concerning Mystical  Theology, u n i f i e d some of the ideas of Plotinus and Jewish mystic wisdom. I t was made known to the Middle Ages through the ninth century L a t i n t r a n s l a t i o n of John Scot Eregina. This book communicated to many the concept of the union of man with perfect Being who i s God. I t did not, however, represent t h i s communion as an experience of love. Of the greatest importance i n the development of the image of love as used to describe the experience of the search for and union with God, i s the great twelfth century r e l i g i o u s , St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153). St. Bernard defended the i n t u i t i v e mystical approach against the onslaughts of " r a t i o n a l " scholasticism and gave great precedent for the use of the language of e x p l i c i t l y phy-s i c a l love i n descriptions of mystic experiences. Since the days of St. Augustine and the other Church Fathers phrases such as "the s p i r i t u a l marriage" and "the St. Augustine of Hippo, Confessions (London, 1928), p. 208. 32 Bridegroom of the Soul" had been current. In St. Bernard's eighty-six sermons on the Song of Songs the figure i s ex-panded, and the quest of the soul for Christ i s portrayed as the quest of the lover for the beloved, and the mystic experience i s rendered by the images of physical love, the "kisses of contemplation," the "mystic k i s s " the "inward embrace of the soul," and the "rapt joy and transport" of 41 th i s "sweet intercourse." The r i c h and sensuous descriptions of love i n such works as St. Bernard's Sermons or Richard of St. Victor's The Four Degrees of Burning Love may have owed much to the r i c h l y physical language of the Moslem mystics who had written just before this time, but i n St. Bernard's works the central idea of the figure i s rigourously ex-plained and limited. As a r e s u l t , the eroticism i s d i s -t i n c t l y muted and analogues of the experience such as the "inward embrace of the soul" are so directed and controlled that they are denied the f u l l symbolic e f f e c t which they so r e a d i l y a t t a i n i n the Song i t s e l f . Evelyn Underhill, i n Mysticism, quotes the following passage from St. Bernard's seventh "Sermon" on the Song of Songs. I t aptly i l l u s t r a -tes the tension between the concrete image and allegory, ^ x S a i n t Bernard, "The Sermons on the C a n t i c i Canticorum," The L i f e and Works of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux edited by Dom. John Mabillon, translated and edited by S.J. Eales, (London, n.d.), I l l , passim. 33 and the i n d e f i n i t e symbolism which exists i n the d i d a c t i c and explanatory works of those mystics and philosophers that have been mentioned: Nor are there found any expressions equally;: sweet to s i g n i f y the mutual a f f e c t i o n between the Word of God and the Soul, as those of Bridegroom and of Bride; inasmuch as between individuals who stand i n such r e l a t i o n to each other a l l things are i n common, and they possess nothing separate or divided. They have one inheritance, one dwelling-place, one table, and they are i n fact one f l e s h . I f , then, mutual love i s espe c i a l l y b e f i t t i n g to a bride and bridegroom, i t i s not u n f i t t i n g that the name of Bride i s given to a soul which loves.42 The images of love expressed on a human plane are a l l pre-sent i n such a mystical t r e a t i s e , but they are not given f u l l symbolic power u n t i l the philosophical explanation i s cut away from about them, and they are allowed to function alone on the human plane. With St. Bernard we have ac t u a l l y touched on most of the ideas which w i l l be central to a consideration of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the visionary novel. A l l the streams of thought discussed above have been thoroughly assimilated into the European culture. I t i s more impor-tant to know that such a background i s present, and that so many mystics or philosophers have put forward the same or similar ideas using s i m i l a r images, than i t i s to trace Evelyn Underhill, p. 138. 34 the confused or circuitous influences on the several mys-t i c writers. I t i s enough to know that students of mys-ti c i s m and philosophy note the s i m i l a r i t y of a l l writers who concern themselves with the problem of Being, whether they be connected with each other or t o t a l l y cut o f f , reared i n the " r i c h pastures of the Catholic Tradition," or German Mysticism, or i n the "barrens of Dissent." A l l seem to run true to one type, and t h e i r experiences to one pattern. As Evelyn Underhill notes: Their one passion appears to be the prosecu-ti o n of a certa i n s p i r i t u a l and intangible quest: the finding of a "way out" or a "way back" to some desirable state i n wich alone they can s a t i s f y t h e i r craving for absolute truth. This quest, for them, has constitu-ted the whole meaning of l i f e . ... C l O i s an i n d i r e c t testimony to i t s objective actual-i t y , that whatever the place or the period i n which they have arisen, t h e i r aims, doc-t r i n e s , and methods have been subs t a n t i a l l y the same.43 Evelyn Underhill, p. 3. CHAPTER TWO THE VISION IN A LITERARY FORM: BLAKE At th i s point i t w i l l be h e l p f u l to consider the work of one English poet who attempted to express the ideas we have been discussing i n a continuous and reason-ably coherent form as the theme of his poetry. To William Blake, art, philosophy and r e l i g i o n were in e x t r i c a b l y con-nected. The subject of his works, ph i l o s o p h i c a l l y con-ceived and a r t i s t i c a l l y presented, i s the ess e n t i a l nature of r e l i g i o n and art and t h e i r common id e n t i t y i n the Eternal One. More p a r t i c u l a r l y , Blake discusses man's relationship with the Eternal as i t i s perfected i n art and r e l i g i o n . In Blake's Prophetic Books the subject i s Being, the Eternal Essence, the One, and the r e l a t i o n s h i p of a l l created things to the Eternal. In his works Blake presents visions of a world i n which time and space are only cre-ated fractions of the whole of Being. To f a c i l i t a t e ac-ceptance, Blake presents the " q u a l i t i e s " or "states" of t h i s world as p e r s o n a l i t i e s , or strange, gigantic human forms. Ideas of the s p i r i t u a l realm are then presented by analogy i n terms of "human" perso n a l i t i e s and "human" re-lationships. Through the experiences and relationships of these characters, Blake attempts to portray the whole cycle 36 of man and mankind, from Eden, which i s the mystic union with God, through the F a l l into the Vegetable World of Nature, to the laborious journey of purgation which leads man f i n a l l y back to God. Although some of Blake's p a r t i c u l a r insights may be c a l l e d unorthodox, the main tenets of his b e l i e f show that he d e f i n i t e l y belongs to the main stream of the mys-t i c t r a d i t i o n . Blake's i n d i v i d u a l experience was greatly influenced by the systems of mystic thought presented i n the Cabbala, and i n the works of the German Protestant mystic Jacob Boehme and the Swedish writer Emmanuel Swedenborg. Blake held firmly to the idea of the unity of a l l things which underlies a l l mystic thought. As a r e s u l t , Blake saw God and man as co-existent i f possibly separated e n t i t i e s . In the Everlasting Gospel Blake envisions God as saying: t If thou humbles.-! thyself, thou humblest me; Thou also dwell'st i n Eternity. Thou a rt a man, God i s no more, Thy own humanity learn to adore, For that i s my S p i r i t of L i f e . The Everlasting Gospel, p. 613. This conception i s based on an idea of God and man as See J.G. Davies, The Theology of William Blake (Oxford, 1948), pp. 4, 29ff, 49ff. 37 united yet d i v i s i b l e , and r e f l e c t s the mystics' common acceptance of both God's transcendence and his immanence,^ an idea commonly expressed i n the works of theologians from St. Paul, who describes God as "above a l l , and through a l l , and i n you a l l , " - * to Paul T i l l i c h , who states that God i s "Being - I t s e l f , " not subject to the categories of fi n i t u d e as would be a being, but the "power of being i n everything and above everything." As Being-Itself, or the power of being, i s the ground of a l l being, everything f i n i t e p articipates i n Being-Itself and i t s i n f i n i t y . ^ A l l being i s connected to the Divine i n this r e l a t i o n s h i p ; a l l beings i n the created world p a r t i c i p a t e i n Being-It-s e l f . Thus, as Blake says, i n perfect man God w i l l be found, and i n God i s a union of a l l the ess e n t i a l beings 5 of men into One man. In "Night the F i r s t " of Vala or The Four Zoas, Blake speaks of "those i n Great Et e r n i t y , " those who recognize the e s s e n t i a l being present i n them-^Blake expresses t h i s idea c l e a r l y i n his presentation of God as two Persons, as a transcendent God or Father who never appears, and as the immanent Jesus the Divine Humanity i n whom a l l men become one. 3 Ephesians 4:6 4 Paul T i l l i c h , "Systematic Theology," as quoted i n Four E x i s t e n t i a l Theologians, edited by W i l l Herberg (New York, 1958), p. 257. T i l l i c h , p. 253. 38 selves and i n a l l things: Then those i n Great Eternity met i n the Council of God As one Man, for contracting t h e i r Exalted Senses They behold Multitude, or Expanding they behold as one, As One Man a l l the Universal family; & that One Man They c a l l Jesus the Ch r i s t , & they i n him & he i n them Live i n Perfect harmony, i n Eden the land of l i f e , The Four Zoas, p. 730 Blake has chosen t h i s conception of the r o l e of Jesus to present the common mystic maxim of "the many i n the One," and to explain the nature of the Union with the One, achieved through perception of His presence i n a l l things. When Blake's references to this e s s e n t i a l union of a l l men i n Being-Itself are more c l o s e l y examined, his concept of the nature of t h i s e s s e n t i a l Being becomes ap-parent. Blake, l i k e many other C h r i s t i a n mystics, seems to have adopted the d e f i n i t i o n of God as Love which i s ex-7 pressed i n John 4:8 and 16. I f Being-Itself i s Love, then every sp e c i a l being with i t s s p e c i a l nature participates i n the es s e n t i a l l i f e , i n Being-Itself, i f i t participates Please note that throughout t h i s essay the terms es-s e n t i a l and e x i s t e n t i a l are used as Blake uses them, not as Sartre or the e x i s t e n t i a l i s t s use them. That i s , God i s not the form of a l l forms, but the is-ness of a l l beings. To Blake, form, i n the shape of the Mundane S h e l l , was cre-ated only to save man from a n n i h i l a t i o n and to offe r him an opportunity for redemption. (vide Blake, "Essence i s not Identity, but from Essence proceeds Identity and from one ./ Essence may proceed many I d e n t i t i e s " Blake, p. ). Note also that t h i s idea i s not Pantheism, which true mysticism does not accept. Refer, Evelyn Underhill, Mystic- ism, p. 99 and compare M e l v i l l e , Moby Dick "The Mast-Head." Refer above, pp. 28-29. 39 i n Love. Blake makes thi s idea of e s s e n t i a l Being as Love e x p l i c i t l y clear when he has "Jesus" say: Awake! awake 0 sleeper of the land of shadows, wake! expand! I am i n you and you i n me, mutual i n love divine: Fibres of love from man to man thro 1 Albion's pleasant land. Jerusalem, p. 894. and continue, a few l i n e s l a t e r : I am not a God afar o f f , I am a brother and f r i e n d : Within your bosoms I reside and you reside i n me: Lo! we are One, f o r g i v i n g a l l E v i l , Not seeking recompense. Ye are my members, 0 ye sleepers of Beulah, land of shades I " Jerusalem, p. 895. In "Night the Ninth" of the Four Zoas, the Eternals (as a multitude) welcome the man who i s reborn in the e s s e n t i a l l i f e of Eden, saying: ... we know That Man subsists by Brotherhood & Universal Love. We f a l l on one another's necks, more cl o s e l y we embrace. Not for ourselves, but for the Eternal family we l i v e . Man l i v e t h not by .Self alone, but i n his brother's face Each s h a l l behold the Eternal Father & love & joy abound. So spoke the Eternal at the Feast; they embrac'd the newborn Man, C a l l i n g him Brother, image of the Eternal Father,.... The Four Zoas, p. 828. This realm of the e s s e n t i a l l i f e Blake c a l l s Eden. But to obtain Eden man must p a r t i c i p a t e i n Love, which i s only possible i f man himself i s an harmonious whole i n whom the four aspects of personality, the Four Zoas, 40 Tharmas, Urthona, Luvah, and Urizen, are completely b a l -anced, each function separate but operating i n i t s proper sphere, contributing i n true proportion to the whole. These four represent the four factors which lead man to a recognition of and union with the i n f i n i t y of Being-Itself through created being, yet they cannot lead man to union with Love unless they themselves are controlled by the g grace of love. Blake himself says: Four mighty Ones are i n every man; a Perfect Unity Cannot Exist but from the Universal Brotherhood of Eden, The Universal Man, To Whom be Glory Evermore. Amen. The Four Zoas, p. 718. It i s perhaps easiest to see that Aff e c t i o n , sym-bolized by Luvah, i s an i n t e g r a l part of love. In a l l i t s 9 forms, as l i b i d o , eros, p h i l i a or agape, a f f e c t i o n over-comes the estrangement of two objects; " i t takes away the strange character of the object, the opposite. 'In love the separated s t i l l exists but no more as separated, but See T i l l i c h , p. 310, on the nature of Love. "Love in a l l i t s forms i s e c s t a t i c . The moment of love i s a mo-ment of self-transcendence. This implies the e c s t a t i c character of Being i n the sense of our transcending into the other s e l f while remaining within our own s e l f . " Refer p. 12. 9 Compare T i l l i c h , C.S. Lewis etc. T i l l i c h d i s t i n -guished four types of love: the l i b i d o type culminating in sex; the eros type, culminating i n s p i r i t u a l union; the p h i l i a type, culminating i n friendship; the agape type, culminating i n c a r i t a s . ~ 41 as united, and the l i v i n g feels the l i v i n g . ' " Thus unity i s achieved. In Blake's Prophetic Works thi s union through a f f e c t i o n i s seen i n one of i t s aspects i n the marriage of each of the figures with his Emanation, the sum t o t a l of a l l that he loves, so that t h e i r w i l l i s one, although the e n t i t i e s are separate. Perfect union i n af-fe c t i o n i s seen i n these marriages. True knowledge, or wisdom, represented by Urizen i s also a type of love, as has been shown i n chapter one. I t w i l l be remembered that knowledge i s considered an act of love since i t "dissolves the fixed o b j e c t i v i t y , " so that the "other s e l f or r e s i s t i n g r e a l i t y becomes united i n understanding.""'"^ Perception, or Tharmas, i s also a necessary ad-junct to both Knowledge and A f f e c t i o n i n uniting man with the true Reality. To Blake, man p e r s i s t s i n his f a l l e n condition because he i s caught up i n the•contemplation of the surface of the universe. Blake demands of men, "How do You know but ev'ry Bird that cuts the a i r y way, / Is an immense world of delight, clos'd by your senses f i v e ? " (p. 653). Blake i n s i s t s that men should not be content T i l l i c h , p. 310. Loc. c i t . 42 with perception of the physical object; he demands that men see from t h e i r souls, see the s p i r i t u a l essence i n the object which they see ph y s i c a l l y . Man must see through the eye instead of with the eye, for "We are led to be-li e v e a L i e , / When we see not Thro 1 the Eye ...." (p. 600) ; man does not see the truth i n an object unless he perceives i t s essence. In There i s no Natural Religion Blake states that "the desires and perception of man, untaught by any thing but organs of sense, must be limi t e d to objects of sense" (p. 619) . True perception, then, i s not a product of the physical senses but a combination of the physical medium with mental and s p i r i t u a l s e n s i t i v i t y . In thi s mode of v i s i o n , acute perception arises i n which man i s enabled to perceive the Reality i n the heart of created beings. This thought agrees with many mystics 1 ideas of knowing God. T i l l i c h , for instance?; says: Since God i s the ground of being, he i s the ground of the structure of being. He i s not subject to t h i s structure; the structure i s grounded i n him. He is_ this structure, and i t i s impossible to speak about him except i n terms of t h i s structure, God must be approached cognitively through the s t r u c t u r a l elements of being i t s e l f . These elements make him a l i v i n g God, a God who can be man's concrete concern.12 T i l l i c h , p. 260. Compare Plato's l a t e r b e l i e f , touched on i n p.'9 n., and the b e l i e f of St. Francis. This idea of seeing God through the concrete world i s often opposed by many mystics, since they fear i t may 43 Since "man's desires are limited by his percep-tions, CandD none can desire what he has not perceived," (p. 619) the true perception of Being-Itself i n created matter i s the necessary prerequisite to man's conscious s t r i v i n g for union with love. I t i s the necessary pre-r e q u i s i t e for the r i g h t d i r e c t i n g of the W i l l (which i s another aspect of Tharmas) toward t h i s Love. By means of acute perception man sees the unity of which he i s part, and, as his w i l l i s directed toward union, and as thi s v i s i o n i s made permanent i n his Imagination, he becomes 13 at one with i t i n eternity and I n f i n i t y . The Imagina-ti o n , or Urthona, i s to Blake the,central facet of l i f e on which a f f e c t i o n , knowledge and perception hinge. I t i s imagination that dissolves a l l mental barr i e r s between the object and the subject. Imagination i s the servant and the necessary precursor of the other three Zoas, and at the same time i t stands i t s e l f as a creative and trans-cendent force, p a r a l l e l to and p a r t i c i p a t i n g " i n the crea-t i v e power of Being and of Love. In the creative work of his Imagination man becomes a God. As Northrop Frye corn-lead to concentration on the world for i t s own sake, and the worshipper may be stopped i n his search for God within the symbol. 13 Paraphrase of Blake, p. 1022. 44 ments, i n another context, "In his creative a c t i v i t y the a r t i s t expresses the creative a c t i v i t y of God; and as a l l men are contained i n Man or God, so a l l creators are con-tained i n the Creator.""