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Theme and structure in Bernard Shaw's political plays of the 1930's Williams, Jeffery Alvin 1968

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THEME AND STRUCTURE IN BERNARD SHAW'S POLITICAL PLAYS OF THE 1930'S J e f f e r y A l v i n Williams B.A., The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMEITS FOR THE DEGREE OF Master of Arts i n the Department of E n g l i s h We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the required standard. THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , I968 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 requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree 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 agree that p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department o r by h i s represen-t a t i v e s . I t i s understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed 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 . Department nf ( ^ y j i > S The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date Ayr'A 3o y i i ABSTRACT The p o l i t i c a l extravaganzas dominate Shavian drama of the 1930' s, Shaw's l a s t r e a l l y productive decade. They form a f a i r l y large and coher-ent group, but t h e i r t o p i c a l i t y and t h e i r a b s t r a c t , seemingly non-dramatic techniques have prevented most c r i t i c s from examining the plays on t h e i r own merits. This thesis attempts to show how Shaw, i n h i s p o l i t i c a l p l a y s , not only chronicles his very close involvement with the urgent s o c i a l prob-lems of the interwar years, but a l s o how he develops s p e c i a l a r t i s t i c devices to embody h i s themes. Shaw's p o l i t i c a l plays o f f e r a continual flow of analysis and c r i t i c i s m of an age which he thought was heading f o r d i s a s t e r and war. In Too True to be Good (l93l); he analyzes modern man's sense of directionlessness and In-dicates that he must re-evaluate his aims and goals, his morality and econ-omics, and discard worn out values which no longer describe e i t h e r human nature or contemporary problems. This play introduces a theme which pre-v a i l s i n a l l Shaw's p o l i t i c a l extravaganzas of the period: that men must overcome t h e i r l i m i t e d frames of reference and must c u l t i v a t e an open-mind-edness i n t h e i r search f o r meaning and d i r e c t i o n i n a complex world. In On the Rocks (1933), he investigates governmental problems In England and im-p l i e s that i n a world of s e l f i s h i n s u l a r i t y , democratic government founders, needing more than ever a strong leader to impose a d i r e c t i o n on the country. Recognizing the s i n i s t e r implications of even an i n t e r i m d i c t a t o r s h i p , Shaw i s almost driven to despair. In The Simpleton of the Unexpected I s l e s (193^), Shaw retreats from the ugly and almost insolu b l e problems of the immediate world, t o define and examine i n abstract and symbolic terms the problems d i s -I i i cussed i n the e a r l i e r plays. Shaw reaffirms his f a i t h i n the L i f e Force, again stresses that l i f e - w i l l continue to evolve, and asserts that i f man •wants to he the vanguard of evolution he must he able to adapt t o the un-expected . Having expressed h i s ultimate thoughts and allegiances i n The Simple-ton, Shaw seemed to abandon h i s concern "with p o l i t i c a l problems i n h i s plays, u n t i l the urgency of world developments i n the l a t e t h i r t i e s brought the preacher i n Shaw t o the p u l p i t of the stage again i n Geneva (1938)- But i n t h i s play Shaw's i n a b i l i t y to maintain an aesthetic distance from world events i n t e r f e r e d w i t h h i s a r t i s t r y so that he produced a play l a c k i n g the u n i t y of theme and structure found i n the e a r l i e r plays of the period. But while the p o l i t i c a l plays of the t h i r t i e s chronicle Shaw's very close involvement w i t h complex s o c i a l problems, they also r e v e a l Shaw's attempt to develop s p e c i a l dramatic techniques to render an a r t i s t i c ex-pression of h i s thoughts. The seemingly chaotic s t r u c t u r e s , weak charac-t e r s , and garrulous speeches r e a l l y are i n many ways w e l l suited to the t o p i c a l themes. Shaw u t i l i z e s a symposium type of disc u s s i o n , which i s ap-propriate f o r the searching f o r d i r e c t i o n , the open i n v e s t i g a t i o n of a l l aspects of a complex problem. But perhaps the most c h a r a c t e r i s t i c and l e a s t understood technique i n these plays i s Shaw's use of structure as a major thematic device. Once understood, the seemingly random structures are not evidence of " i m i t a t i v e f a l l a c y " , of using negative techniques to express negative themes, hut of an a r t i s t i c handling of technique to en-hance thematic comment on the chaos. In the best of Shaw's p o l i t i c a l plays there i s a w e l l integrated mating of theme and structure which be-l i e s any idea that these plays are the products of a man i n his dotage. i v TABLE OF CONTENTS Page INTRODUCTION • • • 1 TOO TRUE TO BE GOOD » • • 10 ON THE ROCKB 37 THE SIMPLETON OF ME IMEXPECTED ISLES 59 GENEVA 78 CONCLUSION 99 SELECTED LIST OF ¥ORKS CONSULTED 101 I PRODUCTION The var has been a f i e r y f o r c i n g house i n which we have grown with a rush l i k e flowers i n a l a t e spring f o l l o w i n g a t e r r i b l e winter. And w i t h what r e s u l t ? This: that we have outgrown our r e l i g i o n , outgrown our p o l i t i c a l system, outgrown our strength of mind and character. Too True to be Good The major problem facing modern c r i t i c s of Bernard Shaw i s the evalu-a t i o n of h i s career as a whole, but there i s so much i n Shaw that deserves the strongest praise that c r i t i c s have tended, u n t i l very r e c e n t l y , to focus almost e x c l u s i v e l y on e a r l i e r "standard" plays. I f one were to judge from much of the c r i t i c i s m , Shaw's career as a dramatist e f f e c t i v e l y ended with Saint Joan (1923). But since approximately one quarter of h i s t o t a l dra-matic output dates from 1929, any adequate evaluation of Shaw's dramatic career must give more than a cursory glance at the l a t e plays. The p o l i t -i c a l extravaganzas dominate Shavian drama of the 1930's, Shaw's l a s t r e a l l y productive decade. They form a f a i r l y large and coherent group, but t h e i r t o p i c a l i t y and t h e i r a b s t r a c t , seemingly non-dramatic techniques have pre-vented c r i t i c s , with, a few notable exceptions, from examining the plays on t h e i r own merits. This thesis attempts to show how Shaw, i n h i s p o l i t i c a l p l a y s , not only chronicles his very close involvement with the urgent s o c i a l problems of the Interwar years, but also develops s p e c i a l a r t i s t i c devices to express h i s themes. One of the most c h a r a c t e r i s t i c and l e a s t appreciated techniques i n these plays i s what Martin Meisel c a l l s " s t r u c t u r a l analogue,""1 1Shaw and the Ninete enth-Century Theater (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton U n i v e r s i t y Press, 19^3), P- ^28. 2 a use of structure as an important thematic device. Shaw e x p l o i t s a l l e g o r y , fantasy, and symbolism i n h i s p l o t s and characters, hut he a l s o uses s t r u c -ture t o carry his themes home to the minds of h i s audience. An understanding of the f u n c t i o n of the loose structures i s e s s e n t i a l to appreciating Shaw's s p e c i a l a r t i s t r y i n h i s p o l i t i c a l extravaganzas of the 1930's. " Most c r i t i c s recognize that World War I marked a turning point i n Shaw's career. Heartbreak House and the plays that f o l l o w i t are d i f f e r e n t i n tone and dramatic method from the plays before 1919- The war seems to have had a d e c i s i v e e f f e c t on Shaw and h i s plays. I t provided traumatic evidence of mankind's patent aversion to a c t i n g r a t i o n a l l y . Never very confident about the common mass of humanity, Shaw became i n c r e a s i n g l y con-cerned and perturbed with the c r u c i a l problems of governing i n a technolog-i c a l l y advanced but s p i r i t u a l l y stagnant world. As aids to providing d i r -e ction i n the modern chaotic world, the old s o c i a l , economic, r e l i g i o u s and moral values were hopelessly outmoded because they more than ever negated or ignored the f a c t s of l i f e . Yet countries i n the west t r i e d to muddle on using the old touchstones, with the r e s u l t that the world seemed to be headed i n e v i t a b l y f o r d i s a s t e r . Heartbreak House, Back to Methuselah, and Saint Joan deal with some of the complex problems f a c i n g man at the time: the problem of existence i n a morally and s p i r i t u a l l y chaotic world, the problem of obtaining t r u l y responsible government i n such a world, and the problem of e f f e c t i n g urgently needed r e a l human progress. Having w r i t t e n three major plays on these problems, Shaw spent most of his time preparing the enormous compilation of h i s thoughts on p o l i t i c s i n The I n t e l l i g e n t Woman's Guide to Socialism and Capitalism (1928). With the t h i r t i e s came a series of world events which ominously 3 seemed to prognosticate d i s a s t e r and another world war. I t was during t h i s period that Shaw wrote the plays that many of h i s zealous admirers would l i k e to ignore, that unsympathetic c r i t i c s point to as the f a n t a s t i c rarnb-l i n g s of a se n i l e man, and that even otherwise appreciative c r i t i c s dismiss as Important only to Shavian scholars. Yet Too True t o be Good (1931), On the Rocks (1933), The Simpleton of the Unexpected I s l e s (193U), and Geneva (1938) a l l reveal Shaw's v i t a l concern with major contemporary p o l i t i c a l and p h i l o s o p h i c a l i s s u e s , and a l l u t i l i z e new departures i n dramatic tech-nique, which once understood show that Shaw could produce under the pres-sures of the times some very w e l l conceived and provocative drama. Because most c r i t i c s f e e l obliged to say something about the l a t e p l a y s , the surface c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of these plays are f a i r l y w e l l known. In f a c t many have said that these plays are nothing but surface. Their t o p i c a l i t y , t h e i r "formless" s t r u c t u r e s , t h e i r weak characters and t h e i r extravagant fantasy are often considered evidence of Shaw's dramatic de-c l i n e . In the words of A. C. Ward: "The grand old tree was p a r t i n g with i t s leaves; the organism was l o s i n g i t s Impulse to coordinate and un i f y . . . . By.the time Shaw wrote Too True to be Good he had ceased to concern himself ..0 with the f o r m a l i t i e s of p l a y w r i t i n g . . . . ^  Many c r i t i c s have condemned Shaw f o r not inte g r a t i n g h i s techniques i n t o an a r t i s t i c whole. Desmond MaeCarthy argues that Shaw's theory of dramatic a r t was wrong i n the l a t e plays because he supposedly "overlooked the f a c t that the f u n c t i o n of a r t i s to embody ideas so that they become l a s t i n g l y memorable, and e f f e c t men 2A.C. Ward, Bernard Shaw (London: Longman's, Green & Co., 1951), pp. 173-174. k •without their even defining them."3 Shaw's late plays are too desultory, he says, and do not value economy of means and compactness of the whole. I t is true that Shaw was more concerned i n these plays with philosophical and p o l i t i c a l issues than with the fortunes of individuals, that the characters frequently are not f u l l y rounded, and that the structures are more abstract than "those of many of Shaw's successful earlier plays. But i f one considers that Shaw wrote these plays as interpretations of the chaotic interwar per-iod, his techniques assume a v i t a l role i n augmenting the themes. The strong t o p i c a l i t y and the seemingly irresponsible a r t i s t r y of the p o l i t i c a l plays have been the two major impediments to appreciating the plays for their own particular and considerable merits. Hot only has the immediate concern with contemporary p o l i t i c a l problems tended to "date" these plays, but Shaw's dogmatic and obviously partisan opinions on dic-tatorship and extermination have also obscured many of his valid and more universal comments i n the plays. Shaw's search for viable solutions to the complicated social problems of the time undeniably led him to abstractions which ignored human values i n his proposals, and this concern with p o l i t i c a l and philosophical issues i s reflected i n the abstract and frequently sym-bolic or al l e g o r i c a l caricatures i n the plays. But the de-emphasis of personality i n these plays may well have been deliberate as part of Shaw's attempt to highlight the essential issues by abstracting them. Viewed from this perspective, the plays are i n fact more compact statements on the modern world than other plays which use more conventional dramatic ^Desmond MacCarthy, Shaw's Plays i n Review (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1951), P- 189-5 techniques. I f Shaw seemed more than ever to he discounting p e r s o n a l i t y , i t was not, as Desmond MacCarthy suggests, hecause he no longer could " f e e l anything much."^ On the contrary, Shaw was v i t a l l y concerned with exploring the problems confronting modern man, so much so that he t r i e d to expose the issues without the encumbering and p o s s i b l y d i v e r t i n g or confusing ambigu-i t i e s " complex characters i n e v i t a b l y bring t o the stage.5 Shaw's attempt to use more cerebral and less "dramatic" devices represents both a f a i t h or at lea s t a w i s h f u l b e l i e f i n the r a t i o n a l i t y of men, and an urgent appeal f o r men to exercise t h e i r minds i n examining the world's problems. Many of the characters i n the plays do not use t h e i r minds, but Shaw's methods in d i c a t e that he thought men capable of doing so. Although Shaw had "said i t a l l so many times before" i n other p l a y s , the r e p e t i t i o n i n the p o l i t i c a l plays of hi s ideas may not be evidence of Shaw's garrulous s e n i l i t y , as MacCarthy 6 7 suggests, or of mere weariness, as Fred Mayne t h i n k s , 1 but of Shaw's con-t i n u i n g though desperate b e l i e f that what he had to say was important and needed saying. The major weakness of most c r i t i c i s m of the l a t e plays has been the i n a b i l i t y to r e l a t e adequately themes and techniques. C r i t i c s who have concentrated on t o p i c a l a l l u s i o n s f o r e x p l i c a t i n g the themes of the plays have had to face the problem of d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g between what Shaw says i n ^Shaw's Plays i n Review, p. 197• ^Compare Shaw's renunciation of "d i s t r a c t i o n s and embellishments" In the preface to Methuselah. Again the reason given was to present i n less adulterated form pure ideas. ( I I , Ixxxix) *%haw's Plays i n Review, p. 196. ^The Wit and S a t i r e of Bernard Shaw (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1967), p. 138T 6 his prefaces and other non-dramatic -work, and what he says i n the plays themselves. Shaw often d e l i b e r a t e l y exaggerated and d i s t o r t e d arguments against the establishment and f o r unpopular causes i n order to shock h i s audiences i n t o looking c a r e f u l l y at t h e i r own inadequate assumptions about r e l i g i o n , p o l i t i c s and economics. But while the p o l i t i c a l plays i n v i t e thematic analysis because they are so concerned with t o p i c a l ideas, the a r t i s t i c techniques have caused more d i f f i c u l t y i n appreciating the p o l i t -i c a l extravaganzas than the themes have. These plays cannot be judged e f f e c t i v e l y by the more conventional dramatic c r i t e r i a . As one of the more perceptive recent c r i t i c s says: The disregard of r e a l i s t i c canons i n these cere b r a l fantasies can be deplored as evidence of Shaw's d e c l i n i n g a b i l i t i e s only from the standpoint of d o c t r i n a i r e dramatic naturalism. Other-wise i t must be seen as Shaw's enrichment of a theatre rather too l i m i t e d by n a t u r a l i s t i c p r e d i l e c t i o n s . Yet w r i t i n g i n the same year, another c r i t i c 9 chastises Shaw f o r h i s old love of strangeness found i n "the b i z a r r e s e t t i n g , the odd and f a n t a s t i c persons," and maintains that Shaw cannot make hi s grotesqueries even mo-mentarily r e a l . And C. B. Purdom complains that a l l the characters i n Too True are mouthpieces, types rather than i n d i v i d u a l s ^Martin M e i s e l , Shaw and the Nineteenth Century Theater (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1963), p. ^28. ^Horner Woodbridge, George Bernard Shaw: Creative A r t i s t (Carbondale Southern I l l i n o i s U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1963), p- l^+lT 1°A Guide to the Plays of Bernard Shaw (London: Methuen and Co., 1963 pp. 292-293. 7 Of course not a l l c r i t i c s f e e l n e g a t i v e l y about the extravaganzas. E r i c Bentley f e e l s t h a t p o l i t i c a l extravaganza i s "Shavian form" because i t i s " d e f i n i t e enough and free enough, f a n t a s t i c enough and r e a l i s t i c enough, uproarious enough and ser ious enough.""'""'" L i k e B e n t l e y , M a r t i n M e i s e l ex-p l a i n s very c o n v i n c i n g l y some of the s p e c i a l techniques used i n the l a t e plays" i n terms of Shaw's p e r s o n a l i t y and temperament. M e i s e l sees the ex-travaganzas as symptomatic of Shaw's f i n a l " c r y s t a l l i z a t i o n " of h i s "passion IP and i n t e l l e c t . " I n f a c t M e i s e l h i t s upon the key t o understanding the s t ructures of the extravaganzas when he says: "They are the most advanced of Shaw's plays i n t h e i r i n v e n t i o n , . . , i n t h e i r thematic s t r u c t u r e s and use of s t r u c t u r a l analogue, i n t h e i r use of open a l l e g o r y and f r a n k l y sym-13 b o l i c a c t i o n and s e t t i n g . " But the nature of M e i s e l ' s book p r o h i b i t s him from making any d e t a i l e d a n a l y s i s of these techniques i n s p e c i f i c p l a y s . In s h o r t , a p p r e c i a t i o n of s t r u c t u r e as a thematic device has escaped most c r i t i c s . W i l l i a m I r v i n e f i n d s only " b i t s of comedy" and "no c a r e f u l l y b u i l t -up scenes""^ i n Too True. A . C. Ward th inks that n e a r l y a l l the l a t e plays show evidence of the "dwindl ing of what i n terms of the p l a y w r i g h t ' s c r a f t may be c a l l e d s t r u c t u r a l a b i l i t y , " and that The Simpleton " i s l i k e a muddled though not unpleasant nightmare a f t e r much reading of newspapers . "15 And H E r i c Bent ley , The Playwright as Thinker (Cleveland: World P u b l i s h -i n g C o . , 1955), P- 120. 12Shaw and the Nineteenth Century Theater, p . k-h-3• ^ I b i d . , pp. i+27-^28. ^ W i l l i a m I r v i n e , The Universe of G .B.S . (New York: W h i t t l e s e y House, McGraw H i l l , 19^9), P- 370. 15A. C. Ward, Bernard Shaw (London: Longman's Green and C o . , 1951), pp. 173, 180. 8 C. B. Purdom f i n d s the s t r u c t u r e of the same p l a y " i n c o n s i s t e n t " because the t e n s i o n i s " e i t h e r merely amusing and s a t i r i c a l or -balked about and a b s t r a c t . " - ^ F r e d e r i c k P. W. McDowell has t r i e d to d i s p e l misconceptions about the l a t e plays i n a ser ies of a r t i c l e s i n which he c o n s i s t e n t l y makes reference t o the importance of the l a s t p a r t of Shaw's c a r e e r . McDowell maintains that the best s t r u c t u r e i n drama r e s u l t s from "the use of f i r m l y wrought characters i n p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y dynamic s i t u a t i o n s , " " ^ but that a looser k i n d of s t r u c t u r e i s p o s s i b l e : that of present ing a f u l l a n a l y s i s of c e n t r a l i n t e l l e c t u a l themes w i t h v a r i a t i o n s being a d r o i t l y played upon them. Upon examination, Shaw's l a t e plays do possess a firmness of i n t e l l e c t u a l l i n e which t h e i r apparent concern w i t h contemporary chaos a t f i r s t tends to obscure.18 McDowell g e n e r a l l y sees the s t ructures of the extravaganzas as composed of blocks of conversat ion which work together to b u i l d an i n t e l l e c t u a l s t r u c -ture w i t h p r i n c i p l e s of i t s own. But whi le McDowell 's c r i t i c i s m i s per-cept ive and r e v e a l i n g , i t does not f u l l y e s t a b l i s h the r e l a t i o n s h i p between s t ructure and theme. Structure i n the best Shavian extravaganzas i s more than an i n t r i c a t e i n t e l l e c t u a l - p a t t e r n . As M e i s e l suggests, i t often serves as an important thematic d e v i c e . This t h e s i s attempts t o show how the s t r u c -tures of the p o l i t i c a l extravaganzas f u n c t i o n t h e m a t i c a l l y and how these en-igmatic plays c h r o n i c l e Shaw's urgent react ions to the ominous chaos of the interwar years . Once understood, these plays are s e n s i t i v e i n d i c a t o r s of 1 % Guide to the Plays of Bernard Shaw, p. 302. - ^ " S p i r i t u a l and P o l i t i c a l R e a l i t y : Shaw's The Simpleton of the Un-expected I s l e s , " Modern Drama, I I I ( F a l l , I960), 196. l8lbid. 9 Shaw's own ambivalent involvement with p o l i t i c a l , s p i r i t u a l , moral and economic forces which seemed to be leading the world inexorably to destruc-t i o n . An awareness of t h i s trend impelled the seventy-five year old drama-t i s t to examine p u b l i c l y through h i s plays how modern man had outgrown his r e l i g i o n , outgrown h i s p o l i t i c a l system, outgrown h i s strength of mind and character. TOO TRUE TO EE GOOD Too True to be Good (1931) has drawn a wide range of opinions ranging from those which condemn the p l a y as a "desul tory conversat ion of the twen-t i e t h century universe"" L t o those which laud i t s i m p r o v i s a t i o n as " i n f i n -i t e l y more impressive than a host of more c a r e f u l l y or c o n v i n c i n g l y con-2 s t ructed p l a y s . " Obviously much of t h i s disagreement stems from the very loose s t r u c t u r e of the p l a y . Even the d i s c u s s i o n p l a y s , which had provoked much c r i t i c i s m of Shaw as a w r i t e r of non-drama, had a more e a s i l y recog-nized l i n e of argument which gave them a form of t h e i r own. Shaw compounds the problem of understanding t h i s p l a y by i n t r o d u c i n g s e v e r a l streams of argument, none of which Is thoroughly r e s o l v e d . Desmond MacCarthy, a c r i t i c u s u a l l y sympathetic to Shaw, complained that a f t e r seeing Too True to be Good he could not t e l l what i t was about because the p l a y contained "dozens of subjects" and "because there was no focus to group them around."3 S t i l l another stumbling block to understanding the p l a y i s the apparent i n c o n s i s -tency i n the use of the extravagant fantasy , both i n the o r g a n i z a t i o n of the " p l o t " and i n the d e p i c t i o n of the characters . No longer does there seem to be any l o g i c a l development and r e s o l u t i o n of the a c t i o n or of the characters . There i s c e r t a i n l y no c l e a r hero w i t h whose p o s i t i o n one can i d e n t i f y Shaw. Yet these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , which are the ones most often ^Wil l iam I r v i n e , The Universe of G . B . S . (New York: W h i t t l e s e y House, M c G r a w - H i l l , 19^9), p. 370. 2john Gassner, Masters of the Drama (New York: Dover P u b l i c a t i o n s I n c . , 195^), p . 613. 3pesmond MacCarthy, Shaw's Plays i n Review (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1951), p . 190. 11 c r i t i c i z e d , are used consciously for a specific purpose--to give a meaning-f u l depiction of the contemporary -world. Although this play does have some weaknesses of form, It does have a unity of purpose and execution that has not been appreciated f u l l y . The play offers an almost kaleidescopic view of the s p i r i t u a l and moral" chaos that characterized the late twenties and early t h i r t i e s . The component parts of the play work independently and yet also cumulatively to reveal the social i l l s i n a stark, almost expressionistic l i g h t . The play tri e s to create an effect similar to that of Heartbreak House; i n fact Heartbreak House provides a clear foreshadowing not only of theme but also of technique for Too True to be Good and other late plays. In both plays the main character progresses from the position of extremely romantic idealism, through a series of disillusionments to a position of hard real-ism. And i n both plays the hope exists that the young woman who has found her strength w i l l use i t i n a constructive and so c i a l l y beneficial way, though there remains also the p o s s i b i l i t y that neither E l l i e Dunn nor the Patient w i l l succeed. Too True to b_e Good also shares with Heartbreak House what McDowell ca l l s the symposium technique of organizing dialogue.^ As the term suggests, the symposium technique has several characters on stage at once to discuss some topic. Such a situation Inevitably places a premium on verbal dexterity and eliminates ordinary action altogether. Shaw proved that this kind of drama could be exciting i n the Hell Scene of Man and Superman, and many passages i n the late plays bear a resemblance Frederick P. W. McDowell, "'The Pentacostal Flame' and the 'Lower Centers': Too True to be Good," Shaw Review, I I , 9 (Sept., 1959), 27. 12 to t h i s e a r l i e r -work. A few other plays a l s o used t h i s form, notably the two d i s q u i s i t o r y p l a y s , Getting Married, and M i s a l l i a n c e . A l l these plays are formal i n q u i r i e s Into complicated issues and present i n a f a i r l y com-pact form many -views of a t o p i c . Shaw evidently thought that t h i s technique had q u a l i t i e s which could be adapted to his purpose i n the plays of the t h i r t i e s . F i r s t of a l l i t offered a means of presenting many sides of an Issue more or less simultaneously. I t a l s o was suite d t o a s i t u a t i o n where no clear-cut s o l u t i o n e x i s t e d , or at le a s t where any point of view was arguable. Open discussion need not be l i n e a r , and i t s effectiveness depends upon neither character development nor ordinary a c t i o n . Nor i s i t necessary that there be a dominant character when the i n t e r e s t l i e s i n the i n t e r p l a y of ideas. Shaw, i n the l a t e plays, turned h i s a t t e n t i o n to p h i l o s o p h i c a l and p o l i t i c a l problems and de-emphasized the r o l e of the i n d i v i d u a l . The p o l i t i c a l plays a f t e r The Apple Cart suggest that Shaw attempted to present as d i r e c t l y as possible the main issues as he saw them. He chose to express the i n t e r p l a y of ideas and the chaotic mood of the time i n abstract terms. The s i t u a t i o n seemed to c a l l f o r an i n t e l l i g e n t a i r i n g of many views, and a repression of personal i n t e r e s t s . Shaw used the symposium type of d i s -cussion i n most of those plays to show that open discussion was a possible way to new in s i g h t s i n t o very d i f f i c u l t problems. Shaw also used elements of fantasy extensively i n the l a t e plays. He had t r i e d h ighly unusual settings i n some of the e a r l i e r plays, almost i n v a r i a b l y not simply to arre s t the audience's a t t e n t i o n , but to i n s t i l l i n his plays an aspect of the vi s i o n a r y or the mystic. The plays which stand out as prime examples, the H e l l Scene i n Man and Superman, and Back 13 t o Methuselah, are s i g n i f i c a n t l y concerned, with p o s t u l a t i n g Shaw's r e l i g i o n of c reative evolution. I n these plays i t was necessary to remove the a c t i o n from the immediate world so that Shaw could develop a thesis which demanded an extremely long range view of mankind. In the plays of the t h i r t i e s Shaw extends h i s use of fantasy. He undoubtedly intended these plays to be i n -s t r u c t i v e and provocative. One of the most pe r s i s t e n t themes running through most of the plays of t h i s period i s the need f o r western man, es-p e c i a l l y the Englishman, to re-evaluate h i s p o s i t i o n i n the modern world, to free himself from h i s old and l a r g e l y i n v a l i d frames of reference i n order to gain a new perspective and d i r e c t i o n to his l i f e . The b i z a r r e d i s t o r t i o n s of character and s e t t i n g represent an attempt by Shaw to e f f e c t such a re-evaluation. As Aubrey says at the end of Too True, something new Is needed to reach the younger generation. Naked bodies no longer shock us: our sunbathers, grinning at us from every i l l u s t r a t e d summer number of our magazines, are nuder than shorn l a m b s . . . . You may even throw away the garments of your souls: the manners, the morals, the decencies. Swear; use d i r t y words; drink c o c k t a i l s ; k i s s and caress and cuddle u n t i l g i r l s who are l i k e roses at eighteen are l i k e battered demireps at twenty-two. (IV, 718) Actions which would have been shocking and b i z a r r e a few years e a r l i e r had become commonplace. Fantasy allowed Shaw to continue to remove his plays from ordinary r e a l i t y and yet express the essence of r e a l i t y on stage. Often the unusual scenes i n t h e i r purposeful d i s t o r t i o n s reveal more about l i f e than a more s t r i c t v e r i s i m i l i t u d e would. Too True to be Good reveals both the strengths and the weaknesses of these techniques. Shaw opens the play on a note of extravagant fantasy w i t h a monster, r e a l l y an innocent microbe, lamenting the f a c t that i t has been infected Ik "with measles from the Patient. The monster c a r r i e s on a series of asides depreciating the doctor "who Is attending the P a t i e n t . At f i r s t the play seems to he a f a n t a s t i c farce on one of Shaw's f a v o r i t e scapegoats--the medical profession. The doctor, though "saner than most," allows an over-s o l i c i t o u s and sup e r s t i t i o u s mother to change the p r e s c r i p t i o n (for the t h i r d time) and to inoculate her daughter who i s already infected because he knows that honesty would r u i n him f i n a n c i a l l y . The impression that the play i s mere farce i s furthered when the doctor and the monster have an open d i s -cussion of the ethics of society doctors. But t h i s scene takes on a char-a c t e r i s t i c a l l y symbolic s i g n i f i c a n c e which relates to the r e s t of the play much more c l o s e l y than the surface a c t i o n might suggest. The s o c i a l i l l -ness that i s i n c a p a c i t a t i n g large segments of the population i s not correct-l y diagnosed by the o f f i c i a l "healers" of society. The i l l n e s s i s not due to nebulous outside i n f l u e n c e s , invented by the p o l i t i c a l doctors to mask t h e i r ignorance, but to a kind of hypochondria which i n s i d i o u s l y i n f e c t s society from w i t h i n and i s aided by the so-called healers. I t i s very probable that t h i s scene i s meant to be a p o l i t i c a l a l l e g o r y since Shaw o r i g i n a l l y c a l l e d the play a p o l i t i c a l fantasy. Shaw seems to be suggest-ing that p o l i t i c i a n s are looking i n the wrong places f o r the causes of i l l - h e a l t h i n a society whose whole moral code i s based on pretense and l i e s ; that the scapegoats p o l i t i c i a n s blame f o r the s o c i a l i l l s are nothing but the monstrous figments of uninformed imaginations. Such a s i t u a t i o n i s bound to r e s u l t i n chaos. As long as people continue to Ignore r e a l i t y , s t i f l e t h e i r souls i n an unnatural environment of outdated r i g i d c l a s s d i s t i n c t i o n s , and refuse to allow the fre s h a i r of change to blow through the whole s o c i a l structure, society w i l l l i e helpless and smothered l i k e 15 the P a t i e n t . People must not l i e back a p a t h e t i c a l l y -while t h e i r v i t a l i t y i s sapped by an environment of t h e i r own making. A p o s i t i v e purpose must be i n s t i l l e d i n a l a z y population i f I t s i n t e r e s t s are to be diverted from a s u i c i d a l s e l f i s h n e s s . The Patient demonstrates a l a t e n t v i t a l i t y i n her v i o l e n t defense of her jewels. But the jewels soon become of secondary i n t e r e s t as she r e a l -izes that she has been s t i r r e d out of her d e b i l i t a t i n g existence. The difference seems so great to her that on waking from her swoon she thinks she must be dreaming a glorious and romantic dream: "Oh, t h i s i s r i d i c u -lous. I'm dreaming. . . . But i t ' s d e l i c i o u s , because I'm dreaming that I'm p e r f e c t l y w e l l . " (TV, 650) Aubrey demonstrates h i s a b i l i t y to ser-monize i n h i s speech which persuades the Patient to be an accomplice i n the t h e f t : "Have you no conscience, that you waste God's g i f t s so shamefully? You think you are i n a state of i l l n e s s . Youre not: youre i n a state of s i n . S e l l the necklace and buy your s a l v a t i o n with the proceeds." (TV, 651) Standard moral codes are useless and r e s t r i c t i n g when applied to the con-temporary world where even an a n t i m o r a l i t y seems more v a l i d . The Patient goes o f f with the burglar because she thinks that only through her "dream" w i l l she be able to escape her old way of l i f e . She has yet to f i n d out that her pictu r e of a dream world, which has been shaped by the romance of the f i l m s , w i l l t u rn out to be i n many ways too true to be good, and that Aubrey's a n t i m o r a l i t y , because i t i s negative, i s not the f i n a l answer to society's problem. But even i n the f i r s t act her "unexpectedly powerful mind" begins to assert i t s e l f and i t becomes c l e a r that she w i l l become the f o r c e f u l one of the t r i o . The f i r s t act ends with the enigmatic words of the mo,nster who t e l l s 16 the audience that the play i s v i r t u a l l y over, hut that the characters - w i l l discuss I t at great length f o r t"wo acts more. Throughout t h i s act the mon-st e r sounds s u s p i c i o u s l y l i k e G. B. S. In his denunciation of doctors, and t h i s f i n a l adieu a l s o sounds as i f Shaw i s teasing the audience. No doubt t h i s i s t r u e , and l i k e many of Shaw's statements, t h i s one c a r r i e s a g r a i n of t r u t h with i t . The f i r s t act i s an a l l e g o r i c a l representation of s o c i e t y which ends with the message that the i d l e must exert themselves and that so-c i e t y must free i t s e l f from i t s outworn ideas regarding class b a r r i e r s . As such i t i s a miniature p i c t u r e of society. I t b r i e f l y and a b s t r a c t l y sums up the problems which the r e s t of the play discusses at length. I t i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the l a t e r plays that the connections between acts or scenes are much looser than i n previous plays. The techniques i n the three acts of t h i s play are d i s t i n c t , but the themes are r e l a t e d and i n f a c t stead-i l y progress. In other words, while the play may seem to be completely d i s -j o i n t e d , i t presents a progressive development not only of the Patient's awareness, but also of other themes which contribute to the pattern d e f i n i n g the main problems of the time. The f i r s t act plays an important part i n creating the p i c t u r e of chaos that the play examines, not only thematically but also i n the very loose structure of the act i t s e l f . Shaw's handling of fantasy i n Too True i s unusual. He uses two rad-i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t types of fantasy which seem to be b a s i c a l l y incompatible with any kind of a r t i s t i c u n i t y . The monster microbe, representative of one kind of fantasy, i s conspicuous because i t seems t o t a l l y out of keeping with the rest of the play. Nowhere else i n the play Is an inanimate object per-s o n i f i e d . Fantasy i n the rest of the play i s r e s t r i c t e d to the incongruous settings and purposely foreshortened characters. While the microbe i s use-17 f u l f o r understanding the a l l e g o r y , he sets up an expectat ion f o r a p a r t i c -u l a r k i n d of fantasy; an expectat ion that i s not f u l f i l l e d i n l a t e r a c t s . Furthermore, the monster, by addressing the audience d i r e c t l y at the end of Act One, removes himsel f from the i l l u s i o n a r y -world of the other c h a r a c t e r s . Even Aubrey's f i n a l speech i s par t of h i s sermon to the other c h a r a c t e r s , although they have a l l r e t r e a t e d from h i s o r a t o r y . The problem i s not t h a t Shaw used the k i n d of fantasy which produced the microbe--the German ex-p r e s s i o n i s t s and other avant-garde dramatists of the twenties had used i t - -but that he was not cons is tent throughout the p l a y i n h i s use of fantasy . Shaw does make use, however, of the monster i n another way which par-t i a l l y mit igates the i n c o n s i s t e n t fantasy of the p l a y . Mr. Cedric Hard-wieke, who played Aubrey i n the o r i g i n a l p r o d u c t i o n , t r i e d t o e x p l a i n the p l a y ' s l a c k of success i n terms of i t s l a c k of c a r e f u l des ign. He c r i t i -c i z e d the order of the comedy i n which the f i r s t act i s " l i g h t comedy," the second " b r i l l i a n t comedy," and the l a s t act ser ious preaching .5 The audience, he s a i d , became too t i r e d by the t h i r d a c t . Be that as i t may, Shaw d i d arrange Too True t h i s way f o r a s p e c i f i c purpose. The a c t i o n i s c a l c u l a t e d to b u i l d up the audience's involvement p r o g r e s s i v e l y and almost impercept ib ly u n t i l the c l i m a c t i c scene at the end of the p l a y . The f i r s t act w i t h i t s monster and i t s outrageous s l a p s t i c k a c t i o n puts the audience of f guard f o r the seriousness of-'-.the p l a y as a whole. The s t ructure of the p l a y p a r a l l e l s the sequence of d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t s that the interwar generation underwent during the twenties and e a r l y t h i r t i e s . Indulging i n almost ^Quoted from an interv iew i n The Observer, October 9, 1932, by Stanley Weintraub, P r i v a t e Shaw and P u b l i c Shaw (New York: George B r a z i l l e r , 1963), p . 228. 18 senseless f r i v o l i t y , people were oblivious to the cataclysm to come In the next decade. But i n the grey dawn of the t h i r t i e s they could no longer i g -nore the f a c t that t h e i r values had been as empty as t h e i r laughter. The play's structure l i k e w i s e c a r r i e s the audience along with the apparent lightness u n t i l suddenly the h o r r i b l e consequences of the chaos behind the ac t i o n i n the f i r s t two acts are revealed i n the t h i r d . Each act i s pro-g r e s s i v e l y longer and more serious. I f t h i s view of Shaw's i n t e n t i o n i s accepted, then the monster, which helps to create the i n i t i a l impression of l i g h t n e s s , i s more integrated i n the play; c e r t a i n l y more than i f the microbe i s viewed merely as Shavian clowning. Nevertheless, i t should have been possible f o r Shaw to create t h i s cumulative e f f e c t and the d e l i g h t f u l l i t t l e a l l e g o r y without having t o resort to such an inconsistent use of fantasy. Act Two builds on the impressions l e f t by Act One, but not i n the conventional way. The kidnapping p l o t o s t e n s i b l y i s the u n i f y i n g force be-tween the two a c t s , but, as many c r i t i c s have pointed out, i n f a c t i t o f f e r s a minimal l i n k . What Act Two does i s to give a s h i f t i n perspective i n the analysis of the contemporary world . I t s t a r t s with h i l a r i o u s farce i n the confrontation between Colonel Tallboys V.C., D.S.O., the new commanding o f f i c e r of the B r i t i s h p a t r o l sent to rescue the Patient from her brigand "kidnappers," and Private Napoleon Alexander Trotsky Meek, the m i l i t a r y Jack-of-all-trades who r e a l l y runs the expedition. But the act ends with the Colonel's ominous reply to the accusation, by the Countess, that he wastes his time p a i n t i n g : "Countess: I paint pictures to make me f e e l sane. Dealing with men and women makes me f e e l mad, Humanity always f a i l s me: Nature never." (IV, 687) Thus i n one way the second act forms a tran-s i t i o n between the other two, since i t begins l i g h t - h e a r t e d l y and ends with 19 a foreshadowing of the seriousness to come. Act Two also develops a theme that was l a t e n t i n the f i r s t act and which becomes one of the major concerns of the play. The main obstacle to the Patient's leaving her unhealthy home was the r i g i d i t y of her class con-sciousness: I f I wake up I s h a l l never get loose from my people and my s o c i a l p o s i t i o n . I t ' s a l l very w e l l f o r you two c r i m i n a l s : you can do what you l i k e . I f you were lad i e s and gentlemen, youd know how hard i t i s not to do what everybody else does. (IV, 652) The same kind of a r t i f i c i a l code i s s t i f l i n g Colonel Tallboys. Shaw expands t h i s idea i n the second act. The incongruous s e t t i n g i s obviously unlike the e f f i c i e n t and u t i l i t a r i a n camps u s u a l l y associated with the army i n romantic c i r c l e s . In f a c t one of the purposes of t h i s act i s to show the d i s p a r i t y between r e a l i t y and the rose-colored substitute that the majority of the people not only accept as r e a l but upon which they base t h e i r whole moral code. The only sign of h o s t i l i t i e s i n the opening scene of Act Two i s the Colonel's holstered revolver; otherwise he i s revealed reading The Times i n a deck cha i r beside a p a r t i c o l o r e d canvas bathing p a v i l i o n . This i s not merely Shavian a n t i - m i l i t a r y s a t i r e or whimsy; i t i s a very s l i g h t l y ex-aggerated pict u r e of the absurdity of a highly class-conscious organization. Shaw uses the army to i n d i c t a society which bases i t s hierarchy on purely a r b i t r a r y s o c i a l c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s and ignores the a b i l i t y of an i n d i v i d u a l to work outside his prescribed area. The army episode i s an example of Shaw's a r t i s t i c technique i n combining a v i s i o n of r e a l i t y with a conscious d i s t o r t i o n of character and s e t t i n g i n order to make v a l i d comments on 20 s o c i e t y . The b i z a r r e s e t t i n g and. t h e c o m i c e x a g g e r a t i o n o f c h a r a c t e r i n T a l l b o y s and Meek e f f e c t i v e l y h o l d t h e a u d i e n c e ' s a t t e n t i o n e v e n w h i l e t h e weak f o u n d a t i o n s o f s u c h a w o r l d a r e g r a d u a l l y b e i n g e x p o s e d . The f a r c e a t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f A c t Two becomes t h e t r a g e d y o f w e s t e r n s o c i e t y i n A c t T h r e e . B u t i t i s t y p i c a l o f t h e l a t e r p l a y s t h a t a m a j o r theme i s n o t p r i m a r i l y a d -v a n c e d t h r o u g h t h e a c t i o n s o f a n y one c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r . R a t h e r , a l l t h e c h a r a c t e r s , e a c h i n h i s own way, d e m o n s t r a t e t h e e f f e c t s o f a r t i f i c i a l c l a s s c o n s c i o u s n e s s o n m o r a l i t y , r e l i g i o n , and c h a r a c t e r . A s t h e p l a y d e -v e l o p s , c h a r a c t e r s who r e p r e s e n t v a r i o u s a t t e m p t s t o c o p e w i t h t h e c h a o t i c u n i v e r s e , d e f i n e t h e p r o b l e m and s u g g e s t a p o s s i b l e c o u r s e o f a c t i o n w h i c h may o f f e r some hope . The f i r s t v i g n e t t e i n t h e s e c o n d a c t p r e s e n t s T a l l -b o y s and Meek. A t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f A c t Two, T a l l b o y s i s a s t a u n c h a d v o c a t e o f a r i g -I d s o c i a l and m i l i t a r y c o d e . He sums up t h e e t h i c s o f t h e s y s t e m o f w h i c h he i s a p r o d u c t : I f y o u t r e a t a p r i v a t e s o l d i e r a s a human b e i n g t h e r e s u l t i s d i s a s t r o u s t o h i m s e l f . He p r e s u m e s . He t a k e s l i b e r t i e s . And t h e c o n s e q u e n c e o f t h a t i s t h a t he g e t s i n t o t r o u b l e and has a v e r y bad t i m e o f i t u n t i l he I s t a u g h t h i s p r o p e r p l a c e b y a p -p r o p r i a t e d i s c i p l i n a r y m e a s u r e . . . . I f y o u hav e o c c a s i o n t o s p e a k t o h i m , make h i m f e e l b y y o u r t o n e t h a t t h e r e l a t i o n b e -t w e e n y o u i s one o f a s u p e r i o r a d d r e s s i n g a v e r y d i s t a n t i n f e r -i o r . ( I V , 66V 665) A s l o n g a s t h e C o l o n e l c o n t i n u e s t o o p e r a t e b y t h i s c o d e he a p p e a r s f o o l i s h b e s i d e Meek, who i s by h i s b e h a v i o r a n a d v o c a t e o f a s y s t e m o f command b a s e d u p o n m e r i t r a t h e r t h a n r a n k . He o p e r a t e s q u i e t l y b e h i n d t h e s c e n e s e f f i c -i e n t l y c a r r y i n g o n t h e b u s i n e s s o f t h e e x p e d i t i o n , b e c a u s e , u n l i k e a n o f f i c e r , he c a n move f r e e l y among a l l c l a s s e s o f s o c i e t y , and c a n i g n o r e t h e a r t i f i c i a l p r o t o c o l , w h i c h l i k e t h e p a r l i a m e n t a r y s y s t e m , makes t e n 21 m i n u t e s ' -work t a k e t e n m o n t h s . W h i l e t h e C o l o n e l " b l u s t e r s o v e r t h e m i s s i n g maroons -which he u s e s a s s i g n a l s t o c a l l h i m f r o m h i s w a t e r c o l o r i n g t o d i n -n e r , Meek has p l a n t e d t h e m s t r a t e g i c a l l y t o g i v e t h e i m p r e s s i o n t o a t t a c k i n g n a t i v e s t h a t t h e h i l l s a r e b r i s t l i n g w i t h B r i t i s h c a n n o n . N e v e r t h e l e s s , a t t h e end o f t h e a c t when Meek h a s d e m o n s t r a t e d h i s m i l i t a r y g e n i u s a t t h e " B a t t l e o f t h e M a r o o n s , " T a l l b o y s i s .not t a k e n a b a c k a t a l l . Shaw c o n t i n u e s h i s s e r i e s o f r e v e r s a l s o f e x p e c t a t i o n when T a l l b o y s a d m i t s w i t h a p l o m b t h a t t h e symptoms o f a m i l i t a r y g e n i u s a n d a h a l f - w i t a r e t h e same and t h a t , s i n c e t h e s e c r e t o f command i s n e v e r t o do a n y t h i n g t h a t c a n be done b y a s u b o r d -i n a t e , he w i l l h e n c e f o r t h d e l e g a t e a l l t h e w o r k o f command t o Meek, t h e man he c a n n o t s p e a k t o s o c i a l l y . He t u r n s h i s f u l l a t t e n t i o n t o h i s w a t e r - c o l o r s , w h i c h a r e t h e o n l y t h i n g s p r e v e n t i n g h i s g o i n g mad i n d e a l i n g w i t h h u m a n i t y i n s u c h a s y s t e m . T a l l b o y s r e a c t s t o t h e u n n a t u r a l p r e s s u r e s o f t h e s y s t e m b y r e t r e a t i n g f r o m them. He n e i t h e r a t t a c k s t h e s y s t e m n o r a t t e m p t s t o rem-e d y t h e s i t u a t i o n whose a b s u r d i t y h as b e e n d e m o n s t r a t e d b y Meek. The c o l o -n e l i s c o n t e n t t o t a k e a d v a n t a g e o f t h e r e f u g e o f f e r e d b y Meek and t h e w a t e r - c o l o r s . B u t he h a s p r o g r e s s e d e n o u g h t o be a b l e t o f r e e h i m s e l f f r o m t h e c o m p l e t e r i g i d i t y o f mind t h a t h i s a d v i c e t o t h e C o u n t e s s i n d i c a t e d e a r l i e r . P r i v a t e Meek, m o d e l l e d a f t e r Shaw's f r i e n d T. E. L a w r e n c e , v e r y n e a r l y d o m i n a t e s t h e s e c o n d a c t . Shaw knew L a w r e n c e w e l l a n d a d m i r e d h i s r e m a r k -a b l e a b i l i t y t o g e t t h i n g s d o n e - - a n a b i l i t y t h a t Shaw a l w a y s r e g a r d e d h i g h -l y . Shaw f r e q u e n t l y drew u p o n h i s p e r s o n a l a c q u a i n t a n c e s f o r i n s p i r a t i o n f o r h i s c h a r a c t e r s , and L a w r e n c e , who was a f a s c i n a t i n g and e n i g m a t i c p e r -s o n , and who had r e p e a t e d l y c h a l l e n g e d Shaw t o "do" h i m i n a p l a y , p r o v i d e d a n e x c e l l e n t m o d e l . L a w r e n c e e v e n a d v i s e d Shaw on s e v e r a l t e c h n i c a l and 22 s t y l i s t i c points i n the play, and thought that i t was one of Shaw's best.^ Yet Lawrence r e a l i z e d that h i s p o r t r a i t was not completely f l a t t e r i n g . A l -though the dramatist l i k e d Lawrence, and could appreciate h i s a b i l i t y to operate as a free agent i n a m i l i t a r y world, Shaw als o r e a l i z e d that Law-rence dreaded the day he would have to r e t i r e from the service. While he was always searching f o r more challenging duties suited to h i s i n t e l l e c t and organizing s k i l l , both G.B.S. and T.E. doubted i f "Lawrence of Arabia" could be happy i n c i v i l i a n l i f e . Shaw incorporates t h i s aspect of Lawrence i n Napoleon Alexander Trotsky Meek. Meek i s a man of a c t i o n who q u i e t l y permeates the system and uses i t f o r the common good. He i s thoroughly capable and h i s e f f i c i e n c y and the dependence of others on him demonstrate the absurdity of class d i s t i n c -t i o n s . Thus i n many ways he i s l i k e King Magnus: a capable and t o l e r a n t man smoothly manipulating the less able f o r t h e i r own good. But h i s manipu-l a t i n g Is of a d i f f e r e n t order from Magnus', and establishes Meek as a per-son of i n f e r i o r s o c i a l conscience. Magnus t r i e d to improve the rough d i a -monds i n his cabinet by p o l i s h i n g them. He t r i e d to make them in t o s o c i a l l y u s e f u l beings even when doing so would probably jeopardize his own p o s i t i o n as king. Meek merely manipulates the c o l o n e l t a c t f u l l y out of d i r e c t command so that the routine business of the army can be smoothly completed. He does not t r y to improve anyone: he only takes over t h e i r chores when d i f f i c u l t y a r i s e s . He i s always close behind the scenes ready to act whenever necessary whether i t be to win the "Battle of the Maroons" or to p i c k up the "Countess's" s i x boxes of luggage. But Meek's dominance i n Act Two i s l a r g e l y q u a l i f i e d i n the next act where he appears i n a s l i g h t -6weintraub, p. 215• 23 l y d i f f e r e n t l i g h t . Meek's b e h a v i o r s e r v e s as a f o i l t o t h e p e t t y p r e o c c u p a t i o n s o f t h e o t h e r c h a r a c t e r s who seem t o he a b l e t o do n o t h i n g b u t t a l k a b o u t them-s e l v e s . N e v e r t h e l e s s , i f Meek i s n o t a t a l k e r , n e i t h e r i s he a p h i l o s o -p h e r . He d o e s n o t s e e t h a t h i s a c t i o n s , t h o u g h o b v i o u s l y b e n e f i c i a l , a r e i n f a c t p e r p e t u a t i n g t h e v e r y s y s t e m he seems t o r e j e c t . L i k e Magnus he i s r e d u c e d t o m a i n t a i n i n g t h e s t a t u s quo, b u t u n l i k e Magnus he i s q u i t e c o n t e n t t o do s o . He i s a w a r e o f t h e l i m i t a t i o n s o f a b s u r d c l a s s c o n s c i o u s -n e s s , b u t he seems u n p e r t u r b e d b y t h i s k n o w l e d g e . N e a r t h e end o f A c t T h r e e , a f t e r t h e o t h e r s h a v e more o r l e s s awakened t o t h e p r o s p e c t t h a t t h e y h a v e a l l b e e n l e a d i n g m i s g u i d e d l i v e s , m o s t l y b e c a u s e o f p a r a l y z i n g s n o b b e r y , t h e c r u c i a l q u e s t i o n o f w h e t h e r o r n o t E n g l a n d c a n r e t u r n t o h e r s e n s e s comes up . A s u s u a l a n y t h i n g o f i m p o r t a n c e i s r e f e r r e d t o Meek, who seems a t f i r s t t o a n s w e r w i t h t h e d e p t h o f a S h o t o v e r : "No u s e , s i r : a l l t h e E n g l i s h p r i v a t e s want t o be c o l o n e l s : t h e r e ' s no s a l v a t i o n f o r s n o b s . " ( I V , 716") E n g l a n d c a n n o t r e t u r n t o h e r s e n s e s b e c a u s e she n e v e r was i n t h e m - - s n o b b e r y b e i n g i n d i g e n o u s t o h e r . B u t t h i s i s n o t w h at i s i n Meek's m i n d ; a t l e a s t n o t i n t h e p o s i t i v e s e n s e t h a t he i s a d v o c a t i n g a r e n u n c i a -t i o n o f s n o b b e r y and t h e f o r m a t i o n o f a new s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e b a s e d on h i s own e x a m p l e . Meek's c h e e r f u l b u o y a n c y i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y e m pty, and he i s e a s i l y b u s i e d w i t h t h e r o u t i n e b u s i n e s s o f r e p a t r i a t i n g t h e e x p e d i t i o n . He knows and a c c e p t s t h e f a c t t h a t t h o u g h T a l l b o y s h a s a c h a n c e t o f u l f i l l h i s m a n i f e s t d e s t i n y a s a w a t e r - c o l o r p a i n t e r , he w i l l be p r e v e n t e d f r o m d o i n g s o b y h i s s n o b b i s h w i f e . Meek's r o l e i s r e d u c e d t o t h a t o f a n a m i -a b l e and e f f i c i e n t h o u s e s e r v a n t o f p e o p l e w i t h whose f a u l t s he i s t h o r o u g h -2k l y f a m i l i a r . Nowhere i n t h e p l a y does Shaw condemn Meek, i n s p i t e o f h i s l i m i t a -t i o n s . I n a t i m e o f s u c h c h a o s , Meek s u p p l i e s a much nee d e d s t a b i l i t y a n d common s e n s e . W h i l e he l a c k s t h e l a r g e n e s s o f mind t h a t i s e s s e n t i a l t o a S h a v i a n h e r o , he does n o t p o s s e s s t h e h i d e b o u n d mind o f Shaw's v i l l a i n s . He i s c o n t e n t t o w o r k w i t h i n t h e s y s t e m , b u t he does so w i t h a f l e x i b i l i t y a n d e f f i c i e n c y t h a t u n n e r v e s o r d i n a r y b u r e a u c r a t s . H i s name s u g g e s t s a b l e n d i n g o f s e v e r a l q u a l i t i e s . He i s u n d o u b t e d l y a m i l i t a r y g e n i u s i n a w o r l d o f w a t e r - c o l o r i s t c o l o n e l s . He a l s o seems t o be a b e l i e v e r i n a c l a s s l e s s s o c i e t y , o r a t l e a s t one i n w h i c h o c c u p a t i o n s a r e d e l e g a t e d t o t h e p e o p l e most a b l e and w i l l i n g t o p e r f o r m them. H i s b e h a v i o r c e r t a i n l y s u g g e s t s a d i s d a i n o f t h e E n g l i s h c l a s s s y s t e m . And he has t h e meekness t o w o r k q u i e t -l y b e h i n d t h e s c e n e s w h e re he i s most e f f i c i e n t w i t h o u t t h i r s t i n g f o r t h e a p p r o b a t i o n o f h i s f e l l o w m e n . Y e t l i k e t h e p r o d u c t s o f a n o t h e r b l e n d i n g o f d e s i r a b l e q u a l i t i e s i n The S i m p l e t o n , he i s n o t t h e e x p e c t e d i d e a l . He I s l a c k i n g i n a t r u e s o c i a l c o n s c i e n c e and a p o s i t i v e p h i l o s o p h y o f l i f e . Had he t a k e n a more p o s i t i v e s t a n d a t t h e e n d , h i s e f f o r t t o r e p a t r i a t e t h e e x -p e d i t i o n c o u l d h a v e b e e n a h o p e f u l s y m b o l o f a b e n e f i c i a l p r o g r a m o f s o c i a l r e c o n s t r u c t i o n . A l t h o u g h he seems c o n t e n t t o m a i n t a i n t h e s t a t u s quo and t o i n t e r e s t h i m s e l f i n t h e i n t r i c a c i e s o f t h e b u r e a u c r a t i c s y s t e m , he p e r f o r m s a u s e f u l r o l e a t a t i m e w h i c h i n d e c i s i o n and d o b t p l a g u e so many p e o p l e . I f Meek f a i l s t o s u p p l y t h e p o s i t i v e f o r c e n e c e s s a r y t o c r e a t e a modicum o f m o r a l o r d e r i n t h e c h a o t i c w o r l d , p e r h a p s some o f t h e o t h e r c h a r a c t e r s a r e more p r o m i s i n g . The k i d n a p p i n g e s c a p a d e becomes a n a l l e -g o r i c a l d e p i c t i o n o f modern t i m e s . The t h r e e a d v e n t u r e r s who s o u g h t r e f -uge i n a n o r g y o f p l e a s u r e f i n d o u t t h a t t h e i r e x p e c t a t i o n s a r e f u t i l e . 