^ As can be noted i n the above descriptions of the Four Zoas, each element i s connected with the others and a l l p a r t i c i p a t e i n the functioning of each. Perfect b a l -ance and cooperation i s therefore needed for the correct functioning of each of the Zoas and of the whole Body of Man. With this perfect union and harmony comes the per-fect i o n of Man i n Love. The condition of the existence of man i n the es-s e n t i a l l i f e , i n Love, with the perfect balance of his four elements, i s the condition of man i n the Eden of pure Being. But man i s not only composed of e s s e n t i a l being. He has undergone the t r a n s i t i o n into existence, which i n -troduces the character of f i n i t u d e into i n f i n i t y . This t r a n s i t i o n "involves the p o s s i b i l i t y that being w i l l con-t r a d i c t and lose i t s e ' l f " ; 1 5 that i s , that i t w i l l "lose contact" with I n f i n i t y and commit i t s e l f to f i n i t u d e . The nature of t h i s f a l l i s shown by Blake i n various ways. Northrop Frye, Fearful Symmetry: A Study of Blake (Boston, 1947), p. 30. 1 5 T i l l i c h , p. 257. 45 One of the ways most i n s i s t e d upon, however, i s the d i v i -sion of be i n g - a s - i n f i n i t y into the f i n i t e categories of good and e v i l . As Blake says i n Jerusalem; And t h i s i s the manner of the Sons of Albion i n th e i r strength: They take Two Contraries which are c a l l ' d Q u a l i t i e s , with which Every Substance i s clothed: they name them Good & E v i l From them they make an Abstract, which i s a Negation. Not only of the Substance from which i t i s derived, A murderer of i t s own Body, but also a murderer Of every Divine Member: i t i s the Reasoning Power, An Abstract objecting power that Negatives every thing.... Jerusalem, p. 902. This o b j e c t i v i z i n g of a being by categorizing i t as good or e v i l and refusing to recognize within i t the dual capa-c i t y which i t possesses i n merely being has separated man from the es s e n t i a l l i f e , from the recognition of Being-I t s e l f i n a l l beings. This separation from the es s e n t i a l l i f e i s caused by, and i n turn exemplified by, a negation of the four elements which before combined to produce the conditions which led to unity with Love. In the f a l l e n state, a f f e c t i o n i n a l l i t s forms i s perverted to a negation of i t s e l f . Blake describes the state with in t e n s i t y when he says i n Jerusalem: 1 6Compare M e l v i l l e , "The Whiteness of the Whale," in Moby-Dick. 46 They know not why the love nor wherefore they sicken & die, C a l l i n g that Holy Love which i s Envy, Revenge & Cruelty, Which separated the stars from the mountains, the mountains from Man And l e f t Man, a l i t t l e g r o v e l l i n g Root outside Him-s e l f . Negations are not Contraries: Contraries mutually Exist; But Negations Exist Not.... 1 7 If thou separate from me, thou art a Negation, a meer Reasoning & Derogation from me, an Objecting & cruel Spite.... p..912 The lament of Vala expresses the cold, objective, separate nature of the f a l l e n love. She mourns the loss of love, saying: 18 Wherefore did I, loving, create love, which never yet Immingled God and Man, when thou and I hid the Divine Vision In cloud of secret gloom which behold involves me round about?.... Jerusalem, p. 934. I t i s the r e f u s a l to recognize the creative na-ture of love i t s e l f which causes love to become thus merely a form of jealousy, a possessive passion which finds love an end i n i t s e l f instead of a dynamic,•ever-changing force, leading ever onward to... greater perception and knowledge of the world and of e s s e n t i a l being. Blake's main image of th i s perverted love i s the jealous r e l a t i o n between man 1 7 T h a t i s , they cannot exi s t i n E t e r n i t y or I n f i n i t y . 1 8 That i s , V. e n t i t y i n i t s e l f . 8 That i s , Vala created "love" as an object, as an 47 wife i n which each attempts to "possess" the other com-pl e t e l y , and w i l l permit no d i s s i p a t i o n of emotion on other objects of a f f e c t i o n . Blake underlines t h i s idea most emphatically i n Milton when the Divine Voice i s heard mourning the jealousy of the woman whom he has married i n truth by giving his whole soul, into her keeping. His wife has t r i e d to define and l i m i t him by circumscribing the creative power of his love. As a r e s u l t He can no longer p a r t i c i p a t e i n her love. The Divine Voice says: Thy loves depend on him thou lovest, & on his dear loves Depend thy pleasures, which thou hast cut off by jealousy. Therefore I shew my Jealousy & set before you Death.... Milton, p. 880. The most important r e s u l t of thi s denial of the creative nature of love i s the creation of love as an ob-ject , or as a state i n i t s e l f . This change i s greatly aided by perverted wisdom which through the denial of crea-t i v i t y i s reduced to s t e r i l e reason. Tharmas, i n "Night the F i r s t " of the Four Zoas, shows thi s death of human love through the o b j e c t i v i z i n g of reason. Enion, his "wife," c r i e s , "I have looked into the secret soul of him I lov'd / And i n the Dark recesses found s i n and cannot return" (p. 719). Tharmas weeps as he r e p l i e s : Why w i l t thou Examine every l i t t l e f i b r e of my soul, Spreading them out before the sun l i k e stalks of flax to dry? 48 The infant joy i s b e a u t i f u l , but i t s anatomy Horrible, Ghast & Deadly; nought shalt thou f i n d i n i t But Death, Despair & Everlasting brooding Melan-choly. ... The Four Zoas, p. 719. In other words, a cold reasoning and abstracting power causes the o b j e c t i v i z a t i o n of the beloved and the death of love. In the f a l l e n state perception becomes bounded by the f i v e senses. Since "The bounded i s loathed by i t s possessor," and, "The same d u l l round, even of a universe, would soon become a m i l l with complicated wheels" (p. 62 0), without the acute perception which leads to love, man be-gins to despair, to sink i n boredom and to desire no more than the material objects of his world. "Man's desires are limited by his perceptions, none can desire what he has not perceiv'd" (p. 619). The one element of man's consciousness that never f a i l s i s that of the Imagination, which, though i t may be perverted with improper use and ground down by the m i l l s of the f a l l e n world, always maintains i t s e s s e n t i a l character. By means of his imaginative faculty man may again enlarge his perceptions, learn to desire the i n f i n i t e , and hold before himself some v i s i o n of the e s s e n t i a l l i f e . Through true perception he gains true knowledge of this v i s i o n , and eventually becomes at one with the I n f i n i t e i n Love. 49 These descriptions of the elements of ess e n t i a l man and of th e i r f a l l e n states are necessary components of Blake's v i s i o n ; they are the keystones of his thought, but they do not comprise the t o t a l form of his ideas. He also constructs a bridge between f a l l e n man, i n his world of time and space., and the realm of pure being. In a l l his works Blake was attempting to show man his f a l l e n state and the way i n which he might r a i s e himself to the eternal. The manner i n which th i s was to be accomplished was only gradually worked out, with many changes, corrections and modifications. In Milton and Jerusalem, however, Blake seems to have arrived at a reasonably concise explanation of the o b j e c t i v i t y which f i r s t leads man into the f a l l e n state and then prevents his reunion with Reality. In Mundane S h e l l , says Blake, man s t i l l has with-i n him the p o s i t i v e essence of Being-Itself, on which his being i s grounded. We are not Individuals but States, Combinations of Individuals. We are Angels of the Divine Presence, & were Druids i n Annandale Compell'd to combine into Form by Satan,19 the Spectre of Albion, Who made himself a God and destroyed the Human Form Divine.... Milton, p. 879. That i s , an external, abstract reasoning power which controls man by means of Stony Law and Mechanical Command-ments . 50 To a t t a i n the e s s e n t i a l l i f e man must undertake a twofold duty. F i r s t , he must examine and judge himself, deciding what within him contains a spark of Being-Itself and what i s a s t a t i c and uncreative State forced on him by the o b j e c t i v i z i n g power of reason. ... Distinguish therefore States from Individuals i n those States. States Change, but Individual I d e n t i t i e s never change or cease. You cannot go to Eternal Death i n that which can never Die. ... States that are not, but ah! Seem to be.... Milton, p. 879. At the same time man must attempt to perceive the esse n t i a l nature i n every being, e s p e c i a l l y i n those he loves (see Milton, p. 887). In these two ways man w i l l forge onward from the s e l f to the essence. As Blake says: There i s an Outside spread Without & an Outside spread Within, Beyond the Outline of Identity both ways, which meet in One.... Jerusalem, p. 913. When man has thus discovered the presence of the Essen t i a l being within himself and i n others, he must an-n i h i l a t e the o b j e c t i v i z i n g element i n himself, what Blake c a l l s the Selfhood or the S e l f , i n order to enter into com-munion with Being-Itself. In Milton, the Savior Milton p a r t i c u l a r l y commands that t h i s self-hood be annihilated when i t has been discovered by s e l f examination (p. 890), and repeats again and again that "such are the Laws of 51 Eternity, that each s h a l l mutually / Annihilate himself for other's good, as I for thee" (p. 887). To regain Eden, the l i f e of union with God, there must be a reversal of the change that occurred i n the F a l l : "From w i l l i n g sac-r i f i c e of s e l f , to s a c r i f i c e of (miscall'd) Enemies / For Atonement " (p. 926). Blake's v i s i o n i s then e s s e n t i a l l y a symbolic representation of a Mystic Way. The object i s s t i l l the wholeness and harmony of man and l i f e i n a union with God. In essence, t h i s harmony i s achieved by p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n God through the medium of the world, by r i g h t perception, r i g h t a f f e c t i o n , r i g h t knowledge, and imagination. This p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s f i n a l l y effected through a way of purga-t i o n , which includes a minute examination of the s e l f , and the an n i h i l a t i o n of a l l s e l f i s h states. It was mentioned that Blake used "human" person-a l i t i e s and relationships as symbols through which he could present his i n t u i t i o n of the nature of the eternal and the nature of man's search for union with the Eternal. By using these relationships and interactions of these forms to create a structure which stands alone, which i n i t s e l f i s an analogy of the Way to God, Blake has taken a step beyond the subjective revelations of the mystics or the objective discussions of the philosophers. He has served the personal connection, which often li m i t e d the 52 power of the mystic's narration of his personal experiences, and has presented his v i s i o n wholly i n symbolic and drama-t i c terms, never for a moment intruding his own person into the v i s i o n of the eternal which he i s presenting. As a r e s u l t Blake has given the v i s i o n a depth and power that i t often lacked i n the works mentioned i n the f i r s t chapter. CHAPTER THREE SOME PROBLEMS OF TECHNIQUE IN PRESENTING VISIONARY INSIGHTS IN THE NOVEL FORM In the. f i r s t chapter i t was noted that the phi-losopher, the mystic, and the poet a r e . a l l concerned i n some way with the "underlying v e r i t y of things," with the i n t u i t i o n of the Real which l i e s beneath the v i s i b l e world and sustains i t . The philosopher's interests l i e i n asses-sing the qual i t y of Being; the mystic ^concentrates on be-coming at one with I t ; i n his poetry the poet u t i l i z e s the insights gained i n his i n t u i t i o n of Being. The writer of visionary l i t e r a t u r e combines these three ro l e s . He at-temps to render i n human terms and i n the setting of the world, the path of the soul as i t moves toward i t s re s t i n union with Being. As the visionary n o v e l i s t shares many of the ideas which are common to the philosopher, the mystic or the poet, he also shares many of the methods used by them to aid the expression of t h e i r ideas. Primarily, he adopts t h e i r idea of analogy. In the visionary world, as Blake says, "The world of the imagination i s the world of Eter-nity C-forZD . . . there exists i n that Eternal World the Permanent R e a l i t i e s of Every Thing that we see r e f l e c t e d 54 in t h i s Vegetable Glass of Nature." By the use of analogy the visionary novelist, l i k e the mystic, attempts to com-municate his insight into the re l a t i o n s h i p of man and the noumenal world, his v i s i o n of Being as seen by a " s p i r i t -ual body." But by his adoption of the novel form he chooses to express t h i s analogical conception, not i n an "anagogic" world l i k e Blake's, with i t s mythic characters, unlimited s o c i a l action, and boundless universe, but i n the "low mimetic" world of the novel, with i t s recognizably human characters, and form of action, and world - v i s i o n bounded 2 by the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of everyday l i f e . In Blake's work, as Frye describes i t , the "universe i s i n f i n i t e and bound-le s s : i t cannot be contained within any actual c i v i l i z a -t i o n or set of moralvvalues, for the same reason that no structure of imagery can be r e s t r i c t e d to one a l l e g o r i c a l 3 interpretation." In the visionary novel the noumenal world which i s the focus of the visionary quest may also be i n f i n i t e and boundless, but i t s symbolic expression i s placed s p e c i f i c a l l y within the structures of every day l i f e . ^ — William Blake, "Additions to the 'Catalogue of Pictures,' 1810," The Prophetic Writings of William Blake, edited by D. J. Sloss and J.P.P. Wallis (Oxford, 1922]""; II , 173. 2 See Northrop Frye, Anatomy of C r i t i c i s m : Four Essays (Princeton, 1957), p. 120 and p. 34. 3 Ibid., p. 120. 55 The expression of v i s i o n i s usually achieved by means of the symbol which, as has been mentioned before, i s the em-bodiment of the noumenal within physical r e a l i t y . But a novel cannot be composed of is o l a t e d symbols or an is o l a t e d structure of symbolic characters; i t must further partake of "physical r e a l i t y " by representing and conveying action which takes place i n time, which i s situated at some spec-i f i c point i n space, and which operates within a framework of causality. Actual h i s t o r i c a l data or description of a known landscape may be employed i n a novel to enable the reader to i d e n t i f y more cl o s e l y the world portrayed as " r e a l " or h i s t o r i c a l . But, above a l l , "physical r e a l i t y " refers to the world of human personality, s o c i a l r e l a t i o n -ships, and convention, and the visionary novelist must cre-ate his character within the lim i t a t i o n s of this world. To i l l u s t r a t e t h i s point i t i s useful to examine some of the methods used by Emily Bronte to portray human personal-i t y firmly entrenched i n physical r e a l i t y . In attempting to portray conventional r e a l i t y Emily Bronte renders d e t a i l s of normal physical l i f e i n a way that makes actions of the characters psychologically understandable. She takes p a r t i c u l a r pains to give reason-able explanations for the apparently strange basic charac-ters and even stranger developments of her creations. Their childhood times are so documented t h a t we may e a s i l y gather 56 the ess e n t i a l powers of the s o c i a l and economic world which mould t h e i r characters and a l t e r t h e i r souls. For example, e x p l i c i t reference i s made to the influence of the Lintons upon Catherine, and.careful note i s taken of the fact that the Lintons 1s courtesy brings out i n her an "ingenious c o r d i a l i t y . " This, of course, wins the Lintons 1s admiration, "an C acquisition^} that C f l a t t e r s "3 her from the f i r s t , for she was f u l l of ambition—and C l e d l l ... her to adopt a double character without exactly intend-ing to deceive any one."^ In portraying these d e t a i l s Miss Bronte follows the usual n o v e l i s t i c convention i n which character i s conveyed through action i n a conven-t i o n a l s o c i a l setting. The characters are understood by thei r responses to i n d i v i d u a l s o c i a l situations or t h e i r deviations from conventional manners. The portrayal of Catherine's childhood i s a good example of thi s method. Miss Cathy i s introduced to us when she i s six years old, when her basic character i s mainly fixed. The points which are brought to our atten-t i o n are c a r e f u l l y chosen as providing e s p e c i a l l y clear glimpses of her character. Energy and fearless temperament Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights, edited by Mark Schorer (New York), 1962), p. 69. References w i l l be quoted from th i s e d i t i o n and c i t e d i n the body of the text. 57 are shown i n the statement that at six she could ride every horse i n the stable and would choose a whip as a g i f t (p. 36). The next reference to her actions shows another of the main facets of her character. The child's f r e t t i n g about her father's three day journey and ceaseless question-ing of the time of his return (p. 36) show a need for love and a heart capable of deep devotion. Catherine's two basic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are empha-s i z e d i n the succeeding pages. The c o n f l i c t which i s aroused i n the conventional l i f e of the home by Catherine's demands i s quickly brought to the fore. Her impetuosity and fo r t h r i g h t emotionalism are underlined when she grins and spits at the gypsy c h i l d , giving vent without r e s t r a i n t to her disappointment and resentment. But i s i s noted, when Nelly returns after her " e x i l e , " that H e a t h c l i f f and Cathy are "very thick"; her need for love has overcome her temper. Catherine demands love from a l l . She i s the l i t t l e mistress r u l i n g her companions by the dictates of her energetic na-ture, but expecting from them the same strong a f f e c t i o n that her nature allows her to express (pp. 37-8). Her de-mands are met by the gypsy H e a t h c l i f f and by the servants. But i n the case of her father, the figure with whom she i s most anxiously concerned, her opposing t r a i t s bring trou-ble. I t i s mentioned that Catherine i s too wayward for a favourite. That her wild emotions would worry her V_.r 58 s t a i d father i s shown by the reaction of Nelly, the e p i -tome of conventionality: Her s p i r i t s were always at high-water mark, her tongue always going - singing, laughing, and plaguing everybody who would not do the same. A wild, wicked s l i p she was ... and, after a l l , I believe she meant no harm; for when once she made you cry i n good earnest, i t seldom happened that she would not keep you company, and oblige you to be quiet that you might comfort her. Wuthering Heights, p. 42. But her father, "worried about his soul's concerns and about r u l i n g his children r i g i d l y , " and nagged by Joseph, finds Catherine's high s p i r i t s and naughtiness troubling. As a r e s u l t , Cathy's demand for love i s refused, and by the very source from which she expected i t to be most f u l l y answered. 