25 I n s p i t e o f t h e f a c t t h a t t h e y h a v e l i v e d l a v i s h l y , s p a r i n g no e x p e n s e t o p l e a s e t h e i r e v e r y -whim, t h e y f i n d t h e m s e l v e s i l l - t e m p e r e d and "bored . T h e y a r e f o r c e d t o r e c o n s i d e r t h e i r m o t i v e s f o r t h e i r a d v e n t u r e and i n s o d o i n g r e - e v a l u a t e t h e i r way o f l i f e . I n t h e f a c e o f s u c h d i s a p p o i n t m e n t o n l y t h e P a t i e n t r e a l l y g rows i n s t a t u r e . S w e e t i e i s c o n t e n t t o l i v e a w a n d e r i n g l i f e a-s l o n g a s s h e c a n t h r o w o v e r t h e r e p r e s s i n g c o d e s o f a l a d y and c a n h a v e a new m a l e c o m p a n i o n e v e r y few d a y s . She shows h e r s e l f t o be a t r u e p h i l i s t i n e i n h e r t a s t e s and i n s t i n c t s . Shaw does n o t condemn h e r b e c a u s e she a t l e a s t h a s t h e h o n e s t y t o l i v e o p e n l y a c c o r d i n g t o h e r " l o w e r c e n t r e s , " and d o e s n o t n e g a t e a v i t a l a s p e c t o f h e r b e i n g . A u b r e y i s t i r e d o f d r a g -g i n g two "damn s i l l y women" a b o u t when he w a n t s t o b a s k i n t h e s p l e n d o r s o f -nature and p r e a c h sermons whose d o c t r i n e i s " b e a u t i f u l and s u b t l e and e x -q u i s i t e l y p u t t o g e t h e r . " He i s a n i d e a l i s t i c i n t e l l e c t u a l whose h i g h e r c e n t r e s h a v e b e e n s e v e r e l y j a r r e d b y S w e e t i e ' s s h o u t i n g l o w e r c e n t r e s . H i s i d e a l s h a v e c r u m b l e d u n d e r t h e i m p a c t o f a v i t a l n a t u r e and he v o i c e s t h e a n x i e t y f e l t b y t h e " l o s t g e n e r a t i o n " w h i c h f i n d s "no p l a c e t o l i v e , no c e r t a i n t i e s , no w o r k a b l e m o r a l i t y , no h e a v e n , no h e l l , no commandments, and no God." ( I V , 676) U n d e r s u c h c i r c u m s t a n c e s he c a n f i n d s o l a c e i n s ermon-i z i n g on t h e v a c u i t y o f t h e a g e , b u t he c a n n o t do a n y t h i n g t o f i l l up t h e v o i d . O n l y t h e P a t i e n t r e v o l t s a g a i n s t t h i s m u l t i f a r i o u s s l a c k n e s s . M i s s M o p p l y , t h e P a t i e n t , has r e a c t e d v i o l e n t l y t o h e r s t u l t i f y i n g l i f e a s a pampered y o u n g l a d y . I n h e r g r o w t h as a v i t a l i n d i v i d u a l , s h e has f a r s u r p a s s e d A b u r e y , who i n i t i a t e d h e r r e s c u e f r o m r e s p e c t a b i l i t y . P o s i n g a s a n a t i v e g i r l s h e h a s " l i v e d t h e l i f e o f a m o u n t a i n g o a t " w i t h t h e r e s u l t t h a t she has p e r f e c t h e a l t h and g r e a t s t r e n g t h . I n s h o r t , s h e has become f i t . B u t t h e h o r r i b l e q u e s t i o n w h i c h t h e o t h e r s n e v e r f a c e and 26 •which n e a r l y d r i v e s h e r mad i s , f i t f o r w h a t ? She c a n n o t h e a r t h e i d l e n e s s t h e o t h e r s e n j o y . To a d e c e n t l y a c t i v e p e r s o n t h e g l o r i e s o f n a t u r e do n o t l a s t a week. She l o n g s t o do s o m e t h i n g p o s i t i v e , s o m e t h i n g " s e n s i b l e . " She c a n n o t , l i k e A u b r e y , c o m t e m p l a t e t h e u n i v e r s e , b e c a u s e t h e r e i s s o much e v i l i n i t t h a t she w o u l d go mad. She p u s h e s t o t h e l o g i c a l e x t r e m e A u b r e y ' s and S w e e t i e ' s a d v o c a c y o f s u p p o s e d s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d n e s s w i t h t h e r e s u l t t h a t she ends b y s h o c k i n g h e r s h o c k e r s . She shows t h a t t h e i r b o h e m i a n i s m i s i n t h e end f u t i l e . The r e a l i z a t i o n o f t h i s c a u s e s h e r t o r e l e a s e h e r f r u s t r a t i o n i n p u r e p h y s i c a l v i o l e n c e . She t u r n s t h e t a b l e s on A u b r e y b y e x e r c i s i n g t h e f r e e d o m he p r e a c h e d i n a f o r m he n e v e r c o n t e m p l a t e d i n h i s l i m i t e d m u s i n g s . I f , a s he s a y s , S w e e t i e h a s a l o w v i t a l i t y , Mops has a n e x c e e d i n g l y h i g h v i t a l i t y — a v i t a l i t y l o n g r e p r e s s e d w h i c h r e l e a s e s I t s e l f l i k e a t i g h t l y wound s p r i n g . H e r new a u s t e r e l i f e h a s made a v a i l a b l e t h e P a t i e n t ' s l a t e n t e n e r g y w h i c h must be e x p e l l e d i n some way, h o p e f u l l y on " s o m e t h i n g s e n s i b l e . " C oming t o r e a l i z e t h a t f i t n e s s I s n o t a n end i n i t s e l f , she b e g i n s t o r e -e x a m i n e t h e w o r l d f o r a s e n s e o f p u r p o s e . H e r d i l e m m a i s s i m i l a r t o t h e one f a c e d b y t h e d e n i z e n s o f h e a r t b r e a k h o u s e . B o h e m i a n i s m , w h i l e o f f e r i n g t e m p o r a r y a d v a n t a g e s o f f r e e d o m f r o m r i g i d i t y , does n o t o f f e r a n y t h i n g p o s -i t i v e t o combat t h e g e n e r a l s e n s e o f c h a o s and p u r p o s e l e s s n e s s . S o m e t h i n g more t h a n mere a w a r e n e s s o f t h e s i t u a t i o n i s r e q u i r e d i f t h e r e i s t o be a n y hope f o r r e a l i m p r o v e m e n t . B u t i n A c t Two t h e P a t i e n t does n o t y e t s e e a n y c o n s t r u c t i v e c o u r s e o f a c t i o n , i n t h e a b s e n c e o f w h i c h h e r l a t e n t e n e r g y i s e x p e l l e d i n f u t i l e v i o l e n c e . Shaw a g a i n s o f t e n s t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s o f s u c h n e g a t i v e a c t i o n i n t h e modern w o r l d b y d i s s o l v i n g t h e s c e n e i n t o f a r c e . The p r o b l e m does n o t a p p e a r i n i t s f u l l i n t e n s i t y u n t i l t h e l a s t a c t . T h e r e t h e masks a r e s u c c e s s i v e l y r i p p e d away and t h e i n t e r w a r g e n e r a t i o n s t a n d s o p e n l y 27 •with i t s s o u l s t r i p p e d n a k e d . I t i s i n Act T h r e e t h a t Shaw u s e s t h e s y m p o s i u m t e c h n i q u e . Two more c h a r a c t e r s a r e i n t r o d u c e d and t h e y j o i n a l l t h e p r e v i o u s ones i n a f a n t a s -t i c d i s c u s s i o n "which r e v e a l s t h e m a i n s p i r i t u a l , m o r a l and p h i l o s o p h i c a l d i l e m m a s t h a t u n d e r m i n e t h e s p r i n g -which f o l l o w e d t h e t e r r i b l e w i n t e r o f W o r l d War I . I t s o o n becomes a b u n d a n t l y c l e a r t h a t t h e f i r s t two a c t s h a v e b e e n o n l y g l i m p s e s o f what h a p p e n s i n a w o r l d t h a t h a s " o u t g r o w n [ i t s ] r e l i g i o n , o u t g r o w n [ i t s ] p o l i t i c a l s y s t e m , o u t g r o w n [ i t s ] s t r e n g t h o f mind and c h a r a c t e r . " ( I V , 719) The d r e a m o f Act One r a p i d l y d i s i n t e -g r a t e s i n t o a n e x p r e s s i o n i s t i c n i g h t m a r e c h o r u s o f v o i c e s a l l s h o u t i n g f r o m d i f f e r e n t d i r e c t i o n s u n t i l a f t e r a c r e s c e n d o t h e s o u n d d i e s away l e a v i n g a s o l i t a r y v o i c e t r a i l i n g o f f i n t o n o t h i n g n e s s . Shaw shows t h a t t h e s e c h a r a c t e r s , who seem f a n t a s t i c , u n r e a l , p e r v e r s e and u n s a t i s f a c t o r y , a r e n o t f i c t i o n s b u t r e p r e s e n t a t i v e e x a m p l e s o f r e a l s e gments o f s o c i e t y . The d i s c u s s i o n m e r e l y b r i n g s i n t o t h e o p e n and a n a l y z e s t h e f o r c e s and a t t i t u d e s w h i c h d e f i n e i n t e r w a r s o c i e t y . The t h i r d a c t i n t e n s i f i e s t h e f e e l i n g o f u n e a s i n e s s t h a t l u r k e d I n t o t h e two p r e v i o u s a c t s . Shaw i n t e n d -ed v i s u a l e f f e c t s t o be u s e d e x t e n s i v e l y i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h t h e a c t o r s t o a c h i e v e t h e p r o p e r f e e l i n g o f a c h a o t i c w o r l d . The amorphous g r o t t o s a p -p e a r and d i s a p p e a r a s s p e a k e r s i n t h em c o n t r i b u t e t o t h e p i c t u r e . B u t i t i s i m p o r t a n t t o n o t i c e t h a t t h e t h i r d a c t has a much t a u t e r s t r u c t u r e t h a n t h e r e s t o f t h e p l a y b e c a u s e i t i s h e r e t h a t t h e mood i n t e n s i f i e s , t h a t t h e v a r i o u s t h r e a d s o f t h e d i s c u s s i o n a r e b r o u g h t t o g e t h e r and a p o s s i b l e r e s -o l u t i o n a t t e m p t e d . The k e y n o t e o f t h e l a s t a c t i s t h e u n e x p e c t e d . L i k e t h e c h a o s t h a t t h e p l a y e x a m i n e s , t h e c h a r a c t e r s f i n d t h a t n o t h i n g i s f i r m l y p r e d i c t a b l e 28 a c c o r d i n g t o a n y o f t h e o l d t e n e t s . The a c t opens w i t h a d u e t b e t w e e n S e r g e a n t F i e l d i n g and S w e e t i e o n s e x and r e l i g i o n . S w e e t i e h a s a c t e d on h e r r e s o l v e i n t h e p r e v i o u s a c t t o e x e r c i s e h e r l o w e r c e n t r e s on t h e s e r -g e a n t who seemed t o be t h e o n l y man i n t h e camp w i t h a s u i t a b l e a n i m a l v i t a l i t y . She t h r o w s o f f h e r r e s t r i c t i n g c o d e o f a l a d y a n d a p p r o a c h e s F i e l d i n g h o p i n g t o a r o u s e a r e c i p r o c a l f e e l i n g . B u t t h e r u g g e d l y h a n d -some s o l d i e r t u r n s o u t t o be s t r u g g l i n g w i t h a d i f f i c u l t m o r a l p r o b l e m : he i s t r y i n g t o r e s o l v e t h e c o n f l i c t b e t w e e n h i s o l d r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s and h i s e x p e r i e n c e w i t h modern w a r f a r e . A s a r e a s o n a b l e man w i t h a l i m i t e d b u t r e a l i s t i c v i s i o n o f t h e w o r l d , he f i n d s h i m s e l f i n a mess. As he s a y s t o S w e e t i e : " I u s e d t o be a r e l i g i o u s man; b u t I'm n o t so c l e a r a b o u t i t as I was." ( I V , 691) He c a r r i e s w i t h h i m t h e B i b l e and P i l g r i m ' s P r o g r e s s , b u t t h e s t o r i e s w h i c h seemed t o be so u p l i f t i n g b e c a u s e t h e y h a d n o t h i n g t o d o w i t h r e a l l i f e h a v e come t o be f r i g h t e n i n g l y r e a l s i n c e t h e w a r ; t h e y h a v e become God's t r u t h i n w h i c h t h e o n l y a d v i c e o f f e r e d i s t h e a d m o n i t i o n t o f l e e f r o m t h e w r a t h t o come. The q u e s t i o n w h i c h emerges l o u d e r a n d l o u d e r i s , Where? The s c r i p t u r e s no l o n g e r g i v e a n y d i r e c t i o n t o modern man. S w e e t i e ' s e n f o r c e d c o n t a c t w i t h t h em a l s o r e s u l t e d i n a n e g a t i v e r e a c t i o n . She c o u l d o n l y s e e t h a t she was p u t i n j a i l f o r s p o i l i n g t h e E g y p t i a n s . F i e l d i n g d o e s n o t r e j e c t r e l i g i o n b u t o n l y t h e o l d f o r m a t f o r i t . "No: damn i t , w e ' r e c i v i l i z e d men; a n d t h o u g h i t may h a v e gone down w i t h t h o s e o l d Jews i t i s n t r e l i g i o n . A n d , i f i t i s n t , where a r e we? T h a t ' s w hat I want t o know." ( I V , 693) The c h a p l a i n s a r e no h e l p i n t h i s s p i r i t u a l q u a g m i r e s i n c e t h e y e i t h e r n e g l e c t t h e t r u l y s p i r i t u a l m a t t e r s a l t o g e t h e r o r do n o t b e l i e v e "any o f t h e o l d s t u f f . " The F i e l d i n g s h a v e t o p u z z l e t h e i r own p r o b l e m s o u t f o r t h e m s e l v e s . One o f t h e f a c t s t h a t a n y 29 v i a b l e r e l i g i o n must make room f o r i s t h e s e x u a l a t t r a c t i o n he c a n f e e l f o r S w e e t i e . She c a r e s n o t h i n g f o r h i s t o p s t o r e y a s he c a l l s i t . She o n l y w a n t s a b i t o f f u n i n a j o y l e s s w o r l d . T h i s s c e n e i n d i c a t e s t h e l a c k o f r e s p o n s i b i l i t y a t one end o f t h e s c a l e among t h e s o - c a l l e d l e a d e r s who r e -f u s e t o o f f e r o r a r e u n a b l e t o o f f e r t h e n e c e s s a r y s p i r i t u a l g u i d a n c e , a n d a t t h e o t h e r e n d o f t h e s c a l e , among t h e i n d i v i d u a l s who c a r e o n l y f o r t h e i r own g r a t i f i c a t i o n a n d s h i r k t h e c o n s e q u e n c e s o f I g n o r i n g t h e s p i r i t u a l o r i n t e l l e c t u a l a s p e c t s o f m a n k i n d . The s u d d e n a p p e a r a n c e o f A u b r e y ' s a t h e i s t f a t h e r i n t r o d u c e s y e t a n -o t h e r f a c e t o f modern h i s t o r y , a s Shaw p r o g r e s s i v e l y e x a m i n e s v a r i o u s a t t e m p t s t o c o p e w i t h l i f e . The E l d e r r e p r e s e n t s t h e p r e - E i n s t e i n r a t i o n a l d e t e r m i n i s t s , who had p l a c e d t h e i r f a i t h i n a p e r f e c t l y o r d e r e d and p r e d i c t -a b l e u n i v e r s e a s d e s c r i b e d b y N e w t o n i a n m e c h a n i c s and m a t h e m a t i c s . The s e e m i n g l y i n f a l l i b l e " l a w s " o f n a t u r e h a d b r e d a s e n s e o f w e l l - b e i n g a n d awe i n t h e E l d e r w h e n e v e r he c o n t e m p l a t e d t h e i n f i n i t e p a t t e r n s o f t h e u n i v e r s e . B u t E i n s t e i n ' s d i s c o v e r y o f r e l a t i v i t y a n d t h e new quantum m e c h a n i c s s h a t -t e r e d t h e E l d e r ' s f a i t h i n h i s i m p e r s o n a l l y o r d e r e d u n i v e r s e . The o l d p a t t e r n s s u d d e n l y w e r e r e v e a l e d t o be a s c a p r i c i o u s a n d c h a n g e a b l e a s a n y f a l l i b l e human. The n a t u r a l h i s t o r y museums, h i s f o r m e r s o l a c e , now o n l y r e m i n d h i m o f some Z e u s - M e p h i s t o p h e l e s p l a y i n g a t m a k i n g t h e g r o t e s q u e c r e a -t u r e s o f t h e w o r l d . H i s s p e e c h , w h i c h c a p t i v a t e s F i e l d i n g , ends w i t h t h e g l o o m y t h o u g h t t h a t t h e w o r l d i s f a l l i n g down i n t o a b o t t o m l e s s a b y s s . The E l d e r d e m o n s t r a t e s a r i g i d i t y o f m i n d , w h i c h once i t has l o s t i t s f r a m e o f r e f e r e n c e , c a n no l o n g e r f u n c t i o n . He comes t o r e a l i z e t h a t h i s o l d s t a n d -a r d s , w h i c h l e d t o p u r e l y d e s t r u c t i v e c r i t i c i s m o f o t h e r s , a r e t h e m s e l v e s f a u l t y , b u t he c a n n o t f i n d a n y t h i n g p o s i t i v e t o t a k e t h e p l a c e o f h i s d i s -30 c a r d e d e t h i c s . The r e s u l t i s t h a t he i s c o m p l e t e l y u n a b l e t o c o p e w i t h h i s s o n ' s b e h a v i o r . A u b r e y , w i t h h i s more f l e x i b l e a p p r o a c h , c a n e a s i l y o v e r p o w e r h i s f a t h e r ' s r i g i d a r g u m e n t . A u b r e y i s t h e s e c o n d g e n e r a t i o n r e b e l l i n g a g a i n s t t h e d e b i l i t a t i n g c o d e s o f t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y . The m o r a l t y r a n n y t h a t t h e f a t h e r e x e r t e d o v e r h i s s o n t h w a r t e d A u b r e y ' s m a n i f e s t d e s t i n y a s s u r e l y a s M r s . M o p p l y ' s s o c i a l t y r a n n y s t i f l e d h e r d a u g h t e r ' s g r o w t h . B u t e v e n more d e s t r u c t i v e was t h e g r o t e s q u e l y d i s t o r t e d v a l u e s o f t h e a t h e i s t m o r a I T i s t who c o n d o n e d w a r a t r o c i t i e s a n d y e t b a l k e d a t t h e r e l a t i v e l y p e t t y t h e f t o f a n e c k l a c e . I n s p i t e o f h i s o b v i o u s f a u l t s A u b r e y d o e s r e n d e r some v e r y v a l i d c r i t i c i s m o f t h e war m o r a l i t y : "You c a n n o t d i v i d e my c o n s c i e n c e i n t o "a w a r d e p a r t m e n t a n d a p e a c e d e p a r t m e n t . Do y o u s u p p o s e t h a t a man who w i l l commit m u r d e r f o r p o l i t i c a l ends w i l l h e s i t a t e t o commit t h e f t f o r p e r -s o n a l e n d s ? " ( I V , 699) A u b r e y i s c l e v e r enough t o r e a l i z e how t h e s y s t e m o f b e h a v i o r w o r k s , and i s f o r t h r i g h t e nough t o o p e r a t e o p e n l y b y t h e ob-s e r v e d r a t h e r t h a n t h e mouthed s t a n d a r d s . H i s s e l f - a c k n o w l e d g e d p r o g r a m o f u n s c r u p u l o u s m a t e r i a l i s m r e i g n s supreme o v e r t h e n e g a t i v e m o n g e r i n g o f h i s f a t h e r a n d t h e g e n t l e m a n - s o l d i e r c o d e o f F i e l d i n g , b u t i t t o o f a l l s b e f o r e t h e P a t i e n t ' s r e f u s a l t o a c c e p t t h i n g s a s t h e y a r e and h e r d e t e r m i n a t i o n t o i n s t i g a t e some r a d i c a l a n d f u n d a m e n t a l c h a n g e s i n t h e s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e . H a v i n g d i s c o v e r e d how h e r o l d way o f l i f e was n o t h i n g b u t a n e g a t i o n o f h e r v i t a l i t y , a n d h a v i n g d i s c o v e r e d a l s o t h a t h e r d r e a m - w o r l d l i f e o n l y made h e r s e l f - k n o w l e d g e more t e r r i b l e t o b e a r , t h e P a t i e n t l o n g s t o c r e a t e a new l i f e , one t h a t w o u l d h a v e some r e a l p u r p o s e a n d t h a t w o u l d e x e r c i s e h e r n e w-found s t r e n g t h f r u i t f u l l y . She r e b e l s a g a i n s t a l l t y r a n n i e s w h i c h s e e k t o r e s t r a i n h e r v i t a l i t y . She l o n g s f o r a " s i s t e r h o o d " where t h e p r i -31 mary r e q u i s i t e w o u l d "be t h a t a l l members, i n c l u d i n g men, w o u l d be f r e e , s t r o n g a n d , s i n c e t h e c h i l l o f p o v e r t y b l i g h t s a l l h i g h e r a s p i r a t i o n s , i n -d e p e n d e n t l y w e a l t h y . M e m b e r s h i p i n h e r s i s t e r h o o d w o u l d be c o m p u l s o r y and t h o s e who w e r e u n w i l l i n g o r u n a b l e t o meet t h e s t a n d a r d w o u l d be k i l l e d . P a r e n t s a r e t h e e p i t o m e o f d i n g e r s t o t h e P a t i e n t a t t h i s moment. H e r i m a g i n e d w o r l d w i t h o u t t h e m i s h e r way o f a d v o c a t i n g a c l a s s l e s s s o c i e t y i n w h i c h e a c h member must p u l l h i s own w e i g h t o r be e l i m i n a t e d . I n h e r f i t o f a n g e r she i s i m p a t i e n t w i t h a l l t h e o t h e r s who seem t o t h w a r t h e r . H e r v i o -l e n c e p r o m p t s t h e E l d e r t o o b s e r v e t h a t e v e n t h e s t r o n g , y o u n g , r i c h and b e a u t i f u l a r e f a l l i n g down i n t o t h e a b y s s o f c h a o s . B u t i f Mops i s t h r a s h -i n g a r o u n d f o r a g r i p on r e a l i t y , she i s n o t y e t s i n k i n g . She i s somehow m a n a g i n g a t l e a s t t o r e m a i n a f l o a t f r o m t h e s h e e r e n e r g y o f h e r t h r a s h i n g . The P a t i e n t shows s i g n s o f t h e n e c e s s a r y g r o w t h f r o m a p a t h e t i c s o c i a l d e b i t t o a n a c t i v e s o c i a l a s s e t . She has n o t t h e i n s t i n c t s o f a l a d y , b u t o f a good h o u s e - k e e p e r who w a n t s " t o c l e a n up t h i s f i l t h y w o r l d and k e e p i t c l e a n . " She i s n o t c o n t e n t t o t o l e r a t e s n o b b e r y and r e s p e c t a b i l i t y w h i c h s t a r v e t h e s o u l . The o t h e r s , t h o u g h m o s t l y aware o f t h e t r u t h , h a v e n o t t h e c o u r a g e o r t h e e n e r g y t o r e v o l t . Mops' g l i m p s e o f r e a l i t y i n h e r "dream" has wakened h e r t o h e r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y a s a member o f t h e human r a c e . H e r new s e n s e o f w e l l - b e i n g a f t e r t h i s v i o l e n t p u r g e p r o m p t s M i s s M o p p l y ' s op-t i m i s m and c u r i o u s l y h e r new-found b e n e v o l e n c e t o w a r d s h e r f e l l o w c r e a t u r e s . She i s s u d d e n l y a l m o s t m e l l o w i n h e r a t t i t u d e t o w a r d s h e r m o t h e r and seems t o l o s e s i g h t o f h e r g o a l when she t r i e s t o c o m f o r t t h e o l d l a d y i n h e r s h o c k . M r s . M o p p l y i s a l s o v i o l e n t l y awakened t o r e a l i t y b y t h e whack o n h e r h e a d . R e c o v e r i n g f r o m t h e b l o w she t h r o w s away t h e p r e t e n s e t h a t has p l a g u e d 32 h e r l i f e . H e r f i r s t r e a c t i o n i s t o d i s b e l i e v e e v e r y t h i n g , h u t s h e s o o n s e e s t h a t s u c h a n a t t i t u d e i s e v e n more h o p e l e s s b e c a u s e s h e d o e s n o t know how t o b e h a v e i n a c h a o t i c w o r l d w h e r e a l l t h e o l d v a l u e s a r e u s e l e s s . I t i s h e r e t h a t t h e P a t i e n t s t e p s i n t o t r y t o c o m f o r t h e r m o t h e r i n t h e o l d t e r m s . She r e f u s e s t o b e l i e v e t h a t o t h e r s a r e c a p a b l e o f r a p i d c h a n g e . H e r m o t h e r r e -j e c t s "the f i l i a l f e e l i n g j u s t a s t h e P a t i e n t h a d . She t a k e s t h e i n i t i a t i v e i n p r o p o s i n g a l i a i s o n w i t h t h e s t r o n g y o u n g woman who i s n o t a b i t l i k e h e r d a u g h t e r . The b a s i s o f t h e u n i o n w i l l be n a t u r a l c o m p a t i b i l i t y a n d n o t a n y a r t i f i c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p d i c t a t e d b y s o c i e t y . They a g r e e t o " f o r g e t t h a t t h e r e a r e s u c h m i s e r a b l e t h i n g s i n t h e w o r l d a s m o t h e r s a nd d a u g h t e r s . " The u n i o n b e t w e e n y o u t h a n d age may be a v a r i a t i o n on t h e e n d i n g o f H e a r t -b r e a k House w h e r e a u n i o n was a l s o t h e m a i n b a s i s f o r a h o p e f u l r e f o r m . Bu t a s i n t h e e a r l i e r p l a y , Shaw a r t i s t i c a l l y m a n i p u l a t e s t h e f i n a l s c e n e s o a s t o p r o d u c e a n u n e a s y f e e l i n g t h a t w h i l e t h e s e e d s f o r r e f o r m a r e p r e s -e n t i n t h e p o s i t i v e c h a r a c t e r s , t h e r e i s a l s o t h e p o s s i b l i t y t h a t t h e y w i l l n o t c o n t i n u e t o grow i n t h e h o p e f u l d i r e c t i o n . The P a t i e n t i s s t i l l u n s u r e o f h e r I m m e d i a t e f u t u r e c o u r s e o f a c t i o n when she a g r e e s t o h e r m o t h e r ' s s u g g e s t i o n . She h a d p r e v i o u s l y f e l t t h e need t o f o r m a u n i v e r s a l s i s t e r h o o d b u t d i d n o t p u r s u e t h i s . The m o t h e r e v i d e n t l y h a s some k i n d o f s p r e e i n mind b e c a u s e s h e s a y s , " I ha v e l o t s o f money, a n d s i x t y y e a r s o f a m i s s p e n t l i f e t o make up f o r ; s o y o u w i l l h a v e a good t i m e w i t h me." ( I V , 715) The P a t i e n t , l i k e o t h e r p e o p l e , h ad w a n t e d t o e s c a p e t h e c h a o s o f l i f e a n d e m i g r a t e t o The U n i o n o f F e d e r a t e d S e n s i b l e S o c i e t i e s , a communist Utopia, b u t a l l E n g l i s h m e n a r e r e j e c t e d a s mad. She has no a l t e r n a t i v e b u t t o t u r n b a c k t o h e r own c o u n t r y , where h e r s e r v i c e s a r e v e r y much i n n e e d i f s h e w i l l o n l y e x e r t h e r s e l f . 33 Shaw p a r t i a l l y u n d e r c u t s t h e hope v e s t e d i n t h e P a t i e n t -when he p o r -t r a y s h e r a s a n i m p e t u o u s y o u n g -woman -whose f i t s o f i n d i g n a n t r a g e a l t e r -n a t e -with e x t r e m e l y f l i p p a n t c o n v e r s a t i o n . I t may he a symptom o f a l a r g e r f a i l i n g i n Shaw t h a t n e a r l y a l l h i s y o u n g e r g e n e r a t i o n c h a r a c t e r s i n h i s p l a y s a r e b u m p t i o u s i c o n o c l a s t s who a r e p r o n e t o j a r g o n . T h e y become t o o s t y l i z e d t o a c t a s f u l l y d r a w n c h a r a c t e r s . Shaw m i s u s e s t h i s d e v i c e i n Too T r u e t o be Good n o t o n l y w i t h M i s s M o p p l y b u t a l s o w i t h A u b r e y . I t i s e s p e c i a l l y h a r m f u l w i t h t h e P a t i e n t who i s s u p p o s e d t o c a r r y Shaw's hope i n t h e p l a y . She i s t h e one who u t t e r s t h e most t e l l i n g c r i t i c i s m o f s o c i e t y a n d who seems most l i k e l y t o d o s o m e t h i n g a b o u t i t . B u t h e r s e r i o u s s p e e c h -es a r e made r i d i c u l o u s b y h e r i m p e t u o u s n a t u r e . F o r e x a m p l e , i m m e d i a t e l y a f t e r h e r most m o v i n g s p e e c h on t h e n i g h t m a r e q u a l i t y o f h e r d r e a m and h e r d e t e r m i n a t i o n t o k i l l a l l d i n g e r s , t h e E l d e r d r o n e s f r o m h i s p l a t f o r m w i t h h i s u b i q u i t o u s v o i c e , " T h e r e i s g r e a t c o m f o r t i n c l i n g i n g , a n d g r e a t l o n e l i -n e s s i n s t a n d i n g a l o n e . " ( I V , 703) Mops c a n n o t r e s i s t t h e t e m p t a t i o n t o t e a s e t h e o l d man. She f o r g e t s h e r i m p r e c a t i o n s t o t h e d i n g e r s o f t h e w o r l d a nd p e e r s i n t o t h e c e l l w i t h , " H a l l o I a s e n t e n t i o u s a n c h o r i t e ! Who i s h e ? " A t t i m e s t h e n t h e g e n e r a l f l i p p a n t t o n e o f t h e d i a l o g u e i n t h i s and o t h e r l a t e p l a y s d e t r a c t s f r o m t h e i r theme. When t h e m a j o r spokesmen f o r Shaw a r e most g u i l t y o f i t t h e i m p a c t o f t h e message i s d i m i n i s h e d . I t i s h a r d t o s a y how much o f t h i s I s i n t e n d e d a s a n a r t i s t i c d e v i c e and how much i s Shaw's c l o w n i n g . I t may be p a r t o f Shaw's message t h a t s u c h f l i p p a n c y c a n be d e t r i m e n t a l t o p r o g r e s s . The P a t i e n t h as much p o t e n t i a l , she e v e n has many good i d e a s , b u t i f s h e a l l o w s h e r i m p e t u o u s n a t u r e and h e r t e n d -e n c y t o c a v o r t t o d e t e r h e r f r o m h e r p u r p o s e , she t o o w i l l f a i l t o f u l f i l l 3h h e r p o t e n t i a l . A t t h e end o f t h e p l a y when A u b r e y r i s e s " t o i m p r o v e t h e o c c a s i o n , " Mops shows h e r m i s c h i e v o u s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s a g a i n . She u r g e s A u b r e y t o s p e a k , k n o w i n g i t w i l l a n n o y t h e o t h e r s . She h a s d e b u n k e d A u b r e y ' s " g i f t " b e f o r e , s o s h e e v i d e n t l y d o e s n o t t h i n k he c a n h a v e a n y t h i n g w o r t h w h i l e t o s a y . "When he s t a r t s t o s p e a k t h e o t h e r s a l l s n e a k o f f , g l a d t o e s c a p e h i s l e c t u r e . B u t w h a t he s a y s s t a r t s t o c a p t i v a t e Mops, a l m o s t i n s p i t e o f h e r -s e l f . He s a y s s h e a n d h e r m o t h e r a r e g o i n g o f f t o f o u n d a n u n l a d y l i k e s i s -t e r h o o d l i k e T e r e s a , w i t h M r s . M o p p l y a s c o o k - h o u s e k e e p e r . A t t h i s s u g -g e s t i o n t h e m o t h e r d r a g s Mops o f f . I t i s t o be remembered t h a t M r s . M o p p l y w a n t e d t o h a v e a good t i m e f o r t h e f i r s t t i m e i n h e r l i f e . She c o u l d h a r d l y h a v e h a d i n m i n d b e i n g a c o o k - h o u s e k e e p e r i n some s t r i c t o r d e r . B u t t h e P a t i e n t h a s b y t h i s t i m e t h r o w n o f f much o f h e r f r i v o l i t y , a s h e r s t r i n g e n t d i e t a nd d a i l y r o u t i n e s u g g e s t . Up t o t h i s p o i n t she has n o t c o m m i t t e d h e r -s e l f t o a n y d e f i n i t e c o u r s e o f a c t i o n a n d s h e i s i m p r e s s e d b y A u b r e y ' s s u g g e s t i o n . P e r h a p s h i s g i f t i s f u r t h e r i n g t h e p u r p o s e o f t h e L i f e F o r c e i n s p i t e o f h i s r a s c a l i t y . V i e w e d i n t h i s l i g h t he has sown t h e s e e d s o f a n a c t i v e i d e a i n Mops' mi n d a n d t h e s t i l l l i m i t e d m o t h e r t r i e s 'to p r e v e n t h e r d a u g h t e r ' s f u r t h e r g r o w t h . Thus Mops do e s go o f f s t a g e w i t h a new o p t i -mism. A u b r e y s p o u t s h i s d e s p a i r t o t h e a u d i e n c e n o t t o t h e c h a r a c t e r s , and e s p e c i a l l y n o t t o Mops. A l t h o u g h Shaw d e p r e c i a t e s A u b r e y as a s c o u n d r e l w i n d b a g a t t h e end o f t h e p l a y , i t i s u n d e n i a b l e t h a t much o f what i s s a i d i n t h e f i n a l s p e e c h o f t h e p l a y i s a n e l o q u e n t s u m m a t i o n o f Shaw's v i e w s o f t h e i n t e r w a r y e a r s . I t i s n o t s u r p r i s i n g t h a t e v e n s u c h w e l l - k n o w n c r i t i c s a s J o h n G a s s n e r saw t h i s p l a y a s e v i d e n c e o f c l e a r d e s p a i r i n Shaw. 1 The d i s t i n c t S h a v i a n r i n g o f T M a s t e r s o f Drama, p. 6l3-35 t h i s s p e e c h c o m b i n e d w i t h t h e a m b i g u o u s s t r e n g t h o f t h e m a i n p o s i t i v e c h a r -a c t e r t e m p t t h e r e a d e r t o come t o t h i s c o n c l u s i o n . B u t when v i e w e d w i t h i n t h e l a r g e r c o n t e x t o f n o t o n l y t h i s p l a y b u t a l s o t h e o t h e r l a t e p l a y s , i t becomes c l e a r t h a t A u b r e y ' s s p e e c h i s meant t o q u a l i f y t h e o p t i m i s m o f t h e P a t i e n t . I t i s a d r a m a t i c way o f i s s u i n g a w a r n i n g t o t h e a u d i e n c e . I t i s o n l y t o o e a s y f o r a n y r e a l i s t i c o b s e r v e r o f m a n k i n d t o succumb t o A u b r e y ' s k i n d o f d e s p a i r . I t i s n o t e n o u g h m e r e l y t o c r y o u t t h a t n e g a t i v e m o n g e r i n g p r e v a i l s i n t h e w o r l d i f t h e s e a r c h f o r v i a b l e a f f i r m a t i o n s i s g i v e n up. Shaw, t h r o u g h c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n a n d s t r u c t u r e , l e a v e s t h e " r e s o l u t i o n " o f t h e p l a y o p e n . A l l e g o r i c a l l y he h a s c h r o n i c l e d t h e g r a d u a l b u t s h o c k i n g p r o c e s s t h a t p e o p l e e x p e r i e n c e d i n t h e l a t e t w e n t i e s and e a r l y t h i r t i e s , a s t h e y b e g a n t o s e e i n t h e g r i m l i g h t o f r e a l i t y t h e t e r r i b l e c h a o s t h a t e n -g u l f e d t h e o l d and new g e n e r a t i o n s a l i k e . The s t r u c t u r e a n d f a n t a s y o f t h e p l a y h e l p t o u n d e r l i n e t h i s p r o c e s s . The p l a y shows how p e o p l e must f i r s t w r e n c h t h e m s e l v e s f r o m t h e i r o l d v a l u e s w h i c h a r e no l o n g e r v a l i d , a n d t h e n c o n s c i o u s l y s e e k new d i r e c t i o n s w h i c h do n o t n e g a t e t h e r e a l human o r s o c i a l f a c t s . A l t h o u g h t h i s p r o c e s s i s p a i n f u l a n d f r u s t r a t i n g , I t i s e s s e n t i a l . Shaw d o e s n o t a t t h i s t i m e i n d i c a t e s p e c i f i c a l l y what d i r e c t i o n s t h e new v a l u e s w i l l t a k e , o n l y t h a t p e o p l e must b e g i n w i t h a n a w a r e n e s s o f t h e r e a l p r o b l e m s f a c i n g s o c i e t y . I t i s t h e v i t a l p e r s o n who must be t h e p i o n e e r - - t h e p e r s o n s t r o n g e nough t o f a c e t h e n a k e d t r u t h . Shaw s a y s t h e women a r e most l i k e l y t o be a b l e t o do t h i s , b u t he does n o t e l a b o r a t e on t h i s i n Too T r u e . He d o e s , h o w e v e r , s u g g e s t t h a t a n open and c r i t i c a l l o o k a t r e a l i t y w i l l b e n e f i t most p e o p l e . N e a r l y a l l t h e c h a r a c t e r s b r e a k f r o m t h e i r o l d p a t h s , h o p e f u l l y n o t t o l e a v e t h e i r p r o b l e m s , b u t t o r e - e x p l o r e them. None o f t h e c h a r a c t e r s c a n a v o i d f a c i n g h i s own p r o b l e m s b y f l e e i n g 36 t o t h e c o m m u n i s t Utopia; t h e y a l l must r e t u r n t o E n g l a n d , a n d most o f t h e m ha v e g a i n e d a new p e r s p e c t i v e , i f n o t a new d i r e c t i o n t o t h e i r l i v e s . I f t h i s i s t h e r e a l message o f t h e p l a y , Shaw was n e i t h e r b l e a k l y p e s s i m i s t i c n o r j u b i l a n t l y h o p e f u l a b o u t t h e outcome o f t h e w o r l d e v e n t s i n 1931, b u t was c a l l i n g f o r a s a n e r e - e v a l u a t i o n o f t h e many p r o b l e m s f a c i n g E n g l a n d . " T h i s p l a y , o n c e u n d e r s t o o d , assumes a s a t i s f y i n g a r t i s t i c u n i t y n o t f o u n d i n many o t h e r l e s s t r o u b l e s o m e p l a y s . Shaw d e v e l o p e d , i n Too T r u e , some t e c h n i q u e s w h i c h he c o n t i n u e d t o u s e f o r t h e n e x t d e c a d e . When u s e d w i t h s k i l l t h e l o o s e s t r u c t u r e s , f a n t a s t i c s e t t i n g s , and s y m b o l i c c h a r a c -t e r s c a n e x p r e s s more c o m p a c t l y a n d more a b s t r a c t l y t h e c h a o s i n t h e t h i r -t i e s . B u t b y t h e same t o k e n , t h e s e t e c h n i q u e s c a n e a s i l y u n d e r c u t t h e d r a m a t i s t ' s message I f i t i s n o t w e l l s u i t e d t o t h e s e d e v i c e s . Shaw u s e d t h e s e t e c h n i q u e s t o c r e a t e some o f h i s most i n t e l l e c t u a l l y s a t i s f y i n g p l a y s , b u t when he a t t e m p t e d t o d e a l w i t h s p e c i f i c p o l i t i c a l p r o b l e m s , t h e v e r y t e c h n i q u e s he h a d d e v e l o p e d t o p o r t r a y t h e c h a o s u n d e r c u t a n y p o s i t i v e message he may h a v e h a d . ON THE ROCKS The p o s t W o r l d War I s o c i e t y , as a n a l y z e d I n Too T r u e t o he Good, l a c k e d , a b o v e a l l , a p o s i t i v e s e n s e o f p u r p o s e . The v a r n o t o n l y d i s r u p t e d t h e v h o l e p o l i t i c a l a n d e c o n o m i c s t r u c t u r e o f E u r o p e b u t a l s o t h r e a t e n e d many o f t h e o l d r e l i g i o u s a n d m o r a l s t a n d a r d s . The r e s u l t v a s t h e s p i r i t -u a l a n d m o r a l c h a o s e l o q u e n t l y d e s c r i b e d b y A u b r e y . B u t v h i l e Too T r u e c l e a r l y h a s p o l i t i c a l o v e r t o n e s , Shav e x p l o r e s I n On t h e Rocks (1933) h i s d e e p c o n c e r n v i t h t h e v o i d i n t h e p o l i t i c a l s p h e r e v h i c h c o r r e s p o n d e d t o t h e g e n e r a l m e n t a l c h a o s . T h i s v a s t h e a b s e n c e i n t h e v e s t , and p a r t i c u -l a r l y i n E n g l a n d , o f a n a b l e a n d s t r o n g l e a d e r v h o c o u l d g i v e t h e c o u n t r y t h e much n e e d e d s e n s e o f d i r e c t i o n . On t h e R o c k s p r e s e n t s t h e p o l i t i c a l s i d e o f t h i s c h a o s , d e f t l y e x p o s i n g t h e many v e a k n e s s e s i n E n g l a n d ' s p o l i t -i c a l s i t u a t i o n v i t h o u t o f f e r i n g a n y c o n c r e t e s o l u t i o n t o t h e c o m p l i c a t e d p r o b l e m o f a c h i e v i n g e f f e c t i v e a nd r e s p o n s i b l e l e a d e r s h i p . The y e a r s b e t v e e n 1929 a n d 1933 s a v many c h a n g e s i n t h e w o r l d s i t u a -t i o n . I n E n g l a n d a L a b o r g o v e r n m e n t , t h e hope o f t h e s o c i a l i s t s , n o t o n l y f a i l e d t o p r o v i d e a n y i m p r o v e m e n t o v e r p r e v i o u s g o v e r n m e n t s , b u t a l s o f a i l e d t o s t a y i n o f f i c e more t h a n two y e a r s . The w o r l d economy had c o l l a p s e d , and t h e w e s t e r n c o u n t r i e s w e r e i n t h e d e p t h o f d e p r e s s i o n w i t h m i l l i o n s o f unem-p l o y e d d e p l e t i n g n a t i o n a l b u d g e t s . F u r t h e r m o r e , w h i l e E n g l a n d l a c k e d p o s i -t i v e l e a d e r s h i p , o t h e r c o u n t r i e s r a l l i e d u n d e r d i c t a t o r s , i m p l e m e n t e d s o c i a l i m p r o v m e n t s and e n j o y e d a new s e n s e o f p u r p o s e i n a d i s c o r d a n t w o r l d . E n g -l i s h s o c i a l i s t s w e r e v e r y b i t t e r w i t h Ramsay M a c D o n a l d f o r h i s f a i l u r e t o i n t r o d u c e a n y s o c i a l i s t l e g i s l a t i o n . Though P r i m e M i n i s t e r , he was r e d u c e d t o a mere f i g u r e h e a d l e a d e r i n a c a b i n e t w h i c h was p r e d o m i n a n t l y c o n s e r v a -38 t i v e . Shaw was p a r t i c u l a r l y c r i t i c a l because strong men l i k e M u s s o l i n i were i g n o r i n g the p a i n f u l l y slow parl iamentary system and were r e p l a c i n g c i v i l i n e f f i c i e n c y w i t h organized p u b l i c works programs. To Shaw, p a r l i a -ment was nothing but a " t a l k shop, " designed to impede the execution of any a u t h o r i t y , and dominated by eloquent wind-bags saying nothing."