'Nay, Cathy,' the old man would say, 'I can-not love thee; thou'rt worse than thy brother. Go, say thy prayers, c h i l d , and ask God's pardon. I doubt thy mother and I must rue that we ever reared thee! 1 That made her cry, at f i r s t ; and then, being repulsed continually hardened her, and she laughed i f I t o l d her to say she was sorry .... Wuthering Heights, p. 43. The smothering of love, the peevishness she can-not understand prompts her overflow of s p i r i t s to r e t a l i a t e i n a normal way and attempt to prove to her father that she i s loved better than he. Nelly notes: she was never so happy as when she was doing just what her father hated most, 59 showing how her pretended insolence, which he thought r e a l , had more power over Heath-c l i f f than his kindness. How the boy would do her bidding i n anything, and his only when i t suited his own i n c l i n a t i o n . Wuthering Heights, p. 43. Despite her s p i r i t e d r e t a l i a t i o n , small actions show that her love i s s t i l l present. Mention i s p a r t i c u -l a r l y made that she w i l l kiss her father, sing him to sleep, and show her a f f e c t i o n before she leaves him for the night. At the death of her father she i s l e f t with only H e a t h c l i f f to comfort her. In t h i s sketch, Catherine i s shown as a normal, i f highly strung, c h i l d , i n r e l a t i o n to her father, mother, and the conventional and believable household. A l l the elements are substantial and acceptable; a l l are anchored i n the social-conventional world; most are shown i n a con-ventional method of presentation, that of s e l e c t i v e record-ing of physical manifestations of personality. Both facets of this conventional method should be noted. The f i r s t i s the dispassionate t h i r d person analysis of feelings and emo-tions through which we accept a stated evaluation of char-acter. The second i s the oblique revelation of a character through i t s preferences (as i n Catherine's choice of a whip) or through normal conversation. The rendering of Edgar Linton i n t h i s novel i s an-other clear cut example of such writing. What i s known of 60 Edgar's c o n f l i c t s , of the emotions which must rage inside him as a human being, i s found i n the i n f l e c t i o n s , the s l i g h t aberrations from the normal s o c i a l code. As Mary Vi s i c k says, "Edgar i s not presented i n the same way as any of the other characters. He i s treated more nearly i n the mature George E l i o t manner ... a small remark or change of tone indicates what i s hidden i n the depth on which the 5 minutiae of every day f l o a t . " The portrayal of the mature Edgar by the delineation of emotion within the s o c i a l frame-work i s seen most c l e a r l y i n the scene of H e a t h c l i f f s re-turn to Wuthering Heights. Catherine i s glowing, engrossed i n H e a t h c l i f f , when: 'Catherine, unless we are to have cold tea, please to come to the taM»e,M interrupted Linton, s t r i v i n g to preserve his ordinary tone, and a due ineasiiEei:. of, J o l i t e h e s s . 'Mr. H e a t h c l i f f w i l l have a long walk, wherever he may lodge tonight; and I'm t h i r s t y . ' She took her post before the urn; ... then having handed the i r chairs forward, I l e f t the room. The meal hardly endured the minutes. Catherine's cup was never f i l l e d , she could neither eat nor drink. Edgar had made a slop i n his saucer, and scarcely swallowed a mouthful. Wuthering Heights, p. 102. This passage, hinting at emotion rather than stating i t , perhaps indicates the nature of the f e e l i n g , but gives Mary V i s i c k , The Genesis of Wuthering Heights (Hong Kong University, 1958), p. 59. 61 l i t t l e i n d i c a t i o n as to depth or i n t e n s i t y . Here, l i g h t l y sketched i s jealousy, as Edgar t r i e s to separate Catherine and H e a t h c l i f f ; h o s t i l i t y , as he permaturely dismisses any thought which might aris e concerning H e a t h c l i f f ' s lodging at the Grange; and petty and p a t h e t i c a l l y c h i l d i s h appeal as he complains that he i s t h i r s t y . S l i g h t v a r i a t i o n s , s l i g h t nuances i n the s o c i a l context, t e l l the reader of the i n t e r n a l struggle. In summation then, i t can be seen that Emily Bronte has anchored her book firmly i n the normal and be-l i e v a b l e world, not only by adherence to temporal form and 6 legal procedure as C. P. Sanger has pointed out, but also, by using the time honoured methods of exposition and nar-r a t i o n , and also by setting her drama against a background of accepted s o c i a l norms which the reader i s well able to understand, and against which he may judge the character. The presence of the conventional world gives r i s e to a certain degree of impersonality or distance which i s a su r p r i s i n g l y noticeable factor i n most of the visionary novels. For example, i n Wuthering Heights the much noted "Chinese Box" scheme of narrators gives aesthetic distance C. P. Sanger, "The Structure of Wuthering.' Heights," A "Wuthering Heights" Handbook, Richard L e t t i s and W.E. Morris (New York, 1961), pp. 4-16. 62 to the whole work. The wild tale of love at the Heights i s t o l d by both the v i s i t o r from the c i t y , Lockwood, and the ubiquitous country housekeeper, Nelly Dean, each of whom are firmly entrenched i n the conventional world. Nelly i s interested mainly i n the p r a c t i c a l or s o c i a l con-sequences of emotion, as i s seen when she quizzes Catherine on her feelings for Edgar and He a t h c l i f f . Lockwood recog-nizes the psychical world only i n his dreams. Both may be depended upon to report facts i n a r e l a t i v e l y s t r a i g h t f o r -ward and undistorfeed fashion. The r e s u l t i n g form of narra-t i o n relates the emotional, t a l e to conventional attitudes. In Moby-Dick the same distance i s obtained through the projection of the character of the narrator i n the non-dramatic chapters of the book. In these chapters the personality of Ishmael intrudes between the reader and the scene. Ishmael presents himself, at times, as a de-tached and dispassionate mind which i s i n i t s element cata-loguing whales and t h e i r habitats, whalers and the i r customs, whaling and i t s methods. At other times he i s a whimsical philosopher, commenting on l i f e and men i n a self-conscious yet apparently disinterested fashion. It must be kept i n mind that the presence of rec-ognizable human background, of delineation of character through action and commentary, and of narrator o b j e c t i v i t y i s p r e c i s e l y that which allows a v i s i o n to be expressed i n 63 a n o v e l i s t i c form. I t i s not what sets the visionary novel apart. The q u a l i t i e s which are c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the v i s i o n -ary are apprehended to some extent i n an examination of the symbolic forms used i n the delineation of the v i s i o n . The true d i s t i n c t i o n i s , of course, found within the form of the v i s i o n i t s e l f . At the beginning of the chapter I referred to the notion of analogy which was seen, i n the f i r s t chapter, to be a necessary medium of expression. By means of analogy the a r t i s t expresses the unity which he sees i n a l l things, and which he feels relates the f i n i t e to the i n f i n i t e . Anal-ogy provides the reference to a c t u a l i t y or to something ac-7 cepted which i s necessary for communication. But, i n the realm of v i s i o n , however del i c a t e the analogy which expres-ses the p a r a l l e l between seen and unseen, however- powerful the symbol which transmits the i n f i n i t e through the f i n i t e , the problem s t i l l remains of the "great gulf fixed" between the understanding of.one who has d i r e c t l y experienced v i -sionary insight, and of those who have not. To implement f u l l understanding of the experience, the writer of v i s i o n -ary l i t e r a t u r e must recreate his experience, or a r t i f i c i -a l l y induce i t to some extent i n his readers. William 7See above, pp. 2 0 -21 , 25.-27,. 64 York T i n d a l l defines the l i t e r a r y symbol as "an analogy for something unstated, ... Ccon s i s t i n g ^ of verbal ele-ments that, going beyond reference and the l i m i t s of d i s -course, embodies and offers a complex of f e e l i n g and . thought." 8 To some extent the symbol as an object, fusing thought and emotional response, f i l l s t his r o l e . But, as can be seen from the d e f i n i t i o n , the l i t e r a r y symbol as such i s not limited to the verbal representation of some object or experience used as a focus for an analogy. Tin-d a l l argues that the symbol i s not necessarily derived from an image; he goes on to say that "this analogical embodi-ment may also be a rhythm, a juxtaposition, an action, a . . 9 proposition, a structure or a poem." In discussing the background of the visionary novels I have mentioned p a r t i c u l a r y the object symbol (the bechoved, for example,) and the action symbol, (the wooing of and union with the beloved) which appear i n much mystical l i t e r a t u r e and which w i l l be discussed more f u l l y l a t e r i n the essay. Another mode of analogy which i s cl o s e l y con-cerned with the visionary novel i s the symbol considered as T i n d a l l , p. 12. 9Ibid., p. 13. 65 rhythm. That rhythm was part of the mystic experience, and necessary to any description of the mystic union has long been noted, by scholars and c r i t i c s . . In discussing the writings of the mystics who were attempting to express t h e i r insights and experiences of mystic union, Evelyn Underhill states: Mystical ... perception tends naturally -we know not why - to present i t s e l f i n rhyth-mical periods: .... So constant i s t h i s law i n some subjects that Baron von Hugel adopted the presence or absence of rhythm as a test whereby to di s t i n g u i s h the genuine utterances of St. Catherine of Genoa from those wrongly attributed to her by successive editors of her legend.10 The reason for t h i s phenomenon does not i n t e r e s t us at present; but i t s distinguishing presence of v i s i o n -ary l i t e r a t u r e , and the re s u l t s of t h i s presence does. Evelyn Underhill herself considers rhythm to be symbolical, calculated to "stimulate the dormant i n t u i t i o n of the reader and convey ... something beyond ... t. the"] surface sense. "H More p a r t i c u l a r l y , Miss Underhill notes that rhythmic and exalted language heightens the state of consciousness and "induces i n sensitive persons something of thes languid 12 ecstasy of dream." Miss Underhill s p e c i f i c a l l y uses the l 0 U n d e r h i l l , p. 80, i : L I b i d . , p. 79. 1 2iBoc. c i t . 66 word "dream" i n thi s context since i t denotes a manifesta-t i o n of the subconscious l i f e , a l e v e l of consciousness beneath surface consciousness and s u p e r f i c i a l i n t e l l i g e n c e , which i s always associated with the s p i r i t u a l l i f e and with s p i r i t u a l communication. Later on, while discussing voices and visions, Miss Underhill comments: The peculiar rhythmical language of genuine mystical dialogue ... i s an in d i c a t i o n of i t s automatic character. Expression, once i t i s divorced from the c r i t i c a l action of surface i n t e l l i g e n c e , always tends to assume a dithy-rambic form. ... L i f e , which eludes language, can yet - we know not why - be communicated by rhythm: and the mystic fact i s above a l l else the communication of a greater Life.13 The mode of thi s communication is.touched on i n her chapter e n t i t l e d "Mysticism and Magic." In discussing the nature of the occult, Miss Underhill notes the impor-tance of rhythm and incantation i n "actualizLing"! ... Cthe3 supersensual plane of experience ... Qby3 r a i s i n g the energy of the inner man."^ She comments: The true magic "word" or s p e l l i s untrans-latable; because i t s power resides only par-^ t i a l l y i n that outward sense which i s appre-hended by the reason, but c h i e f l y i n the rhythm, which i s addressed to the subliminal mind. Symbols Hand symbolic rhythm • ... Underhill, p. 278. Ibid., p. 157. 67 express the deep seated i n s t i n c t of the hu-man mind that i t must have a focus on which to concentrate i t s v o l i t i o n a l powers, i f those powers are to be brought to th e i r highest state of efficiency.15 Almost automatically the reader remembers the rhythmic music and incantation which are a necessary part of many primitive r e l i g i o u s r i t u a l s , or perhaps r e c a l l s from the Bacchae Euripides's descriptions of the frenzies i n which subconscious emotions were released i n physical action. When these re s u l t s of rhythm are considered, i t i s more e a s i l y seen why the visionary writers display such a r e l i -ance on heavily rhythmic prose. William Blake e s p e c i a l l y seems consciously to have r e a l i z e d the subtle control which rhythm exerts over the reader. As a r e s u l t , he found he had to free himself from the "bondage" of invariably fixed rhythm. In the "Introduction" to Jerusalem Blake directs these words to the public: ... When thi s Verse was f i r s t dictated to me, I consider'd a Monotonous Cadence, l i k e that used by Milton & Shakespeare & a l l writers of English Blank Verse, derived from the modern bondage of Rhyming, to be a necessary and i n -dispensable part of Verse. But I soon found that i n the mouth of a true Orator such mo-notony was not only awkward, but as much a bond-age as rhyme i t s e l f . I therefore have produced a variety i n every l i n e , both of cadence & number of s y l l a b l e s . Every word and every 5 U n d e r h i l l , p. 158. 68 l e t t e r i s studied and put into i t s f i t place; the t e r r i f i c numbers are reserved for the t e r r i f i c parts, the mild & gentle for mild & gentle parts, and the prosaic for the i n f e r -i o r parts; a l l are necessary to each other. Poetry Fetter*d Fetters the Human Race. Jerusalem, p. 894. It i s not unusual to f i n d , i n a good writer, that the rhythms of the language are varied to mirror pre-c i s e l y the emotion or event that i s portrayed. What i s s l i g h t l y unusual i s such a conscious recognition of the power of heightened rhythm to convey emotion. This heightening of rhythm often involves a change from the rhythmic unit of the sentence to the short phrase of regu-l a r l y repeated accent or meter, and marks the change from prose to verse rhythm which often occurs i n emotionally charged "prose" passages."*"^ But i n the visionary novel this i n c l u s i o n of verse rhythm and highly symbolic content i s not an accidental or r a r e l y recurring fact; i t i s inher-ent i n the structure of the visionary work. The visionary writer of any type, including the visionary n o v e l i s t , seems to grasp i n t u i t i v e l y t h i s power-f u l method of evoking the mythic world which l i e s latent i n the words of every day. Emily Bronte, Herman M e l v i l l e , and Refer to Northrop Frye, The Well-Tempered C r i t i c (Bloomington, Indiana, 1963), p. 24. 69 D. H. Lawrence have a l l been noted for the rhythmic power of passages i n th e i r novels. Herman M e l v i l l e ' s Moby-Dick affords e s p e c i a l l y good examples of this c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of visionary novels. In discussing M e l v i l l e i n American Renaissance, F. 0. Matthies-sen notes, and t r i e s to explain, the use of rhythm i n Moby-Dick . . He comments: C.Melville"3 . . . came into possession of the primitive energies latent i n words, C he r e a l i z e d J ... that meaning had not just a l e v e l of sense, that the arrangement of words i n patterns of sound and rhythm enabled them to create feelings and tones that could not be included i n a l o g i c a l or s c i e n t i f i c state-ment. 17 M e l v i l l e ' s s t y l e was greatly influenced by the rhythmic periods of C a r l y l e and the s t r u c t u r a l balance of the sentences of the "Hermetic" S i r Thomas Browne. But i n the composition of Moby-Dick M e l v i l l e was most deeply i n -debted to Shakespeare. From his reading of Shakespeare's l a t e r tragedies M e l v i l l e learned the technique of "counter-pointing" prose rhythms over a basic iambic structure to cre-ate a rough, musical, highly f l e x i b l e prose, which, through i t s use of rhythm, excites the reader's passions and d e l i -cately modulates his responses. Often, i n Moby-Dicky when F.O. Matthiessen, American Renaissance (Oxofrd, 1957), p. 423. 18 For a more complete treatment of Shakespeare's i n -fluence, on M e l v i l l e , see Matthiessen pp. 423ff. 70 speeches are given i n moments of extreme dramatic tension or personal emotion., the iambic basis of speech becomes very apparent. Mr. Mattheissen notes that many times speeches may be printed as blank verse with l i t t l e or no d i s t o r t i o n . He notes p a r t i c u l a r l y three speeches i n which t h i s i s evident. The f i r s t i s i n "The Quarter Deck" as Ahab speaks to the crew, and t r i e s to heal the i n c i p i e n t breach between himself and Starbuck: But look ye, Starbuck, what i s said i n heat, That thing unsays i t s e l f . There are men From whom warm words are small in d i g n i t y . I meant not to incense thee. Let i t go, .... Another example occurs i n Ahab's b i t t e r meditation on his l i f e : I leave a white and turbid wake; Pale waters, paler cheeks, where'er I s a i l . The envious billows sidelong swell to whelm My tracks; l e t them; but f i r s t I pass .... And i n Starbuck's equally b i t t e r soliloquy: My soul i s more than matched; she's overmanned. And by a madman! Insufferable sting ....19 The above passages are p a r t i c u l a r examples of the basic iambic rhythm completely dominating the writing. The presence of such examples however, does not show the prose as a whole to be extremely rhythmic, although the fact that such regular rhythm could generally pass un-19 Matthiessen, p. 42 6. 71 noticed i n a prose passage does indicate an unusually high rhythmic content. Up to t h i s point we have considered rhythm as English "poetic" rhythm, that i s , a regular succession and alternation of stress values i n the speech s y l l a b l e s . We have considered that the iambic passages i n Moby-Dick are p a r t i c u l a r l y rhythmic because of the extreme r e g u l a r i t y of the stress pattern which may be imposed upon them, and that the iambic pattern so adopted i n t e n s i f i e s emotion be-cause of the r a p i d i t y of the succession and alternation of stress. For the p a r t i c u l a r passages i n Moby-Dick which we have discussed, such suppositions hold true. But rhythm i s not limited to recurrent stress patterns. In The Rhythm  of English Prose Andre Classe defines rhythm more pre-c i s e l y : Proceeding on the assumption that we have a d i r e c t i n t u i t i o n of a continuous flow of time ... we may say ... that we are aware of the existence of rhythm i n speech because we are aware of the existence of speech i n time, and because cert a i n l i n g u i s t i c phenomena divide time i n some peculiar way. A p r i o r i , one i s led to believe that an observer w i l l exper-ience a f e e l i n g of rhythm when successive portions of sentences have p a r t i c u l a r r e l a -t i v e durations.2 0 If t h i s d e f i n i t i o n i s considered i t w i l l be seen z uAndre Classe, The Rhythm of English Prose (Oxford, 1939), p. 2. 