^ Never very conf ident i n the a b i l i t y of the v o t i n g mob to govern i t s e l f , Shaw turned h i s a t t e n t i o n more and more towards the p o s s i b i l i t y of a benevolent d i c t a t o r w i t h a s o c i a l conscience as a more e f f e c t i v e means of government.2 That there are i n Shaw's plays important s h i f t s i n a t t i t u d e and technique which r e f l e c t the changes i n the world s i t u a t i o n during the l a s t years of the twenties and e a r l y years of the t h i r t i e s can be seen i n a b r i e f com-p a r i s o n of three p l a y s : Sa int Joan (1923), The Apple Cart (1929), and On the Eocks (1933). One of the most not iceable changes i n Shaw's a t t i t u d e s which becomes apparent i n the t h i r t i e s i s the absence of a cons is tent and c l e a r l y def ined Shavian p o s i t i o n i n the p l a y s . The v a r i e t y and the extremity of the o p i n -ions he expressed a t t e s t s to a very probable lack of c e r t a i n t y i n Shaw's mind regarding the s o l u t i o n s to the s o c i a l problems i n these years . Shaw's preference i s s t i l l f a i r l y c l e a r l y d i s c e r n i b l e i n h i s charac ters , but they have none of the s trength of e a r l i e r heroes w i t h whom the Shavian p o s i t i o n was a s s o c i a t e d . The Apple C a r t , though c l e a r l y a l a t e r p l a y , Is i n some A good example of Shaw's a t t i t u d e toward such parl iamentary speakers appears i n " In Pra ise of Guy Fawkes," (One i n a course of lec tures under the auspices of the Fabian S o c i e t y , d e l i v e r e d i n Kingsway H a l l , 25 November 1932.) P l a t f o r m and P u l p i t , ed. Dan H. Laurence (London, 1961), p . 237. 2Many times i n h i s non-dramatic w r i t i n g s of the per iod Shaw expressed h i s i n t e r e s t i n d i c t a t o r s . See, f o r example, the preface to Too True to be Good, I V , 626-627. 39 ways a t r a n s i t i o n f r o m S a i n t J o a n t o t h e p l a y s o f t h e t h i r t i e s . K i n g Magnus d e m o n s t r a t e s a s t r e n g t h o f c h a r a c t e r a n d a l a r g e n e s s o f s p i r i t w h i c h i s n o t p r e s e n t i n a n y o f t h e f i g u r e s i n t h e l a t e r p l a y s , n o t e v e n i n K i n g C h a r l e s . B u t e v e n Magnus, who i s a n e x a m p l e o f t h e i n t e l l i g e n t a n d v o l u n t a r y c o n s e r v -a t i s m Shaw i m p l i c i t l y a d v o c a t e d i n S a i n t J o a n , i s n o t d r a m a t i c a l l y a s f o r c e -f u l a s J o a n . The s h i f t f r o m t h e c l e a r l y d e f i n e d p o s i t i o n s w i t h c o n c o m i t a n t s t r o n g c e n t r a l f i g u r e s o f t h e p o w e r f u l e a r l i e r p l a y s t o t h e more t e n t a t i v e p r o p o s a l s a n d a m b i g u o u s c h a r a c t e r s o f t h e e n i g m a t i c l a t e r ones i s a d u m b r a t e d i n The A p p l e C a r t , i n w h i c h Shaw e x p l o r e s t h e p o s s i b l i t y o f r e s o l v i n g t h e q o n f l i c t d e p i c t e d i n S a i n t J o a n b y c o m b i n i n g v i s i o n a n d i n t e l l i g e n t c o n -s e r v a t i s m i n a c o n t e m p o r a r y l e a d e r . Shaw s u g g e s t s b o t h i n t h e p r e f a c e t o H e a r t b r e a k H o u s e , w h e r e he d i s -c u s s e s N a t u r e ' s l o n g o v e r d u e a c c o u n t s , a n d i n t h e p r e f a c e t o S a i n t J o a n w h e r e he d i s c u s s e s t o l e r a t i o n , t h a t e v o l u t i o n i s l i k e l y t o p r o c e e d i n v i o -l e n t f i t s a n d s t a r t s . A s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n becomes outmoded, and i f i t i s i g n o r e d o r p e r p e t u a t e d b y i g n o r a n c e , i n d i f f e r e n c e o r d o c t r i n a i r e c o n s e r v a -t i s m , i t i s s u d d e n l y a nd v i o l e n t l y d e s t r o y e d . The k i n d o f g e n i u s w h i c h c o u l d p e r h a p s p r e v e n t a n e x t r a v a g a n t e r u p t i o n s u c h a s W o r l d War I , Shaw i m p l i e s , i s e v e n r a r e r t h a n J o a n ' s k i n d . Shaw h a d t o e x a g g e r a t e C a u c h o n ' s a nd War-w i c k ' s s o c i a l p e r c e p t i v e n e s s , b u t he d i d n o t h a v e t o e x a g g e r a t e J o a n ' s n a i v e i n s p i r a t i o n . What m i g h t be p r e f e r a b l e w o u l d be someone w i t h a n i n -f o r m e d c o n s e r v a t i s m , w i t h a t r u e v a l u e o f o r i g i n a l i t y , someone who w o u l d n e i t h e r impede r e a l p r o g r e s s n o r t o t a l l y d e s t r o y s o c i e t y w i t h t o o r a p i d c h a n g e . S a i n t J o a n e l o q u e n t l y d r a m a t i z e s t h e t r a g e d y , b o t h p e r s o n a l and s o c i a l , t h a t a r i s e s when g e n i u s a n d c o n s e r v a t i s m c l a s h . The p l a y p r e s e n t s a l u c i d a n a l y s i s o f a h i s t o r i c a l c o n f l i c t w i t h o b v i o u s i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r t h e hi r e s o l u t i o n common i n t h e l a t e r p l a y s . On t h e R o c k s r e p r e s e n t s a f u r t h e r d e -v e l o p m e n t o f t r e n d s i n The A p p l e C a r t , h u t a l s o u t i l i z e s a d r a m a t i c a c t i o n •which i s p e c u l i a r t o t h e p l a y s o f t h e t h i r t i e s . W h i l e P r o t e u s i n The A p p l e C a r t i s a t h i n l y d i s g u i s e d Ramsay M a c D o n a l d , S i r A r t h u r C h a v e n d e r i s a c o m p o s i t e o f t h e u n d e s i r a b l e q u a l i t i e s o f E n g l i s h p r i m e m i n i s t e r s , i n c l u d i n g Ramsay M a c D o n a l d . N e t h e r c o t i s p r o b a b l y r i g h t •when h e c r i t i c i z e s W i l l i a m I r v i n e f o r c a t e g o r i c a l l y i n d e n t i f y i n g C h a v e n d e r 3 w i t h M a c D o n a l d , b u t C h a v e n d e r d o e s p o s s e s s many c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f Ramsay M a c D o n a l d , a n d t h e p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n i n t h e p l a y was u n d o u b t e d l y c a l c u -l a t e d t o i n v i t e c o m p a r i s o n w i t h c o n t e m p o r a r y N a t i o n a l G o v e r n ment o f E n g l a n d . Shaw a b s t r a c t s f r o m t h e E n g l i s h s o c i a l p i c t u r e I n t h e e a r l y t h i r t i e s , t h e q u a l i t i e s w h i c h seemed t o be c a u s i n g o r a t l e a s t p e r p e t u a t i n g t h e t e r r i b l e p o l i t i c a l c h a o s . I n The A p p l e C a r t P r o t e u s i s a c r a f t y man who i s r e d u c e d , b y t h e p a r l i a m e n t a r y s y s t e m a n d t h e h a p h a z a r d d e m o c r a t i c method o f s e l e c t -i n g r u l e r s , t o h y s t e r i c s a n d t a n t r u m s i n h a n d l i n g h i s c a b i n e t . B a t i n t h e l a t e r p l a y , C h a v e n d e r shows no a b i l i t y t o l e a d a t a l l . I n t h e f i r s t a c t he i s t h e " s a f e s t man i n E n g l a n d , " w h i c h means t h a t he c a n be " t r u s t e d t o t a l k a n d s a y n o t h i n g , t o thump t h e t a b l e a n d do n o t h i n g . " (V, 569) Shaw, a n em-i n e n t p u b l i c s p e a k e r h i m s e l f , became i n c r e a s i n g l y c r i t i c a l o f t a l k e r s i n t h e t h i r t i e s when a c t i o n was n e e d e d . ^ A c c o r d i n g l y C h a v e n d e r ' s " g o l d e n v o i c e , " t h a t was t o u n i t e t h e d i s p a r a t e segments o f t h e N a t i o n a l Government (V, 569); ^ A r t h u r H. N e t h e r c o t , Men and Supermen (New Y o r k : B e n j a m i n B l o m , 1966), p. 255-V o r a c o n d e m n a t i o n o f p u b l i c s p e a k e r s , and e s p e c i a l l y o f Ramsay Mac-D o n a l d , s e e " I n P r a i s e o f Guy F a w k e s , " P l a t f o r m and P u l p i t , p. 237. ko c o n t e m p o r a r y "world. D r a m a t i c a l l y w h at i s s i g n i f i c a n t f o r o u r p u r p o s e s i s t h a t when Shaw's v i e w p o i n t i s w e l l d e f i n e d , he u s u a l l y d e v e l o p s a p o s i t i v e d r a m a t i c c o n f l i c t w i t h t h e c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r a t l e a s t s h a r p l y o u t l i n e d , a n d t h e d i s c u s s i o n s t r o n g l y p o l a r i z e d . The h e a r t o f t h e p l a y i s t h e t r i a l s c e n e w h e r e J o a n c l a s h e s w i t h t h e i n q u i s i t o r s , b u t t h e d i a l o g u e i s o r d e r e d r h e t o r -i c . We a r e c e r t a i n t h a t Shaw's s y m p a t h y I s w i t h J o a n , t h e S h a v i a n g e n i u s s a i n t , i n s p i r e d b y t h e L i f e F o r c e t o p r e c i p i t a t e t h e f a l l o f f e u d a l i s m i n t h e M i d d l e A g e s . J o a n ' s s t r e n g t h s h i n e s o u t i n h e r t r i a l when she must s t a n d a l o n e a g a i n s t h e r k i n d l y b u t adamant a c c u s e r s . S a i n t J o a n i s one o f Shaw's b e s t p l a y s and i t s d r a m a t i c s t r e n g t h comes f r o m t h e q u a l i t i e s e n u m e r a t e d : a s t r o n g c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r , a c l e a r l y d e f i n e d c o n f l i c t , a n d a n e l o q u e n t r h e t o r i c a l d i a l o g u e . The A p p l e C a r t r e p r e s e n t s t h e t u r n i n g t o w a r d s e l e m e n t s o f t h e l a t e p l a y s . K i n g Magnus, h a v i n g a n a b u n d a n t r e a l i s t i c i m a g i n a t i o n and a h i g h l y d e -v e l o p e d s o c i a l c o n s c i e n c e , i s a l s o t h o u g h t f u l l y c o n s e r v a t i v e i n h i s o u t l o o k . T h e s e q u a l i t i e s make Magnus t h e m a i n b u l w a r k a g a i n s t t h e v e r y p o w e r f u l f o r c e s w h i c h i f l e f t u n i m p e d e d w o u l d q u i c k l y r u i n t h e c o u n t r y . B u t Magnus' v i r t u e o f s a v o i r - f a i r e and h i s r e s p e c t f o r a l e g a l i t y o f methods l e a d t o h i s d o w n f a l l ; he i s n o t b r u t a l e n o u g h t o l e a d a n a l l - o u t o f f e n s i v e a g a i n s t B r e a k -a g e s . W h i l e t h e i d e o l o g i c a l c o n f l i c t i s b e t w e e n Magnus' v a l u e s and t h o s e o f B r e a k a g e s , i t i s p r e s e n t e d o n l y o b l i q u e l y ; t h e o v e r t c o n f r o n t a t i o n i s b e -t w e e n Magnus and h i s r e a c t i o n a r y c a b i n e t . Of c o u r s e t h i s e f f e c t i v e s a t i r e o f p a r l i a m e n t a r y g o v e r n m e n t a s a h i n d r a n c e t o p r o g r e s s i s one o f t h e p u r -p o s e s o f t h e p l a y , b u t Shaw s t i l l c o n s t r u c t s a c l e a r d r a m a t i c c o n f l i c t b e -t w e e n two p o s i t i o n s w i t h t h e d i a l o g u e and a c t i o n d i s p l a y i n g a s i m i l a r p o -l a r i t y . Shaw o b v i o u s l y f a v o r s Magnus, b u t t h e p l a y ends w i t h a n a m biguous k2 i s e s p e c i a l l y s a t i r i z e d i n A c t One. The s p e e c h he i s p r e p a r i n g i s n o t h i n g h u t "bunk," t h e i n e v i t a b l e c o n t e n t o f a n y s t a t e m a n ' s s p e e c h i f he i s t o a -v o i d m a k i n g t r o u b l e f o r h i m s e l f . T h i s d e m o n s t r a t i o n o f t h e most n a i v e m i s -c o n c e p t i o n s a b o u t S o c i a l i s m i s a i m e d a t c u r t a i l i n g a movement i n t h e c h u r c h t o w a r d s " C h r i s t i a n Communism"'. The mere m e n t i o n o f communism t o C h a v e n d e r c o n j u r e s up p i c t u r e s i n h i s m i n d o f t h e t e r r i b l e " B o l s h i e s , " o f n a t i o n a l i -z a t i o n o f e v e r y t h i n g , i n c l u d i n g women. T h i s n a i v e , s e l f - c o n t e n t e d man i s c h o s e n t o h e a d t h e g o v e r n m e n t b e c a u s e he c a n be d e p e n d e d u p o n t o do n o t h i n g w h i l e t h e Mangans a n d o t h e r members o f t h e " B l a c k g u a r d o c r a c y " e x p l o i t t h e c o u n t r y . C h a v e n d e r ' s b u o y a n t i g n o r a n c e i s a q u a l i t y common t o many o f Shaw's l a t e r c h a r a c t e r s . I t i s one o f t h e r e a c t i o n s t o t h e o v e r w h e l m i n g p r o b l e m s o f t h e t i m e . I t I s r e a l l y a d e f e n s i v e r e a c t i o n t o a v o i d i n s a n i t y i n t h e f a c e o f c h a o s . B u t i t i s a s i g n o f w e a k n e s s and i s f a t a l I n a man who s h o u l d h a v e t h e c o u r a g e a n d t h e I n s i g h t t o f a c e t h e p r o b l e m s s q u a r e l y . E n g l a n d d i d n o t h a v e s u c h a l e a d e r i n t h e e a r l y t h i r t i e s , and Shaw's p l a y s w i t h t h e i r a b u n d a n c e o f weak c h a r a c t e r s r e f l e c t t h i s g r a v e l a c k . A c t One o f On t h e R o c k s i s d e v o t e d t o t h e g r a d u a l b u i l d i n g up o f a mood o f a c c e l e r a t i n g madness w h i c h ends i n a k i n d o f a p o c a l y p t i c m y s t i c i s m . The s t r u c t u r e o f t h e a c t w i t h one s c e n e r u s h i n g i n t o t h e n e x t , e a c h i n t r o -d u c i n g a n o t h e r a s p e c t o f s o c i e t y ' s l a c k o f d i r e c t i o n i s c a l c u l a t e d t o r e i n -f o r c e t h e mood and theme. I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t a l t h o u g h S i r A r t h u r i s on s t a g e a t a l l t i m e s , he i s u n a b l e t o do a n y t h i n g : he i s m e r e l y b u f f e t e d e v e r more r u d e l y b y t h e g u s t s o f d i s c o r d . As e a c h new p r o b l e m p r e s e n t s i t s e l f , A r t h u r i s shown t o be more and more i n c o m p e t e n t a n d u n a b l e t o c o p e w i t h e v e n t h e s i m p l e s t o f d o m e s t i c i m b r o g l i o s , n o t t o m e n t i o n t h e e v e r - p r e s e n t c o n f u s i o n o u t s i d e h i s window. H i s s o l u t i o n t o t h e unemployment p r o b l e m i s h3 t o b a n t h e d e m o n s t r a t o r s f r o m t h e s t r e e t s and s q u a r e s , and t o w a i t f o r a r e v i v a l o f f o r e i g n t r a d e . He must be m a n i p u l a t e d b y Basham, who a t l e a s t h as a s o l d i e r ' s k n o w l e d g e o f c r o w d p s y c h o l o g y . H i l d a h a n d l e s t h e main b u s -i n e s s o f t h e o f f i c e w h i l e C h a v e n d e r ' s mind i s p r o g r e s s i v e l y d e r a n g e d w i t h i n t e r m i n a b l e t r i v i a and m i n u t i a e . He s i t s up u n t i l t h r e e i n t h e m o r n i n g f o r a " f u l l d r e s s d e b a t e o n w h e t h e r Jameson o r Thompson was r i g h t a b o u t what J o h n s o n s a i d i n t h e C a b i n e t . " (V, 532) C h a v e n d e r i s p r o u d o f h i s p o s i t i o n and r e s e n t s o t h e r s who h i n t a t t h e f u t i l i t y o f h i s l i f e . H i s r e p l y t o H i l d a u n d e r s c o r e s t h e u r g e n t n e e d f o r a r e a l l e a d e r : "I w i s h I c o u l d p e r s u a d e y o u t o remember o c c a s i o n a l l y t h a t I h a p p e n t o be t h e l e a d e r o f t h e House o f Commons." (V, 533) Shaw w i s h e d he c o u l d t o o . The d o m e s t i c s c e n e s w h i c h seem i r r e l e v a n t t o t h e a c t i o n o f t h e p l a y r e i n f o r c e t h e f e e l i n g o f d i s o r d e r and d e m o n s t r a t e t h e a b s u r d i t y o f S i r A r -t h u r ' s p l a t i t u d e s . H i s f a m i l y i s a m i c r o c o s m o f h i s c o u n t r y . The c h i l d r e n r e a c t v i o l e n t l y t o t h e s t i f l i n g a t m o s p h e r e o f t h e home; t h e y damn t h e i r f a t h e r ' s " p a r a l y z i n g d e c e n c y . " But what t h e y a r e u n c o n s c i o u s l y s e e k i n g i s n o t more f r e e d o m b u t more g u i d a n c e . D a v i d and F l a v i a a r e t h e p r o d u c t s o f a s p u r i o u s l i b e r a l i s m i n t h e home, w h i c h has i t s c o u n t e r p a r t i n S i r A r t h u r ' s p o l i t i c a l a t t i t u d e . The p a r e n t s show l i t t l e i n t e r e s t i n t h e i r c h i l d r e n , a l l o w i n g t h em t o b r i n g t h e m s e l v e s up i n s t e a d o f o f f e r i n g a s t e a d y h a n d . S u c h a n a t t i t u d e , w h i c h was a r e a c t i o n t o t h e s t r i c t V i c t o r i a n c o d e s o f b e h a v i o r , h a s p r o d u c e d a c o n f u s e d and d i r e c t i o n l e s s g e n e r a t i o n o f c h i l d r e n j u s t a s a weak p o l i c i e d l i b e r a l i s m I n p o l i t i c s , w h i c h was a r e a c t i o n t o n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y c o n s e r v a t i s m , has p r o d u c e d a p o l i t i c a l l y c o n f u s e d and d i r e c t i o n l e s s g o v e r n m e n t . The c h i l d r e n , l i k e t h e c o u n t r y , a r e n o t g o v e r n e d ; t h e y j u s t "slummock a l o n g anyhow." The v i o l e n c e w h i c h has e r u p t e d i n b o t h kk d o m e s t i c a n d p o l i t i c a l b e h a v i o r i s a measure o f t h e f r u s t r a t i o n t h a t stems f r o m t h e g e n e r a l s e n s e o f d i s o r d e r . I f D a v i d and F l a v i a r e p r e s e n t one segment o f t h e y o u n g e r g e n e r a t i o n ' s d i s g u s t -with t h e a i m l e s s n e s s o f t h e t i m e , t h e d e p u t a t i o n f r o m t h e I s l e o f C a t s r e p r e s e n t s t h e f r u s t r a t i o n o f t h e h e l p l e s s E n g l i s h w o r k i n g man i n t h e e c o n o m i c d e p r e s s i o n . T h e y come t o t h e P r i m e M i n i s t e r i n d e s p e r a t i o n , h o p i n g t o f i n d some s o l u t i o n t o t h e p r o b l e m . Not u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h e b u s i n e s s h i s l i f e d e p e n d s o n , k n o w i n g o n l y t h a t he i s o u t o f w o r k and s t a r v i n g w h i l e f o o d i s d e s t r o y e d " f o r w a n t o f a m a r k e t , " c a r i n g n o t h i n g f o r m a n n e r s — g o o d o r b a d , t h e E n g l i s h w o r k i n g man l o o k s t o t h e l e a d e r o f t h e c o u n t r y f o r h e l p o n l y t o f i n d a s s u r a n c e s t h a t t h e e x p o r t o f S p a n i s h o n i o n s i s b a c k t o t h e 1913 l e v e l . The d e l e g a t i o n l e a v e s w i t h t h e ominous w a r n i n g t o S i r A r t h u r t h a t "more c r o c k e r y t h a n windows w i l l h a v e t o be b r o k e n i f y o u g e n t l e m e n c a n do n o t h i n g t o g e t us o u t o f o u r p r e s e n t mess." (V, 5^ 7) S i r A r t h u r c a n n o t u n d e r s t a n d t h a t he i s no l o n g e r d e a l i n g w i t h a r a t i o n a l m i n d , b u t w i t h t h e d e s p e r a t i o n o f s t a r v i n g p e o p l e . H i s c h e e r f u l p l a t i t u d e s no l o n g e r p l a c a t e . O l d H i p n e y i s t h e f i r s t t o u n d e r t a k e t h e a w a k e n i n g o f C h a v e n d e r ' s s e n s e o f r e s p o n s i b i l i t y a s a l e a d e r o f h i s c o u n t r y , and t o s t a r t a c h a i n r e a c t i o n w h i c h c u l m i n a t e s i n S i r A r t h u r ' s m y s t i c a l c o n v e r s i o n t o r e v o l u -t i o n a r y s o c i a l i s m . H i p n e y i s one o f t h e most memorable c h a r a c t e r s i n t h e p l a y b e c a u s e he i s more f u l l y d e v e l o p e d t h a n t h e o t h e r s . I t i s t y p i c a l o f t h e l a t e p l a y s t h a t t h e few c h a r a c t e r s who do s h i n e f o r b r i e f moments a r e t h o s e w i t h a p o s i t i v e o u t l o o k . I n a w o r l d o f i r r e s o l u t i o n , H i p n e y ' s q u i e t c o n v i c t i o n s t a n d s o u t . L i k e many o t h e r S h a v i a n c r e a t i o n s , H i p n e y I s a l i m i t e d r e a l i s t , b u t u n l i k e m o s t , he knows i t . H i p n e y i s a s a d and p r o p h e t i c comment o n t h e h5 t u r b u l e n t t h i r t i e s . He c a n s e e t h e f o l l y i n t h e e x a g g e r a t e d and f u t i l e a g g r e s s i v e n e s s i n p e o p l e l i k e B l e e , a n d he c a n a l s o s e e t h a t S i r A r t h u r i s h o p e l e s s l y n a i v e a b o u t t h e w h o l e b u s i n e s s o f g o v e r n m e n t . I n f a c t , H i p n e y ' s k e e n v i s i o n a n d h i s p i e r c i n g c r i t i c i s m o f E n g l i s h w o r k i n g men, p r o l e t a r i a n i n t e l l e c t u a l s , a n d g e n t l e m e n s t a t e s m e n s u g g e s t t h a t he v o i c e s Shaw's r e a l o p i n i o n s more f a i t h f u l l y t h a n a n y o f t h e o t h e r c h a r a c t e r s . He b l e s s e s S i r A r t h u r ' s i n n o c e n c e , y e t knows t h a t i t has a l l o w e d t h e c o u n t r y t o d r i f t o n t o t h e r o c k s . L i k e Shaw he b l a m e s C a p i t a l i s m f o r W o r l d War I , and s e e s t h a t a n o t h e r w a r i s l i k e l y t o e r u p t i f S i r A r t h u r ' s u n i n f o r m e d p o l i c i e s s e t t h e u n e m p l o y e d t o v i o l e n c e a g a i n . Y e t he a l s o s e e s t h a t M a r x i s m c a u s e s a c o n -c e i t " t h a t b e a t s a n y t h i n g y o u e v e r f e l t f o r c o c k s u r e n e s s and d e s p i s i n g t h e p e o p l e t h a t h a v e n t g o t i t . . . . The l a b o r movement i s r o t t e n w i t h b o o k l e a r n i n g ; a nd y o u r p e o p l e d o n t seem e v e r t o r e a d a n y t h i n g . " (V, 553-55*0 N e i t h e r g r o u p seems t o o f f e r t h e s o l u t i o n t o t h e p r o b l e m , and t h e r e a l i z a -t i o n o f t h i s c a u s e s H i p r t e y t o p l e d g e h i s s u p p o r t , a t t h e end o f t h e p l a y , t o a n y N a p o l e o n o r M u s s o l i n i o r L e n i n o r C h a v e n d e r t h a t h a s t h e s t u f f i n h i m t o t a k e b o t h t h e p e o p l e a n d t h e s p o i l e r s a nd o p p r e s s o r s b y t h e s c r u f f s o f t h e i r s i l l y n e c k s and j u s t s l i n g them i n t o t h e way t h e y s h o u l d go w i t h a s many k i c k s a s may be n e e d f u l t o make a t h o r o u g h j o b o f I t . (V, 605) H i p n e y , t h e c l e a r - s i g h t e d r e a l i s t who c a n a n a l y z e t h e s o c i a l p r o b l e m s b e s t , c a n n o t o r w i l l n o t t r y t o s o l v e t h em h i m s e l f . Though he i s t h e one r e v o l u -t i o n i s t who r e a l l y means b u s i n e s s , he i s r e d u c e d t o w a i t i n g f o r a n y l e a d e r who w i l l l e a d . H a v i n g shown i n a s e r i e s o f s c e n e s t h a t t h e s o c i a l c h a o s w h i c h i s r e -d u c i n g t h e c o u n t r y t o a n a r c h y i s t h e r e s u l t o f a d e a r t h o f k n o w l e d g e , v i s i o n k6 and s t r e n g t h o f p u r p o s e i n t h e s o - c a l l e d l e a d e r s , Shaw p o s t u l a t e s w h a t w o u l d h a p p e n i f s u d d e n l y S i r A r t h u r w e r e b r o u g h t u p - t o - d a t e p o l i t i c a l l y a n d i n -f u s e d w i t h a r e a l s e n s e o f r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . The m y s t i c a l f i n a l s c e n e o f A c t One b r i n g s t h e i s s u e t o a s u i t a b l e a p o c a l y p t i c c l i m a x . S i r A r t h u r , whose e y e s h a v e b e e n p a r t l y o p e n e d i n h i s e x p o s u r e t o H i p n e y , t h e f i r s t p e r s o n who e v e r s p o k e s e n s i b l y a n d o p e n l y t o t h e P r i m e M i n i s t e r , u n d e r g o e s t h e s e c o n d s t a g e o f h i s c o n v e r s i o n u n d e r t h e g u i d a n c e o f t h e e n i g m a t i c L a d y i n G r e y . She a n n o u n c e s h e r s e l f a s a m e s s e n g e r o f d e a t h and a h e a l e r o f t h e s i c k . When A r t h u r t h i n k s s h e i s a g h o s t , s h e r e p l i e s t h a t s h e i s a g h o s t f r o m t h e f u t u r e , t h a t s h e i s a h e a d o f h e r t i m e j u s t a s A r t h u r i s b e h i n d h i s t i m e . The m y s t e r i o u s , e v e n r e l i g i o u s t o n e o f t h i s s c e n e i s n o t mere S h a v i a n h o r s e -p l a y o r w h i m s y . The L a d y u n d e r t a k e s t h e s e c o n d and more i m p o r t a n t p a r t o f S i r A r t h u r ' s c o n v e r s i o n . Whereas H i p n e y had p l a n t e d i n A r t h u r ' s m i n d t h e s e e d o f new k n o w l e d g e t h a t w o u l d make h i m r e a l i z e t h a t h i s o l d i d e a s a b o u t e c o n o m i c s and s o c i a l i s m w e r e o u t o f d a t e , t h e L a d y f u r n i s h e s t h e i n c e n t i v e n e c e s s a r y t o make A r t h u r a c t . She i n s t i l s i n h i m a n i n n e r d r i v e , a s e n s e o f s e r i o u s n e s s and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y w h i c h he had l a c k e d . The c hange she e f -f e c t s i n h i m i s t h e e s s e n t i a l one w h i c h t r a n s f o r m s h i m f r o m a n I n e f f e c t u a l s i m p l e t o n t o a c o n s c i e n t i o u s w o r l d b e t t e r e r . Shaw a l w a y s i n v e s t e d s u c h d r i v e w i t h a s p i r i t u a l a n d e v e n r e l i g i o u s s i g n i f i c a n c e . He f r e q u e n t l y s a t i r i z e d t h e E n g l i s h f o r b e i n g a b l e t o be s e r i o u s o n l y a b o u t t h e i r games, an d f o r b e i n g f r i v o l o u s a t h e a r t . When f r i v o l i t y p r e v a i l s i n t h e l e a d e r s , c h a o s i s i n e v i t a b l e . B e f o r e a n y r e a l p r o g r e s s c a n be made, a b a s i c c h a n g e o f h e a r t i s n e c e s s a r y - - a c hange no l e s s f a r - r e a c h i n g t h a n a r e l i g i o u s c o n -v e r s i o n . T h i s i s why Shaw d e l i b e r a t e l y g i v e s t h e L a d y r e l i g i o u s o v e r t o n e s . She I s a b l e t o c u r e C h a v e n d e r ' s f r i v o l i t y a n d t o a d v a n c e h i m u n t i l t h e r e i s hi a g u l f bet-ween h i s a n d S i r D e x t e r R i g h t s i d e ' s v i e w o f t h e - w o r l d , b u t t h i s i n i t s e l f i s n o t e n o u g h t o make a good l e a d e r o f a c o u n t r y . The s e c o n d a c t p r e s e n t s t h e c o n s e q u e n c e s o f S i r A r t h u r ' s t h r e e month s t a y i n t h e L a d y r s s a n a t o r i u m . The P r i m e M i n i s t e r has b e e n c o n v e r t e d t o t h e i d e a l o f S o c i a l i s m ; t h e man -who had f o r m e r l y b e l i e v e d i n t h e i d e a l i s t i c g l o r y o f h i s p r o f e s s i o n w i t h o u t r e f e r e n c e t o t h e u g l y f a c t s a