72 that although rhythm, at one end of the spectrum, may be completely subjectively imposed, and may, at the other end, be regulated by stress values which control the dura-tions, rhythm i s dependent neither on purely subjective control nor on 'poetic" stress factors. M e l v i l l e , for ex-ample, uses perception of units of time to create rhythm. He often deliberately manipulates the length and structure of his sentences to give better rhythmic balance. Like Thomas Car l y l e , M e l v i l l e often disregards s t y l i s t i c ideals of his time, c l a s s i c a l propriety or economy. At times his sentences are contorted, convoluted, broken; connectives are eliminated, and words displaced. As a r e s u l t M e l v i l l e often creates sentences composed of a f l e x i b l e series of inter v a l s of s i m i l a r time value which gives a rhythmic ef-fe c t . With this s t y l i s t i c technique M e l v i l l e often uses the two r h e t o r i c a l methods of giving a more rhythmic char-acter to prose; that i s , M e l v i l l e often juxtaposes a number of phrases or clauses which have p a r a l l e l grammatic struc-ture, and only s l i g h t v a r i a t i o n i n t h e i r length and stress values,21 or he uses rather long groups of words, the length of which tends to blur the perception of rhythmic variations i n the groups.22 Moby-Dick shows dozens of 21 Refer Andree Classe p. 132. ' 22 Classe says, "a constant difference between two groups i s less r e a d i l y appreciated when i t occurs between 73 examples of these methods of creating rhythmic e f f e c t s . One passage, which incorporates almost a l l of the methods of inducing rhythm, i s found i n the chapter c a l l e d "The Candles": I own thy speechless, placeless power; said I not so? Nor was i t wrung from me; nor do I now drop these l i n k s . Thou canst b l i n d ; but I can then grope. Thou canst consume; but I can then be ashes. Take the homage of these poor eyes, and shutter-hands. I would not take i t . The lightning flashes through my s k u l l ; mine eye-balls ache and ache; my whole beaten brain seems as be-headed, and r o l l i n g on some stunning ground. Oh, oh! Yet b l i n d f o l d , yet w i l l I talk to thee. Light though thou be, thou leapest out of darkness; but I am darkness leaping out of l i g h t , leaping out of thee! Moby-Dick, p. 384. The rhythm of the above passage i s not pe r f e c t l y regular, but M e l v i l l e has so structured the phrase rhythm and un-derlined i t with a l l i t e r a t i o n , assonance, and passages of p a r a l l e l grammatic construction, that he builds rhythmic in t e n s i t y even from rather long passages which are only loosely p a r a l l e l . In Wuthering Heights the use of rhythm i s simi-l a r l y noticeable. At the height of Cathy's i l l n e s s , when, two short ones. ... In speech, long groups, pro-vided other circumstances are not too unfavourable, w i l l tend to be made subjectively isochronous by the reader or l i s t e n e r because of the i r speech habits." p. 132. 74 in her intense misery, she r e a l i z e s the true cause of her i l l n e s s , she c r i e s , "I wish I were a g i r l again, half savage and hardy, and free," and the regularly stressed rhythm i n which she c a l l s out her longing gives power and poignancy to her words. Such use of stress rhythm i s , however, not as common i n Wuthering Heights as i t i s i n Moby-Dick. In-stead, Miss Bronte r e l i e s on successions of short phrases which are similar i n length or structure, or of groups which are p a r a l l e l i n structure. An outstanding example of her method i s found i n the l a s t sentence of the book. J I lingered round them, / under that benign sky: watched the moths f l u t t e r i n g among the heath and harebells, listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass and wondered how anyone could imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers i n that quiet earth The de l i c a t e cadences of Lockwood"s speech con-t r a s t with the abrupt, f o r c e f u l , and harsly rhythmic perio i n which both Catherine and Hea t h c l i f f give vent to the i r passions. They do, however, i l l u s t r a t e the same rhythmic p r i n c i p l e s . In the speeches of the two protagonists the disconnected phrases, short sentences and stressed words, break the speeches into rhythmic sections which are em-J I have printed the rhythmic groups on separate li n e s for emphasis. 75 phasized by p a r a l l e l grammatic structure and r e p e t i t i o n . An example of the force gained from t h i s rhythmic tech-nique i s found i n the e f f e c t of H e a t h c l i f f ' s cry to Catherine's ghost after he hears of her death: You said I k i l l e d you—haunt me then! The murdered do haunt th e i r murderers. I be-l i e v e — I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always—take any form — d r i v e me mad! only do not leave me i n th i s abyss, where I cannot f i n d you! Oh God! i t i s unutterable! I cannot l i v e without my l i f e ! I cannot l i v e without my soul! Wuthering' Heights, p. 177. D. H. Lawrence also employs rhythm to gain subtle emotional e f f e c t s , although he almost never allows the stress rhythms of verse to creep into his prose. To achieve a rhythmic e f f e c t he w i l l most often use a long sentence to which he w i l l give a rhythmic structure by rep-e t i t i o n of key words and phrases, and r e p e t i t i o n and ex-pansion of ideas. This technique gives a pulsating, a l -most wave-like motion to the prose. The words seem to sweep forward, hesitate, and sweep forward again with re-newed power. This technique i s most obvious i n the f o l -lowing sentence from the chapter, "Excurse": After a lapse of s t i l l n e s s , after the r i v e r s of strange, dark, f l u i d richness had passed over her, flooding, carrying away her mind and flooding down her. spine and down her knees, past her feet, a strange flood, sweep-ing away everything and leaving her an essen-t i a l new being, she was l e f t quite free she 76 was free i n complete ease, her complete s e l f . Women i n Love, p. 354-. The interplay of rhythms i n thi s passage i s extremely d e l i -cate. The two time units which are introduced by "after" are unequal i n length, but the r e p e t i t i o n of some stressed i n i t i a l word t r i c k s the reader into imposing a subjective rhythm on the phrase. The secondary stress on " f l u i d " i s picked up i n the word "flooding" which stands alone, poised, as the four succeeding gerund constructions carry on the meaning of the sentence. The four short phrases, "down her spine," and "down her knees, past her feet, a strange flood," occurring as they do i n the middle of the gerund constructions, emphasize the emotional movement which i s described, and allow the two longer phrases at the end to round the passage smoothly with a f e e l i n g of peace. The three units at the end of the sentence, with t h e i r r e p e t i t i o n of the words "free" and "complete," stand almost isolate d , bringing the movement to a serene and d e f i n i t e conclusion. The rhythmic e f f e c t of the sentence might best be gathered i f i t were written as modern poetry i n which each l i n e i s a rhythmic unit:^4 This sentence, l i k e the other passages quoted, should be considered as example of rhythmic language, not as poetry. 77 After a lapse of s t i l l n e s s after the r i v e r s of strange, dark, f l u i d richness had passed over her, flooding, carrying away her mind and flooding down her spine and down her knees, past her feet, asstrange flood, sweeping away everything and leaving her an es s e n t i a l new being, she was l e f t quite free, she was free i n complete ease, her complete s e l f . Rhythm, i n some form, i s present i n the language of a l l three visionary novels. And i n a l l visionary writ-ings rhythmic language i s necessary. With the aid of rhythm the reader i s allowed to focus on the experience behind the words which the words are trying to convey. In the Lawrence passage the movement of the rhythm f o l -lows the emotion, "the strange, dark, f l u i d richness" which floods down over Ursula's body. The rhythm sets up i n the reader a v i b r a t i o n which i s sympathetic to the move-ment of the o r i g i n a l emotional experience. To put i t an-other way, rhythm i s a symbolic bridge to the apprehension of the unknown; through rhythm the reader participates d i r e c t l y i n i t ; he gains d i r e c t knowledge, instead of mere recognition of i t s presence. Rhythm i s not the only device by which v i s i o n -ary writers attempt to concentrate t h e i r reader's attention upon the symbolic functions of t h e i r work. The power of 78 the symbolic element i s often heightened by the form of presentation. In Wuthering Heights, for example, Emily Bronte presents her ideas i n a form which David C e c i l terms "the dramatic p i c t o r i a l . " In this form, the plot i s arranged i n a series of set scenes linked together by the b r i e f e s t possible passage of narrative. These separate scenes, too, are composed, l i k e those of a play, of words and action helped by a minimum of explanatory comment.25 This dramatic rendering eliminates the reader's conscious-ness of the observer-narrator who often intrudes between the action and the reader. Thus by means of rhythmic, d i r e c t l y rendered dramatic exchanges, a s i t u a t i o n i s given an in t e n s i t y and immediacy which i t would not other-wise achieve. The r e s u l t of the dramatic presentation i s seen c l e a r l y i n Moby-Dick, i n which M e l v i l l e actually casts some of his chapters i n the form of small plays, sets other chapters as i n d i v i d u a l scenes, and gives great im-mediacy to the climax by leading up to i t i n a series of rapid and dramatic confrontations. In these scenes M e l v i l l e drowns out the voice of the Ishmael-narrator, who, as has been seen, i s necessary at other times to give David C e c i l , Early V i c t o r i a n Novelists (London, 1934), p. 188. 79 the work some of the q u a l i t i e s of the conventional novel. With the infusion of the dramatic -form the distance im-posed by the presence of a narrator i s overcome to some extent, and the reader p a r t i c i p a t e s d i r e c t l y , experiences for himself, and i s carr i e d on into the unknown. While I have been discussing analogy, symbol, rhythm and "dramatic" presentation as devices used by a visionary writer to aid i n the presentation of the v i s i o n , I do not mean to.suggest that i t i s only i n visionary novels that these devices are found. Most novels include some or a l l of these techniques. Discussing the place of symbol i n the novel T i n d a l l states: Since symbolism i s the necessary condition of a l l l i t e r a t u r e , a l l novels are symbolic. By the poetic or symbolist novel I mean a kind distinguished by the deliberate or un-conscious e x p l o i t a t i o n of the symbolic pos-s i b i l i t i e s . Authors of such novels ... try to present something beyond narrative and discourse .... 26 But although the symbolic powers of the visionary novel may be exploited by means of rhythm and dramatic presenta-tion, to emphasizeea meaning beyond the narrative, they must also be firmly interwoven with material r e a l i t y . In terms of technical presentation the visionary novel must partake of both the phenomenal and the noumenal worlds. 2 6 T i n d a l l , p. 69. CHAPTER FOUR THREE NOVELS OF VISION •In the previous chapter I discussed some of the methods by which the visionary novel maintains i t s connec-t i o n with the conventional novel form, yet ensures that the important symbolic element becomes the focus of the reader's attention. Many of the aspects of the visionary, novel which were discussed could, of course, be /found i n novels having no connection with the visionary. Many novels have a highly symbolic content; a great number are noted for their poetic rhythms; some attempt to balance symbolic and concrete elements i n the way that i s necessary i n the visionary novel. The one point that sets the visionary novel apart from those others i s the appearance, either i m p l i c i t or e x p l i c i t , of the basic mystic structures ;.A study of Blake indicated one such Way to Vision, through perception and purgation to union, and the evolution of this structure was discussed i n chapter one.. Although each of the visionary novels presents this basic structure i t does not necessarily give equal emphasis to each part of the Way, nor need i t show the v i s i o n completely attained i n each case. I think that the easiest way to demonstrate the presence of the basic struc-ture would be to outline the movement of each novel, so 81 that a comparison can be made between the novels and the structure which I have already discussed. In M e l v i l l e ' s Moby-Dick, the hero's perception of the v i s i o n , his purgation of s e l f , and his unioniin love occur almost simultaneously i n the f i r s t few chapters. The bulk of the novel describes the voyage, perhaps l i f e -voyage, of the man who has attained the true v i s i o n of the I n f i n i t y and Unity of the world, yet who i s forced to tra v e l i n a ship dominated by those whose v i s i o n i s incom-plete, and who often becomes infected with the, perverted v i s i o n of those others. The f i r s t point which snould be noted about Moby-Dick i s that the book i s structured on the juxtaposi-t i o n of two separate "quest" motifs, the quest of Ishmael, and the quest of Ahab, which are e x p l i c i t l y and i m p l i c i t l y compared to one another. In the f i r s t chapter the reader i s introduced to a young man alienated from society, with a l l men's hands against him and his hand against a l l men, a wanderer i n the wilderness of l i f e , yet one who i s promised a great king-dom. Struggling through the dark night, the "dark and d r i z z l y November" of his soul, Ishmael walks the earth with "gloom toward the north... 'and \ darkness toward the south.*-'- I t i s i n thi s sordid and gloomy world that 1 Herman M e l v i l l e , Moby-Dick edited by A l f r e d Kazin, (New York, 1956), p. 27. Subsequent references to this e d i t i o n w i l l be quoted i n the text. 82 Ishmael must f i r s t t r a v e l and go through preparatory i n i -t i a t i o n to f i t himself for his quest. T r a v e l l i n g among the hovels of the earth, Ishmael at l a s t enters a palsied old house, and thoughtfully r e f l e c t s that "these eyes are windows and this body of mine the house." After entering, Ishmael i s occupied on the physical plane with an apparen-t l y plausible sequence of events, getting a room and bed, discovering his fellow lodger, and coming to terms with him. What presentation of the psychic events could be more e f f e c t i v e . Ishmael has entered the depths of him-s e l f , and there has encountered a l i e n elements. But Ishmael breaks down the confining bands of his culture, and he and Queequeg, the south and the north, the dark and the l i g h t , the cannibal and the C h r i s t i a n , meet f r e e l y a l -though they fear. They recognize t h e i r kinship i n Essen-t i a l Humanity and are reconciled and united i n a form of brotherhood which i s de l i b e r a t e l y described i n such a way that i t r e c a l l s the ancient symbol of the mystic marriage. They are s p e c i f i c a l l y compared to a man and wife, and at the beginning of th e i r understanding, i n th e i r "heart's honeymoon," they l i e a-bed and "open the bottom of t h e i r souls to each other," as a cozy, loving pair (p. 60). With t h e i r attainment of love and union, Ishmael i s able to turn the tomahawk, the possible instrument of his des-truction, into a pipe, the bond of brotherhood and peace. 83 St. Paul says, "And we know that a l l things work 2 together for good to them that love God,"• and p a r t i c i p a -t i o n i n love, as has been mentioned, i s part of p a r t i c i p a -t i o n i n the love that i s God. As a r e s u l t of Ishmae^'s acceptance, kinship, and love, the savage Queequeg becomes a force for good, enriching and deepening Ishmael's per-ception and understanding. Armed with such insight Ishmael gains knowledge of the e s s e n t i a l unity of mankind. The immediate r e s u l t s of t h i s fellowship are seen as Ishmael muses: I began to be sensible of strong feelings. I f e l t a melting i n me. No more my splintered heart and maddened hand were turned against the world. This soothing savage had redeemed i t .... Wild he was; a very sight of sights to see; yet I began to f e e l myself mysteri-ously drawn toward him. And those same things that would have repelled most others, they were the very magnets that thus drew me. Moby-Dick, p. 59. Having accepted love i n one of i t s aspects Ishmael becomes open to i t s influence i n a l l ways. In.this way,, by his acceptance of Queequeg, Ishmael performs a r i t u a l of pre-paration i n which the t i g h t , negating i n s u l a r i t y of his " s e l f " i s overcome, and his perceptions are deepened. Ishmael and Queequeg have become "man and wife," united i n Romans VIII:28 84 the l i g h t of day and the dark of the unconscious, and Ishmael has completed a necessary preparation for s p i r i t -ual development. The importance of Ishmael's s p i r i t u a l prepara-t i o n i s seen more c l e a r l y i f the land i n i t i a t i o n of Ahab i s compared with Ishmael's experiences. This land i n i t i a -t i o n i s not presented e x p l i c i t l y but i s i m p l i c i t i n a l l we read of Ahab's personality and of his history. Ahab has obviously not attained such a r e c o n c i l l i a t i o n as Ishmael has. Almost the f i r s t thing that i s mentioned of him i s that the unreconciled elements are warring within him. Anyway, there i s something on his mind,.... He ain ' t i n his bed now, either, more than three hours out of the twenty-four; and he don't sleep then. Didn't that Dough-boy, the steward, t e l l me that of a morning he always finds the old man's hammock clothes a l l rumpled and tumbled, and the sheets down at the foot, and the c o v e r l i d almost t i e d into knots, and the pillow a sort of f r i g h t -f u l hot, as though a baked brick had been on i t ? A hot old man! I guess he's got what some folks ashore c a l l a conscience. Moby-Dick, p. 113. Another of Ahab's acquaintances, his employer Captain Bildad, t r i e s to exonerate Ahab by showing that he actually has two sides to his character: CHe.VisH desperate moody, and savage some-times; ... but wrong not Captain Ahab, because he happens to have a wicked name; Besides, my boy,, he has a wife not three voyages wedded - a sweet resigned g i r l . 85 Think of that; by that sweet g i r l that old man has a c h i l d , hold ye then there can be any utter, hopeless harm i n Ahab? No, no, my lad; stricken, blasted, i f he be, Ahab has his humanities! Moby-Dick, p. 81 But although Ahab may have a wife, many possess the outward and v i s i b l e symbols of an inward and s p i r i t u a l r e lationship, the reader notes Ahab's f a i l u r e to integrate these aspects of h i m s e l f into h i s l i f e . Near the end of the book Ahab himself makes the p o s i t i o n clearer: ... for forty years I have fed upon dry salted fare - f i t emblem for the dry nourishment of my soul! ... away, whole oceans away, from that young g i r l - w i f e I wedded past f i f t y , and s a i l e d for Cape Horn the next day, leaving but one dent i n my marriage pillow - wife? wife? - rather a widow with her husband a l i v e ! Aye, I widowed that poor g i r l when I married her, .... Moby-Dick, p. 408-9. Ahab may have "married" on land, but any appearance of unity achieved i s i l l u s o r y . His whole nature i s p i t t e d against the completion of love. I t i s a mockery when he c r i e s to the s p i r i t of flame whose "right worship i s de-fiance," "Come, i n thy lowest form of love, and I w i l l k i ss thee," (p. 384) for Ahab has rejected love and w i l l not accept the other manifestations of love that are offered 3 him. Ahab i s not "married" i n any way, and thus not one See the following speech, p. 384. 86 i n the union that love brings. M e l v i l l e again and again underlines the disunity i n Ahab. At one point he notes that "these s p i r i t u a l throes i n him heaved his being up from i t s base, and a chasm seemed opening i n him from which forked flames of lightnings shot up" (p. 167). Later he explains more f u l l y that this c o n f l i c t i s caused by the war between "the eternal l i v i n g p r i n c i p l e s or soul i n him" and the "imper-; ' I manent mind which does not ejixst unless-.leagued with the soul" (p. 168). In Ahab the f a l l e n world i s made p l a i n as f a l l e n Urizen, "the impermanent mind," t r i e s to control the man and drive him away from recognition of the e s s e n t i a l s e l f which only reasserts i t s e l f when the mind i s asleep. As a r e s u l t of the ascendancy of the mind Ahab i s cut o f f from love, and deprived of loving communion with humanity. The meal i n the captain's cabin i s a mock-ery of the "common meal." Ahab's i s o l a t i o n i s powerfully emphasized i n "The Cabin Table": ... i n the cabin was no companionship; so-c i a l l y , Ahab was inaccessible. Though nomin-a l l y included i n the census of Christendom, he was s t i l l an a l i e n to i t . He l i v e d i n the world as the l a s t of the G r i z z l y Bears l i v e d i n s e t t l e Missouri ... i n his inclement, howling old age, Ahab's soul, shut up i n the caved trunk of his body, there fed on the s u l l e n paws of his gloom. Moby-Dick, p. 131 87 M e l v i l l e has c l e a r l y shown that Ahab i s incom-plete. He i s a divided figure, only half of what he should be. Ishmael notes, "While his one l i v e leg made l i v e l y echoes along the deck, every stroke of his dead limb sounded l i k e a co f f i n - t a p " (p. 190). But at the same time that M e l v i l l e e x p l i c i t l y warns of the imperfections of Ahab he leaves him with a soul" splendid above the others. Using the imagery of dark and l i g h t M e l v i l l e says: ... there i s a C a t s k i l l eagle i n some souls that can a l i k e dive down into the blackest gorges, and soar out of them again and be-come i n v i s i b l e i n the sunny spaces. And even i f he for ever f l i e s within the gorge, that gorge i s i n the mountains; so that even i n his lowest swoop the mountain eagle i s s t i l l higher than other birds upon the p l a i n , even though they soar. Moby-Dick, p. 32 9 Ahab i s shown e x p l i c i t l y as a great man, as a man who soars far beyond the normal human bounds. But he i s not complete. Because he has not found union i n love he can never s a i l into the i n f i n i t y of the s u n - l i t sky; he i s bounded in fi n i t u d e by the darkness of the incompleteness i n himself. Ahab can never be at One with Being; he i s limited to the f i n i t e , to the f a l l e n world of the Mundane Sh e l l . The great differences i n the preparations of Ishmael and Ahab for the quest are r e f l e c t e d i n the a t t i -tudes which each brings to t h e i r personal search. 88 Both Ishmael and Ahab are searching over the deeps of the sea, which i s e x p l i c i t l y c a l l e d "the place of meditation," the "image of the ungraspable phantom of l i f e , . . . the key to i t a l l " (p. 24). M e l v i l l e ' s concep-tion of the sea as a mental rather than a physical element becomes clear when Ishmael talks of his journey: Consider a l l t h i s Cthe sea3 ; and then turn to t h i s green, gentle, and most docile earth; ... do you not f i n d a strange analogy to some-thing i n yourself? For as t h i s appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land so in the j soul of man there l i e s one insular T a h i t i , f u l l of peace and joy, but encompassed by a l l the horror of the half known l i f e . Moby-Dick, p. 22 2 M e l v i l l e further c l a r i f i e s t h i s mystical element as he speaks about the role of the sea i n ordering the ceaseless wanderings of Bulkington. Know ye, now, Eulkington? Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally i n t o l e r a b l e truth; that a l l deep, earnest thinking i s but the i n t r e p i d e f f o r t of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, s l a v i s h shore? But as inllandlessness alone resides the highest truth, shoreless, i n d e f i n i t e as God - so, better i s i t to perish i n that howling i n f i n i t e , than be i n g l o r i o u s l y dashed upon the lee, even i f that were safety! Moby-Dick, p. 99. To Ishmael, as to M e l v i l l e , Truth i s contained i n the undefined and the I n f i n i t e . Ishmael w i l l not ac-cept any a r b i t r a r y designation or l i m i t a t i o n of powers and 89 attr i b u t e s . To Ishmael, a l l things are, and the true l i g h t of the world i s the sun, which illuminates both good and bad. The a r t i f i c i a l f i r e s of night are opposed to t h i s true l i g h t . "Look not too long i n the face of f i r e , 0 man! ["Ishmael warns] believe not the a r t i f i c i a l f i r e , when i t s redness makes a l l things look ghastly.... Give not thyself up, then, to f i r e , l east i t invert thee, deaden thee.... There i s a wisdom that i s woe; but there i s a woe that i s madness" (pp. 328-29). Under the white l i g h t of the sun, man may be sorrowful when he finds the proportions of good and bad i n the world. But under the force of the f i r e he i s turned around; a l l i s made e v i l and h e l l i s h . Man i s directed toward the e v i l , just as, under the force of the lightning, the compasses are turned so that the ship reverses her appointed course. Ishmael sees quite c l e a r l y that there i s e v i l under the sun, and that most of the earth l i e s in sorrow. But he w i l l not at t r i b u t e to the power behind the earth either the categories of good or e v i l , or the l i m i t a t i o n 4 -» of d e f i n i t i o n . " H e l l , " [a defined and limited s t a t e j , i s , as Ishmael impressively explains to Queequeg, "an For greater insight into M e l v i l l e ' s insistence on the presence of ambiguities see the chapter e n t i t l e d "The Whiteness of the Whale," pp. 157-163. 90 idea f i r s t born on an undigested apple dumpling" (pp.84-5). In t h i s insistence on the I n f i n i t y of Being, and on the wrong of imposing one category or another on Being to de-fine i t , M e l v i l l e repeats an idea which we noted i n Blake 5 and which he shared with other mystics. In contrast, Ahab follows the a r t i f i c i a l f i r e , and divides the world into good and e v i l . Ahab has equated himself with the sun-god and taken upon himself the role of absolute good, while giving his enemy, the whale, the r o l e of absolute evil.** As his chief votary,. Ahab has chosen an-other Manichee, the Parsee, Fedallah, who subscribes to the p r i n c i p l e of the eternal war between. Ahriman, the p r i n -c i p l e of e v i l and darkness, and Ahura Mahzda, the p r i n c i p l e of goodness and l i g h t , worshipped as f i r e . By both of these men the powers of the world have been defined and limited to what can. be grasped and' controlled by man's i n t e l l e c t . Ahab, however, makes clear the error of his p o s i -t i o n even as he affirms his self-assumed r e l a t i o n s h i p with the sun-god. While commenting on the sun-doubloon and his own relationship to i t as the many faceted sun-god, Ahab 5 See above, pp. 4'4-5. 6See H. Bruce Franklin, The Wake of the Gods; M e l v i l l e ' s Mythology (Stanford, 1963), pp. 53-98. 91 states, " A l l are Ahab; and t h i s round gold i s but an im-age of the rounder globe, which, l i k e a magician's glass, to each and every man i n turn but mirrors back his own mysterious s e l f , " (p. 333). But Ishmael, the spectator, notes the contradie.ti,ons. i n Ahab's mind, and shows great sympathy with the "mad" Pip, who gives enlightenment with his chant: "I look, you look, he looks; we look, ye look, they look.... And I, you, and he; and we, ye, and they are a l l bats" (p. 335). By the careful i n c l u s i o n of Pip's prophesy i n his narrative, Ishmael i s suggesting that Ahab and the crew are i n the dark, that they are only pro-jecting what they consciously think of themselves onto the coin, while they are b l i n d to the truth of th e i r deeper natures, and even more b l i n d to the truth and u l t i -mate meaning of the coin and of the world i t s e l f . If ob-jects are i n f i n i t e they must contain i n themselves both good and e v i l ; they w i l l be ambivalent, but w i l l often be-come what men expect of them. In M e l v i l l e ' s Religious  Thought William Braswell c i t e s M e l v i l l e ' s t e l l i n g a f r i e n d that the devotees of the wicked s p i r i t look continually on the nakedness and wickedness of our nature, whereas de-votees of the "good" God of C h r i s t i a n i t y must keep t h e i r eyes on "every property and beauty by which our pretension to a s i m i l a r i t y with the d i v i n i t y may be made good." 7 William Braswell, M e l v i l l e ' s Religious Thought (New York, 1959), p. 158. 92 Ahab has pretended d i v i n i t y , but by casting his eyes only on the e v i l of the world, by forcing the whale into the role of E v i l , he has d i s t o r t e d himself to e v i l , instead Q of good. An i n d i c a t i o n of this d i s t o r t i o n i s the f a c t that the "fire-worshipping" Parsee, Fedallah, i s no seeker after truth or worshipper of goodness, but a d e v i l i n very thin disguise, as Ishmael and the r e s t of the crew e a s i l y see. Ishmael himself compares Fedallah to Beelzebub, and Stubb makes a humourous and protracted comparison between Fedallah and the d e v i l of popular mythology, with his cloven fee, darted t a i l , horns, and t r i d e n t . In Ahab and Ishmael, M e l v i l l e has s p e c i f i c a l l y contrasted two ways of looking at the world. One way, the way that i s damned by Blake and the mystics, seeks to l i m i t I n f i n i t y by placing upon i t man-made categories. The other way accepts I n f i n i t y with a l l i t s apparent contradic-tions. The world simply i s ; i t i s a manifestation of Being. Ishmael accepts.Blake 1s maxim, "Everything that i s i s holy," and i n t h i s expresses his insight into the f i n a l unity of a l l things. Although Ishmael recognizes that a l l facts are Just as wrong, i n M e l v i l l e ' s view,, i s Gabriel the Shaker, who " i n his gibbering insanity pronounced the whale to be no less a being than the Shaker God incarnated," and who madly thinks he i s God's archangel (p. 251). 93 mutable, and that Truth and Reality are I n f i n i t e , he also recognizes the danger of searching for truth i n i n f i n i t y i t s e l f . Before him he has the example of Pip. Pip "saw God's foot upon the treadle of the loom, and spoke i t ; and therefore his shipmates c a l l e d him mad" (p. 322). The sea has drowned the i n f i n i t e of his soul, and Ishmael supplies the reason as he says, "Now i n calm weather, to swim i n the open ocean i s ... easy.... But the awful lonesomeness i s i n t o l e r a b l e . The intense concentration of s e l f i n the middle of such a heartless immensity, my God! who can t e l l i t ? " (p. 321). Pip had been l e f t companionless and i s o -lated i n i n f i n i t y , imprisoned within the s e l f , and forced to do ba t t l e with the ultimate. As a result, Pip goes mad. Juxtaposed to t h i s commentary on the fate of Pip i s one chapter i n the quest of Ishmael. In this chapter; Ishmael finds himself squeezing case, or s o l i d i f y i n g spermaceti, and i s united with his shipmates i n the haze of love and brotherhood i n which the s e l f i s forgotten and a l l things are possible. The contrast makes an e x p l i c i t point; man must overcome his egotism and his " s e l f " through love, before he can proceed safely i n the quest. M e l v i l l e underlines t h i s theme throughout the entire novel. With Queequeg, Ishmael finds that i t i s a joint-stock world i n a l l meridians, and that pagan and Ch r i s t i a n , dark and l i g h t , are a l l part of a unity as 94 members of the F i r s t Congregational Church of the World. He r e a l i z e s that man must be at one with the rest of man-kind although he must preserve his own i d e n t i t y . He must work for the whole and not the S e l f , ^ yet, as i s shown i n the chapter, "At the Mast-Head,11 he must not diffuse him-s e l f and his i d e n t i t y indiscriminately throughout crea-10 txon. How d i f f e r e n t i s Ahab, who i s alone i n his pride of Self and i s o l a t e d from men, who c r i e s : "Oh L i f e ! here I am, proud as a Greek God, and yet a standing debtor to this blockhead for a bone to stand on! Cursed be that mor-t a l interdebtedness which w i l l not do away with ledgers. I would be as free as a i r ; and I'm down i n the whole world's books," (p. 361). Ahab i s unprepared to love i n any fash-ion. Not recognizing the other side of l i f e , not uniting with his wife's humanity i n love, Ahab's perception i s so limited that he can w i l l nothing good, but only run away from the proferred society of the ships that meet him at sea, r e j e c t Pip's cure of care and love (p. 402), despise 9 Note the references to s o c i a b i l i t y and love i n Ishmael's comments on the useful s o c i a b i l i t y of whalers and th e i r -gams., and -on the mutual interdependence of sailors\::whose•/ r,very existence depends on th e i r unity. See "The Monkey-Rope," pp. 252-56. "*"°Refer above, p. 38. 95 the appeal to brotherhood and humanity given by the Rachel, and f i n a l l y disclaim a l l acquaintance with the hu-man by saying that he i s not human but merely a puppet of God. With such*'a r e j e c t i o n of the motive force of l i f e i t i s no surprise that Ahab i s destroyed by the e v i l which he has defined, and goes down doomed to a destruction of nothingness i n the centre of the vortex. Ishmael, on the other hand, aided by his experiences of love and s e l f l e s s -ness, triumphs, f l o a t i n g on a li f e - p r e s e r v e r which i s a c o f f i n , i n the vast i n f i n i t y which'is truth. Floating i n i n f i n i t y ishmael i s surrounded by sharks "well-governed into angels," and i s picked up by the Rachel as another of her orphans to be taken to the Promised Land. In Moby-Dick, as i n the Prophetic Books, the basic structure of the personal v i s i o n i s very si m i l a r to the basic ideas held by mystics of a l l times and a l l ages. In Moby-Dick the pattern of the v i s i o n and preparation through love i s telescoped s l i g h t l y . But the importance of love and selflessness i s s t i l l i n s i s t e d upon and the primacy of love i s well underlined i n the contrast of the regenerate and the unregenerate man i n Ishmael and Ahab. 96 Emily Bronte's novel, Wuthering Heights maintains the emphasis on love and selflessness as the most impor-tant factor i n attaining the v i s i o n . The central focus i n th i s novel i s also similar to Moby-Dick i n that i t stresses the dangers i n the temporal world which work toward the destruction of the v i s i o n . Emily Bronte does not damn this world as e v i l , although she does not agree with many of i t s ideal s . In fact her novel to a great extent deals with the attempt to integrate the world of time and the eternal world of v i s i o n . To many, the c o n f l i c t i n Wuthering Heights seems to be presented i n the conventional terms of good against e v i l , and c e r t a i n l y the s u p e r f i c i a l appearance of the characters seems to uphold t h i s point of view. Edgar, for example, i s always associated with the Park, with the walled garden of Thrushcross Grange, whose peaceful surroundings are reminiscent of Eden. He himself i s mild and gentle, pensive and amiable i n expression, with f a i r hair and the eyes of "a "dove, or an angel" (p. 112). In contrast, Heath c l i f f i s repeatedly associated with e v i l . The epi-thets "fiendish," d e v i l i s h " and "satanic" echo throughout descriptions of him. Even Nelly, as she coaxes his to be good, describes him to himself as a d e v i l : 97 Come to the glass, Cshe says 3 •••• Do you mark those two li n e s between your eyes, and those thick brows, that instead of r i s i n g arched, sink i n the middle, and that couple of black fiends, so deeply buried, who never open t h e i r windows boldly, but lurk g l i n t i n g under them l i k e d e v i l ' s spies? Wuthering Heights, p. 59 But i f the reader moves out of the conventional realm with i t s moral yardstick centering on money and man-ners, and applies the visionary i d e a l of love, a very d i f -ferent picture emerges. Throughout the novel Edgar's love i s shown to be d e f i c i e n t . Take, for example, his tre a t -ment of his s i s t e r Isabella, whom he may be thought to love most deeply, next to Catherine herself. When Edgar f i r s t r e a l i z e s Isabella's "fantastic preference" for Heathcl i f f he i s appalled, because of the degradation of his s i s t e r and his estate i f they passed to the "keeping" of Heathcliff's v i o l e n t mind (p. 106). The word "keeping" i s i n d i c a t i v e of the form which love takes i n Edgar. I t is reduced to mere possession. When Isabella i s seduced into marriage with H e a t h c l i f f , Edgar does not mention his s i s t e r i n any way, but di r e c t s Nelly to send "her property" to her new house. When Isabella l a t e r moves to Wuthering Heights Edgar thinks i t wise that there should be no "com-munication, " no love, between the two houses. Nelly i s notably depressed by Edgar's "coldness," as she terms i t , and p a r t i c u l a r l y t r i e s to cheer up Isabella by l y i n g and 98 saying that her brother sent his love (p. 156) . Later, Edgar i s grieved to l e t his nephew, Linton, go to almost certa i n destruction at the Heights, but y i e l d s to Heath-c l i f f ' s r i g h t of possession without any outcry (p. 215). Edgar Linton's idea of love as possession i s painted rather simply and c l e a r l y . H e a t h c l i f f ' s connec-tion with love i s rather more complicated, and i s r e a l l y only brought out as his story develops.' In early c