r o u n d h i m , h a s h a d h i s e y e s opened t o t h e d e s i r a b i l i t y o f a c o m m u n i s t i c s t a t e w i t h o u t a p -p r e c i a t i n g t h e c o n s e q u e n c e s o f t h e t r e m e n d o u s s o c i a l u p h e a v a l s u c h a change w o u l d b r i n g . C h a v e n d e r s t i l l b e l i e v e s i n t h e r a t i o n a l i t y o f m a n k i n d a n d d o e s n o t f u l l y r e c k o n w i t h t h e i g n o r a n c e a n d s e l f i s h p r e j u d i c e o f h i s c o u n -t r y m e n . H i s e n t h u s i a s m moves h i m t o o u t l i n e p u b l i c l y , w i t h o u t c o n s u l t i n g t h e r e s t o f t h e g o v e r n m e n t , a c o m p l e t e s o c i a l i z a t i o n o f E n g l a n d . The l i s t o f c h a n g e s t h a t A r t h u r s u g g e s t s s o u n d s l i k e a p a r a p h r a s e , w i t h a few m i n o r c h a n g e s , o f Shaw's own I n t e l l i g e n t Women's G u i d e t o S o c i a l i s m a nd C a p i t a l -i s m . A c l a s h b e t w e e n a c h a r a c t e r h a v i n g what w e r e l a r g e l y Shaw's own c o n -v i c t i o n s a nd t h e r e a c t i o n a r y E n g l i s h g o v e r n m e n t h o l d s p r o m i s e as one o f Shaw's more s c i n t i l l a t i n g d r a m a t i c s i t u a t i o n s , b u t he does n o t p r e s e n t t h e c l a s h d i r e c t l y i n t h i s p l a y . F o r r e a s o n s w h i c h we may i n f e r , Shaw u s e d a-g a i n a s y m p o s i u m t y p e o f d i s c u s s i o n w i t h t h e d r a m a t i c p r e s e n t a t i o n o f Chav-e n d e r 's S o c i a l i s m r e p o r t e d a t s e c o n d h a n d . The P r i m e M i n i s t e r does n o t p l a y t h e r o l e o f c h i e f a d v o c a t e o f t h e p o s i t i v e i d e a s , b u t m e r e l y t h r o w s t h e m t o t h e p u b l i c b e t w e e n t h e a c t s and w a t c h e s t h e r e a c t i o n i n t h e s e c o n d a c t . Shaw, a s a d r a m a t i s t , was c o m m i t t e d t o t h e t a s k o f p r e s e n t i n g r e a l i t y o n t h e s t a g e . F o r h i m , r e a l i t y i n t h e t h i r t i e s meant a c l e a r - s i g h t e d v i s i o n o f t h e e s s e n t i a l i s s u e s f a c i n g communal man i n a d i s c o r d a n t w o r l d and o f h8 man's f o o l i s h r e a c t i o n s t o them. A c t Two o f On t h e R o c k s i s a p i c t u r e o f D e m o c r a c y i n a c t i o n . The f i r s t a c t s a t i r i z e s t h e weak a d m i n i s t r a t i o n w h i c h e n t i r e l y n e g l e c t e d t h e b u s i n e s s o f g o v e r n m e n t , h u t t h e s e c o n d a c t s t r i k e s more d e e p l y a t t h e b a s i c r o o t s o f t h e d e m o c r a t i c i d e a l . M o s t o f A c t Two i s d e v o t e d t o p r e s e n t i n g t h e c o u n t r y ' s r e a c t i o n t o C h a v e n d e r ' s r e v o l u t i o n a r y p r o p o s a l s . The s c e n e i s s t r u c t u r e d t o r e s e m b l e t h e d e m o c r a t i c p r o c e s s . The a r r i v a l o f e a c h new c h a r a c t e r b r i n g s a n o t h e r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s e c t i o n o f t h e c o u n t r y on s t a g e t o d i s c u s s t h e p r o p o s a l s . The d r a m a t i c s i t u a t i o n becomes a n o pen s y m p o s i u m w h i c h h a s none o f t h e d i a l e c t i c p o l a r i t y o f Magnus* c o n f l i c t w i t h h i s c a b i n e t . T h e r e one man s t o o d a g a i n s t t h e g r o u p ; h e r e every man, e x c e p t S i r A r t h u r , i s f o r h i m s e l f a n d f o r t h e g r o u p he r e p r e s e n t s . G l e n m o r i s o n i s a s m a l l b u s i n e s s m a n , t h e Duke I s a l a n d o w n e r , S i r J a f n a i s a p l u t o c r a t , H o t s p o t i s a s a i l o r , a n d Basham a p o l i c e m a n . S i n c e e v e r y o n e e x c e p t S i r D e x t e r and t h e L a b o r d e l e -g a t i o n c a n f i n d s o m e t h i n g i n t h e p r o p o s a l b e n e f i c i a l t o t hem, t h e y d e c i d e , f o r d i f f e r e n t r e a s o n s , a t f i r s t t o s u p p o r t S i r A r t h u r . G l e n m o r i s o n I s I n f a v o r o f t h e s p e e c h b e c a u s e t h e n a t i o n a l and m u n i c i p a l b a n k s w i l l p r o v i d e s m a l l l o a n s f o r s m a l l b u s i n e s s e s , t h e Duke b e c a u s e d e a t h d u t i e s w i l l be a b o l i s h e d , S i r J a f n a b e c a u s e l a n d n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n w i l l h e l p h i s d e v e l o p -m e n t s , and H o t s p o t a n d Basham b e c a u s e t h e n a v y and p o l i c e w i l l r e c e i v e more men and p a y . T h e y e a c h i g n o r e w h a t e v e r i n S i r A r t h u r ' s s p e e c h does n o t i m -m e d i a t e l y c o n c e r n them. O n l y S i r A r t h u r i s f r e e f r o m t h e s e l f - I n t e r e s t t h a t mars t h e o t h e r s . He i s c o n c e r n e d w i t h i m p r o v i n g h i s c o u n t r y , and has no t a n g i b l e b e n e f i t t o g a i n i f h i s p r o p o s a l i s a c c e p t e d . B u t t h e w h o l e scheme b r e a k s down when S i r D e x t e r s t i r s up r e c a l c i t r a n c e , h a t r e d , r a c i a l p r e j u d i c e , and p a r t y a l -k9 l e g i a n c e i n t h e o t h e r s . T h e y f i n a l l y s u p p o r t S i r D e x t e r , n o t when he h a s p r o d u c e d a n y s u b s t a n t i a l a r g u m e n t s a g a i n s t t h e p l a n , b u t when he has a p -p e a l e d t o B r i t i s h s n o b b e r y . H i s v i o l e n t o u t b u r s t o f p e r s o n a l i n v e c t i v e a g a i n s t S i r A r t h u r ' s w o u l d - b e s u p p o r t e r s a n d h i s t h r e a t t o a b a n d o n t h e c o a l -i t i o n c a b i n e t s u d d e n l y d i s r u p t s t h e g r o u p a n d ends t h e d i s c u s s i o n . S i r J a f -na w i t h d r a w s h i s s u p p o r t o f a c o u n t r y w h i c h d e s p i s e s h i m . G l e n m o r i s o n a n d S i r B e m r o s e , f a c e d w i t h t h e p r o s p e c t o f a t r u l y r a d i c a l s t a n d , y i e l d t o t h e p r e s s u r e s o f c o n f o r m i t y . G l e n m o r i s o n c a n n o t s a n c t i o n a n y p o l i t i c a l a c t i o n o u t s i d e t h e l a b o r i o u s p a r l i a m e n t a r y p r o c e d u r e s , and H o t s p o t r i s e s t o t h e h e a t o f D e x t e r ' s B r i t i s h s u p r e m a c y . The d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h i s s c e n e u n d e r l i n e s Shaw's i n c r e a s i n g p e s s i m i s m a b o u t t h e I n n a t e g o o d n e s s i n man, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t h e common man. The L a b o r d e l e g a t i o n i n t h e s e c o n d a c t i s no l o n g e r m e r e l y t h e u n e m p l o y e d s e e k i n g some means t o a l l e v i a t e i t s p l i g h t ; i t has become a n e x p r e s s i o n o f t h e p r e j u d i c e s a n d h a t r e d s o f t h e common h e r d . The members o f t h e d e p u t a t i o n ( s i g n i f i c a n t -l y , H i p n e y i s a b s e n t ) a r e n o t m e r e l y r e p r e s e n t a t i v e c a r i c a t u r e s o f E n g l i s h S o c i a l i s t s t o o o b s t r e p e r o u s t o a g r e e t o a n y good i d e a s n o t c o m i n g f r o m them; t h e y a r e t h e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f t h e B r i t i s h p u b l i c who p a s s " t h e v e r d i c t o f d e m o c r a c y " o n S i r A r t h u r ' s p r o g r a m . I t becomes c l e a r t h a t u n t i l C h a v e n d e r ' s change o f h e a r t becomes u n i v e r s a l , u n t i l men e v o l v e t r u e s o c i a l c o n s c i e n c e s , " t h e e t e r n a l w a r b e t w e e n t h o s e who a r e i n t h e w o r l d f o r w h at t h e y c a n g e t o u t o f i t and t h o s e who a r e I n t h e w o r l d t o make i t a b e t t e r p l a c e f o r e v e r y -b o d y t o l i v e i n " ( V , 559) w i l l r e d u c e h i s a p p r o a c h t o n o t h i n g . B e n e f i c i a l s o c i a l c h a n g e s , w h i c h Shaw d i d n o t r e g a r d a s r e a l human p r o g r e s s , b u t o n l y m a t e r i a l a d v a n c e s , must be e n a c t e d f o r c i b l y . The d e s p e r a t e s i t u a t i o n drama-t i z e d i n A c t One j u s t i f i e d t h e u s e o f f o r c e f o r Shaw. The r e a l i z a t i o n o f 50 t h i s i s t h e f i n a l s t a g e o f C h a v e n d e r ' s p o l i t i c a l e d u c a t i o n . As n o t e d e a r l i e r , S i r A r t h u r emerges f r o m h i s r e t r e a t a new k i n d o f i d e a l i s t . He seems t o h a v e embraced t h e c o m m u n i s t d o c t r i n e , n o t o n l y i n e c o n o m i c m a t t e r s b u t a l s o i n c e r t a i n t a c t i c a l r e s p e c t s , b u t when f a c e d w i t h t h e r e a l p o s s i b i l i t y o f b l o o d - s h e d , he s h r i n k s b a c k . When S i r D e x t e r d e -mands t h a t C h a v e n d e r p u t h i s c a r d s o n t h e t a b l e and d i s c l o s e how he e x p e c t s t o e f f e c t h i s p r o g r a m , S i r A r t h u r s a y s he does n o t i n t e n d t o c o n s u l t t h e p e o p l e b u t t o p r o r o g u e P a r l i a m e n t and t h e n do i t w i t h p o l i c e b a c k i n g . I t w i l l be remembered t h a t one o f t h e p r o p o s a l s i n C h a v e n d e r ' s p l a n was t o p r o -v i d e v r t u a l l y u n l i m i t e d f u n d s f o r t h e p o l i c e and n a v y . As S i r Bemrose s a i d o f t h e new p r o g r a m : What t h e c o u n t r y w a n t s i s s t r a i g h t o r d e r s , d i s c i p l i n e , c h a r a c t e r p l u c k , a b i g n a v y , j u s t i c e f o r t h e B r i t i s h s a i l o r , no sham d i s -a r m a m e n t s , and a b s o l u t e command o f t h e s e a . . . . B u t m i n d , A r -t h u r , I must h a v e t w e l v e new a e r o p l a n e - c a r r y i n g b a t t l e s h i p s . (V, 573) A r t h u r r e a d i l y a g r e e s t o d o u b l e t h a t number i f t h e A d m i r a l w i s h e s . Thus A r t h u r ' s o p t i m i s m seems t o be t e m p e r e d w i t h a r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t f o r c e may w e l l be n e c e s s a r y i f h i s p l a n i s t o w o r k . He i s o f c o u r s e d e l i g h t e d t o f i n d t h a t n e a r l y e v e r y o n e e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y a c c e p t s h i s p r o g r a m . But as t h e d i s c u s s i o n p r o g r e s s e s , Basham b e g i n s t o e x p l a i n t h a t s u c h a p r o g r a m w i l l p r o b a b l y l e a d t o a c i v i l w a r o f e x t e r m i n a t i o n i f S i r D e x t e r does n o t s u p p o r t i t . When S i r D e x t e r a n d t h e o t h e r s a b a n d o n t h e P r i m e M i n i s t e r , Shaw d e s -c r i b e s S i r A r t h u r as "a c l e a n e d - o u t g a m b l e r . " (V, 602) C h a v e n d e r was gam-b l i n g t h a t t h e y a l l w o u l d f o l l o w h i m and h i s p l a n f o r s o c i a l b e t t e r m e n t and i m p r o v e d d i s c i p l i n e , b u t he was n e v e r r e a l l y r e a d y t o f o r c e t h e I s s u e . Wot e v e n h i s c o n v e r s i o n t o t r u e S o c i a l i s t d o c t r i n e i s enough t o t r a n s f o r m t h e 51 • w e a k l i n g o f A c t One t o a d y n a m i c a n d r u t h l e s s l e a d e r . A t t h e end o f t h e f i r s t s c e n e A r t h u r knows what h a s t o be d o n e , b u t he a l s o knows t h a t he i s n o t t h e man t o do i t . The s e c o n d s t a g e o f t h e d i s c u s s i o n w i t h A r t h u r , t h e Duke, Basham, and H i p n e y e x p l o r e s t h e s e e m i n g l y o n l y r e m a i n i n g p o s s i b i l i t y f o r o r d e r i n s u c h a w o r l d . The r e a l i s t s i n A c t Two, t h e Duke, Basham, and H i p n e y , u n d e r s t a n d S i r A r t h u r ' s p r o b l e m a nd s y m p a t h i z e w i t h h i s a t t e m p t t o l e a d , b u t t h e y a l s o r e a l i z e t h a t he d o e s n o t h a v e t h e n e c e s s a r y q u a l i t i e s . A t f i r s t A r t h u r i s f r u s t r a t e d b y t h e f a c t t h a t t h o u g h E n g l i s h p o l i t i c s w i l l n o t b e a r t h i n k i n g a b o u t a n d t h e E n g l i s h n a t i o n h as l o s t t h e t r i c k o f t h i n k i n g , t h e g r e a t p o l i t i c a l I d e a s came f r o m E n g l a n d . The c o n c l u s i o n t h a t t h e y e a c h come t o i s t h a t u n t i l t h e t h i n k e r s a r e numerous enough t o p r e v a i l , a n i n t e r i m d i c -t a t o r seems t o be t h e o n l y a n s w e r t o t h e d e s p e r a t e s i t u a t i o n . A s t h e JMke s a y s , "The j o b n e e d s a man w i t h n o t h i n g t o l o s e , p l e n t y o f h a r d d r i v i n g c o u r a g e , a nd a c o m p l e t e i n c a p a c i t y f o r s e e i n g a n y s i d e o f a q u e s t i o n b u t h i s own." ( V , 602-603) H i p n e y , whose e x p e r i e n c e w i t h P a r l i a m e n t h a s c o n -v i n c e d h i m t h a t o r d i n a r y p o l i t i c i a n s w i l l n e v e r d o a n y t h i n g , p u t s h i s hope i n a n y s t r o n g man who c a n g i v e h i m a good l e a d . E v e n Basham, who i s p a r t o f t h e e s t a b l i s h e d s y s t e m , knows t h a t " B l a c k g u a r d o c r a c y " w o r k s o n l y up t o a p o i n t a n d t h a t men o f a c t i o n must c l e a r t h e way f o r t h e t h i n k e r s . B u t a l t h o u g h t h e y know what i s r e q u i r e d , t h e y a l s o know t h a t none o f them c a n do i t . The Duke " i s n o t b u i l t t h a t way," Basham has n o t a m b i t i o n e n o u g h , an d H i p n e y i s a f o l l o w e r n o t a l e a d e r . F a c e d w i t h t h i s g l o o m y p i c t u r e o f r e a l i t y , S i r A r t h u r s u f f e r s a h e a r t b r e a k r e m i n i s c e n t o f E l l i e Dunn's: " I am e n j o y i n g t h e enormous f r e e d o m o f h a v i n g f o u n d m y s e l f o u t . . . . T h a t l o o k s l i k e d e s p a i r ; b u t i t i s r e a l l y t h e b e g i n n i n g o f h o p e , and t h e end 52 o f h y p o c r i s y . " ( V , 6 l8) B u t t h e hope i s f a i n t i n d e e d . I t i s t r u e t h a t A r -t h u r a s a n i n d i v i d u a l h a s p r o g r e s s e d i n s e l f - a w a r e n e s s and s o c i a l c o n s c i e n c e , h u t l i k e Magnus' v i c t o r y o v e r h i s c a b i n e t i n The A p p l e C a r t , t h e i n d i v i d u a l ' s a d v a n c e i s o v e r - s h a d o w e d b y t h e u n c h a n g e d g e n e r a l s o c i a l c o n t e x t . W h i l e Domesday, Basham, a n d H i p n e y w a i t f o r a l e a d e r t o a p p e a r , t h e y do t r y t o k e e p i n t h e meantime some r a t i o n a l i t y i n t a c t . H i p n e y a c c o m p a n i e s u n e m p l o y -ment d e p u t a t i o n s , Basham t r i e s t o k e e p o r d e r , and t h e Duke t r i e s t o be h e l p f u l i n h i s c u l t u r e d way, b u t u n t i l t h e r e i s a p o s i t i v e d i r e c t i o n g i v e n t o t h e c o u n t r y , t h e i r e f f o r t s seem f u t i l e . The e n d i n g o f On t h e R o c k s , l i k e t h o s e o f t h e o t h e r p l a y s u n d e r c o n -s i d e r a t i o n , i s s l i g h t l y p u z z l i n g . S e v e r a l p a s s a g e s seem t o be a m b i g u o u s and t o l e a v e t h e p l a y u n r e s o l v e d . J u s t when t h e a c t i o n o f t h e p l a y seems t o l e a d t o t h e g l o o m y c o n c l u s i o n t h a t n o t h i n g c a n be done a b o u t unemployment a n d b l a c k g u a r d o c r a c y u n t i l someone c r u e l enough and s i n g l e - m i n d e d enough a r -r i v e s t o f o r c e t h e c o u n t r y i n t o s o c i a l i s m , H i l d a r u s h e s i n t o t h e o f f i c e t o a n n o u n c e t h a t t h e u n e m p l o y e d a r e r i o t i n g i n Downing S t r e e t , A t l a s t some k i n d o f a c t i o n i s h a p p e n i n g , b u t t h e u n e m p l o y e d h a v e no l e a d e r s and c a n o n l y b r e a k t h e w r o n g w i n d o w s , w h i l e t h e mounted p o l i c e , w i t h t h e i r s p l e n d i d h o r s e s a n d m i l i t a r y d i s c i p l i n e , b r e a k t h e r i o t e r s ' h e a d s . B o t h S i r A r t h u r and L a d y C h a v e n d e r t u r n t h e i r b a c k s o n t h e u n p l e a s a n t n e s s , k n o w i n g t h a t r i o t i n g i s f u t i l e . B u t H i l d a , e n r a g e d a t t h e b r u t a l i t y o f t h e p o l i c e , i s f u r i o u s w i t h t h e c r o w d : "Oh, why d o n t t h e y make a s t a n d , t h e c o w a r d s . " (V, 619) The v i o l e n c e w h i c h had seemed so r e m o t e i n t h e n e w s p a p e r s i s s u d d e n l y r e a l and h o r r i b l e t o H i l d a . She w a n t s t o t h r o w s t o n e s a t t h e p o l i c e . B u t when t h e u n e m p l o y e d a r e g i v e n a c h a n c e t o b r e a k o u t o f t h e c u l - d e - s a c and t h e y a t -t e m p t t o r a l l y t h e i r s p i r i t w i t h a s o n g , H i l d a c a n no l o n g e r r e m a i n a s p e c -53 t a t o r ; she r u s h e s o u t t o j o i n them. I f t h e p l a y h a d e n d e d a t t h i s p o i n t , t h e n Shaw w o u l d h a v e i m p l i e d a more o p t i m i s t i c o u t l o o k f o r E n g l a n d . H i l d a , w h i l e a m i n o r c h a r a c t e r , i s a c a p a b l e p e r s o n . Wot o n l y does s h e h a n d l e most o f t h e b u r e a u c r a t i c b u s i n e s s o f t h e P r i m e M i n i s t e r i n A c t One, s h e a l s o knows a b o u t M a r x and t h e more modern p r o p o n e n t s o f Communism. (V, 567) Thus h e r f i n a l a c t i o n c o u l d h a v e b e e n a s y m b o l i c h i n t f o r t h e f u t u r e . Shaw f r e q u e n t l y p l a c e d h i s hope on c a p a b l e and d e t e r m i n e d y o u n g h e r o i n e s i n h i s p l a y s . B u t he d i d n o t end t h e p l a y w i t h H i l d a ' s a c t i o n . S i r A r t h u r c a l m s h i s w i f e , who f e a r s f o r H i l d a ' s s a f e t y . H i l d a i s w e l l - k n o w n a n d w i l l n o t be h u r t b y t h e p o l i c e ; s h e w i l l be b a c k f o r t e a . She w i l l h a v e no e f f e c t o n t h e r i o t , b u t S i r A r t h u r w o n d e r s w h a t w o u l d h a p p e n i f o t h e r s l i k e H i l d a a l s o w e r e t o a r i s e . The p l a y ends w i t h A r t h u r ' s m u s i n g , b u t a s u s u a l Shaw has t h e l a s t w o r d . I n t h e a f t e r -w o r d he c y n i c a l l y u n d e r c u t s a n y hope he had d i s p l a y e d t h r o u g h H i l d a : "Un-e m p l o y e d E n g l a n d , h o w e v e r , c a n do n o t h i n g b u t c o n t i n u e t o s i n g , a s b e s t i t c a n t o a p e r c u s s i o n a c c o m p a n i m e n t o f b a t o n t h w a c k s . " (v, 620) What t h e n was Shaw's p o s i t i o n ? I n 1932^  Shaw c o u l d s e e a l m o s t no way o f a v o i d i n g t h e " c a t a s t r o p h e " f a c i n g C a p i t a l i s t E n g l a n d when t h e m a s s i v e u n r e s t o f t h e u n e m p l o y e d w o u l d e x p l o d e i n t o v i o l e n c e . I f t h e p r o p e r t y s y s t e m was d e f e n d e d w i t h v i o l e n c e i t w o u l d be o v e r t h r o w n e v e n t u a l l y w i t h v i o l e n c e . Thus t h e s o c i a l i s t , e v e n t h e F a b i a n , s h o u l d n o t w a nt t o f o r e s t a l l t h e c l a s h . V i o l e n c e was a d e s p e r -a t e b u t n e c e s s a r y remedy. Shaw r e a l l y saw l i t t l e hope f o r a p e a c e f u l s o l -^ F o r Shaw's most c o m p l e t e s t a t e m e n t a t t h i s t i m e s e e " i n P r a i s e o f Guy F a w k e s , " pp. 257-258. 54 l o t i o n , b u t i f a p e a c e f u l s e t t l e m e n t was t o be p o s s i b l e , i t c o u l d o n l y be e f f e c t e d t h r o u g h a y o u n g e r g e n e r a t i o n w h i c h w o u l d be e d u c a t e d i n s o c i a l i s m . T h i s p o s s i b i l i t y , w h i l e d e s i r a b l e , seemed r e m o t e t o Shaw a t t h e t i m e , b u t he d i d n o t f a i l t o i n c l u d e i t i n On t h e R o c k s . The d o m e s t i c s c e n e s w h i c h s e r v e d i n A c t One t o u n d e r l i n e t h e p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n , i n A c t Two o f f e r a r e m o t e , b u t p o s s i b l e a l t e r n a t i v e t o t h e g r i m p r o s p e c t o f a d i c t a t o r s h i p . The y o u n g e r g e n e r a t i o n assumes a more i m p o r t a n t r o l e i n t h e p l a y t h a n h a s g e n e r -a l l y b e e n s u p p o s e d . C l e a r l y E n g l a n d i n On t h e R o c k s needs c a p a b l e l e a d e r s , b u t Shaw does n o t s t a t e o v e r t l y w h e re t h e y w i l l come f r o m . He d o e s , h o w e v e r , o f f e r h i n t s o f two p o s s i b l e s o u r c e s — b o t h f r o m a y o u n g e r g e n e r a t i o n . A t f i r s t g l a n c e t h e m a r r i a g e s w h i c h a r e p r o p o s e d i n A c t Two seem o u t o f p l a c e . Y e t t h r o u g h t h e m Shaw may be s u g g e s t i n g a p o s s i b l e way o f a v e r t i n g t h e d i c t a t o r s h i p t h a t t h e r e s t o f t h e p l a y seems t o e n d o r s e . Shaw p a r t i c u l a r l y s t r e s s e s t h e m a r r i a g e b e t w e e n D a v i d a n d A l o y s i a . They c u t a c r o s s c l a s s b o u n d a r i e s and f o r m a new a l l i a n c e w h i c h may p r o v e b e n e f i c i a l . T h e y o p e n l y c o n f r o n t c l a s s p r e j u d i c e - - o n e o f t h e f o r c e s w h i c h d i s r u p t e d S i r A r t h u r ' s p l a n . A l o y s i a i s e f f i c i e n t a n d w e l l - e d u c a t e d i n S o c i a l i s m , b u t h e r a r r o g a n c e p r e v e n t s h e r f r o m e x e r c i s i n g h e r a b i l i t i e s f r u i t f u l l y . U n t i l she meets D a v i d she a u t o -m a t i c a l l y h a t e s a l l members o f t h e u p p e r c l a s s . But D a v i d , who i s s t r u g -g l i n g t o e s c a p e a n e f f e t e s o c i e t y , seems t o be a b l e t o s p a r k a new d r i v e i n A l o y s i a . T o g e t h e r t h e y may be s y m b o l i c i n t h e y o u n g e r g n e r a t i o n o f a new d e v e l o p m e n t , w h i c h i f i t becomes w i d e s p r e a d c o u l d a v e r t t h e v i o l e n t c a t a -c l y s m f a c i n g E n g l a n d b y i n i t i a t i n g a " S o c i a l i s t movement . . . o v e r w h e l m i n g e nough t o p u t o u t o f c o u n t e n a n c e t h e p r o p e r t i e d r e s i s t a n c e . " Y e t b e c a u s e 6 " l n P r a i s e o f Guy F a w k e s , " p. 258. 55 Shaw does not at t h i s time place very much hope on such a s o l u t i o n , he does not put the marriage i n a strong dramatic p o s i t i o n . S t i l l showing vest iges of her o l d arrogant b e l i e f i n the s u p e r i o r i t y of her modern educat ion , A l -oys i a appears r i d i c u l o u s when she explains her f e e l i n g s f o r David i n d o c t r i n -a i r e L i f e Force terms. A l o y s i a and David s y m b o l i c a l l y represent the p o s s i -b i l i t y that a new a l l i a n c e between elements of a younger generat ion can over-come the hatred and ignorance that w i l l erupt i n t o v i o l e n c e , but that p o s s i -b i l i t y i s f a i n t . H i l d a seems t o o f f e r another a l t e r n a t i v e - - o n e that explains the neces-s i t y of r i o t i n g and v i o l e n c e . The unemployed can do nothing by themselves to remedy the s i t u a t i o n because the country needs i n t e l l i g e n t l e a d e r s , not angry masses. But the r i o t s may serve a purpose. I f England i s to a r i s e , i t must be the capable young people represented by H i l d a who may be i n s p i r e d by the shocking v io lence to abandon the o ld system and forge out a new one. In On the Rocks Shaw places more hope on the a b i l i t y of v io lence to chasten a younger generat ion i n t o p r o v i d i n g the necessary leadership than on any peaceful s o l u t i o n . But the p l a y suggests that both so lut ions are l i t t l e more than f a n c i f u l hopes. The p r e v a i l i n g mood of the p l a y , r e i n f o r c e d by the s t r u c t u r e , i s one of uneasiness . We have seen how the s t ruc ture of Act One re in forces the theme i n i t s c a l c u l a t e d and chaot ic looseness; the s t ruc ture of Act Two a l so gives sup-port to i t s theme. The d i s o r d e r l y d i s c u s s i o n of Chavender's speech i s an e f f e c t i v e s a t i r e on a c t u a l parl iametnary debate, ending i n c o n c l u s i v e l y and d i s s o l v i n g i n se l f i shness and pre judice even when the issues at hand promise massive benef i ts to s o c i e t y as a whole. Since England had no strong leader t o d e l i v e r the country out of i t s chaos, the abscence of a 56 s t r o n g c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r i n t h e p l a y r e f l e c t s r e a l i t y . Shaw p r e s e n t s t h e i d e o l o g i c a l c o n f l i c t i n t h e p l a y o b l i q u e l y . S i r A r t h u r ' s new f o u n d commun-i s t i d e o l o g y may be c o n f r o n t i n g t h e o t h e r r e a c t i o n a r y p o i n t s o f v i e w , b u t Shaw d o e s n o t a r r a n g e t h e c o n f l i c t i n t e r m s o f C h a v e n d e r ' s p e r s o n a l s t r u g g l e w i t h h i s c o a l i t i o n c a b i n e t . A l t h o u g h on t h e s t a g e most o f t h e t i m e , he a c t -u a l l y p a r t i c i p a t e s i n t h e e x t e n d e d d i s c u s s i o n v e r y l i t t l e . The d i s c u s s i o n i s n o t b e t w e e n t h e p r i m e m i n i s t e r a n d t h e o t h e r s , b u t i s a c h a o t i c a n d d i s -c u r s i v e w r a n g l i n g among v a r i o u s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s e gments o f s o c i e t y . The r e s u l t i s a d r a m a t i c c h a o s w h i c h e x p r e s s e s t h e p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n more v i v i d l y t h a n a more o r d e r l y s t r u c t u r e , .might. B u t s y m p o s i u m d i s c u s s i o n f u l f i l s a n o t h e r f u n c t i o n i n t h e p l a y . A c t Two i s a s y m p o s i u m n o t o n l y w h e r e t h e v a r i o u s p r o b l e m s a r e e x a m i n e d f r o m v a r i o u s p e r s p e c t i v e s , b u t where p o s s i b l e s o l u t i o n s a r e t o o . Thus s y m p o s i u m d i s c u s s i o n s e r v e s a d o u b l e p u r p o s e i n t h i s p l a y . On t h e one hand i t p o r -t r a y s E n g l a n d ' s c h a o s , a n d o n t h e o t h e r , e x a m i n e s many s i d e s o f t h e c o m p l e x p r o b l e m s c a u s i n g t h e c h a o s . D e s p i t e h i s s h o c k i n g s t a t e m e n t s p r a i s i n g d i c t a t o r s h i p and mass e x t e r -m i n a t i o n i n S t a l i n i s t R u s s i a , Shaw was n o t f u l l y r e c o n c i l e d i n h i s own mind a b o u t s u c h e x t r e m e m e a s u r e s . A t f i r s t g l a n c e t h e p r e f a c e t o On t h e R o c k s seems t o g i v e f u l l s u p p o r t t o t h e R u s s i a n e x p e r i m e n t , b u t t h a t Shaw was u n e a s y a b o u t many severe r e s t r i c t i o n s on what he h a d a l w a y s c o n s i d e r e d es-s e n t i a l l i b e r t i e s i s a p p a r e n t i n t h e many c o n t r a d i c t o r y s t a t e m e n t s . I n -c e n s e d a t t h e a b i l i t y o f s o c i a l p a r a s i t e s and e x p l o i t e r s t o w r e c k s o c i e t y , Shaw f a v o r e d c e n t r a l i z e d c o m p u l s i o n t o c o n f o r m i t y . Y e t he knew t h a t a l l d y n a m i c a d v a n c e s a r e f i r s t p r e l u d e d b y i n s p i r e d c r i t i c i s m o f t h e o l d s y s t e m . Thus Shaw f o u n d h i m s e l f i n t h e conundrum o f d e m a n d i n g c o n f o r m i t y a n d t o l e r -57 a t i o n a t t h e same t i m e . T h i s i s t h e p r o b l e m -which p r o v i d e d t h e i n t e l l e c t -u a l drama i n S a i n t J o a n , and -which Shaw n e v e r was a b l e t o s o l v e s a t i s f a c t -o r i l y e x c e p t i n m y s t i c a l c r e a t i v e e v o l u t i o n a r y t e r m s . The r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t man had n o t y e t e v o l v e d e n o u g h t o make t h e p r a c t i c a l p r o b l e m s o f g o v e r n -ment o b s o l e t e , and t h a t t h e c o m p l e x i t y o f w o r l d g o v e r n m e n t made t h e p r o b l e m s e v e r more u r g e n t , d r o v e Shaw, i n t h e p o l i t i c a l p l a y s , t o s u g g e s t d e s p e r a t e i n t e r i m r e m e d i e s w h i c h he h o p e d m i g h t w o r k . B u t h i s I n s t i n c t i v e r e t i c e n c e t o a c c e p t u n h e s i t a t i n g l y m e a s u r e s w h i c h he must h a v e known w o u l d h a v e s i -l e n c e d h i s own w r i t i n g , a p p e a r s n o t o n l y i n t h e a m b i g u o u s r e s o l u t i o n o f On t h e R o c k s b u t a l s o I n t h e s t r u c t u r e a nd c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n . I n A e t One, H i p n e y most c l o s e l y e x p r e s s e s Shaw's i d e a s . I n t h i s a c t , H i p n e y i s t h e r e a l i s t who c r i t i c i z e s t h e e x i s t i n g s y s t e m w i t h c a r e f u l l y c o n t r o l l e d s a t i r e a n d k e e n i n s i g h t . B e c a u s e Shaw i s a l w a y s a t h i s b e s t when he i s a c r i t i c , H i p n e y s p a r k l e s a s t h e most l i v e l y c h a r a c t e r i n t h e a c t . B u t i n A c t Two when Shaw t r i e s t o p r e s e n t a s o l u t i o n t o t h e p r o b l e m , he c o n s c i o u s l y o r o t h e r w i s e s h a r e s h i s t h o u g h t s among f o u r c h a r a c t e r s , and no, one o f t h e m s t a n d s o u t a s c l e a r l y o r a s s t r o n g l y a s H i p n e y i n A c t One. S i n c e no c h a r a c t e r d o m i n a t e s , t h e i d e a s t h e Duke, S i r B r o a d f o o t , H i p n e y , a n d A r t h u r e x p r e s s r e m a i n u n r e s o l v e d d r a m a t i c a l l y a nd i n t e l l e c t u a l l y . Domesday's d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e k i n d o f man n e c e s s a r y f o r t h e j o b o f d i c t a t o r i s h a r d l y a l i s t o f a d m i r a b l e q u a l i t i e s . H i s a d m i s s i o n t h a t he w i l l s u p p o r t s u c h a man o n l y as f a r a s he c a n w i t h o u t c o m m i t t i n g h i m s e l f d a n g e r o u s l y , i n -d i c a t e s h i s r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t s u c h a d i c t a t o r s h i p i s d a n g e r o u s . Basham c o u n -s e l s S i r A r t h u r n o t t o r u n h i s h e a d up a g a i n s t t h e s y s t e m u n t i l some w o r k a b l e s u b s t i t u t e p l a n i s r e a d y , e v e n t h o u g h he s a y s he w o u l d s u p p o r t a n y o n e who l o o k e d l i k e a " w i n n e r . " E v e n H i p n e y , who most o p e n l y a d v o c a t e s t h e need 58 f o r a s t r o n g l e a d e r t o make t h e p e o p l e do what was g o o d f o r t h e m , a n d who v o i c e s many o f Shaw's v i e w s , i n c l u d i n g t h e need t o c h o o s e o n l y f r o m among q u a l i f i e d l e a d e r s , o f f e r s o n l y p a s s i v i t y a t t h e e n d . S i r A r t h u r a l s o r e -v e r t s t o p a s s i v i t y a f t e r h i s e n l i g h t e n m e n t . I t i s i n d e e d a s a d s i t u a t i o n when t h e e n l i g h t e n e d must w a i t f o r b r u t e f o r c e t o l e a d t h e way; y e t t h i s i s w h a t t h e p l a y s u g g e s t s . B u t Shaw's r e f u s a l t o g i v e a n y s i n g l e c h a r a c -t e r h i s u n a n i m o u s s u p p o r t , o r t o a l l o w a n y s i n g l e c h a r a c t e r t o t r i u m p h i n a n y b u t a most l i m i t e d way, i n d i c a t e s a t l e a s t a s u b c o n s c i o u s r e t i c e n c e i n a c c e p t i n g a p r o p o s a l w h i c h s t a r t s w i t h t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l e x t e r m i n a t i o n o f s o c i a l p a r a s i t e s a n d ends i n mass m u r d e r and c i v i l w a r . THE SIMPLETON OF THE UNEXPECTED I S L E S As t h e -world e v e n t s c o n t i n u e d t o become i n c r e a s i n g l y ominous i n t h e t h i r t i e s , Shaw a l t e r n a t e d b e t w e e n t h e d e s i r e t o t r e a t s p e c i f i c p o l i t i c a l p r o b l e m s , a nd t h e r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t a more g e n e r a l , more w i d e s p r e a d c h a n g e i n b a s i c human n a t u r e was e s s e n t i a l i f c i v i l i z a t i o n was t o s u r v i v e a t a l l . O f c o u r s e , t h i s d u a l i t y o f a p p r o a c h , i n v o l v i n g two v e r y d i f f e r e n t t i m e s c h e m e s , was n o t new t o Shaw. I t stems f r o m h i s c o m m i t t m e n t t o s o c i a l i s m a n d h i s b e l i e f i n C r e a t i v e E v o l u t i o n . B o t h d o c t r i n e s s o u g h t t h e b e t t e r m e n t o f man; s o c i a l i s m b y c h a n g i n g man's i m m e d i a t e e n v i r o n m e n t , and C r e a t i v e E v -o l u t i o n b y p r o v i d i n g t h e means t o e v o l v e a superman. One c r i t i c s u g g e s t s " t h a t C r e a t i v e E v o l u t i o n was Shaw's a t t e m p t , a s a p h i l o s o p h e r , t o overcome " t h e s h o r t c o m i n g s o f o u r f i n i t e l i v e s a n d o u r c o r r u p t s o c i e t y t h r o u g h a h i g h e r s y n t h e s i s . . . w h i c h was b y i t s r e m o t e n e s s i n t i m e , a d o c t r i n e o f i m m e d i a t e d e s p a i r . " - ' - W h i l e t h i s " i m m e d i a t e d e s p a i r " i s n o t v e r y c l e a r i n t h e e a r l i e r p l a y s w h i c h d e a l w i t h C r e a t i v e E v o l u t i o n , i t i s s u g g e s t e d i n t h e l a t e p l a y s , r e s p i t e h i s p r a i s e o f S t a l i n i s t communism, Shaw i s c l e a r l y u n e a s y a b o u t d i c t a t o r s h i p i n On t h e R o c k s . The t o n e a t t h e end o f t h i s p l a y i s f a r more d e s p a i r i n g t h a n a t t h e end o f Too T r u e . H i s n e x t p l a y may be Shaw's r e a c t i o n t o t h e c h a o s t h a t seemed t o be e n g u l f i n g h u m a n i t y I n On t h e R o c k s . The S i m p l e t o n o f t h e U n e x p e c t e d I s l e s (193*0 c o n t i n u e s t o e x p l o r e t h e p r o b l e m s f a c i n g modern man, b u t Shaw abandons t h e I m m e d i a t e p o l i t i c a l s c e n e i n E n g l a n d , a nd w i t h d r a w s to a S a r c a s t i c w o r l d w h e re he c a n exa m i n e t h e -'-Fred Mayne, The W i t and S a t i r e o f B e r n a r d Shaw (New Y o r k : S t . Mar-t i n ' s P r e s s , 1967), p . 