h i l d -hood Heat h c l i f f i s seen i n the role of a human boy en-closed i n the darkness of his o r i g i n s , unawakened to the meaning of humanity. The creature i s even referred to as " i t , " as i f i t were an a l i e n being, before i t takes on humanity with baptism and the name of H e a t h c l i f f . Nelly comments on the hard and s u l l e n behavior of H e a t h c l i f f , but she makes i t clear that i t i s hardness, or unripeness i n the emotional sphere, that i s mainly the cause of his actions. She says that he i s not a "nice" boy, but that there i s no tinge of immorality of unnatural e v i l about him. He may say "precious l i t t l e , " but what he does say i s gen-e r a l l y the truth (p. 38). Nelly also notes that i t i s hardness, not gentleness that keeps him quiet, i n s e n s i t i v -i t y not ingratitude which makes him deny the need for love i n Earnshaw (p. 39). Nelly recognizes that the hardness and i n s e n s i b i l i t y , the detached q u a l i t y so aptly described by the epithet " i t , " can e a s i l y be explained by the harsh 99 treatment which he doubtless received on the streets of Liverpool, and which locked him within himself. While he i s thus li m i t e d and contained i n him-s e l f , completely i n the f a l l e n state, H e a t h c l i f f becomes aware of the use of s o c i a l power to gain comfort and mate-r i a l possessions. He learns to use the love of the father to gain the material possessions which he wishes, and the threat of the father's punishment to b u l l y Hindley into y i e l d i n g him what he desires. The only factor i n Heath-c l i f f ' s l i f e which tends to ameliorate t h i s hard and soul-less materialism, and quicken the p o t e n t i a l humanity held within him, i s the a f f i n i t y which exists between him and Cathy. Most pointedly the ideals developed i n this r e l a -tionship are a d i r e c t antithesis to the s e l f i s h , twisted materialism learned from his other experiences. In his love r e l a t i o n with Cathy, H e a t h c l i f f does not desire power for himself and does not covet possessions. Wild Heath-c l i f f may be on the surface, as his true nature i s wild, but the love at the centre of his being begins to enlarge his perceptions and temper his e g o t i s t i c a l hatred. Heath-c l i f f recognizes the immense value of the unselfishness and communion which i s brought into his l i f e by his r e l a -tionship with Catherine, as i s c l e a r l y seen'in his descrip-tion of his f i r s t sight of the Lintons: 100 The i d i o t s ! That was th e i r pleasure! to quarrel who should hold a heap of warm hair, and each begin to cry because both, after strug-g l i n g to get i t , refused to take i t . We laughed outright at the petted things, we did despise them! When would you catch me wish-ing to have what Catherine wanted? or fin d us by ourselves, seeking entertainment i n y e l l i n g , and sobbing and r o l l i n g on the ground, divided by a whole room? I'd not exchange for a thousand l i v e s , my condition here, for Edgar Linton's at Thrushcross Grange—not i f I might have the p r i v i l e g e of f l i n g i n g Joseph o f f the highest gable, and painting the housefront with Hindley's blood! Wuthering Heights, p. 50. In his love H e a t h c l i f f gains a depth and mean-ing i n union which i s far d i f f e r e n t from the possessive-ness of the love of Edgar Linton. S i g n i f i c a n t l y , i t i s Catherine herself who recognizes most c l e a r l y the r e l a t i v e values of Edgar and H e a t h c l i f f . She knows that Edgar i s centred i n the conventional world bounded by time, by man-ners and by money. She r e a l i z e s that, since t h i s world i s formed by time, by time i t w i l l be destroyed, (p. 86). She also r e a l i z e s that, with Linton anchored i n the world of possessions, no deep union i s possible between them. Linton permits the rules of society to circumscribe him, to make him les s , and as a r e s u l t he cannot meet Catherine in union. Cathy herself says, "Whatever our souls are made of, ... Linton's i s as d i f f e r e n t Cfrom mineU as a moonbeam from lightning, or f r o s t from f i r e " , (p. 85) . Later, H e a t h c l i f f also says of Linton: "If he loved with 101 a l l the powers of his puny being, he couldn't love as much in eighty years as I could i n a day" (p. 158). Both Cathy and H e a t h c l i f f , to some extent, r e a l i z e that the eternal good i n l i f e i s love, and that Linton i s d e f i c i e n t i n t h i s q u a l i t y . In H e a t h c l i f f , on the other hand, Cathy finds complete union i n love. She says to Nelly, "I am Heath-c l i f f " (p. 86), and repeats, "he's more myself than I am" (p. 85). With H e a t h c l i f f , Catherine enters into a love union i n which she i s projected beyond the world of con-vention, into the Eternal. Where her love for Linton i s , l i k e the trees, a product of Time, her love for H e a t h c l i f f i s " l i k e the eternal rocks beneath." In her conversation with Nelly she t r i e s to express more c l e a r l y t h i s idea of union with Eternity i n her love for H e a t h c l i f f : I cannot express i t ; but surely you and every-body have a notion that there i s , or should be an existence of yours beyond you. What were the use of my creation i f I were e n t i r e l y contained here? My great miseries i n t h i s world have been H e a t h c l i f f ' s miseries ... my great thought i n l i v i n g i s himself. If a l l else perish, and he remained, I should s t i l l continue to be; and i f a l l else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would seem a mighty stranger. I should not seem a part of i t . Wuthering Heights,'p. 86. The love of Cathy gives H e a t h c l i f f his true l i f e and his soul. After her death he c r i e s that he cannot l i v e 102 without his l i f e , cannot l i v e without his soul (p. 177) . And when he contemplates l i f e without her love he i s equally vehement: "Two words would comprehend my f u t u r e — death and h e l l ; existence, after losing her, would be h e l l " (p. 158). In t h e i r love union Cathy and H e a t h c l i f f a t t a i n true l i f e ; they cast out the h e l l of limited existence and a t t a i n a heaven upon earth. In t h e i r love they reach through the barriers of Time to the I n f i n i t e . There i s small reason then that Cathy should be happy i n the con-ventional heaven, populated with angelic beings and far removed from earth. In the same way, Cathy can r e a l l y have l i t t l e to do with Edgar Linton, the "angel" associ-ated with t h i s idea of heaven. In this heaven of eternal love, as H e a t h c l i f f himself says. " that misery, degradation and death, nor anything God or Satan could i n f l i c t could have parted" him from Catherine (p. 171). But Catherine of her own free w i l l does part them. She turns her back upon eternity; i n thinking of her marriage, she chooses to deal only with the present (p. 83). More important, Catherine turns her back upon her love, i n great part because of money. "Nelly," she demands, "... did i t ever s t r i k e you that, i f He a t h c l i f f and I married, we should be beggars? whereas, i f I marry Linton, I can aid H e a t h c l i f f to r i s e , and place 103 him out of my brother's power?" (p. 86). In her choice Catherine denies a true union i n marriage, the one place that i t should be present and made perfect. She places herself i n the present, conventional and possessive world. Yet Catherine knows within herself that she cannot be separated from H e a t h c l i f f . During Linton's courtship she i n s t i n c t i v e l y keeps He a t h c l i f f and Linton apart, but she anticipates that when Edgar has mar-r i e d her he w i l l shake o f f his antipathy and tolerate the other (p. 86). When He a t h c l i f f returns she t r i e s again to unite the eternal and the temporal, forcing them to shake hands by seizing Linton's reluctant fingers and crushing them into H e a t h c l i f f ' s (p. 100). As can be expected, the attempt at forced friendship f a i l s . Cathy cannot make Edgar recognize a love which would deny his possession of his wife; at the same time, she. cannot expect Hea t h c l i f f to accept conventional values imposed on him from the out-side. She i s f i n a l l y brought to see the f u t i l i t y of at-tempting to unite H e a t h c l i f f and Edgar afte r the f i n a l quarrel over Isabella. Edgar demands to know whether she w i l l give up He a t h c l i f f or himself, and i t i s in-contem-pl a t i n g t h i s question that she succumbs to the i l l n e s s which eventually causes her death. In choosing to l i v e by the values of the temporal world instead of s t r i v i n g for the eternity of her love, 104 Catherine not only l i m i t s herself to a world of categories and concepts, she also deprives H e a t h c l i f f of the one per-ception he has of good, selflessness i n a love r e l a t i o n with other people. It i s i r o n i c that H e a t h c l i f f s f i r s t perception of the good, (when he compares the young Lintons to himself and Cathy), should come at the moment which i s preparing the way for his ultimate betrayal. When Catherine returns from her stay at the Grange her new possessions pre-vent her from demonstrating her love for the inmates of the Heights, and her newly acquired sense of conventional decencies make her draw back from her old playmate. When Catherine draws more and more into the m a t e r i a l i s t i c world, f i r s t by accepting l i f e at the Grange, and then by prefer-r i n g to marry Edgar Linton, the reaction i s forseeable. I t seems inevitable that H e a t h c l i f f , i n his dealings with the world, should desert the "good" for the egocentric material-ism which he learned from the world. I t i s also natural that he should corrupt and pervert that materialism to take revenge on his enemies i n the ways he learned from them, the worldly methods of the card-table and the marriage con-ta c t . H e a t h c l i f f s leaning toward these s o c i a l weapons is underlined by Nelly i n a strange s i m i l e . At the moment that H e a t h c l i f f has just received a warning of the defection of Catherine, by her refusing him as something she d i s l i k e d 105 and receiving Edgar, Heathcliff, "by a natural impulse^' i n -advertently saves Hareton from death. H e a t h c l i f f sees im-mediately that he has benefitted his tormentor Hindley, who has degraded him and driven Catherine toward the Lintons. He i s driven and alone, yet cannot wreak vengeance. Nelly says: A miser who has parted with a lucky l o t t e r y t i c k e t for f i v e s h i l l i n g s , and finds the next day he has l o s t i n the bargain f i v e thousand pounds, could not show a blanker countenance than he did on beholding the figure of Mr. Earnshaw above. I t expressed, plainer than words could do, the intensest anguish at having made himself the instrument of thwarting his own revenge. Wuthering Heights, pp. 78-79. It i s only after hercomplete betrayal of Heath-c l i f f by marriage that Catherine notices that "avarice i s growing with him a besetting s i n , " and that he i s "quite capable of marrying ... [[Isabella's] fortune and expecta-tions" (p. 108). Yet Catherine, the guardian of the s p i r -i t u a l flame, has become converted to the ideals of the l i f e she has adopted, and denies the good which He a t h c l i f f had discovered through love. At the l a s t meeting before that which causes her i l l n e s s she t e l l s him, "you are too prone to covet your neighbour's goods; remember, this neighbour's goods are mine" (p. 112). H e a t h c l i f f i s h o r r i f i e d by this denial, but, true to the old b e l i e f , he r e t o r t s angrily, "If they were mine they would be none the less t h a t " (p.112) 106 After t h i s t o t a l betrayal of love Catherine chooses to die, and H e a t h c l i f f abandons himself to his per-verted and twisted materialism. During the next eighteen years Catherine and H e a t h c l i f f suffer for the betrayal of the Paradise which they once glimpsed. The three children, another Linton, another Catherine, and Hareton who c a l l s H e a t h c l i f f his " d e v i l Daddy," suffer under the persecutions of Heathcliff to struggle to that perception of v i s i o n which Catherine and H e a t h c l i f f once had. Although the bat-t l e i s e s s e n t i a l l y the same, the issues are less clear cut. Linton H e a t h c l i f f seems to embody both the extreme cruelty of Heathcliff and the selfishness which lurked under Linton's love. In Catherine, the wildness of the mother i s tempered by the sweetness of the Lintons. Hareton, an Earnshaw forced to follow the footsteps of H e a t h c l i f f , i s a strange combination of H e a t h c l i f f and Catherine. The pattern of the f i r s t love i s repeated when Catherine i s repelled from her f i r s t favourite, Hareton, by contempt for his appearance and manner (p.210). She i s forced, by material considerations, into a marriage with Linton, but fortunately Linton's death intervenes to correct t h i s wrong. Left only with the company of Hareton, Catherine gradually overcomes her repulsion, and gradually seeks out Hareton. Eventually, t h e i r friendship i s established. E l l e n comments: 107 The intimacy thus commenced, grew rapidly; though i t encountered temporary interruptions. Earnshaw was not to be c i v i l i z e d with a wish; and my young lady was no philosopher, and~no paragon of patience; but both t i e i r minds tending to the same point—one loving and desiring to be esteemed—they contrived i n the end, to reach i t . Wuthering Heights, p. 334-5. Both the young Catherine and Hareton i n h e r i t a knowledge of both the eternal and temporal worlds. With the dawning of a love which i s not possession, Hareton and Catherine can work toward the establishment of a world i n which both the temporary and eternal values are upheld. It i s after t h i s love i s established that Heath-c l i f f chooses to forgo the f i n a l pleasure of demolishing both houses i n order to die and regain his love. At his death he steadfastly refuses to acknowledge the conven-t i o n a l heaven with which he associated Edgar Linton. At the same time he admits that he i s most perplexed at what to do with the property he has amassed, and h e a r t i l y wishes to annihilate i t from the face of the earth. On reconsid-eration, however, he decides not to make a w i l l , although he must f u l l y r e a l i z e that i f he dies intestate his pro-perty w i l l go to Catherine, and, presumably, Hareton. I t i s after he thus puts a l l material considerations behind him that he dies, p u r i f i e d by the r a i n , and joins Catherine i n a rapturous s p i r i t u a l communion i n t h e i r old 108 heaven, the Heights. At his death, Catherine and Hareton, who have chosen to love without material consideration, gain the property which makes them secure within the temporal as well as within the s p i r i t u a l realm. At l a s t the true mar-riage can take place, the true union be achieved on the earth. The long t r i a l i s over, and New Year's day 1803 w i l l establish a new order upon the earth. In essence, Wuthering Heights deals with a cycle of F a l l and resurrection; the destruction of the eternal wholeness found i n a love union by temporal concerns, and the p a i n f u l reestablishment of eternal values i n a world of time. The key i n a l l t h i s cycle i s love, love that i s untainted by the egocentric considerations, the surface, material valuations which figure so l a r g e l y i n the temporal realm. Through love the e s s e n t i a l value of an object i s perceived, the a r t i f i c i a l d i v i s i o n s of "Good" and " E v i l " are found superfluous, and the love union which projects being into the Eternal i s achieved. D. H. Lawrence i s another novelist who i s greatly concerned about the establishment on earth of the eternal values seen through the v i s i o n . In his work Lawrence at-tempts to explain and to i l l u s t r a t e the nature of the 109 "dead" surface personality which may hold man i n the bar-rens of an existence without knowledge of Reality. He rec-ognizes the poten t i a l for Eden which s t i l l exists i n some men, and wishes to teach how th i s potential may be devel-oped properly. In Women i n Love, Lawrence!s main character, Rupert B i r k i n , has his creator's recognition of the unique essential l i f e which i s s t i l l buried deep i n the hearts of some of the members of our "dead" c i v i l i z a t i o n . I t i s t h i s recognition of the worth which may be within human beings that makes him act i n the way which Gudrun hates. As she says: 'What I can't stand about him i s his way with other people--his way of treating any l i t t l e f o o l as i f she were his greatest consideration. One feels ,so awfully sold, oneself.' 'Why does he do i t ? ' said Ursula. 'Because he has no r e a l c r i t i c a l f a c u l t y — o f people, at a l l events,' said Gudrun. 'I t e l l you, he treats any l i t t l e f o o l as he treats me or y o u — and i t ' s such an i n s u l t . ' 'Oh, i t i s , ' said Ursula. 'One must d i s -criminate....' 'Yes,' said Ursula vaguely. She was always forced to assent to Gudrun's pronouncements, even when she was not i n accord altogether.H At the same time, although B i r k i n recognizes the potenti a l worth of many persons i n society, he sees that . H-D. H. Lawrence, Women In Love (London, 19tc) , p. 23. Subsequent references to this e d i t i o n w i l l be quoted i n the body of the text. 110 i n many people the ess e n t i a l spark has been extinguished. This negation i s f i r s t mentioned when B i r k i n i s speaking to the s l i g h t l y deranged Mrs. Crich at the reception at Shortlands: 'People don't r e a l l y matter,' he said, rather un-w i l l i n g to continue. The mother looked up at him with sudden dark i n t e r -rogation, as i f doubting his s i n c e r i t y . 'How do you mean, matter?' she asked sharply. 'Not many people are anything at a l l , ' he answered, forced to go deeper than he wanted to. 'They j i n g l e and giggle. I t would be much better i f they were just wiped out. E s s e n t i a l l y , they don't ex i s t , they aren 1t there.' Women i n Love, p. 27. Bi r k i n adds that the people of England have "got to disap-pear from t h e i r own spec i a l brand of Englishness, anyhow" (p. 445), since i n the i r present state they have reduced England to emptiness. Later i n the conversation he con-tinues : 'Any hope of England's becoming real? God knows. It's a great actual unreality now, an aggregation into unreality. I t might be r e a l , i f there were no English-men. ' ... Gerald laughed and f i l l e d the glasses. 'I think Rupert means,' he said, 'that nationally a l l Englishmen must die, so that they can exist i n d i -v i d u a l l y and—' 'Super-nationally—' put i n Gudrun, with a s l i g h t i r o n i c grimace, r a i s i n g her glass. Women in Love, p. 445. This f a l l e n state of man i s p a r a l l e l to Urizen's f a l l e n world of the Mundane Sh e l l which i s portrayed i n Blake's Prophetic Books. As with Blake, Lawrence i n s i s t s I l l that the greatest enemy of thi s world i s the o b j e c t i v i z i n g , c o n t r o l l i n g reason. This "reason" i s personified by the "northern" man, Gerald Crich, who, when he i s involved i n a "love" r e l a t i o n s h i p , does not become one i n a union, or enable his partner to be at one with his consciousness. Instead, "His passion was awful to her, tense and ghastly, and impersonal l i k e a destruction, ultimate. She f e l t i t would k i l l her ... he was l i k e a doom upon her, a contin-ual "thou shalt , " "thou shalt not":.fc>. 