101. 60 p r o b l e m s i n more f u n d a m e n t a l and a b s t r a c t t e r m s t h r o u g h s y m b o l i s m a n d a l l e -g o r y . One o f t h e m a j o r themes o f The S i m p l e t o n d e v e l o p s f r o m t h e L a d y i n G r e y . A p p e a r i n g o n l y b r i e f l y i n On t h e R o c k s , she n e v e r t h e l e s s r e p r e s e n t s a n i m p o r t a n t c o n c e p t •which Shaw d e v e l o p s , more f u l l y i n t h e n e x t p l a y : t h a t w h a t i s a b s o l u t e l y e s s e n t i a l t o a n y s o c i a l p r o g r e s s i s a r e v o l u t i o n i n s o c i a l a t t i t u d e no l e s s f u n d a m e n t a l and f a r - r e a c h i n g t h a n a r e l i g i o u s r e f o r m a t i o n . The S i m p l e t o n i s p e r h a p s one o f Shaw's most i n t e l l e c t u a l l y s a t i s f y i n g a t -t e m p t s t o d e f i n e t h e n a t u r e o f t h i s r e f o r m a t i o n . The L a d y i n G r e y e f f e c t e d a m i r a c u l o u s change i n S i r A r t h u r C h a v e n d e r , b u t t h e n a t u r e o f t h e m i r a c l e i s s o m e t i m e s b l u r r e d b y C h a v e n d e r ' s t o t a l c o n -v e r s i o n t o " b o i l i n g s o c i a l i s m . " I t w i l l be remembered t h a t C h a v e n d e r does n o t g e t h i s s o c i a l i s t i d e a s f r o m h i s m y s t e r i o u s l a d y d o c t o r , b u t s o m e t h i n g f a r more i m p o r t a n t : a s o c i a l c o n s c i e n c e . T h i s comes a s he c a s t s o f f h i s "bad c a s e o f f r i v o l i t y " a n d t a k e s on a new s e r i o u s n e s s . I t becomes o b v i o u s i n t h e s e c o n d a c t o f On t h e R o c k s t h a t u n t i l C h a v e n d e r ' s new s e n s e o f r e s p o n -s i b i l i t y becomes u n i v e r s a l , no s o c i a l p r o g r e s s c a n be made w i t h D emocracy. S i r A r t h u r i s f i n a l l y b e a t e n down, h o w e v e r , n o t o n l y b y t h e s e l f i s h n e s s o f h i s c a b i n e t members, b u t a l s o b y t h e s u d d e n o u t b r e a k o f n a r r o w - m i n d e d p r e j -u d i c e t h a t S i r D e x t e r a r o u s e s i n t h e o t h e r s . Thus t h e two m a j o r b l o c k s t o s o c i a l p r o g r e s s l i e n o t s o much i n t h e p o l i t i c a l r e a l m ' a s i n t h e r e a l m o f human n a t u r e . I n The S i m p l e t o n , Shaw n o t o n l y d e a l s w i t h t h e s e two p r o b l e m s , b u t e x t e n d s t h e s e i d e a s i n t o a j u b i l a n t s t a t e m e n t o f f a i t h i n t h e u l t i m a t e p r i n c i p l e o f l i f e : t h e need t o be a b l e t o a d a p t t o t h e t o t a l l y u n e x p e c t e d . Upon a n a l y s i s , t h i s p l a y r e v e a l s a u n i t y t h a t b e l i e s i t s s e e m i n g d e s u l t o r y t h e m a t i c and s t r u c t u r a l c o n t e n t . The many l i t t l e s c e n e s a l l a r e v a r i a t i o n s 61 u p o n t h e u n e x p e c t e d and a r e a r r a n g e d "with a n a r t i s t i c , t h o u g h i n t e l l e c t u a l o r c h e s t r a t i o n . Shaw t r i e d I n The S i m p l e t o n t o encompass a w i d e r a n g e o f t h e m e s . I n f a c t t h e p l a y h a s b e e n c r i t i c i z e d a s a random c o l l e c t i o n o f warmed-over S h a -p v i a n i s m s . B u t i f t h e p l a y d o e s c o n t a i n a w e a l t h o f f a m i l i a r S h a v i a n i d e a s , i t d o e s s o w i t h a c a l c u l a t i o n t h a t c o n t r i b u t e s t o t h e c e n t r a l theme. Shaw a c t u a l l y u s e s h i s a u d i e n c e ' s f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h h i s o t h e r p l a y s t o b u i l d up a s e q u e n c e o f e v e n t s w h i c h move t o t h e u n e x p e c t e d c o n c l u s i o n . The p l a y I s s t r u c t u r e d I n f o u r , n e a r l y e q u a l s e c t i o n s , e a c h p u r p o s e l y b r i e f , a l m o s t a b -s t r a c t . Shaw a c h i e v e s a c o n c i s e n e s s w h i c h a t f i r s t g l a n c e may seem l i k e p o o r w o r k m a n s h i p , b u t w h i c h i s a m a t u r e h a n d l i n g o f h i s e l e m e n t s i n a n i n -t e l l e c t u a l d rama. The p l a y c o n t a i n s a s e r i e s o f " c o n v e r s i o n s " w h i c h a r e f r e q u e n t l y p r e -s e n t e d o n l y s y m b o l i c a l l y . T h e y a r e meant t o be a c c e p t e d i n t e l l e c t u a l l y b y t h e a u d i e n c e s o t h a t a w h o l e s e q u e n c e c a n be r a p i d l y e s t a b l i s h e d a n d a c o n -c l u s i o n r e a c h e d w i t h i n t h e one p l a y . I n o t h e r w o r d s , Shaw i s p r i m a r i l y c o n -c e r n e d w i t h h i s i d e a s I n t h i s p l a y a n d u s e s a d r a m a t i c s h o r t h a n d w h i c h r e l i e s o n p r e v i o u s k n o w l e d g e o f S h a v i a n t h o u g h t and t h e r e f o r e c o u l d n o t h a v e b e e n u s e d e a r l y i n h i s c a r e e r . He d o e s n o t d w e l l on t h e drama o f t h e c o n v e r s i o n s , b u t f o c u s e s o n t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e w i t h i n t h e p l a y i t s e l f - - s o m e t h i n g Shaw was u n a b l e t o do i n t h e e a r l i e r p l a y s . I f t h i s t e c h n i q u e removes some o f t h e "drama" f r o m t h e p l a y , i t a l s o i n t e n s i f i e s t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l r e s p o n s e t h a t Shaw hoped t o g e n e r a t e . The S i m p l e t o n i s o n l y p a r t l y a " V i s i o n o f J u d g m e n t . " I n s p i t e o f i t s 2 J o h n G a s s n e r , M a s t e r s o f t h e Drama (New Y o r k : D o v e r P u b l i c a t i o n s , I n c . , 195^), p. 615. 62 " h i e r a t i c " s u b t i t l e , t h e p l a y s p e n d s o n l y t h e l a s t p a r t o f t h e s e c o n d a c t on t h e j u d g m e n t theme. The r e s t o f t h e p l a y d e a l s -with t h e c o n t e m p o r a r y l i f e -which n o t o n l y - w a r rants a v i s i o n o f j u d g m e n t , b u t d e s p e r a t e l y needs one i f c i v i l i z a t i o n i s t o e s c a p e t o t a l e x t i n c t i o n . Shaw d o e s n o t , h o w e v e r , p r e s e n t t h e i m m e d i a t e w o r k i n g s o f t h e r e a l w o r l d , b u t comments o n them f r o m a n i n -c r e a s i n g l y f a n t a s t i c o t h e r w o r l d , a r e m o t e a n d u n e x p e c t e d t r o p i c a l i s l a n d . He d e v e l o p s i n a l l e g o r i c a l t e r m s a l a r g e r p i c t u r e o f t h e need f o r a n e x t e n -s i v e r e - e v a l u a t i o n o f t h e e n t i r e s o c i a l c r e e d . I n t h e p r o c e s s s e v e r a l themes e m e r g e , a l l o f w h i c h r e l a t e t o t h e m a j o r theme: t h a t s a l v a t i o n c a n o n l y come f r o m a c o n s c i o u s e x p a n d i n g o f t h e m i n d , a nd a f l e x i b i l i t y t o w a r d s t h e u n e x -p e c t e d . The w h o l e p l a y , i n f a c t , a i m s a t d e f i n i n g t h e u n e x p e c t e d . The P r o l o g u e t o t h e p l a y h a s b e e n c r i t i c i z e d a s s u p e r f l u o u s a n d awk-w a r d i n c o n c e p t i o n b e c a u s e i t seems t o h a v e so l i t t l e r e l a t i o n t o t h e r e s t o f t h e a c t i o n . B u t w h i l e t h e P r o l o g u e , p a r t i c u l a r l y t h e f i r s t s c e n e , d o e s l i t t l e t o l a u n c h o r d i n a r y a c t i o n i n t h e p l a y , i t d o e s p r o v i d e a n e s s e n t i a l o v e r t u r e t o t h e mood and f a n t a s y o f t h e f o l l o w i n g t w o a c t s . Shaw i s more c o n s i s t e n t i n h i s u s e o f f a n t a s y i n The S i m p l e t o n t h a n i n Too T r u e t o be Good. I n t h e e a r l i e r p l a y f a n t a s y i s u s e d m a i n l y t o c r e a t e a mood o f c h a o s . B u t a l t h o u g h i t i s a n i m p o r t a n t s t r u c t u r a l d e v i c e i n t h e p l a y , I t i s s u b o r d -i n a t e t o o t h e r t e c h n i q u e s . The f a n t a s y i s n o t c o n s i s t e n t i n e a c h o f t h e t h r e e a c t s , b u t s h i f t s t o show o t h e r a s p e c t s o f t h e b i z a r r e w o r l d . B u t t h e f a n t a s y g r a d u a l l y i n c r e a s e s i n t h e P r o l o g u e t o The S i m p l e t o n a n d i s c o n t i n -ued t h r o u g h o u t t h e p l a y . I n f a c t t h e f a n t a s y w h i c h d e f i n e s t h e u n e x p e c t e d i s one o f t h e m a j o r u n i f y i n g d e v i c e s i n t h e p l a y . I t i s t h e u n e x p e c t e d w h i c h 3st. J o h n E r v i n e , B e r n a r d Shaw: H i s L i f e , Work and F r i e n d s ( L o n d o n : C o n s t a b l e a n d Co., 1956), p. 557-6 3 i s n o t o n l y t h e m a i n e d u c a t i n g f o r c e i n t h e w o r l d , h u t i s a l s o t h e c h i e f m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f t h e v i t a l p r i n c i p l e . The P r o l o g u e e s t a b l i s h e s t h e t o n e o f t h e u n e x p e c t e d f o r t h e p l a y . The t h r e e s c e n e s w h i c h make up t h e P r o l o g u e d i s p l a y a s t e a d y i n c r e a s e i n b o t h t h e u n e x p e c t e d a nd t h e f a n t a s t i c . The o p e n i n g s c e n e , s e t i n a n em-i g r a t i o n o f f i c e a t a t r o p i c a l p o r t i n t h e B r i t i s h E m p i r e , p r e s e n t s v e r y b r i e f l y t wo p r o d u c t s o f B r i t i s h I m p e r i a l i s m a n d m e n t a l I n s u l a r i t y - - t h e e m i -g r a t i o n o f f i c e r , "an u n s a t i s f a c t o r y y o u n g man o f u n h e a l t h y h a b i t s , " a n d h i s s h a b b i l y a t t i r e d c l e r k . The c l i m a t e o f t h e " e a r t h l y p a r a d i s e " b r e e d s unhap-p i n e s s , d e s p a i r , and s u i c i d e , b u t i t i s n o t t h e t r o p i c a l c l i m a t e s o much a s t h e c l i m a t e o f I m p e r i a l i s m , t h e s p i r i t u a l , m o r a l a nd i n t e l l e c t u a l s t a g n a n c y t h a t p r o d u c e s c r e a t u r e s l i k e H y e r i n g and W i l k s . U n d e r t h e t h i n v e n e e r o f a p p a r e n t c a l m a nd w e l l - b e i n g t h e r e l i e s t h e c o n t i n u a l h a t e and s n o b b e r y w h i c h e r u p t s i n s u c h men who h a v e n o t t h e s p i r i t u a l s u s t e n a n c e n e c e s s a r y t o l i v e w i t h o u t a l l t h e a r t i f i c i a l p r o p s o f c i v i l i z a t i o n . L i k e S e m p r o n i u s ' f a t h e r i n The A p p l e C a r t , t h e I m p e r i a l i s t s f i n d t h e m s e l v e s a m i d l i f e and a n d l o v e l i n e s s a n d want o n l y t o d i e t o e s c a p e t h e " h o r r o r s . " Shaw u s e s W i l k s t o r e p r e s e n t t h e doom o f s u c h p e o p l e i f l e f t t o t h e i r own d e v i c e s . W i l k s i s a v i c t i m o f t h e same m o r a l c h a o s t h a t Shaw d e p i c t e d i n Too T r u e t o be Good and he r e a c t s t o t h e t e d i o u s f r u s t r a t i o n o f h i s l i f e w i t h a v i o l e n c e a k i n t o t h a t o f H a r r y S m i l e r who a l s o r e s o r t e d t o k i l l i n g a s "a s o r t o f f u l f i l m e n t . " ( I V , 677) Y e t t h e i n c o n g r u i t y and u n e x p e c t e d n e s s o f s u c h a s l o v e n l y p e r s o n b e i n g a f r u s t r a t e d C e c i l Rhodes who w i l l a t t e m p t a n y t h i n g t o g a i n some k i n d o f r e c o g n i t i o n , i s b u t a p r e l u d e t o t h e f a n t a s t i c c o n v e r s i o n t h a t H y e r i n g u n d e r g o e s i n t h e n e x t s c e n e s . The e m i g r a t i o n o f f i c e r i s s a v e d f r o m t h e same f a t e a s b e f e l l W i l k s b y Gk h i s r e m o v a l f r o m t h e a t m o s p h e r e o f I m p e r i a l s i m a n d t h e r i g i d i t y o f mind i t i n v o l v e s . The n a t i v e p r i e s t i n t r o d u c e s t h e f i r s t s u g g e s t i o n o f t h e u n u s u a l t o t h e p l a y . H i s p s e u d o - m y s t i c a l r e l i g i o u s j a r g o n and t h e o b v i o u s l y a l l e g o r -i c a l s y m b o l i s m o f t h e c l i f f s o f l i f e a n d d e a t h t a k e t h e s c e n e f u r t h e r and f u r t h e r f r o m i m m e d i a t e r e a l i t y a n d y e t p r o v i d e c r y p t i c comment o n t h e E n g -l i s h and t h e w o r l d j u s t s e e n i n t h e o p e n i n g s c e n e . L o o k i n g f o r d e a t h , H y e r i n g i s k i c k e d o v e r t h e c l i f f o f l i f e i n s t e a d o f t h e n e a r b y c l i f f o f d e a t h a nd u n d e r g o e s a l i t e r a l a n d s p i r i t u a l c l e a n s i n g i n t h e r e s u l t i n g b a p -t i s m a l d u n k i n g i n t h e o c e a n . The r e g e n e r a t i o n i s t y p i c a l l y S h a v i a n . H y e r i n g l o s e s h i s m o r b i d p r e o c c u p a t i o n -with p e r s o n a l t r i f l e s and h i s c o n s e q u e n t u n -h a p p i n e s s a nd d e s p a i r , a n d he g a i n s a new o p e n - m i n d e d n e s s . H i s r a c i a l p r e j -u d i c e d i s a p p e a r s a nd he i s o b v i o u s l y a t t r a c t e d t o t h e d a r k P r o l a . The y o u n g l a d y t o u r i s t who had b e e n m a n i f e s t l y h e a l t h i e r t h a n H y e r i n g i n h e r c h e e r f u l a c c e p t a n c e o f l i f e i s s e e n n e v e r t h e l e s s t o p o s s e s s a n i n n a t e E n g l i s h n a r r o w -m i n d e d n e s s w i t h r e s p e c t t o r e l i g i o n and s e x u a l m o r a l i t y . She t o o needs t h e r e g e n e r a t i v e b a p t i s m i n t h e I n f l u e n c e o f t h e E a s t t h a t s o t r a n s f o r m e d H y e r -i n g . Shaw had b r i e f l y foreshadowed h i s i n c r e a s e d i n t e r e s t i n E a s t e r n m o r a l and c u l t u r a l s u p e r i o r i t y i n t h e t h i r d s e c t i o n o f B a c k t o M e t h u s e l a h , b u t n o t u n t i l a f t e r h i s t o u r t o t h e O r i e n t and India* 4" do h i s dramas e x p l o r e more e x -^The Shaws v i s i t e d t h e O r i e n t i n J a n u a r y 1933 on t h e i r f i r s t w o r l d t o u r . A l t h o u g h Shaw d i s l i k e d g u i d e d t o u r s , and c o n s i s t e n t l y a v o i d e d t h e e f f o r t s o f h i s a d m i r e r s t o show h i m t h e l o c a l s i g h t s , he e x p r e s s e d i n t e r e s t I n t h e J a i n t e m p l e s i n I n d i a and v i s i t e d some w h i l e h i s s h i p was a n c h o r e d a t Bombay. F o r a n a c c o u n t o f t h e v i s i t s e e H i r a l a l A m r i t a a l S h a h , " B e r n a r d Shaw i n Bombay," Shaw B u l l e t i n , I (November, 1956), 8-10. Shaw d i s p l a y e d a n i n t -e r e s t i n e a s t e r n r e l i g i o n and m y s t i c i s m i n h i s w r i t i n g a f t e r t h i s t i m e . A p a r t f r o m P r a and P r o l a i n The Simpleton(l934), Shaw i n t r o d u c e d i n B u o y a n t B i l l i o n s (1948), t h e o r i e n t a l p r i e s t who m i n i s t e r s t o B i l l B u o y a n t ' s s p i r i t u a l needs i n a " C h i n e s e t e m p l e on a d o m e s t i c s c a l e . " ( I , 771) The " R e v i s e d S c r e e n V e r s i o n " o f M a j o r B a r b a r a (19^5) i n c l u d e s a l e n g t h y d e s c r i p t i o n o f a J a i n t e m p l e w h i c h 65 t e n s i v e l y t h e need t o e n l a r g e t h e W e s t ' s i n s u l a r i t y , p o s s i b l y w i t h t h e v a s t c u l t u r a l h e r i t a g e o f t h e E a s t . Shaw had l o n g c r i t i c i z e d t h e i n f l e x i b l e B r i t -i s h mini o n many m a t t e r s and t h e b u l k o f h i s p l a y s d e p e n d f o r t h e i r drama u p o n t h e c o n f l i c t b e t w e e n " f r e e t h i n k e r s " and r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f d i e - h a r d c o n s e r v -a t i s m . The S i m p l e t o n i s h i s m a j o r d r a m a t i c I n q u i r y i n t o t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f e n r i c h i n g t h e i m p o v e r i s h e d W e s t e r n mind w i t h t h e v i e w s o f t h e E a s t . P r a and P r o l a a r e t h e s y m b o l i c r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f t h e m y s t e r i o u s E a s t , b u t i n e n l i g h t e n i n g t h e W e s t e r n e r s t h e y s e r v e a p u r p o s e s i m i l a r t o t h a t o f t h e mys-t e r i o u s L a d y i n On t h e R o c k s . The i n f l u e n c e o f P r a and P r o l a i s u n d e n i a b l y b e n e f i c i a l t o t h e v a r i o u s W e s t e r n e r s who come t o t h e c a v e t e m p l e . The c h a n g e i s e x p r e s s e d s y m b o l i c a l l y b y t h e b a p t i s m s , b u t i t i s c l e a r l y a r e s u l t o f t h e w i d e n i n g i n f l u e n c e o f t h e E a s t . H y e r i n g , t h e once s l o v e n l y a n d i l l - m a n n e r e d e m i g r a t i o n o f f i c e r , becomes " d i s c i p l i n e d , r e s p o n s i b l e and w e l l groomed." L a d y F a r w a t e r s , f o r m e r l y "a g a u n t and a f f e c t e d t o u r i s t v i s i t i n g c a v e t e m p l e s and d i s t r i b u t i n g t r a c t s t o t h e h e a t h e n " becomes "a b l a n d and a t t r a c t i v e ma-t r o n . " The i m m e d i a t e r e s u l t o f t h e o r i e n t a l i n f l u e n c e i s t o remove many o f t h e p r e j u d i c e s a n d l i f e - d e n y i n g i n h i b i t i o n s f r o m t h e f o u r E n g l i s h v i s i t o r s . Hav-i n g b e e n c l e a n s e d , t h e y d e c i d e t o j o i n P r a and P r o l a i n a Utopian communal f a m i l y . The m a i n a c t i o n o f t h e p l a y p r o p e r r e v o l v e s a r o u n d t h i s e x p e r i m e n t and t h e c o n s e q u e n c e s o f i t . The s c e n e moves t o a t r o p i c a l P a c i f i c i s l a n d has a m y s t e r i o u s a t m o s p h e r e o f p e a c e f u l n e s s t h a t i m p r e s s e s a l l who e n t e r . Shaw w r o t e I n t h e P r e f a c e t o F a r f e t c h e d F a b l e s (1950) t h a t e i g h t t h o u s a n d y e a r s ago t h e J a i n i s t s had c a r r i e d r e l i g i o n t o t h e u t m o s t r e a c h o f t h e human m i n d . ( V I , 467) And i n 1935 Shaw w r o t e t o Fame L a u r e n t i a M c L a c h l a n t h a t i n t h e J a i n t e m p l e s "you e s c a p e t h e f r i g h t f u l p a r o c h i a l i t y o f o u r l i t t l e s e c t s o f P r o t e s t a n t s and C a t h o l i c s , and r e c o g n i z e t h e i d e a o f God e v e r y w h e r e .... " "The Nun and t h e P r a m a t i s t , " C o r n h i l l M a g a z i n e , 3rd s e r . , C L X V I I I (1951), 453-66 w h i c h had r i s e n u n e x p e c t e d l y o u t o f t h e s e a a t a b o u t t h e t i m e o f t h e a c t i o n i n t h e P r o l o g u e . S i r C h a r l e s and H y e r i n g h a v e become t h e G o v e r n o r and p o -l i t i c a l s e c r e t a r y o f t h e I s l e , a nd seem t o be f a r more c a p a b l e t h a n o t h e r B r i t i s h I m p e r i a l i s t s . B u t w h i l e t h e i r m a i n o b j e c t i v e i s t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f a u n i q u e e u g e n i c e x p e r i m e n t t o b l e n d t h e f l e s h and s p i r i t o f t h e W est w i t h t h e f l e s h a nd t h e s p i r i t o f t h e E a s t , t h e e x p e r i m e n t has a n o t h e r i m p o r t a n t o b j e c t i v e , a g a i n t y p i c a l l y S h a v i a n . As S i r C h a r l e s e x p l a i n s t o I d d y : I t i s p a r t o f o u r p l a n t o o pen p e o p l e ' s minds o n t h e s u b j e c t o f e u g e n i c s a n d t h e n e e d f o r m i x i n g n o t o n l y w e s t e r n and e a s t e r n c u l t u r e b u t e a s t e r n and w e s t e r n b l o o d . . . . We want t o s e t t h e t h e i n t e l l i g e n t p e o p l e t a l k i n g , and t o s t r i k e t h e s t u p i d p e o p l e dumb. ( V I , 570) Thus a n i m p o r t a n t a s p e c t o f t h e p r o j e c t i s t o c r e a t e a n e x p a n d i n g i n f l u e n c e among o t h e r s o f t h e w o r l d t o r e - e v a l u a t e t h e i r w h o l e m o r a l s y s t e m and t o c u t a c r o s s t h e i r n a r r o w n a t i o n a l and r a c i a l b o u n d a r i e s i n t h e p r o c e s s . I t i s w i t h t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n o f P r a and P r o l a t h a t Shaw b e g i n s t o p r e -p a r e f o r t h e a p p a r e n t r e j e c t i o n o f C r e a t i v e E v o l u t i o n . He does t h i s b y a s s i g n i n g t o t h e s e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f m y s t i c i s m many o f h i s w e l l - k n o w n i d e a s . They a r e v e g e t a r i a n s and t h e y a r e c l e a r l y s u p e r i o r t o t h e u n c o n v e r t e d E n g l i s h m e n i n t h e i r c r i t i c i s m o f t h e more o b v i o u s f a u l t s . Many o f Shaw's q u i p s a b o u t r e l i g i o n , m a r r i a g e and s e x come f r o m t h e i r m ouths. Shaw c a r e -f u l l y p r e p a r e s h i s a u d i e n c e , who t h i n k s i t knows and u n d e r s t a n d s h i s i d e a s , b y s u g g e s t i n g t h a t P r a and P r o l a a r e h i s m o u t h p i e c e s . T h e y e a s i l y overcome t h e s t a n d a r d k i n d s o f i d e a l i s m and P h i l i s t i n i s m i n t h e o t h e r s . The y o u n g woman, a t f i r s t t h e most v i t a l o f t h e E n g l i s h r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s , i s s h o c k e d b y t h e s t r a n g e l o g i c o f h e r m y s t e r i o u s h o s t s i n t h e c a v e . She i s r e a l l y v e r y c o n -v e n t i o n a l i n h e r w h o l e o u t l o o k d e s p i t e h e r m o t t o . She c a n n o t u n d e r s t a n d how 67 p r i e s t e s s e s c a n m a r r y o r how a n y woman c a n be m a r r i e d and be a n y t h i n g o t h e r t h a n mere w i f e . L a d y F a r w a t e r s c o n f r o n t s t h e " h e a t h e n s " w i t h t h e most i n -v i d i o u s k i n d o f C h r i s t i a n i t y . H e r n a r r o w s t e r e o t y p e d c o n c e p t i o n o f God i s e x p o s e d i n h e r v u l g a r t o u r o f t h e c a v e . S i r C h a r l e s r e p r e s e n t s E n g l i s h a r i s t o c r a t i c s n o b b i s h n e s s , b u t l i k e t h e o t h e r s , he e a s i l y c a p i t u l a t e s b e f o r e t h e c h a r m o f t h e E a s t . T t i s I r o n i c t h a t e a c h o f t h e E n g l i s h t o u r i s t s must be a c t u a l l y s e d u c e d f r o m h i s o l d ways. Bu t t h i s l a s t t w i s t i n t h e p l o t b e -f o r e A c t One i s s i m p l y one more o f t h e u n e x p e c t e d h a p p e n i n g s . A c t One opens u p o n a n i n c o n g r u o u s s e t t i n g . I t i s t h e g a r d e n o f a s t a t e l y h o u s e , g o v e r n m e n t h o u s e i n f a c t , b u t d o m i n a t i n g t h e v i e w a r e f o u r h i e r a t i c s h r i n e s c o n t a i n i n g v e r y l i f e - l i k e b u t o r i e n t a l " g o d s . " A t f i r s t Shaw a p p e a r s s i m p l y t o be c o n t i n u i n g h i s e x p o s u r e o f E n g l i s h r e l i g i o n when t h e s h y and v e r y t i m i d y o u n g c l e r g y m a n i s c o n f r o n t e d b y t h e e x o t i c b e a u t y o f t h e g a r d e n a n d t h e two f e m a l e " g o d s . " But I d d y ' s i m p o r t a n c e i n t h e p l a y d o e s n o t d e p e n d p r i m a r i l y o n h i s r e l i g i o n . P r o l a e v e n a c c e p t s h i s a t t i t u d e t o w a r d C h r i s t i a n i t y . To h i m i t j u s t means " e v e r y t h i n g t h a t i s good and l o v e l y a nd k i n d and h o l y . " ( V I , 565) W h i l e h i s r e l i g i o n i s v e r y n a i v e , i t a t l e a s t d o e s n o t i n c l u d e t h e s i n i s t e r a g g r e s s i o n and v i o l e n c e t h a t i s f o u n d i n more m i l i t a n t d o g m a t i s t s . I d d y Hammingtap i s more i m p o r t a n t as a r e p r e -s e n t a t i v e o f E n g l i s h i n s u l a r i t y whose w h o l e c o d e o f b e i n g i s u t t e r l y s h a t -t e r e d b y t h e i m p a c t o f a f o r e i g n i d e a . Of c o u r s e t h e p r o p o s a l o f f e r e d t o h i m i s a l i t t l e b i z a r r e ! The " s u p e r f a m i l y " o f f e r s t o t a k e h i m i n as a n -o t h e r h u s b a n d t o a l l t h e l a d i e s , and t o make h i m t h e b i s h o p o f t h e i s l a n d t o g i v e a p r o p e r a i r o f m o r a l u p r i g h t n e s s t o t h e e x p e r i m e n t . The e x c e s s i v e m o r a l c o n s c i e n c e w i t h w h i c h P r a hopes t o n o u r i s h t h e c o n s c i e n c e l e s s V a s h t i and Maya r i s e s up i n I d d y i n a s u d d e n c h i l d i s h n e g a t i o n o f a l l h i s f e e l i n g s . 68 He makes a f i n a l a t t e m p t t o s t r e n g t h e n h i s m o r a l s t a r c h h y c o n c e n t r a t i n g on E n g l a n d : T h e y want me t o d i s g r a c e my c l o t h ; h u t I w o n t. I wont r e l a x : I wont d i s o b e y my c o n s c i e n c e : I wont s m e l l t h o s e f l o w e r s : I wont l o o k a t t h e s k y . N a t u r e i s n o t good f o r me h e r e . N a t u r e i s e a s t e r n h e r e : i t s p o i s o n t o a n E n g l i s h m a n . I w i l l t h i n k o f E n g -_ l a n d and t i g h t e n m y s e l f up and p u l l m y s e l f t o g e t h e r . England'. . . . E n g l a n d t h a t i s me: I am t h a t E n g l a n d . ( V I , 576) N e v e r t h e l e s s he c o l l a p s e s b e f o r e t h e b e a u t y o f t h e two l o v e l y " p h a n t a s m s " a n d t h e f i r s t a c t ends w i t h t h e m a l l e m b r a c i n g w i t h i n t e r l a c e d arms and c h a n t i n g t h e j a r g o n o f l o v e t h a t t h e g i r l s h a v e c o i n e d . I d d y ' s s i m p l e mind g i v e s up r a t h e r t h a n w o r r y o v e r t h e c o n f u s i o n . The e u g e n i c e x p e r i m e n t w h i c h i s e l a b o r a t e l y e x p l a i n e d i n A c t One i s m o r e , h o w e v e r , t h a n a c o n t r i v a n c e t o u p s e t E n g l i s h m o r a l c o m p l a c e n c y . I t s e r v e s o t h e r m a j o r f u n c t i o n s , one o f w h i c h l i e s w i t h i n t h e s t r u c t u r e o f t h e f a n t a s y w h i c h i n f o r m s t h e p l a y . As a l r e a d y n o t e d , t h e P r o l o g u e l a u n c h e s a s e q u e n c e o f i n c r e a s i n g l y e x t r a v a g a n t f a n t a s y . The f o u r w e s t e r n e r s , b y t h e end o f t h e P r o l o g u e , a r e p h y s i c a l l y a t t r a c t e d b y t h e two o r i e n t a l s , and i n t h e n e x t a c t t h e s i x h a v e f o r m e d a n e x p e r i m e n t a l f a m i l y whose e x p r e s s p u r -p o s e i s t o b r e e d a n d e d u c a t e s u p e r i o r c h i l d r e n . Shaw s u d d e n l y s p r i n g s t h e r e s u l t s o f t h e e x p e r i m e n t o n t h e a u d i e n c e i n A c t One. The " s u p e r i o r " c h i l d -r e n a r e e v e n more u n u s u a l t h a n t h e i r m u l t i p l e p a r e n t s . They h a v e c o m p l e t e l y d i v o r c e d t h e m s e l v e s f r o m r e a l i t y . They l i v e , i n a n a r t i f i c i a l w o r l d manu-f a c t u r e d f r o m f a n t a s t i c d i s t o r t i o n s o f c h i l d h o o d f a i r y t a l e s . They do n o t e v e n s p e a k a n o r d i n a r y l a n g u a g e , b u t a s p e c i a l l y d e v i s e d k i n d o f m y s t i c a l j a r g o n . The f o u r c h i l d r e n a r e p r o b a b l y meant t o be a w a r n i n g t o t h e a u d i e n c e . Shaw c o m p l i c a t e s t h e i s s u e somewhat i n t h e P r e f a c e when he c a s u a l l y d i s -c o u n t s t h e "whole e u g e n i c e x p e r i m e n t a s a mere d r a m a t i c t r i f l e i n t e n d e d o n l y t o i n t r o d u c e t h e f o u r " p h a n t a s m s " -which n e v e r r e a l l y e x i s t e d . ( V I , 5^-1) I t i s p a r t o f Shaw's p o i n t t h a t t h e e u g e n i c e x p e r i m e n t i s a m i s t a k e n a t t e m p t t o f u r t h e r C r e a t i v e E v o l u t i o n . O b v i o u s l y many p e o p l e thought t h a t i n d e b u n k i n g •what a p p e a r e d t o be a d r a m a t i z a t i o n o f h i s own i d e a s Shaw was r e j e c t i n g some o f h i s dogma. B u t t h i s i s w h e r e s u c h p e o p l e f a i l e d t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e u n e x -p e c t e d . Shaw o f t e n c r i t i c i z e d t h o s e who p e r v e r t e d o r d i s t o r t e d h i s i d e a s . H i p n e y ' s c r i t i c i s m o f t h e b o o k - f e d s o c i a l i s t s I n On t h e Rocks i s one e x a m p l e . I n The S i m p l e t o n , Shaw u s e s t h e e u g e n i c e x p e r i m e n t and t h e p h a n t a s m s i n a more s u b t l e s a t i r e o f t h e m i s u s e o f h i s I d e a s . I n A c t One L a d y F a r w a t e r s e x p l a i n s t o I d d y why t h e c h i l d r e n a r e s o u n -u s u a l . T h e y a r e t h e p r o d u c t o f a n a t t e m p t e d b l e n d i n g o f t h e d e s i r a b l e q u a l -i t i e s o f t h e E a s t a n d W e s t , n o t o n l y g e n e t i c a l l y b u t c u l t u r a l l y a s w e l l . B u t t h e r e s u l t I s a f u t i l e p o t p o u r r i i n s t e a d o f a h a r m o n i o u s b l e n d . At one l e v e l o f a l l e g o r i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n t h e c h i l d r e n r e p r e s e n t t h o s e who p e r -v e r t good i d e a s , p e r h a p s Shaw's i d e a s . P r o l a , i n a n a t t e m p t t o i n f u s e a n open-minded i d e a l i s m i n t o t h e c h i l d r e n , t a u g h t t hem a s p e c i a l game c a l l e d t h e h e a v e n l y p a r l i a m e n t . T h i s may be s y m b o l i c o f Shaw's d i s c u s s i o n s o f p o l i t i c a l q u e s t i o n s . B u t t h e c h i l d r e n u s e d t h e i r i m a g i n a t i o n s n o t t o s e e k new t r u t h s , b u t t o c r e a t e a g r e a t i n s t i t u t i o n more h i d e - b o u n d b y r i t u a l s t h a n a n y a c t u a l g o v e r n m e n t . The r e s u l t i s a k i n d o f p e r v e r t e d u l t i m a t e communism i n w h i c h t h e p e o p l e a r e communal t o t h e p o i n t o f b e i n g one a n -o t h e r . The c h i l d r e n r e f u s e t o a c c e p t a n y o t h e r a l t e r n a t i v e , i n s i s t i n g t h a t t h e w o r l d be m o d e l e d a f t e r t h e i r a r t i f i c i a l p l a n . T h i s c a n be i n t e r p r e t e d as Shaw f u r t h e r c r i t i c i z i n g t h o s e who d i s t o r t h i s i d e a s b y e i t h e r t a k i n g some o f h i s e x a m p l e s l i t e r a l l y o r b y f a i l i n g t o u s e a t r u l y o p en mind i n 70 e v a l u a t i n g them. W h i l e t h i s k i n d o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f Shaw's a l l e g o r y may seem e x t r e m e i n i t s e l f , Shaw, b y r e s o r t i n g t o s y m b o l i c d e v i c e s , i n v i t e s us t o e x p l o r e h i s i d e a s . He s h i f t s h i s s t a n c e r e p e a t e d l y i n t h i s p l a y , a l l o w -i n g h i s f a n t a s y s e e m i n g l y t o w a n d e r how i t w i l l , b u t he a l w a y s r e l a t e s i t t o h i s c e n t r a l t h e m e s . A c t Two d i v i d e s n a t u r a l l y i n t o t wo m a j o r s e c t i o n s - - t h e f o u r s h o r t s c e n e s up t o t h e j u d g m e n t , and t h e two s c e n e s i n c l u d i n g t h e judgment and P r a and P r o l a ' s c o n v e r s i o n . D i v i d e d t h i s way t h e p l a y h as f o u r n e a r l y e q u a l s e c -t i o n s . T h r o u g h o u t e a c h p a r t Shaw c a r r i e s h i s two c e n t r a l themes s i m u l t a n e o u s -l y . The theme o f i n s u l a r i t y i n a l l i t s r a m i f i c a t i o n s i s o v e r t l y h a n d l e d , b e -i n g t h e s u b j e c t m a t t e r o f e a c h s c e n e . The s e c o n d a n d u l t i m a t e l y more i m -p o r t a n t theme f o r Shaw, i s h a n d l e d more s u b t l y t h r o u g h t h e p l a y ' s f a n t a s y and s t r u c t u r e , b o t h o f w h i c h s e r v e t o d e f i n e t h e u n e x p e c t e d . O n l y I n t h e f i n a l s c e n e do t h e two themes come t o g e t h e r o p e n l y , where t h e y a r e f u s e d i n t h e t r i u m p h a n t e x u l t a t i o n and a f f i r m a t i o n o f f a i t h . As we s h a l l s e e , t h e e n d i n g o f The S i m p l e t o n i s n o t a d i s j o i n t e d m a n i p u l a t i o n a s some hav e t h o u g h t , b u t i s t h e k e y s t o n e t o t h e w h o l e p l a y . The f i r s t h a l f o f A c t Two c o n s i s t s o f f o u r s h o r t s c e n e s w h i c h s t a r t t h e f i n a l r u s h i n g t o g e t h e r o f t h e m a j o r t h e m e s . Shaw q u i c k l y m a r s h a l s w i t h a n a l m o s t k a l e i d e s c o p i c e f f e c t t h e e v i d e n c e , b o t h r e l i g i o u s and p o l i t i c a l , w h i c h w a r r a n t s t h e a p o c a l y p t i c e n d i n g o f t h e p l a y . The many n o t e s s t r u c k s e e m i n g l y a t random e a r l i e r b e g i n t o sound l i k e t h e f i n a l c h o r d o f doom f o r a l l t h e n a r r o w - m i n d e d p e o p l e o f t h e w o r l d . The a c t opens w i t h t h e t o t a l l y i n c o n g r u o u s r e s u l t o f I d d y ' s j o i n i n g t h e f a m i l y . As P r a s a y s : I t w o u l d be i m p o s s i b l e t o c o n c e i v e a human b e i n g o f l e s s c o n s e -T I q u e n c e I n t h e w o r l d . And y e t , l o o k ! T h e r e i s t h e I m p e r i a l A r -mada, i n w h i c h e v e r y p e t t y p r o v i n c e i n s i s t s on i t s s e p a r a t e f l e e t , e v e r y t r u m p e r y i s l e t i t s b a t t l e s h i p , i t s c r u i s e r , o r a t l e a s t i t s s l o o p o r g u n b o a t ! Why a r e t h e y h e r e . . . ? S o l e l y o n a c c o u n t o f t h e s i m p l e t o n . ( V I , 58I-582) Once t h e s h o c k o f t h e d i s c r e p a n c y b e t w e e n t h e c a u s e and t h e e f f e c t has s u b -s i d e d , t h e U n e x p e c t e d I s l a n d e r s r e a l i z e d t h a t t h e f l e e t i s n o t s o much r e p -r e s e n t a t i v e o f " e v e r y p e t t y p r o v i n c e " as o f e v e r y p e t t y i d e a i n r e l i g i o n . Shaw h a s r e t u r n e d t o t h e I m p e r i a l i s m theme o f t h e P r o l o g u e o n l y t o e x t e n d t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f i n s u l a r t h i n k i n g t o a n o t h e r r e a l m . Much o f t h e d i s -c o r d o f t h e w o r l d , i n p o l i t i c s and r e l i g i o n , i s t h e d i r e c t r e s u l t o f m i l i -t a n t d o g m a t i s m . T y p i c a l o f t h e f a n c i f u l d i s t o r t i o n i n t h i s p l a y i s Shaw's - e q u a t i n g o f e a c h g u n b o a t w i t h some a r r o g a n t r e l i g i o u s s e c t . S a n c t i o n s w h i c h u s e d t o mean t h e a p p r o v a l o f t h e gods now mean bombs f u l l o f p o i s o n g a s . On-l y b y t r i c k i n g t h e s q u a b b l i n g f a c t i o n s i n t o t h i n k i n g t h e i s l a n d i s i n f e s t e d w i t h s m a l l p o x c a n P r a a v e r t a m a j o r n a v a l b a t t l e o v e r m i n u s c u l e d e t a i l s o f r i t u a l i s m . The mood s u d d e n l y s h i f t s f r o m t h e t e n s i o n i n t h e t h r e a t e n i n g h a r b o r s c e n e t o a c o n t r a s t i n g one o f u t t e r l a n g u o r i n t h e p e a c e f u l g a r d e n . Y e t o u t o f t h i s a t m o s p h e r e comes a n o t h e r u n e x p e c t e d r e v e l a t i o n , a g a i n w i t h I d d y as t h e p r i n c i p a l c h a r a c t e r . I d d y becomes t h e f o c a l p o i n t f o r a l l t h e f a i l u r e s o f t h e e u g e n i c e x p e r i m e n t . F r o m t h e b e g i n n i n g , t h e f o u r " p h a n t a s m s , " t h e p r o d u c t s o f t h e e x p e r i m e n t , h a v e b e e n r a i s e d - i n r e l i g i o u s and s o c i a l e n -l i g h t e n m e n t . T o l d t h a t t h e y s h o u l d l o v e one a n o t h e r , t h e y f i n d t h e m s e l v e s h a t i n g I d d y , t h e most r e c e n t a d d i t i o n t o t h e f a m i l y . B u t e v e n t h e s i m p l e t o n c a n e xpand h i s o u t l o o k and p r o d u c e two s p o r a d i c a l l y c o g e n t " s e r m o n s " on e t e r n i t y and l o v e w h i c h make e v e n P r o l a l i s t e n . I t w i l l be remembered t h a t 72 b o t h s u b j e c t s o f t h e s e r m o n h a v e a p p e a r e d e a r l i e r i n t h e p l a y , b u t -were un-d e v e l o p e d . We f i r s t saw L a d y F a r w a t e r s t r y i n g t o " s a v e " P r a f r o m h i s h e a t h -e n i s m b y g i v i n g h i m a p a m p h l e t on e t e r n i t y , and i t was a l s o s h e who t o l d t h e c h i l d r e n t h a t t h e y s h o u l d l o v e one a n o t h e r . Of c o u r s e s h e , " w i t h b e r E n g l i s h l a d y l i k e b r i n g - u p , " was a l s o a p r o d u c t o f t h e same r e l i g i o u s i n s u l a r i t y t h a t t h r e a t e n e d t o r a i n d e s t r u c t i o n o n t h e i s l a n d o n l y m i n u t e s e a r l i e r . I t i s t y p i c a l o f Shaw's s k i l l i n h a n d l i n g s o many l i t t l e themes when he p i c k s up a l m o s t f o r g o t t e n t h r e a d s and weaves them i n t o t h e p a t t e r n l a t e r . I d d y ' s sermons I r o n i c a l l y g i v e new p e r s p e c t i v e s on c o n v e n t i o n a l E n g -l i s h r e l i g i o u s i d e a s . W h i l e he c a n n o t f u l l y d e v e l o p h i s sermons he c a n show t h a t t h e c o n c e p t o f e t e r n i t y as a t i m e l e s s and f i x e d s t a t e i s u n s a t i s -f a c t o r y , e s p e c i a l l y i f p l e a s u r e i s e t e r n a l . The e x p e r i m e n t has p r o v e n , e v e n t o h i s f e e b l e m i n d , t h a t one c a n h a v e t o o much o f a good t h i n g — e v e n l o v e . " N o t h i n g i s l o v e l i e r t h a n l o v e , up t o a p o i n t . B u t i t i s my b e l i e f t h a t some d a y w e ' l l h a v e t o t r y s o m e t h i n g e l s e . I f we d o n t w e ' l l come t o h a t e one a n o t h e r . " ( V I , 5^5) When I d d y f u r t h e r r e a l i z e s t h a t l o v e i s good o n l y f o r t h e l o v e r n o t t h e b e l o v e d , he i s i n f a c t t u r n i n g away f r o m h i m s e l f t o f i n d h i m s e l f — a p a r a l l e l t o t h e e x p a n s i o n o f p e r s o n a l and c u l t u r a l h o r i z o n s t h a t i s p a r t o f Shaw's m a j o r theme. H a v i n g b r i e f l y shown t h e r e s u l t s o f i n s u l a r i t y i n r e l i g i o n , Shaw r e -t u r n s t o t h e a r e a o f p o l i t i c s . J u s t as i n s u l a r i t y , h o s t i l i t y and j e a l o u s y p r e v a i l i n r e l i g i o n , s o t h e y do i n c o n t e m p o r a r y p o l i t i c s . A g a i n Shaw r e -s o r t s t o f a n t a s y t o show t h e d i s i n t e g r a t i n g e f f e c t o f c l o s e d - m i n d e d n e s s and s e l f i s h n e s s . The B r i t i s h E m p i r e b r e a k s up b e c a u s e E n g l a n d h e r s e l f w i t h d r a w s ! E n g l a n d s t r i k e s f o r i n d e p e n d e n c e and d e c l a r e s f o r a " r i g h t l i t t l e t i g h t l i t t l e i s l a n d . " I r e l a n d w i l l l e a d t h e a t t a c k on t r e a s o n and d i s r u p t i o n . 7 3 B u t t h e d o m i n i o n s i n s t a n t l y embark on a n e m b r o g l i o o v e r p e t t y d e t a i l s a n d " r i g h t s " j u s t a s t h e I m p e r i a l Armada h a d . W e a r i l y t h e U n e x p e c t e d I s l a n d e r s f a c e t h e p r o b l e m o f g o v e r n m e n t i n s u c h a -world. A g a i n i t i s I d d y who h a s a new i n s i g h t i n t o t h e p r o b l e m . I n a s m a l l o r g a n i z a t i o n , s u c h a s t h e f a m i l y o r t h e l i t t l e c o l o n y on t h e U n e x p e c t e d I s l e , g o v e r n m e n t i s p o s s i b l e . P r o l a c a n r u l e b e c a u s e s h e knows what i s h a p p e n i n g I n h e r h o u s e , b u t no one c a n know t h e r e a l p o l i t i c a l f a c t s i n a l a r g e r o r g a n i z a t i o n , b e c a u s e p e o p l e a r e i n c a p a b l e o f p e r c e i v i n g i d e a s d i f f e r e n t f r o m t h e i r own. As I d d y s a y s p e o p l e " d o n t l i v e i n a w o r l d o f t r u t h : t h e y l i v e i n a w o r l d o f t h e i r own i d e a s . " T h e y a r e i s o l a t e d f r o m r e a l i t y b y t h e i r own i d e a s . S i n c e no human b e i n g i s c a p a b l e o f t h e o m n i s c i e n c e n e c e s s a r y f o r a r e a l l y j u s t c e n t r a l g o v e r n m e n t , I d d y and P r a s u g g e s t t h a t p e r h a p s g o v e r n -ment i s i m p o s s i b l e , t h a t no one s h o u l d t r y t o f o r c e h i s own i d e a s on o t h e r s . E a c h p e r s o n o r e a c h g r o u p s m a l l e nough f o r t r u e h o m o g e n e i t y , s h o u l d c o n c e r n i t s e l f o n l y w i t h i t s e l f , w i t h e s t a b l i s h i n g t h e b e a u t i f u l and t h e good i n a c c o r d a n c e w i t h i t s own o r i g i n a l I d e a s , c r e a t e d b y i t s e l f o u t o f i t s own n a t u r e . B u t P r o l a knows t h a t s u c h e n l i g h t e n e d p a r o c h i a l i s m i s a l s o i m p o s -s i b l e s i n c e t h e g r e a t m a j o r i t y o f p e o p l e do n o t hav e a n y o r i g i n a l i d e a s . T h e s e p e o p l e h a v e t o be t o l d what t o do and what t o t h i n k . I n o t h e r w o r d s , g o v e r n m e n t i s a b s o l u t e l y n e c e s s a r y i n s u c h a w o r l d . B u t i m m e d i a t e l y t h e q u e s t i o n o f how t o e n f o r c e t h e d e s i r e d c o n f o r m i t y a r i s e s . I d d y , s t i l l v e r y much a n E n g l i s h c u r a t e , r e p l i e s t h a t t h e p r o b l e m i s v e r y s i m p l e , t h a t one o n l y need t o c o n v i n c e t h e masses o f t h e p r o p r i e t y o f t h e i d e a s . R e a l -i z i n g t h a t t h i s s o l u t i o n n e g l e c t s t o a c c o u n t f o r t h o s e p e o p l e who a r e i n -c a p a b l e o f f e e l i n g t h e p r o p r i e t y , P r o l a a s k s what i s t o be done w i t h them. To t h i s q u e s t i o n t h e r e i s no a n s w e r e x c e p t f r o m t h e " a n t i p h o n a l q u a r t e t , " •which c h a n t s " K i l l . " ( V I , 591) The f o u r l o v e l y p h a n t a s m s s e r v e as a c o n s t a n t r e m i n d e r d u r i n g t h i s s c e n e o f t h e t e r r i b l e l a t e n t v i o l e n c e and d o g m a t i s m t h a t i s e v e r l i a b l e t o e r u p t . They a r e p a r t o f t h e u b i q u i t o u s i n s u l a r i t y o f t h e -world, Shaw u s e s t h e m t o p r o v i d e a r i s i n g c r e s c e n d o o f ominous t h u n d e r w h i l e t h e o t h e r s a r e a n a l y z i n g t h e p r o b l e m s and t r y i n g t o f i n d some e a r t h l y s o l u t i o n . T h e i r s t a c c a t o t h o u g h t l e s s p l a t i t u d e s i n c r e a s e t h e s e n s e o f t e n s i o n and f r u s t r a -t i o n i n t h e w o r l d . V i o l e n c e and f o r c e , c u p i d i t y and i d o l a t r y seem t o p r e -v a i l b y s h e e r s t r e n g t h o f numbers and l o u d n e s s o f v o i c e . Thus t h e enigma i s i n s o l u b l e u n t i l t h e j u d g m e n t p r o v i d e s a s o l u t i o n w h i c h does n o t . r e l y u p o n a n y one p e r s o n o r g r o u p o f p e r s o n s t o r u l e , b u t u p o n a s u d d e n and mass i n -c u l c a t i o n o f r e a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y o n p a i n o f e x t i n c t i o n . L o o k i n g b a c k o v e r t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e p l a y up t o t h i s p o i n t we c a n s e e t h a t a l l t h e many s c e n e s h a v e l e d i n e x o r a b l y t o t h e n e c e s s i t y o f t h e j u d g m e n t d a y . The i n d i v i d u a l e v e n t s and p e o p l e h a v e e a c h c o n t r i b u t e d t o t h e d i s i n t e g r a t i o n o f w o r l d s o c i e t y i n t o t h e c h a o s t h a t i s s y m b o l i c a l l y p o r t r a y e d i n t h e f i r s t p a r t o f A c t Two. W h i l e i t i s e a s y t o s e e why t h e p e t t y and t h e f r i v o l o u s , t h e s e l f i s h s o m e b o d i e s and t h e n o i s y n o b o d i e s f a l l v i c t i m t o t h e w e e d i n g p r o c e s s , t h e f a i l u r e o f t h e e u g e n i c s e x p e r i m e n t and b y i m p l i c a t i o n i t s o r i g i n a t o r s seems a t f i r s t g l a n c e t o be a r e t r a c t i o n b y Shaw o f many o f h i s w e l l - k n o w n i d e a s . By s h o w i n g t h a t P r a and P r o l a ' s p l a n s were f u t i l e , he seems t o be r e c a n t i n g a l l h i s e a r l i e r i d e a s on e v o l v i n g t h e s u p e r - r a c e , a l l h i s i d e a s o n t h e b i o l o g i c a l r e a s o n f o r m a r r i a g e . W h i l e P r a and P r o l a seem t o be spokesmen f o r Shaw i n more t h a n one way, e s p e c i a l l y when e a r l i e r i n t h e p l a y t h e y e x p o s e t h e s t u f f y , u n h e a l t h y i d e a s o f t h e E n g l i s h , t h e y s t i l l a r e g u i l t y o f a s p e c i e s o f n a r r o w - m i n d e d n e s s , and do n o t s t a n d e n -75 t i r e l y f o r Shaw's p o s i t i o n . T h e r e a r e numerous i n s t a n c e s when P r a and e v e n P r o l a a p p e a r r i d i c u l o u s . T h e y h a v e become c o m p l a c e n t i n t h e i r l i t t l e c o l o n y o f a v a n t - g a r d e b r e e d e r s , e v e n when t h e y s e e t h e o b v i o u s f a i l u r e o f t h e c h i l d -r e n t o a d v a n c e e v o l u t i o n . The j u d g m e n t t h e n i s n o t a judgment o f Shaw, b u t o f a l l t h o s e who s t i l l d i s p l a y a n i n s u l a r i t y o f m i n d . I n c o n d u c t i n g t h e e u g e n i c s e x p e r i m e n t , P r a and P r o l a t o o k a f a r t o o l i m i t e d v i e w o f e v o l u t i o n . Uo m a t t e r how e n l i g h t e n e d t h e y seemed compared t o t h e o t h e r c h a r a c t e r s , t h e y n e v e r t h e l e s s w e r e u n a b l e t o s e e i n a d v a n c e t h e a c t u a l s t e p s t h e L i f e F o r c e w o u l d t a k e i n e v o l v i n g a b e t t e r r a c e . L i k e Shaw t h e y c o u l d s e e how t h e many f o r m s o f i n s u l a r i t y w e r e l e a d i n g t h e w o r l d t o d e s t r u c t i o n , b u t u n l i k e Shaw t h e y f a i l e d t o s e e t h a t a n y p l a n s o n a n i n d i v i d u a l and i s o l a t e d l e v e l o f a c t i o n a r e bound t o f a i l o r change i n t h e l o n g r a n g e p r o c e s s o f e v o l u -t i o n . The v i s i o n o f j u d g m e n t Shaw a f f o r d s i n t h e p l a y i s a f a n c i f u l and a r -t i s t i c way n o t o n l y o f c o n t i n u i n g h i s theme o f t h e u n e x p e c t e d , b u t a l s o o f r e s t a t i n g a theme f o u n d i n many o f h i s e a r l i e r p l a y s . F o l l o w i n g t h e p a t t e r n o f r e v e r s i n g o r d i s t o r t i n g c o n v e n t i o n a l i d e a s t o s u i t h i s p u r p o s e , Shaw c o n c e i v e s o f a modern " l a s t j u d g m e n t " t o be e x e c u t e d b y a n g e l s and a n n o u n c e d b y t r u m p e t s . B u t t h e p u r p o s e o f t h i s j udgment i s t o e n f o r c e a r b i t r a r i l y a r e a l s e n s e o f r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i n a l l human b e i n g s . S u c h a judgment i n v o l v e s a t r u e and c o n t i n u o u s e v a l u a t i o n o f e a c h p e r s o n ' s w o r t h i n t h e w o r l d . As H y e r i n g s a y s , " t h e d a y o f judgment i s n o t t h e end o f t h e w o r l d b u t t h e b e -g i n n i n g o f a r e a l human r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . " ( V I , 607) Shaw r e a f f i r m s i n The S i m p l e t o n what t h e L a d y i n G r e y s t o o d f o r , and a g a i n he u s e s p s e u d o m y s t i c a l r e l i g i o u s t e r m s , b u t t h i s t i m e he l i n k s h i s theme w i t h h i s L i f e F o r c e i d e a s . I n d o i n g s o he a v o i d s t h e p r o b l e m o f d e a l i n g w i t h t h e i m m e d i a t e u n p l e a s a n t 76 p o s s i b i l i t i e s i n w o r l d e v e n t s and c a n a c h i e v e a n a r t i s t i c u n i t y i f n o t a more s a t i s f y i n g s o l u t i o n t o w o r l d t e n s i o n s . The j u d g m e n t e f f e c t s a f i n a l " e d u c a t i o n " o f t h e E a s t e r n e r s who had e d -u c a t e d s o many o f t h e W e s t e r n e r s . P r a and P r o l a a r e f o r c e d t o r e a l i z e t h e f a i l u r e o f t h e i r e x p e r i m e n t . Of c o u r s e t h e y had known f o r a l o n g t i m e t h a t M a ya, V a s h t i , K a n c h i n , and J a n g a were h o p e l e s s n o n e n t i t i e s who were i n c a p -a b l e o f d e a l i n g w i t h r e a l i t y and who had no s e n s e o f r e s p o n s i b i l i t y o r m o r a l c o n s c i e n c e w h a t e v e r . B u t t h e new d i s p e n s a t i o n s u d d e n l y t h r o w s a h a r s h new l i g h t o n a l l p e o p l e and t h e i r a c t i o n s , and c a u s e s P r a and P r o l a t o l o o k a t t h e f u n d a m e n t a l p r o b l e m s o f t h e i r e x p e r i m e n t . A t f i r s t P r a f e e l s a c o m p l e t e f a i l u r e : " M e a n w h i l e we a r e f a c e t o f a c e w i t h t h e f a c t t h a t we two h a v e made a p r e c i o u s mess o f o u r j o b o f p r o d u c i n g t h e c o m i n g r a c e b y a m i x t u r e o f e a s t a n d w e s t . We a r e f a i l u r e s . We s h a l l d i s a p p e a r . " (VT, 6l0) But P r o l a , a l -ways t h e more p e r c e p t i v e , r e a l i z e s t h a t t h e i n s u r a n c e f o r s u r v i v a l does n o t l i e i n a n y one human scheme, b u t i n t h e a b i l i t y t o a c h i e v e an u l t i m a t e o p e n -m i n d e d n e s s , a t r u e f l e x i b i l i t y t o a d a p t t o w h a t e v e r t h e c h a n g i n g c o n d i t i o n s may b e . She i s a c i t i z e n o f t h e U n e x p e c t e d I s l e s and i s o n l y a t home w i t h t h e u n e x p e c t e d . F o r h e r and f o r t h e human r a c e t h e o n l y r e a l s e c u r i t y i s i n a n u n d e s p a i r i n g a c c e p t a n c e o f l i f e and a l l i t s u n e x p e c t e d v a g a r i e s . She d e -f i e s t h e mood o f d e f e a t t h e o t h e r s f e e l , and r i s e s t o a j u b i l a n t hymn o f f a i t h i n t h e l i f e p r o c e s s . H e r s t r e n g t h i n s p i r e s P r a t o s e e h i s r o l e i n e v o l u t i o n t o o . He must s t r i v e f o r more power and k n o w l e d g e w h i l e P r o l a c r e a t e s new l i f e . Thus Shaw ends t h i s p l a y w i t h a n a f f i r m a t i o n r e m i n i s c e n t o f t h e e n d i n g o f t h e H e l l S c e n e i n Man and Superman. T h e r e i s , h o w e v e r , a s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n P r o l a ' s and Dona Anna's q u e s t f o r t h e s u p e r -man. Dona. A n n a g i v e s e v o l u t i o n a r y m e a n i n g t o Ann W h i t e f i e l d ' s c a p t u r e o f 77 T a n n e r . C r e a t i v e E v o l u t i o n -works i n Man a n d Superman t h r o u g h s p e c i f i c c o u p l i n g s o f i n d i v i d u a l s . But i n The S i m p l e t o n C r e a t i v e E v o l u t i o n i s more r e m o t e and a b s t r a c t . W h i l e P r o l a seems t o g l o r y i n h e r woman's c a p a c i t y f o r g i v i n g b i r t h , s h e r e a l l y f i n d s s t r e n g t h i n h e r a b i l i t y t o " w r e s t l e w i t h l i f e a s i t comes." O n l y i n t h i s way w i l l t h e e v o l u t i o n a r y p r o c e s s be s t i m u l a t e d . Shaw f i n d s s o l a c e i n C r e a t i v e E v o l u t i o n , b u t t h e r e m o t e n e s s o f t h e v i s i o n o f a b e t t e r l i f e s u g g e s t s t h e d e p t h o f h i s d e s p a i r a f t e r On t h e R o c k s . The S i m p l e t o n i s n e v e r t h e l e s s a r e a f f i r m a t i o n o f Shaw's b e l i e f i n C r e a t i v e E v o l u t i o n a s w e l l a s a f a n c i f u l b u t c o g e n t a n a l y s i s o f w o r l d p r o b -l e m s . What d i s t i n g u i s h e s t h i s p l a y f r o m some o f t h e o t h e r s o f t h e same p e r -i o d I s n o t t h e e x t r a v a g a n t f a n t a s y , t h e weak c h a r a c t e r s o r t h e v e r y l o o s e s t r u c t u r e , b u t t h e i n t e g r a t i o n o f theme and t e c h n i q u e t h a t Shaw manages h e r e . The p l a y i s a f a n t a s i a o n t h e u n e x p e c t e d . The e n d i n g o f t h e p l a y i s n o t a p a t c h e d up a f f a i r t o s a v e t h e S h a v i a n " m o u t h p i e c e s " , b u t t h e l o g -i c a l c u l m i n a t i o n o f t h e w h o l e p l a y . Shaw has u s e d t h e f a n t a s y and t h e l o o s e s t r u c t u r e a l l a l o n g t o p r e p a r e f o r t h i s e n d i n g and t h i s i s what makes t h i s p l a y i n t e l l e c t u a l l y a t l e a s t one o f t h e most s a t i s f y i n g o f t h e l a t e p l a y s . GENEVA G e n e v a (1938) i s t h e l a s t S h a v i a n p l a y t o d e a l w i t h u r g e n t c o n t e m p o r -a r y s o c i a l p r o b l e m s . I t i s t h e c u l m i n a t i o n o f Shaw's e f f o r t t o p r o v i d e a s t u t e s o c i a l c r i t i c i s m w h i l e t h e wo r l d , s i t u a t i o n became i n c r e a s i n g l y o m i n -ous i n t h e t h i r t i e s . I n Geneva Shaw c o n t i n u e s t o p r o b e t h e q u e s t i o n o f how t o p r o v i d e p r o p e r g o v e r n m e n t , n o t j u s t f o r a n i n d i v i d u a l c o u n t r y , b u t f o r t h e w h o l e w o r l d . P a c e d w i t h t h e s e v e r e l i m i t a t i o n s o f e v e n t h e most e n -l i g h t e n e d p e o p l e , Shaw c o u l d n o t s o l v e t h e b a s i c p r o b l e m s o f g o v e r n m e n t i n The S i m p l e t o n ; he h a d t o r e s o r t a g a i n t o l i f e f o r c e e v o l u t i o n a r y i d e a s f o r h o p e . B u t u n d e r t h e p r e s s u r e o f t h e i n c r e a s i n g t h r e a t o f w a r Shaw r e o p e n s i n G e n e v a t h e p r o b l e m o f g o v e r n i n g a w o r l d o f i g n o r a n t , n a r r o w - m i n d e d a nd p r e j u d i c e d p e o p l e . He shows how i n s u l a r t h i n k i n g i n w o r l d p o l i t i c s d e f e a t -ed t h e p o t e n t i a l t o o l o f e f f e c t i v e g o v e r n m e n t - - t h e L e a g u e o f N a t i o n s . B u t w h i l e t h e p l a y e x a m i n e s how i g n o r a n c e d i s r u p t e d t h e w o r l d o f 1938, Shaw does n o t u s e t h e s t r u c t u r a l p a t t e r n s o f t h e p l a y t o r e i n f o r c e h i s theme. He seems t o h a v e a b a n d o n e d h i s c a r e f u l d r a m a t u r g y i n h i s c o n c e r n f o r p r e -s e n t i n g a n u r g e n t comment o n a n e v e n more u r g e n t w o r l d s i t u a t i o n . Shaw c a n no l o n g e r m a i n t a i n h i s a e s t h e t i c d i s t a n c e f r o m h i s s u b j e c t . H i s own c l o s e i n v o l v e m e n t w i t h t h e v e r y t o p i c a l e v e n t s a n d p e o p l e he p o r t r a y s i n t h e p l a y weakens r a t h e r t h a n s t r e n g t h e n s h i s theme. I n s p i t e o f Shaw's a t t e m p t s t o i m p r o v e Geneva i n h i s many r e v i s i o n s , some a f t e r t h e w a r was o v e r , he c o u l d n o t a c h i e v e t h e f i n e a r t i s t i c m a t i n g o f theme and s t r u c t u r e t h a t he had i n e a r l i e r p l a y s o f t h e p e r i o d when t h e a r t i s t c o n t r o l l e d t h e p r e a c h e r . A s t i m e p a s s e d Shaw came t o f e e l t h a t t h e r e a l i m p e d i m e n t t o s o c i a l p r o g r e s s a n d p o l i t i c a l e n l i g h t e n m e n t was g r o s s i g n o r a n c e o f p o l i t i c a l " f a c t s . " 79 I n t h e p r e f a c e t o Ge n e v a Shaw s a y s t h a t " s i n c e t h e dawn o f h i s t o r y t h e r e h as b e e n no c h a n g e i n t h e n a t u r a l p o l i t i c a l c a p a c i t y o f t h e human s p e c i e s . " ( V , 636) B u t t h i s i s n o t r e a s o n t o d e s p a i r b e c a u s e e n l i g h t e n m e n t s h o u l d be p o s -s i b l e e v e n w i t h a n u n d e v e l o p e d p o l i t i c a l c a p a c i t y . The r e a l p r o b l e m w i t h t h e a v e r a g e c i t i z e n , Shaw s a y s , i s h i s " i g n o r a n c e o f f a c t s , c r e a t i n g a v a c -uum i n t o w h i c h a l l s o r t s o f r o m a n t i c a n t i q u a r i a n j u n k a n d c a s t - o f f p r i m i t i v e r e l i g i o n r u s h e s . " ( V , 635) Shaw s a y s he no l o n g e r t r i e s t o c o n v e r t a n y o n e t o a n y " i s m , " b u t m e r e l y t r i e s t o o p e n h i s r e a d e r s ' e y e s t o a l l t h e p o l i t i c a l f a c t s u n d e r w h i c h t h e y l i v e ( V , 637) Geneva i s Shaw's a t t e m p t t o p r e s e n t some o f t h e " p o l i t i c a l f a c t s " a n d t o show how i g n o r a n c e o f them a f f l i c t s n e a r l y e v e r y o n e a n d l e a d s t o t h e c h a o s a nd w a r t h a t e n v e l o p e d E u r o p e a g a i n i n 1939-U n d o u b t e d l y Shaw w r o t e G e n e v a u n d e r a s e n s e o f g r e a t u r g e n c y . He f e l t t h a t t h e p l a y , more t h a n a n y o f h i s o t h e r s , was n e e d e d a t a s p e c i f i c t i m e a n d t h a t i t p r o b a b l y w o u l d n e v e r be p r o d u c e d a f t e r t h e i m m e d i a t e c o n t e m p o r -a r y e v e n t s h a d p a s s e d . On t h e t i t l e page o f t h e t e x t u s e d f o r t h e f i r s t p r o d u c t i o n o f Ge n e v a a t M a l v e r n , Shaw w r o t e : " P r e s s 50 c o p i e s ( u n l e s s we go t o w a r on S u n d a y n e x t , i n w h i c h c a s e Geneva w i l l be w a s t e p a p e r . ) G.B.S. 28/9/38." The i m p l i c a t i o n i s n o t t h a t Shaw t h o u g h t t h e p l a y t r i v -i a l l y t o p i c a l , b u t , t o t h e c o n t r a r y , s e r i o u s l y t o p i c a l . A f t e r The S i m p l e t o n , 2 i n w h i c h Shaw s a i d he h a d gone " f a r a f i e l d " f o r a t o p i c , Geneva g o e s r i g h t -'-Quoted f r o m G e r a r d A. P i l e c k i , Shaw's G e n e v a : _A C r i t i c a l S t u d y o f t h e E v o l u t i o n o f t h e T e x t i n R e l a t i o n t o Shaw's P o l i t i c a l T h ought and D r a m a t i c P r a c t i c e . "TThe Hague: M o u t o n & Co., 1965), p. 31- P i l e c k i a l s o g i v e s t h e most c o m p l e t e a n d d e t a i l e d d i s c u s s i o n o f Geneva's many r e v i s i o n s . 