500). Like Urizen, Gerald has corrupted love by. imposing upon i t "Stony Law and Mechanical Commandments." As a r e s u l t of thi s l i m i t a -t i o n of love the nature of love i s changed. Love i s not now a creative and dynamic force, but what Blake would term a "State." Even Gudrun understands t h i s , "She knew i t was a l l no good, and that she would never go beyond. He was the f i n a l approximation of l i f e to her" (p. 203). The nature of t h i s "Reasonable" yet l i f e - d e s t r o y -ing knowledge i s made p l a i n i n discussions between Hermione and B i r k i n , both at Breadalby and i n the classroom. At Breadalby the conversation turns to education and Hermione pronounces that, to her, "the pleasure of knowing i s so great, so wonderful - nothing has meant so much to me i n a l l l i f e , as certa i n knowledge - no,,1 am sure - nothing" (p. 95). But the knowledge which Hermione loves i s know-ledge of "facts" and laws, r a t i o n a l knowledge which gives 112 i n education "the joy and beauty of knowledge i n i t s e l f . " Hermione does not want "knowledge" of things i n order to be at one with them, but to manipulate or control them, to exult i n the joy of purely mental a c t i v i t y . B i r k i n recognizes this misconception of knowledge and denies that "to know," i n Hermione's sense, i s to be free. In the chapter c a l l e d "Class-Room," Hermione v i s i t s B i r k i n while he i s inspecting Ursula's class, and changing her posi t i o n , asks him i f the whole idea of educa-ti o n , of gaining knowledge, i s not wrong. Taking knowledge as a "pulling to pieces," an a n a l y t i c a l and destructive process, Hermione questions the goodness of rousing c h i l d -ren to consciousness through r a t i o n a l i t y . She asks i f i t would not be better to leave children animal-like and spon-taneous rather than crippled with consciousness and incapa-ble of actions true to t h e i r e s s e n t i a l being. B i r k i n i s annoyed with t h i s woman who so thoroughly represents the cold mental l i f e , who even wishes to i n t e l l e c t u a l i z e her "animal functions." 'But do you think i t i s knowledge that makes us unliving and s e l f conscious?' he asked i r r i t a b l y . She opened her eyes and looked at him slowly. 'Yes,' she said. She paused, watching him a l l the while, her eyes vague. I t i r r i t a t e d him b i t -t e r l y . 'It i s the mind,' she said, 'and that i s death.' She raised her eyes slowly to him: 'Isn't the mind -' she said with the convulsed movement of her body, 'Isn't i t our death? Doesn't i t des-troy a l l our spontaneity, a l l our i n s t i n c t s ? Are not the young people growing up today, r e a l l y dead 113 before they have a chance to l i v e ? * 'Not because they have too much mind, but too l i t t l e , ' he said b r u t a l l y . 'Are you sure?' she c r i e d . 'It seems to me the reverse. They are over-conscious, burdened to death with consciousness! .'-.'Imprisoned within a limited, f a l s e set of , concepts,' he c r i e d . Women i n Love, pp. 44-45. B i r k i n i s here reacting against the laws, the continual "thou shalt" and "thou shalt not," i n which i n -t e l l e c t s l i k e Gerald's have imprisoned knowledge and made i t mere reason. There "Stony Laws" l i m i t reason within each in d i v i d u a l man and deny the e c s t a t i c character of true knowledge."*"2 Affection, too, i n a l l i t s forms, i s twisted i n Lawrence's world, although i t i s most noticeably perverted i n the sexual realm. The best example of a f a l l e n love-r e l a t i o n s h i p i s that of Gerald and Gudrun. There are many aspects to t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p , but an incident which occurs a few pages from the end of the book seem to show most c l e a r l y the emptiness which exists even at the height of the i r love, Gerald has sought Gudrun i n order to f u l f i l l himself and give himself peace after the death of his father. Their a t t r a c t i o n has grown, and they have gone to the Tyrol as a "married" couple. I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t , of Refer above, pp. 41-2. 114 course, that they are not a c t u a l l y bound i n the symbolic union of marriage. When they ar r i v e i n the snow-covered va l l e y Gerald i s exhilarated; he believes that he and she are "separate l i k e opposite poles" but of the "one f i e r c e energyV (p. 448). Together, he thinks, "they f e l t powerful enough to leap over the confines of l i f e into the forbidden places and back again." But Gudrun g l o r i e s i n the snow, she feels that she can achieve oneness with this forzen and l i f e l e s s world, that "she would be a oneness with a l l , she would be herself the eternal, i n f i n i t e silence, the sleep-13 mg, timeless, frozen centre of the A l l " !(p. 461). On her entrance to t h e i r room she "settled down l i k e a crys-t a l i n the navel of snow and was gone." At the point at which the depth of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between Gerald and Gudrun should be recognized, Gudrun submits to the frozen rationale and loses her i d e n t i t y . Gerald bent above her and was looking out over her shoulder. Already he f e l t he was alone. She was gone. She was completely gone, and there was an i c y vapour round his heart. He was the b l i n d v a l l e y , the great cul-de-sac of snow and mountain peaks under the heaven. And there was no way out. The t e r r i b l e silence and cold and the glamourous whiteness of the dusk wrapped him round, and she remained crouching before the window, as at a shrine, a shadow ... there were tears i n her eyes ... tears of Compare with the "heresy" of pantheism which both Blake and M e l v i l l e attack. 115 her strange r e l i g i o n that put him to nought. Women i n Love, p. 451. The strange concomittant of the w i l l e d mental l i f e which keeps Gudrun and Gerald apart i s a deep w i l l f u l sensuality. The immediate r e s u l t of Gudrun's dedication to the force of ice and her resultant mental i s o l a t i o n i s an overwhelm-ing upsurge of "passionate love" i n Gerald. Lawrence des-cribes this with great force: The passion came up i n him, stroke after stroke, l i k e the ringing of a bronze b e l l , so strong and unflawed and indomitable. His knees tightened to bronze as he hung above her soft face, whose l i p s parted and whose eyes d i l a t e d i n a strange v i o l a t i o n . In the grasp of his hand her chin was unutterably sof t and si l k e n . He f e l t strong as winter, his hands were l i v -ing metal, i n v i n c i b l e and not to be turned aside .... She moved convulsively;> r e c o i l i n g away from him. His heart went up l i k e a flame of i c e , he closed over her l i k e s t e e l . He would destroy her rather than be denied. Women i n Love, p. 4 51-2. This i s a perfect example of the love which Blake describes as f a l l e n , the mockery of the Sexual Garments which clothe Hate, Envy, Bitterness and Jealousy i n the cloak of Sweet Love. The r e s u l t of such desire to possess instead of love, to v i o l a t e instead of share, i s , of course, foreseeable. Gudrun i s " l o s t , f a l l e n r i g h t away." 'I s h a l l always love you,' he said, looking at her. But she did not hear. She lay, looking at him as at something she could never understand, never: as a c h i l d looks at a grown-up person, without hope of un-derstanding, only submitting. 116 He kissed her, kissed her eyes shut, so that she could not look any more. He wanted something now, some recognition, some sign, some admission. But she only lay s i l e n t and c h i l d - l i k e and -remote, l i k e a c h i l d that i s overcome and cannot understand, only feels l o s t . He kissed her again, giving up.14 The r e s u l t of t h i s ^cold and i s o l a t i n g l u s t i s separation, not union. There i s no understanding of the other. "Re-generation" has been swallowed up i n "Generation," i n the Sexual Garments of " l u s t . " Even with B i r k i n , the protagonist who to some degree achieves the union i n love that i s so sought af t e r , the word "love" has i t s f a l l e n meaning. He sees c l e a r l y that i n his world love has been narrowed down to the ex-clusive sexual rel a t i o n s h i p which i s an i s o l a t i n g " f u l f i l l -ment, " l i m i t i n g and d i v i d i n g each couple. As B i r k i n thinks during his i l l n e s s : He wanted something clearer, more open, cooler, as i t were. The hot narrow intimacy between man and wife was abhorrent. The way they shut the i r doors, these married people, shut them-selves into t h e i r own exclusive a l l i a n c e with each other, even i n love, disgusted him. I t was a whole community of mi s t r u s t f u l couples insulated i n private houses or private rooms, always i n couples, and no further l i f e , no fur-ther immediate, no disinterested r e l a t i o n s h i p admitted: .... On the whole he hated sex, i t was such a l i m i t a t i o n . . . . He wanted sex to revert to the l e v e l of other appetites, to be regarded as a The i t a l i c s are mine. Note that lack of union i n af f e c t i o n also means lack of union i n knowledge. 117 functional process, not as a f u l f i l l m e n t . Women i n Love, p. 223. Here i s an echo of Vala's lament on her creating a l i m i t i n g love which "never yet Immingled God and Man," and of the song of the Divine Voice showing that love i s a product of love, e s s e n t i a l l y creative and dynamic, which dies i f limited i n any way. The whole falseness and perverseness of f a l l e n humanity's concept of love i s explained c l e a r l y by B i r k i n i n his argument with Ursula i n "An Island." Even Ursula recognizes that there i s "no flowering, no dignity of human l i f e now," and does not object when B i r k i n explains that "Humanity i t s e l f i s dry-rotten," with people looking healthy and vibrant, but being i n r e a l i t y apples of Sodom with th e i r insides f u l l of b i t t e r , corrupt ash. In thi s world, a f a i r outside i s maintained and true p r i n c i p l e s are mouthed, but the r e a l i t y , the core, i s rotten, dead-ened and perverted. B i r k i n i s i n f u r i a t e d and c r i e s : And they say that love i s the greatest thing. They p e r s i s t i n saying t h i s , the foul l i a r s , and just look at what they do! .... By the i r works ye s h a l l know them, for d i r t y l i a r s and cowards, who daren't stand by the i r own actions, much less by t h e i r own words. ... It's a l i e to say that love i s the great-est. You might as well say that hate i s the greatest, since the opposite of everything •. balances. What people want i s hate - hate and nothing but hate. And i n the name of r i g h t -eousness and love, they get i t .... It's the l i e that k i l l s . I f we want hate, l e t us have 118 i t - death, murder, torture, v i o l e n t destruc-t i o n - l e t us have i t : but not i n the name of love. Women i n Love, p. 141. Love i n the f a l l e n world i s a strange, perverse concept, a l i m i t a t i o n and a termination. As B i r k i n l a t e r states, when moved by the fury of his opposition, " CThe word love^, ought to be proscribed, tabooed from utterance, for many years, t i l l we get a new, better idea" (p. 145). The idea of perception i s not so e x p l i c i t l y de-fined by Lawrence as the ideas of knowledge or love. I t i s , however, i m p l i c i t i n many of his ideas, and may be recognized e s p e c i a l l y i n his use of the words "organic" and "sensual" with regard to perception. In the chapter "In the Classroom," Ursula l i s t e n s to Birkin's explanation of the way i n which mental know-ledge, "knowledge only i n the head," i s a death to mankind, and asks him i f he r e a l l y wants sensuality. In reply, B i r k i n states that "at thi s point," sensuality and nothing else i s what i s needed to oppose the freezing mind know-ledge. But "sensual" i n Lawrence i s l i k e "love," and has both f a l l e n and unfalien connotations. The former use of the word i s seen when B i r k i n describes the West P a c i f i c carving of the woman i n labour. He terms t h i s the r e s u l t of "pure culture i n sensation, culture i n the physical con-sciousness, r e a l l y ultimate physical consciousness, mind-119 le s s , u t t e r l y sensual," (p. 87). In t h i s example, "sen-sual" refers to physical sensation which i s accepted at face value, and i s neither consciously accepted nor i n t u i -t i v e l y understood. In talking of a s i m i l a r West African figure, B i r k i n makes clear his r e j e c t i o n of the purely sensual "knowledge" equated with "sun-destruction, the putrescent mystery of sun-rays" (p. 286). B i r k i n knows that he does not want further purely physical experience, yet he advocates the p o s i t i v e power of "mindless sensual knowledge," when i t i s not just sense data mutely received and voluptuously indulged i n . He i n s i s t s on the "know-ledge of the blood," which i s an i n t u i t i v e perception, a combination of sensual action and imaginative understand-ing i n the darkness of voluntary mindlessness. In the f i r s t c e n t r a l l y philosophic chapter, "In the Train," Lawrence sets forth his concept of a completely f a l l e n and dead humanity which i s t o t a l l y without the "crea-t i v e utterances" which are necessary to l i f e . He sees that there i s a r e a l need for a saviour to r i s e "who w i l l give new values to things, give us new truths, a new attitude to l i f e , or else we s h a l l be a crumbling nothingness i n a few years, a country i n ruins" (p. 59). Birkin,' obviously cast to play the r o l e of the saviour, can see no hope for mankind except through a smashing of a l l the old id o l s and 120 conventions i n the i n d i v i d u a l man, and a journeying to com-ple t i o n i n each man's struggle for attainment of a perfect union with a woman. The exploration of thi s possible union i n the Ursula-Birkin r e l a t i o n s h i p , and the comparison of the progress of t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p with that f a l l e n bond which t i e s Gerald and Gudrun i s the main focus of the novel. The f i r s t necessity which Lawrence demands for the growth of a true r e l a t i o n i s perfect freedom from ex-ternal standards. The importance of this i s shown as Gerald and B i r k i n discuss the incident which disrupted the a r r i v a l of the wedding party. 'You don't believe i n having any standard of behaviour at a l l , do you?' ... [GeraldJ challenged B i r k i n censoriously. 'Standard - no. I hate standards. But they're necessary for the common ruck. Any body who i s anything can just be himself and do as he l i k e s .... It's the hardest thing i n the world to act spontan-eously on one's impulses - and i t ' s the only r e a l l y gentlemanly thing to do - provided you're f i t to do i t ... I should l i k e fjpeoplej ... to l i k e the purely i n d i v i d u a l thing i n themselves, which makes them act i n singleness. And they only l i k e to do the c o l l e c t i v e thing. Women i n Love, pp. 35-36. To free himself from the death which threatens society, man must act i n accordance with his true i n s t i n c t s , his essen t i a l nature, i f he i s one of the fortunate few s t i l l to have such depth. The second point that Lawrence continually 121 i n s i s t s upon i s the avoidance of both "personal" and pass-ionate love, mainly because both are concerned more with the surface of man than with his essence. B i r k i n i s thus acting properly when he says to Ursula, "Don't you see that i t ' s not a question of v i s u a l appreciation i n the least .... I don 1t want£to see you .... I want a woman I don't see" (p. 164). Lawrence has attempted to explain the r e l a t i o n s h i p which B i r k i n desires to have with a woman. He i s not interested i n the surface physical mani-festations of personality, s t i l l less with personality i t -s e l f . He i s concentrating upon a deeper l e v e l of being. 'There i s ..." L B i r k i n J said, ' a s f i n a l me which i s stark and impersonal and beyond respon-s i b i l i t y . So there i s a f i n a l you. And i t i s there I would want to meet you - not i n the emo-t i o n a l , loving plane but there beyond, where there i s no speech and no terms of agreement. There we are two stark, unknown beings, two ut-t e r l y strange creatures, I would want to ap-proach you, and you me .... There, one can only follow the impulse/;; taking that which l i e s i n front, and responsible for nothing, ask for ... nothing, only each taking according to the primal desire.' Women i n Love, pp. 162-3. On the other hand, passionate love, although i t may be concerned with essences, i s associated with the per-verted, jealous and f i n i t e love which i s found i n the f a l l e n world. Passionate love demands the "possession" of the loved one. As Ursula thinks to herself after being t o l d of Birkin's concept of love: i 122 She wanted unspeakable intimacies. She wanted to have him, u t t e r l y , f i n a l l y to have him as her own .... She believed that love was every-thing . Man must render himself up to her. He must be quaffed to the dregs by her. Let him be her man u t t e r l y , and she i n return would be his humble slave - whether she -..wanted i t or not. Women i n Love, p. 299. It i s thi s "passionate" r e l a t i o n s h i p , at f i r s t the only r e l a t i o n s h i p which Ursula c a l l s love, which B i r k i n fights against so strongly. In the chapter e n t i t l e d "Moony," B i r k i n smashes the moon which stands for the sepa-rated female p r i n c i p l e , and, after an argument, Ursula comes to him without her w i l l i n gentleness and peace (p. 284) . But after an interlude of peace and s t i l l n e s s "this warm breath on his ears disturbed him again, kindled again the old destructive f i r e " (p. 284). B i r k i n can f e e l his blood changing l i k e q u i c k s i l v e r , but he repudiates t h i s rousing passion. "He wanted only gentle communion, no other, no passion now" (p. 285). The nature of thi s "gentle communion" i s the cen-t r a l topic of conversation i n Women i n Love. But the nature of t h i s communion cannot be c l e a r l y understood from the philosophizing alone, but must be f e l t i n Birkin's exper-iences. One paragraph i n this chapter i s central to an un-derstanding of the thought: ... he held her close, and kissed her s o f t l y , gently. I t was such peace and heavenly free-dom, just to hold her and kiss her gently. 123 and not to have any thoughts or any desires or any w i l l , just to be s t i l l with her, to be p e r f e c t l y s t i l l and together, i n a peace that was not sleep, but content i n b l i s s . To be content i n b l i s s , without desire or insistence anywhere, th i s was heaven: to be together i n happy s t i l l n e s s . Women i n Love, p. 284. This p o s i t i v e description of the calm and peace-f u l happiness of communion does more to make the reader understand what he wants than, many pages of his d i a t r i b e s to Ursula t e l l i n g her what he does or does not want. There i s no "possession" i n th i s r e l a t i o n s h i p at this point. B i r k i n i s r i g h t when he says to Ursula that he doesn't want to serve her because there i s nothing there to serve, "What you want me to serve i s nothing, mere nothing. It i s n ' t even you, i t i s your female ego - i t ' s a rag d o l l " (p. 282) . The w i l l , too, i s a surface manifestation pro-duced by the coldly r a t i o n a l consciousness, and i t , with i t s assertiveness and frightened, apprehensive, s e l f - i n s i s -tence, must not appear i n th i s r e l a t i o n s h i p . As B i r k i n t r i e s to explain to Ursula i n "Mino": ... But i t i s n ' t s e l f i s h at a l l . Because I don't know what I want of you. I deliver my- se l f over to the unknown, i n coming to you, I am without reserves or defences, stripped e n t i r e l y , into the unknown. Only there needs the pledge between us, that we w i l l cast o f f everything, cast o f f ourselves even, and cease to be, so that that which i s p e r f e c t l y our-selves can take place i n us. Women i n Love, p. 163 124 Stripped of the s e l f that clothes his being, B i r k i n w i l l be able to commune with the essence of Ursula. At the root of his being B i r k i n does not meet and mingle with Ursula; he communes with her. As he says l a t e r i n the same conversation, "What I want i s a strange conjunc-ti o n with you ... not meeting and mingling; - you are quite r i g h t : - but an equilibrium, a pure balance of two single beings: - as the stars balance each other" (p. 164). Lawrence i n s i s t s on "free proud singleness" of both members of t h i s union. I t must be between two people who "never f o r f e i t t h e i r proud i n d i v i d u a l singleness, even when they love and y i e l d " (p. 287). This r e c i p r o c a l communion i n love while remaining i n the s e l f agrees with T i l l i c h ' s def-i n i t i o n of love, which has been applied to the other v i s i o n -ary works. I t agrees with the idea of the ec s t a t i c trans-cendence of ourselves into the other s e l f while remaining 15 within our own selves. In this transcendence the other s e l f i s experienced, known and loved, yet the id e n t i t y of the s e l f i s never l o s t . This communion i n love i s the central facet of Lawrence's plan for the regeneration of the f a l l e n world. "I do think," he has B i r k i n say (p. 169), "that the world i s only held together by the mystic conjunction, the u l t i -Refer to T i l l i c h , p. 306. 125 mate unison between people - a bond. And the immediate bond i s between man and woman." Thus Lawrence i s f i g h t i n g for the completion and love between two people as a basis for the e s s e n t i a l union of a l l mankind. This love i s a "freedom together" which lib e r a t e s the i n d i v i d u a l on a path toward the future> a path toward the regaining of Eden. Lawrence explains his idea of love that leads toward r e b i r t h i n Eden i n "Water-Party" when B i r k i n and Ursula discuss the deaths of Diana and the young doctor. Exhausted by the s t r a i n B i r k i n "Hamletizes," as he himself wryly explains i t , t r y i n g to put i n words his f e e l i n g of the r e b i r t h which would attend the communion of love: There i s l i f e which belongs to death, and there is l i f e which i s n ' t death. One i s t r i e d of the l i f e that belongs to death - pur kind of l i f e . But whether i t i s finished, God knows. I want love that i s l i k e sleep, l i k e being born again, vulnerable as a baby that just comes into the world. Women i n Love, p. 208. It i s s i g n i f i c a n t that once the true communion in love i s established, i n "Excuse," Ursula and B i r k i n set off across the seas to a new land. Ursula's reaction mades i t quite clear where these two are moving: In Ursula the sense of the unrealized world ahead triumphed over everything. In the midst of t h i s profound darkness, there seemed to glow on her heart the effulgence of a para-dise unknown and unrealized. Her heart was f u l l of the.most wonderful l i g h t , golden l i k e honey of darkness, sweet l i k e the warmth of 126 day, l i g h t which was not shed on the world, only on the unknown paradise towards which she was going, a sweetness of habitation, a delight of l i v i n g quite unknown, but hers i n f a l l i b l y . Women i n Love, p. 437. I t i s at thi s point that Lawrence-Birkin should be enabled to f i n d a conjunction or union with mankind. Lawrence has been following the thread of this p o s s i b i l i t y intermittently throughout the novel, following that deep-ening rel a t i o n s h i p between B i r k i n and that man of the north, Gerald Crich. In the second chapter, "Shortlands," Lawrence notes that the hearts of Rupert and Gerald "burn for each other inwardly" although th e i r d i s b e l i e f i n any deep r e l a -tionship between man and man "prevented any development of thei r powerful but suppressed f r i e n d l i n e s s . " In "Man to Man" B i r k i n attempts to overcome t h i s d i v i s i o n by of f e r i n g Gerald an oath of blood-brotherhood, but Gerald holds him-s e l f i n reserve. The climax of the re l a t i o n s h i p occurs i n the chapter e n t i t l e d " G l a d i a t o r i a l . " Here B i r k i n and Gerald enjoy a wrestling match which i s depicted as "the physical junction of two bodies clenched into oneness" (p. 305). Afterwards, the two men are stricken almost to unconsciousness and experience a strange union, which i s , however, decidedly one-sided and which i s broken almost as soon as i t i s established (p. 307). 127 The companionship of the two men i s continued throughout the book, but the idea of love and connection i s dropped u n t i l B i r k i n and Ursula leave the f a l l e n world of the Tyrol and of Gerald and Gudrun, i n order to i s o l a t e themselves from f a l l e n mankind i n thei r "cottage i n the Abruzzi." At the moment of parting there i s a quick ex-change which seals the death of love between the two men. " 'I've loved you, as well as Gudrun, don't forget,' said B i r k i n b i t t e r l y . Gerald looked at him strangely, abstrac-tedly. 'Have you?' he said with i c y scepticism. 'Or do you think you have?' He was hardly responsible for what he said." Seconds l a t e r they part, never to come together again u n t i l after Gerald's death. The death of the.love between the two men actu-a l l y signals the death of Birkin's attainment of the v i s i o n . Although B i r k i n can gain connection with a woman, conjunc-ti o n with mankind i s impossible. He i s doomed to remain forever p a r t i a l l y within the f a l l e n world, always attempting to escape i t by i s o l a t i n g himself or by modifying his ideas. He must believe i n the further v i s i o n , as he says at the end of Women i n Love, but because of his nature and the na-ture of the world, he i s forever prevented from attaining i t s completion. Women i n Love not only r e f l e c t s many concepts discussed i n chapters one and two, but the form of the 128 story i t s e l f follows the basic pattern of the Mystic Way. At the opening of the t a l e B i r k i n i s presented as the acknowledged lover of Hermoine Roddice who i s l a t e r shown to be the,main exponent of the cold rationale of the " f a l l e n world. But B i r k i n , through much agony of s p i r i t and soul searching, perceives the true nature of t h i s f a l l e n world, and attains insight into the nature of the world he wishes to a t t a i n . B i r k i n 1 s preparation for his quest i s completed i n his nature-purification and baptism when he escapes from Breadably and Hermoine 1s attack (pp. 114-121). In the chapters "An Island," "Mino," "Water Party," and "Sunday Evening," B i r k i n and Ursula, the lover and his new beloved, come together i n b r i e f . f l a s h e s when they are able to meet i n a gentle communion. In these experiences Birkin's certainty of the truth of his v i s i o n seems to be deepened. The recurring communion and separation i s per-haps an analogy of the "game of love" which i s often said alternately to torture and inflame mystics at t h i s stage 16 of the quest. The necessary purgation of the s e l f i s ac-complished with a p e c u l i a r l y Laurentian twist when B i r k i n smashes the "separated female p r i n c i p l e , " the e g o t i s t i c a l and w i l l f u l s e l f of Ursula, by smashing the image of the moon r e f l e c t e d on the pond. With prophetic obstinacy the Refer to Evelyn Underhill, pp. 227, 286, 383. 129 image of the moon reforms again and again. S i m i l a r l y i t i s only at inte r v a l s that Ursula and B i r k i n are able to f i n d the knowledge in communion to b u i l d a r e l a t i o n s h i p which gives them both "peace at l a s t . " In the f i n a l com-munion, "the old, detestable world of tension passed away at l a s t Cleaving] his soul strong and at ease" (p. 349). After t h i s communion Ursula and B i r k i n are married. The old cycle of perception, purgation, and union has been completed; B i r k i n i s set free within himself to voyage toward a larger union with man i n which, as we have seen, he f a i l s . CONCLUSION The thematic and st r u c t u r a l s i m i l a r i t i e s of the visionary novels become apparent i f the outlines given above are compared. The most outstanding s i m i l a r i t y i s that a l l the novels focus on the idea of the Unity behind a l l created things, the Being above, through and i n a l l beings. In Moby-Dick th i s Unity i s described i n terms of I n f i n i t y ; i n Wuthering Heights i t i s the Eternity which i s Love; i n Women i n Love i t i s the Reality which l i e s under the surface manifestations of a l l things. In each of these novels, also, the protagonist gains a knowledge of this Unity through love. In Moby- Dick; Ishmael ascends the Platonic staircase, f i r s t accepting and loving one man, Queequeg, then, by means of thi s love, mov-ing toward a recognition of a l l men i n "this joint-stock world." Later, when squeezing case, Ishmael sees that the love of fellow beings can be the height of f e l i c i t y a t t a i n -able for man on earth. When he thinks of heaven, i t i s i n terms of the Unity he finds i n squeezing case, and he sees "long rows of angels i n paradise, each with his hands i n a jar of spermaceti" (p. 323) . In Wuthering Heights i t i s through the love of Catherine that H e a t h c l i f f perceives the Eternal which i s Love, and, i n Women i n Love, i t i s through his union with Ursula that B i r k i n i s able to f i n d s t a b i l i t y , 131 f i n d the Reality he knows i s present, and continue his search for further Union. In each of the works, moreover, there i s stress l a i d , not only on the e c s t a t i c character of love i n which union i s attained, but also on the loss of the defined, limited s e l f i n love, and on the self-purgation which i s necessary to destroy the d e f i n i t e bounds of the ego. In Moby-Dick th i s purgation occurs i n an almost imperceptible movement; i t i s subtly interwoven i n Ishmael's experiences while he i s at the Inn coming to terms with Queequeg. In "The Counterpane, " Ishmael wakes to f i n d Queequeg's armtthrown over him i n "the most loving and af-fectionate manner" (p. 40). But Ishmael resents t h i s "bride-groom manner," and asserts himself, waking up Queequeg and dislodging the offending arm. At breakfast Ishmael ob-serves his fellows as a l i e n s ; he wanders the streets alone; he enters a chapel where "each s i l e n t worshipper seemed pur-posely s i t t i n g apart from the other" (p. 47). But from his po s i t i o n beyond wordly concerns Father Mapple warns Ishmael that " i f we obey God, we must disobey ourselves, and i t i s i n this disobeying ourselves, wherein the hardness of obeying God consists" (p. 52). In the next chapter, " A Bosom Friend," Ishmael moves toward Queequeg, feels a "strange melting" within him, and loses his "Ishmaelite" q u a l i t i e s , his "splintered heart and maddened hand." After t h i s , after 132 he has disobeyed himself, he i s "married" to Queequeg (p. 89). The purgation i n Wuthering Heights i s , i n the case of Catherine and H e a t h c l i f f , more active than a simple melting of the heart. Catherine and H e a t h c l i f f transgress against the love which they have. Just before her death Catherine sobs "If I've done wrong, I'm dying for i t " (p. 171), and, as has been seen, H e a t h c l i f f can only j o i n Catherine i n love through his own death. On the other hand, with the younger Catherine and Hareton the preparation i s more gentle. There i s simply a period of loving teaching and s e l f - c o n t r o l which precedes the marriage. In Women i n Love there i s a double purgation. In the f i r s t , B i r k i n p u r i f i e s himself p h y s i c a l l y i n the dewy vegetation after the attack at Breadalby. In the sec-ond, B i r k i n smashes the image of the moon, the separate female w i l l , before Ursula can come to him i n peace and gen-tleness . In chapter one, I mentioned that there were, broadly speaking, two views on the p o s s i b i l i t y of complete union i n l i f e . One view, held by many Eastern mystic p h i l -osophies, was that death was the prerequisite for Union. The other, more favoured i n the West, was that the way of Union was a way of l i f e that could be f i t t e d into temporal existence. The three novels we have been discussing do 133 not a l l agree as to the degree the v i s i o n of Unity may be attained i n l i f e . M e l v i l l e implies that man may f i n d union in.the brotherhood of men on earth, but that man must not be i n t h i s world he i s part of (p. 345), l e s t the f i n i t e powers of the world corrupt him and drag him along " l i k e a s k i f f i n a tow of seventy-two." To Ishmael the angels of paradise are very l i k e men on earth; they, too, squeeze spermaceti. But Ishmael must brave the vortex of death and nothingness before he can progress to the true Paradise on board the Rachel. S i m i l a r l y , D. H. Lawrence seems to think that although i n d i v i d u a l union i n love i s possible, and, when achieved, i s the basis of l i f e , the c o l l e c t i v e union of mankind, which would be i n i t i a t e d by Birkin's union with Gerald, would r a r e l y be possible. He thinks that man should be aware of i t , sliould s t r i v e toward i t , but he gives l i t t l e hope for i t s attainment. Emily Bronte's double resolution of the problem in Wuthering Heights i s i n contrast to the other two. Miss Bronte makes i t clear that Catherine and H e a t h c l i f f must die to gain their love, and the reader i s l e f t wondering whether the death i s necessary for atonement only, or as necessary prelude to any union. Since the earth i s Catherine's heaven, and both H e a t h c l i f f and Catherine re-turn to the earth, I would think that death i s atonement in t h i s case, and not a necessary preliminary. The 134 resolution of love i n the story of Catherine and Hareton seems to reinforce this idea, since they achieve a perfect union of the eternal and the temporal, s i g n i f i e d by t h e i r marriage i n the world. As the good i s only known i n contrast with e v i l , i n the visionary novel the f a l l e n world which acts against Unity i s usually shown. As i n a l l three novels the way of Vi s i o n i s presented i n the.; actions of one person, or rather, of two people who become one, the forces which work against v i s i o n are also embodied i n one of the protagonists. In Moby-Dick the figure of f a l l e n humanity i s Captain Ahab. Although he i s drawn with the almost overpowering and at-t r a c t i v e force of Milton's Satan, Ahab shows his e v i l i n his l i m i t a t i o n of I n f i n i t y i n the categories of Good and E v i l . In Lawrence, the reader i s repelled by Hermione and, to some extent, Gerald, yet recognizes i n them the surface i n t e l l e c t u a l i t y which Lawrence states threatens the Reality of modern society. In contrast, Edgar Linton i n Wuthering  Heights i s an a t t r a c t i v e man who embodies many of the v i r -tues respected i n a C h r i s t i a n society; kindness, mercy, a sense of duty and humanity. But, although Edgar i s acknow-ledged as good i n himself, his acceptance of the l i m i t a -tions of the world of time and material possession shows him to be antipathetic to the visionary way. In general, these characters d i f f e r from those 135 who accept the visionary way by l i m i t i n g themselves to the s e l f . With such l i m i t a t i o n t h e i r perception becomes weak, the i r w i l l s perverted, t h e i r minds r i g i d , and t h e i r love possessive or negative. The r e s u l t of t h i s i n s i s -tence on s e l f i s that Being i s no longer seen as I n f i n i t e or Unified; i t becomes lim i t e d to good and e v i l , mind and body, the material and the s p i r i t u a l . With d i v i s i o n and l i m i t a t i o n the creative power of Being i s denied, love i s negated, and the Way to v i s i o n i s impossible. In the visionary novel, then, the focus i s on the eternal unity behind a l l things-, a unity which contrasts with the m u l t i p l i c i t y of the f a l l e n world. More pa r t i c u -l a r l y , the novels present a movement from perception of unity inspired by love, through purgation of the s e l f , to achievement of union i n love. In contrast to other works of v i s i o n , the visionary novel presents, t h i s Way i n purely human, purely material terms, although symbolic language, heightened rhythm, and dramatic presentation are used to focus the readers attention on the i n f i n i t e which shines through the f i n i t e world of the novel. In the visionary novel, both i n theme and technique, the i n f i n i t e and the f i n i t e become one. A PARTIAL LIST OF WORKS CONSULTED Primary Works Augustine, Saint, Bishop of Hippo. 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The Rhythm of English Prose. Oxford, 1939. Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. "The Statesman's Manual," The Complete Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, edited by Shedd* 7 vols. New York, 18 56. 137 Hooker, Richard. "The Laws of E c c l e s i a s t i c a l P o l i t y , " The Writings of Richard Hooker, edited by Rev. John Keble. 3 vols. Oxford, 1888. Jung, Carl G. Psyche and Symbol: a Selection from the  Writings of C. G. Jung, edited by V i o l e t de Laszlo. New York, 1958. Lao-Tsze. "Tao-Teh," Lao-tsze; The Great-Thinker, translated by G. G. Alexander. London, 1895. Lawrence, David Herbert. The Collected Letters of D. H. Lawrence, edited by Harry T. Moore. 2 vols. London, 1962. . The Complete Poems of D. H. Lawrence, edited by Vivian de Sola Pinto and Warren Roberts. 2 vols. New York, 1964. . Women i n Love. London, 19&0. Maritain, Jacques. Creative I n t u i t i o n i n Art and Poetry. Washington, 1953. M e l v i l l e , Herman. 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