2"Shaw f o r Shawns S a k e , " M a l v e r n F e s t i v a l Book, 1935, r e p r i n t e d i n Shaw on T h e a t r e , e d . P. J . West (New Y o r k , I958), p. 239. 8o i n t o t h e " v e r y d e p t h s o f p o l i t i c s . " ' The method Shaw c h o s e t o s t r i k e i n t o t h e m i n d s o f p e o p l e whose t h o u g h t s were c o n f u s e d l y o n t h e t h r e a t o f w a r w i t h t h e f a s c i s t c o u n t r i e s o f E u r o p e was t o u s e o b v i o u s c a r i c a t u r e s o f t h e d i c -t a t o r s t h e m s e l v e s . I n f a c t Shaw's t e c h n i q u e i s i n some ways r e m i n i s c e n t o f S a i n t J o a n . I n b o t h p l a y s Shaw u s e d p u r p o s i v e d i s t o r t i o n s o f r e a l e v e n t s o f c u r r e n t i n t e r e s t t o comment on more u n i v e r s a l p r o b l e m s . B u t t h e i m p o r t a n t d i f f e r e n c e i s t h a t J o a n ' s h i s t o r y , t h o u g h r e c e n t l y i n vogue b e c a u s e o f h e r c a n o n i z a t i o n , was n e v e r t h e l e s s f o u r h u n d r e d y e a r s o l d . Shaw c o u l d d i s t o r t W a r w i c k a nd C a u c h o n w i t h o u t a r o u s i n g v i o l e n t o b j e c t i o n s . B u t H i t l e r , Mus-s o l i n i a n d F r a n c o o c c u p i e d a v e r y d i f f e r e n t p l a c e i n t h e min d s o f E n g l i s h -men i n 1938. A n y r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h e m as r a t i o n a l a n d e v e n somewhat b e n -e v o l e n t w o u l d o b s c u r e w h a t e v e r m e s s a g e , h o w e v e r v a l i d , Shaw was t r y i n g t o c o n v e y . I n t r y i n g t o show how i g n o r a n c e was t h e b a s i c i m p e d i m e n t t o w o r l d p e a c e , Shaw h a d t o g l o z e o v e r many o b v i o u s f a u l t s o f t h e d i c t a t o r s , a n d i n so d o i n g w e akened t h e message w i t h t h e i n e v i t a b l e t o p i c a l o v e r t o n e s . Shaw u n d o u b t e d l y c h o s e t o u s e t o p i c a l e v e n t s s o t h a t p e o p l e w o u l d be s u r e t o a p p l y t h e m e s s a g e , b u t he f a i l e d t o o v e r c o m e , e v e n i n t h e l a t e r r e v i s i o n s , t h e d i s t r a c t i o n o f p l a c i n g c a r i c a t u r e s o f p o l i t i c a l l e a d e r s on s t a g e , w h i l e t h e i r r e a l c o u n t e r p a r t s w e r e m a k i n g h i s t o r y o u t s i d e t h e t h e a t r e . I n s p i t e o f t h e f a c t t h a t Shaw d i s s o l v e s t h e " e n l i g h t e n e d " t r i a l i n t o a f a r c i c a l s c e n e a t t h e end o f t h e p l a y , h e i s n o t s a t i r i z i n g t h e L e a g u e o f N a t i o n s i n G e n e v a . Shaw d i d b e l i e v e t h a t Geneva was a n i m p o r t a n t a d v a n c e i n w o r l d g o v e r n m e n t , b u t n o t f o r t h e common r e a s o n s . The p l a y e c h o e s s t a t e m e n t s Shaw made as e a r l y a s 1919 a b o u t t h e League o f N a t i o n s , b u t i n 1938 he c o u l d n o t d e m o n s t r a t e c o n v i n c i n g l y I t s a b i l i t y t o s o l v e t h e w o r l d p r o b l e m s when m a n k i n d was i g n o r a n t o f t h e p o t e n t i a l o f t h e League a n d , 81 more i m p o r t a n t , was a v i c t i m o f t h e b l i n d p r e j u d i c e c a l l e d p a t r i o t i s m , w h i c h i t s e l f was o n l y a n o t h e r f o r m o f i g n o r a n c e . Geneva e x p o s e s s e v e r a l r e l a t e d m i s c o n c e p t i o n s a b o u t t h e L e a g u e , w o r l d g o v e r n m e n t , t h e E u r o p e a n d i c t a t o r s , a n d p a t r i o t i s m , b u t Shaw's own c l o s e i n v o l v e m e n t w i t h w o r l d e v e n t s i n t r o -d u c e s , i n t h e f o u r t h a c t , many o b v i o u s e r r o r s a n d m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s w h i c h w e a k e n t h e a r t i s t i c i n t e g r i t y o f t h e p l a y . Shaw f i n a l l y was u n a b l e t o m a i n -t a i n a n e c e s s a r y a e s t h e t i c d i s t a n c e f r o m h i s s u b j e c t . Shaw n e v e r f e l t t h a t t h e L e a g u e c o u l d o p e r a t e p r o p e r l y i f i t w e r e o p e n t o a l l c o u n t r i e s o f t h e w o r l d . O n l y t h o s e c o u n t r i e s w h i c h w e r e f u n d a m e n t -a l l y a g r e e d o n s e v e r a l b a s i c I s s u e s c o u l d be e x p e c t e d t o a g r e e on e v e n t h e s m a l l e s t p r o b l e m s S h a w was r e a l i s t e n ough t o know t h a t t h e F e d e r a t i o n o f Man was n o t l i k e l y t o s u d d e n l y a p p e a r a t G e n e v a , b u t he d i d s e e g r e a t p o -t e n t i a l i n t h e L e a g u e when o t h e r d i s i l l u s i o n e d i d e a l i s t s r e a c t e d v o c i f e r -o u s l y a g a i n s t t h e f a r c e o f t h e L e a g u e . He v i s i t e d t h e a n n u a l A s s e m b l y i n 1928 a n d r e t u r n e d w i t h a r e a l o p t i m i s m f o r t h e " s p i r i t o f G e n e v a . " He c r i t i c i z e d t h e g r o s s i g n o r a n c e i n t h e n a t i o n a l g o v e r n m e n t s and t h e i r " d e c i d u o u s " r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f t h e c h a r t e r a n d p u r p o s e o f t h e L e a g u e . The b i g Powers w e r e p a r t i c u l a r l y d e t e r m i n e d t o s a b o t a g e t h e L e a g u e , a c c o r d -i n g t o Shaw. E a c h c o u n t r y m e r e l y t r i e d t o u s e t h e Le a g u e f o r n a t i o n a l a d v a n c e m e n t . E v e n t h o u g h members were i g n o r a n t o r i n d i f f e r e n t t o t h e i r o b l i g a t i o n s t o t h e L e a g u e , Shaw t h o u g h t t h a t Geneva was a c t i v e l y d i s i n t e -g r a t i n g n a t i o n a l p a t r i o t i s m , a n d was m o v i n g t o w a r d s w o r l d g o v e r n m e n t . ^See What I R e a l l y W r o t e A b o u t t h e War (New Y o r k : B r e n t a n o ' s , 1931), p. 291. 5what I R e a l l y W r o t e , p. 355. 82 The r e a l l y g r e a t t h i n g t h a t i s h a p p e n i n g a t G e n e r a i s t h e g r o w t h o f a g e n u i n e l y i n t e r n a t i o n a l p u b l i c s e r v i c e , a n i n c i p i e n t i n -t e r n a t i o n a l G o v e r n m e n t . I n t h e a t m o s p h e r e o f Geneva p a t r i o t i s m p e r i s h e s : a p a t r i o t t h e r e i s s i m p l y a s p y who c a n n o t he s h o t . ^ A n a i v e p a t r i o t l i k e S i r A u s t e n C h a m b e r l a i n , was a j o k e t o t h e y o u n g H o n s o f t h e s e c r e t a r i a t who w e r e e x h i l a r a t e d b y t h e s p i r i t o f Gen e v a . Shaw f e l t t h a t a new y o u n g k i n d o f i n t e r n a t i o n a l o f f i c i a l w o u l d f o r c e t h e g o v e r n m e n t s o l d f a s h i o n e d d e l e g a t e s o u t o f t h e Le a g u e i f i t c o u l d c o n t i n u e t o d e v e l o p a n d t r a i n p e r m a n e n t Geneva o f f i c i a l s . B u t f o r Shaw, one o f t h e b i g u s e s o f t h e L e a g u e e v e n i n 1928 l a y i n i t s a b i l i t y t o a p p l y m o r a l p r e s s u r e o n t h e b i g P o wers . ETo l o n g e r c o u l d b l a t a n t r e f u s a l s t o h o n o r mandate p r o m i s e s be h i d d e n i n Geneva's o p e n f o r u m . I t was i n t h i s o p e n n e s s a n d i n t h e new g e n -e r a t i o n o f d e d i c a t e d i n t e r n a t i o n a l i s t s t h a t Shaw p l a c e d h i s hope f o r Gen e v a The p o t e n t i a l o f t h e Le a g u e was n o t d r a i n e d a s some c r i t i c s s a i d , b u t u n -t a p p e d . P e o p l e w e r e i g n o r a n t o f t h e r e a l v a l u e o f t h e L e a g u e . F o r Shaw, t h e L e a g u e j u s t i f i e d i t s e l f t e n t i m e s o v e r w i t h o u t t h e q u e s t i o n o f w a r and p e a c e . "Take i n t o a c c o u n t t h e i n c i p i e n t i n t e r n a t i o n a l c o u r t o f j u s t i c e a t t h e Hague, w i t h t h e b o d y o f i n t e r n a t i o n a l l a w w h i c h w i l l grow f r o m i t , a n d t h e c a s e f o r m a i n t a i n i n g t h e L e a g u e becomes i r r e s i s t i b l e . " ' ' 7 Shaw knew t h a t t h e g r e a t p o t e n t i a l o f t h e League m i g h t n e v e r be d e -v e l o p e d . T e n y e a r s b e f o r e he w r o t e G e n e v a Shaw w a r n e d t h a t I f t h e L e a g u e w e r e t o f u l f i l l I t s p r o m i s e , t h e b i g Powers w o u l d h a v e t o g i v e i t t h e i r f u l l s u p p o r t . Shaw m a i n t a i n e d t h a t t h e b i g P o w e r s , b y s e n d i n g a n y o n e b u t t h e v e r y b e s t d i p l o m a t s t o t h e A s s e m b l y , were s e r i o u s l y j e o p a r d i z i n g t h e 6what I R e a l l y W r o t e , p. 357-Twhat I R e a l l y W r o t e , p. 360. 83 L e a g u e a nd a n y p r o g r e s s i t m i g h t e f f e c t : G e n e v a i s n o t t h e p l a c e f o r t h e man i n t h e s t r e e t . The s t r e e t i s f u l l o f p e r s o n s w i t h p a r o c h i a l m i n d s : j i n g o m i n d s , i m p e r i a l m i n d s , f o r e i g n e r - h a t i n g m i n d s , s e n s e l e s s l y p u g n a c i o u s m i n d s , a n d s e n s e -l e s s l y t e r r i f i e d m i n d s . A L e a g u e r e p r e s e n t i n g s u c h p e o p l e w o u l d w r e c k c i v i l i z a t i o n i n t e n y e a r s . . . . Our s a l v a t i o n i n t h e s e d a y s d e pends o n t h e s m a l l a n d u n r e p r e s e n t a t i v e p e r c e n t a g e o f p e r -s o n s who c a n s e e f a r t h e r t h a n t h e end o f t h e i r n o s e s . 8 T h i s r esume f r o m Shaw's n o n - d r a m a t i c w o r k o f h i s a t t i t u d e s t o w a r d t h e L e a g u e may h e l p t o c l a r i f y t h e p l a y . By 1938 Shaw h a d s e e n t h e p o t e n t i a l o f t h e L e a g u e w a s t e d , i g n o r e d o r p e r v e r t e d . He s t i l l f e l t t h a t t h e s p i r i t o f' Gen e v a was a l i v e , h u t among f a r t o o f e w p e o p l e . E v e n t h o u g h H i t l e r had i n -v a d e d P o l a n d , a n d W o r l d War I I h a d b e g u n b e f o r e Shaw h a d f i n i s h e d r e v i s i n g 9 G e n e v a , t h e p l a y d o e s n o t , a s J o h n G a s s n e r s u g g e s t s , s a t i r i z e t h e L e a g u e i t s e l f , b u t t h e i g n o r a n c e t h a t d e f e a t e d I t . Shaw c h o s e t o d e m o n s t r a t e how t h e L e a g u e h a d b e e n m i s u s e d b y p o s t u l a t i n g w h at w o u l d h a p p e n i f s u d d e n l y t h e i d l e m a c h i n e r y o f t h e i n t e r n a t i o n a l c o u r t were a c t i v a t e d . The s t r u c t u r e o f Ge n e v a up t o t h e end o f t h e s e c o n d a c t i s f a i r l y l i n -e a r , more s o i n f a c t t h a n a n y f o u n d i n t h e o t h e r p l a y s c o n s i d e r e d . A c t One i n i t i a t e s t h e p l o t t o t r y t h e r e s p o n s i b l e l e a d e r s o f v a r i o u s c o u n t r i e s f o r " c r i m e s " c o m m i t t e d a g a i n s t some u n i v e r s a l p r i n c i p l e o f j u s t i c e . A c t Two shows t h e i m m e d i a t e e f f e c t s o n t h e League o f t h e p r o p o s i t i o n , a n d i n t r o -d u c e s t h e j u d g e who w i l l p r e s i d e o v e r t h e t r i a l . A t f i r s t t h e p l a y c o n -t a i n e d o n l y t h r e e a c t s w i t h t h e p r e s e n t t h i r d a c t n o t i n c l u d e d . Thus Shaw o r i g i n a l l y i n t e n d e d t h e p l a y t o move q u i c k l y and d i r e c t l y t o t h e t r i a l i t -^What I R e a l l y W r o t e , p . 362. ^ M a s t e r s o f t h e Drama (New Y o r k : D o v e r , 19^5), p. 615. 84 s e l f . I n s u c h a scheme t h e r e was no room f o r l e n g t h y d i g r e s s i o n s o r o p e n s y m p o s i u m d i s c u s s i o n s a s he u s e d i n some o f t h e e a r l i e r p l a y s . I n a n y c a s e Shaw a p p a r e n t l y w a n t e d t o e m p h a s i z e t h e v e r y t o p i c a l f i n a l a c t . He c o n t i n -u a l l y r e v i s e d t h i s a c t I n o r d e r t o k e e p a p a c e w i t h r a p i d l y c h a n g i n g w o r l d e v e n t s . Not o n l y d i d t h e p l a y u n d e r g o a t l e a s t f i v e r e v i s i o n s b e f o r e 194-0, h u t t h e f i n a l a c t was a l s o t e l e v i s e d s e p a r a t e l y i n 1939- F o r t h i s p e r f o r m -a n c e Shaw m e r e l y a t t a c h e d a s y n o p s i s o f t h e f i r s t t wo a c t s . "At t h e b e g i n -n i n g o f t h e s y n o p s i s Mr. Shaw i m p l i c i t l y a d m i t s t h e need f o r economy i n t i m e i n d e a l i n g w i t h G e n e v a , a n d a c c e p t s t h e o p i n i o n o f t h e c r i t i c s t h a t t h e t h i r d a c t i s t h e one t h a t matters."10 C l e a r l y Shaw was v e r y c o n c e r n e d t o p r e s e n t a n u p - t o - d a t e p o l i t i c a l comment i n t h e f i n a l a c t . B u t a f t e r t h e w a r , when t h e U n i t e d N a t i o n s was b e g i n n i n g t o t a k e p e r m a n e n t s h a p e , a nd when Shaw h a d s u r v i v e d t h e bombs, he a g a i n r e v i s e d t h e p l a y , a d d i n g t h e p r e s e n t A c t T h r e e . I n t h i s a c t Shaw a t t e m p t s t o r e s h a p e t h e p l a y i n s e v e r a l w a y s . He d i g r e s s e s o n some o f t h e i d e a s b r o a c h e d b u t n o t d e v e l o p e d i n A c t Two, a n d i n s o d o i n g , Shaw n o t o n l y a t t e m p t s t o m o d i f y t h e f o r c e o f t h e e v e n t s i n A c t F o u r , b u t a l s o t o i n t r o d u c e a more u n i f i e d a r t i s t i c p u r p o s e i n t o t h e w h o l e p l a y . The f i n a l r e s u l t , h o w e v e r , i s a s t r u c t u r a l i n c o n s i s t e n c y w h i c h a d d s t o t h e o t h e r w e a k n e s s e s a l r e a d y f o u n d i n A c t F o u r . Much o f t h e s t r u c t u r a l p r o b l e m w i t h Geneva stems f r o m t h e many r e v i -s i o n s i t u n d e r w e n t . P i l e c k i , who has done t h e most e x h a u s t i v e s t u d y o f t h e r e v i s i o n s , c l a s s i f i e s t h e m i n t o t h r e e c a t e g o r i e s : t h o s e w h i c h smoothe t h e l a n g u a g e ; t h o s e w h i c h k e e p a p a c e w i t h t h e r a p i d l y c h a n g i n g w o r l d ; a n d t h o s e w h i c h r e f l e c t a c h a n g e i n Shaw's a t t i t u d e - - a r e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f h i s m a t e r -1 0 T h e (London) T i m e s , A p r i l 22, 1939, P- 10. 85 i a l . 1 1 The f i r s t c a t e g o r y n e e d n o t c o n c e r n u s h e r e . The s e c o n d k i n d o f r e v i s i o n s i n d i c a t e Shaw's commitment t o a v e r y t o p i c a l a p p r o a c h . He r e -v i s e d G e n e v a w h e n e v e r some m a j o r d e v e l o p m e n t i n w o r l d c o n d i t i o n s a r o s e . Thus he r e v i s e d t h e t e x t t o i n c l u d e Bomhardone's ( M u s s o l i n i ' s ) c o n v e r s i o n t o a n t i - s e m i t i s m , a n d B a t t l e r ' s ( H i t l e r ' s ) i n v a s i o n o f P o l a n d . T h e s e c h a n g e s d i d n o t r e a l l y i m p r o v e t h e p l a y , h u t w e r e n e c e s s a r y s i n c e Shaw u s e d v e r y c o n -t e m p o r a r y e v e n t s i n t h e p l a y , a n d a n y m a j o r d i s c r e p a n c y w o u l d r e d u c e t h e p l a y t o " w a s t e p a p e r . " B u t a f t e r t h e w a r , when Shaw no l o n g e r t h o u g h t G e n e v a w o u l d he p e r f o r m e d , he made h i s most s u b s t a n t i a l r e v i s i o n s . T h e s e r e f l e c t b o t h h i s a r t i s t i c a w a r e n e s s a n d h i s new mood o f q u i e t o p t i m i s m . P i l e c k i a t t r i b u t e s t h e i n s e r t i o n o f t h e p r e s e n t A c t T h r e e i n t o t h e p l a y t o Shaw's d e s p e r a t e a t t e m p t s t o a v o i d d e s p a i r o v e r man's p o l i t i c a l c a p a b i l -12 i t y . A f t e r W o r l d War I I h a d b e g u n , P i l e c k i s a y s , Shaw t u r n e d t o w a r d t h e e x p l a n a t i o n o f t h e w o r l d ' s f o l l y b y s a y i n g t h a t man i s n o t i n h e r e n t l y b a d , j u s t i g n o r a n t . Some o f Shaw's l e t t e r s t o B e a t r i c e Webb i n 19^1 and 19^ 2 -1 o s u p p o r t t h i s i d e a . I n one Shaw w r o t e : "No s t a t e s m a n c a n e v e r know t h e f a c t s o f t h e moment a t w h i c h he must a c t . . . . The w i s d o m o f p e o p l e i s a Ik m y t h . " Shaw d o e s n o t s a y t h a t t h e g o o d n e s s o f human n a t u r e i s m y t h . By t h e t i m e he w r o t e t h e p r e f a c e t o Geneva (19^5), Shaw e v e n f e l t t h a t t h e s t i f l i n g i g n o r a n c e o f t h e w o r l d c o u l d be c u r e d w i t h e d u c a t i o n . (V, 635-637) A c t T h r e e a t t e m p t s t o overcome p a r t l y t h e mood o f d e s p a i r w h i c h hangs o v e r l l S h a w ' s G e n e v a , pp. 70-71-1 2 S h a w ' s G e n e v a , p. 132. -^See A. H e n d e r s o n , Man o f t h e C e n t u r y , p p. 385, 387. l ^ I b i d . , p . 385. 86 t h e p l a y , and. a l s o t o d i a g n o s e more c l e a r l y t h e w o r l d ' s m a i n p r o b l e m a s i g -n o r a n c e a n d i n s u l a r t h i n k i n g . G e n e v a e x h i b i t s a n o t h e r v a r i a t i o n o f t h e a m b i v a l e n c e Shaw f e l t d u r i n g t h e t h i r t i e s . Many o f h i s p l a y s r e v e a l a d u a l i t y a nd t e n s i o n b e c a u s e o f Shaw's own commitments t o a v e r y p r a c t i c a l a n d o f t e n l i m i t e d r e a l i s m o n one h a n d , a n d t o a v e r y p o w e r f u l i d e a l i s m on t h e o t h e r . I n Geneva t h i s c o n f l i c t i s c l e a r l y b e t w e e n hope a n d d e s p a i r . We h a v e s e e n how t h e m o u n t i n g u r g e n c y o f w o r l d a f f a i r s d u r i n g t h e t h i r t i e s seemed t o d r i v e Shaw t o a l t e r n a t e b e -t w e e n a d v o c a t i n g l i m i t e d b u t p r a c t i c a l s o c i a l a n d p o l i t i c a l r e f o r m s , and v o i c i n g t h e n e e d f o r man t o e v o l v e i n t o a more a d v a n c e d p o l i t i c a l a n i m a l . The t h r e a t o f a w o r l d w a r was t h e most i m m e d i a t e c a u s e f o r d e s p a i r i n Shaw. He e v e n w r o t e a n o t h e r e n d i n g f o r Geneva i n w h i c h t h e J u d g e r e i n f o r c e d t h e S e c r e t a r y ' s b i t t e r n e s s a n d p e s s i m i s m . I n t h i s e n d i n g , when B a t t l e r ' s t r o o p s i n v a d e R u r i t a n i a , t h e J u d g e condemns man a s a f a i l u r e a n d b i d s t h e p e o p l e o f E u r o p e t o go o f f a n d k i l l one a n o t h e r u n t i l t h e y h a v e l e a r n e d how w i c k e d and f o o l i s h t h e y a r e . ^ B u t t h i s e n d i n g was n e v e r u s e d . P i l e c k i s a y s Shaw c o u l d n o t s t a n d t o f a c e p e s s i m i s m s q u a r e l y , a n d t h e r e f o r e d r o p p e d t h e a l t e r n a t i v e e n d i n g . ^ I n a n y c a s e Shaw a p p e a r s t o h a v e m e l l o w e d somewhat a f t e r he had s u r v i v e d t h e b o m b i n g . W i t h i m m e d i a t e c a u s e s of d e s p a i r r e m o v e d , Shaw t u r n e d t o a q u i e t o p t i m i s m , t h i n k i n g , a s we h a v e s e e n i n t h e p r e f a c e , t h a t man n eed n o t e v o l v e a h i g h e r p o l i t i c a l c a p a c i t y , b u t o n l y u s e h i s p o l i t i c a l a b i l i t y t o i t s f u l l p o t e n t i a l . T h i s i s t h e v i e w e x p r e s s e d b y t h e J u d g e i n A c t T h r e e . l ^ S h a w ' s G e n e v a , p . 166. l 6 I b i d . , p. I69. 87 A c t T h r e e i s a n e x t e n d e d s y m p o s i u m d i s c u s s i o n i n -which a l l t h e c h a r a c -t e r s s o f a r i n t r o d u c e d e x p l a i n t h e i r p r o b l e m s . W i t h t h e e x c e p t i o n o f t h e S e c r e t a r y and t h e J u d g e , t h e o t h e r c h a r a c t e r s d e m o n s t r a t e ho-w a l l k i n d s o f i n s u l a r t h i n k i n g l e a d t o a n i m o s i t y . The C r e o l e l a d y h a t e s Jews b e c a u s e t h e y k i l l e d h e r s a v i o r . S i r Orpheus a n d B e g o n i a h a t e " B o l s h i e s " b e c a u s e t h e y s t e a l p r o p e r t y a n d n a t i o n a l i z e women. P o s k y i s c o n t e m p t u o u s o f a l l C a p i t a l -i s t s b e c a u s e t h e y a r e b o u r g e o i s . I n f a c t t h e y e a c h h a t e w h a t e v e r i s " f o r -e i g n . " T h e y e a c h p r o c l a i m t h e s a n c t i t y a n d e t e r n i t y o f p o l i t i c a l b o u n d a -r i e s . T h e y p r o m p t t h e S e c r e t a r y t o e x p l o d e i n a f i t o f f r u s t r a t e d a n g e r t o s a y t h a t he h a t e s t h e l o t o f t h e m , b e c a u s e he h a t e s a l l n a t i o n s and a l l f r o n t i e r s ; Y o u a r e a l l e n e m i e s o f t h e human r a c e . You a r e a l l armed t o t h e t e e t h a n d f u l l o f p a t r i o t i s m . Y o u r n a t i o n a l h e r o e s a r e a l l b r i g -a n d s a n d p i r a t e s . When i t comes t o t h e p o i n t y o u a r e a l l c u t -t h r o a t s . . . . I am n o t g o i n g t o a r g u e w i t h y o u : y o u a r e a l l t o o d a m n a b l y s t u p i d . ( V, 701) B u t t h e J u d g e , e c h o i n g Shaw i n t h e p r e f a c e , d i s a g r e s s . The p e o p l e a r e n o t s t u p i d , t h e y a r e j u s t i g n o r a n t o f t h e f a c t s . "None o f y o u seem t o h a v e a n y i d e a o f t h e s o r t o f w o r l d y o u a r e l i v i n g i n . " (V, 706) B e l i e v i n g s a v -age s u p e r s t i t i o n s a nd f a l s e h o o d s o f a l l k i n d s , t h e y become more f e r o c i o u s a n d c r u e l t h a n a n y b e a s t . B e g o n i a and P o s k y h a v e s i m i l a r s y m p a t h i e s and i n t e n t i o n s , s a y s t h e J u d g e , b u t t h e y do n o t know t h i s ' b e c a u s e b o t h h a v e b e e n t o l d s o many l i e s a b o u t Communists and C a p i t a l i s t s . I f p e o p l e w o u l d o n l y b r i n g t h e i r e c o n o m i c s , r e l i g i o n , h i s t o r y a nd p o l i t i c a l p h i l o s o p h y up t o d a t e , t h e r e w o u l d be no r e a s o n t o d e s p a i r o f human n a t u r e . I f t h e J u d g e d i s a g r e e s w i t h t h e S e c r e t a r y as t o t h e b a s i c c a u s e o f t h e h a t e , he does a g r e e t h a t t h e a r t i f i c i a l b a r r i e r s must be d e m o l i s h e d . "You a r e a l l h o p e l e s s m o n g r e l s p r e -88 t e n d i n g t o be t h o r o u g h b r e d s . Why n o t g i v e up p r e t e n d i n g ? " ( V , 707) The S e c r e t a r y d e s p a i r s b e c a u s e "we s t i l l go on b i n d i n g o u r h e a d s a n d m a k i n g f o o l s o f o u r s e l v e s f o r l i f e . " ( V , 708) B u t t h e J u d g e i s s t i l l o p t i m i s t i c . The C h i n e s e , o n c e t h o u g h t t o be i n c a p a b l e o f c h a n g e , a r e now t h e most r e v -o l u t i o n a r y o f a l l t h e r e v o l u t i o n i s t s . I t i s t h i s o p t i m i s m i n human n a t u r e t h a t s u s t a i n s t h e J u d g e i n h i s a t t e m p t t o b r i n g t h e d i c t a t o r s t o t r i a l . The S e c r e t a r y s a y s t h e t r i a l w i l l be a f a r c e b e c a u s e t h e d i c t a t o r s w i l l n o t come. He b e l i e v e s i n t h e s p i r i t o f Geneva w h i c h g r a d u a l l y b r e a k s down a l l t h e a r t i f i c i a l b o u n d a r i e s b e t w e e n p e o p l e a n d n a t i o n s , b u t n o t i n s u c h e s o t e r i c schemes a s t h e J u d g e ' s . S i n c e b o t h t h e S e c r e t a r y a nd t h e J u d g e r e p r e s e n t e n l i g h t e n e d a t t i -t u d e s t o w a r d s t h e w o r l d p r o b l e m , t h e y b o t h a r e , i n some r e s p e c t s , s p o k e s -men f o r Shaw. T o g e t h e r t h e y r e p r e s e n t Shaw's a m b i v a l e n t a t t i t u d e t o w a r d s t h e L e a g u e i n p a r t i c u l a r , a n d t o a n y k i n d o f w o r l d p a r l i a m e n t i n g e n e r a l . Shaw u n d o u b t e d l y was v e r y s c e p t i c a l a b o u t t h e League i n 1938, b u t e v e n a f t e r W o r l d War I I , he s t i l l seemed t o ha v e f a i t h i n what he c a l l e d t h e s p i r i t o f G e n e v a . And i f t h e Le a g u e h a d d e v e l o p e d i t s p o t e n t i a l , s u c h a n o r g a n i z a t i o n c o u l d h a v e d e v e l o p e d a new co d e o f i n t e r n a t i o n a l j u s t i c e . The J u d g e c a n p i n - p o i n t b e t t e r t h a n t h e S e c r e t a r y what t h e r e a l i s s u e i s u l t i -m a t e l y - - I g n o r a n c e , b u t he i s t o o i d e a l i s t i c when he t h i n k s r a t i o n a l i t y w i l l p r e v a i l a t t h e C o u r t . The S e c r e t a r y r e l i e s on t h e c o s m o p o l i t a n i s m , n o t t h e c o u n c i l s , o f Gen e v a . But as he p a r t i a l l y s u s p e c t s , i t i s t o o l i m i t e d a n d t o o l a t e t o do t h e n e c e s s a r y j o b . B u t A c t T h r e e ends w i t h a n i m p l i e d dem-o n s t r a t i o n o f t h e a b i l i t y o f t h e s p i r i t o f Geneva t o b r i n g t o g e t h e r p e o p l e who h a v e f e l t a n i m o s i t y f o r e a c h o t h e r : t h e C r e o l e l a d y a g r e e s t o d i n e w i t h t h e J ew, S i r Orpheus w i t h C o m m i s s a r P o s k y , t h e J u d g e w i t h B e g o n i a , a n d t h e 89 S e c r e t a r y w i t h t h e A m e r i c a n j o u r n a l i s t . The a d d i t i o n o f A c t T h r e e s u g g e s t s t h a t Shaw's a t t i t u d e t o w a r d man-k i n d a n d i t s p o l i t i c a l f u t u r e may h a v e c h a n g e d a f t e r t h e w a r . C e r t a i n l y a n o t e o f hope i s s t r e s s e d h e r e . Shaw u s e d t h i s a c t t o make more e x p l i c i t t h e i g n o r a n c e theme ( t h r o u g h t h e J u d g e ' s a n a l y s i s ) , a n d t h e power o f t h e s p i r i t o f G e n e v a ( t h r o u g h t h e S e c r e t a r y ) . B o t h i d e a s a r e b a s e d on o p t i m -i s m . B u t what may h a v e a l s o moved Shaw t o a d d t h i s a c t was t h e r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t t h e t o p i c a l d i c t a t o r ' s t r i a l was a n i n h e r e n t l y weak d e v i c e . Shaw may h a v e r e a l i z e d t h a t t h e d i c t a t o r s o b s c u r e d t h e more u n i v e r s a l i s s u e s i n t h e p l a y . B e f o r e t h e w a r , Shaw w a n t e d Geneva t o be a c r i t i c a l u p - t o - d a t e a n a l -y s i s o f p r e s s i n g c u r r e n t i s s u e s . But t h e i g n o r a n c e theme ( w h i c h was s t i l l i m p l i c i t i n t h e e a r l i e r v e r s i o n s ) i s more t e n a b l e when d i v o r c e d f r o m some o f Shaw's o t h e r r e m a r k s a b o u t H i t l e r , M u s s o l i n i , a n d F r a n c o . A c t T h r e e , a k i n d o f i n t e r l u d e , w h i c h e l a b o r a t e s o n some o f t h e i d e a s n o t f u l l y d e -v e l o p e d i n t h e e a r l i e r a c t s , a l s o makes c l e a r e r Shaw's i n t e n t i o n t h a t we s h o u l d v i e w t h e e v e n t s i n A c t F o u r a s e x a m p l e s o f what happens when I g n o r -a n c e o n a l l s i d e s p r e v a i l s . P i l e c k i f e e l s t h a t i f t h e t r i a l h a d n o t b e e n p r o m i s e d i n A c t One and I f i t had n o t b e e n t h e h i g h l i g h t when p e r f o r m e d , Shaw m i g h t h a v e d r o p p e d A c t F o u r a l t o g e t h e r , s i n c e A c t T h r e e i s a more s a t i s f y i n g c o n c l u s i o n t o t h e 17 p l a y w i t h r e s p e c t t o t h e b a s i c i s s u e s i n i t . ' A c t F o u r d o e s n o t i g n o r e t h e b a s i c i s s u e s a s P i l e c k i s u g g e s t s , b u t t h e y a r e o b s c u r e d b e c a u s e o f t h e t o p i -c a l i t y o f t h e a c t . W i t h o u t t h e f i n a l a c t , Geneva w o u l d h a v e a f a m i l i a r Shaw's G e n e v a , p. 170. 90 S h a v i a n s t r u c t u r e o f e x p o s i t i o n , c o m p l i c a t i o n a n d d i s c u s s i o n , h u t t h e a d d -i t i o n o f A c t T h r e e v a s n o t meant t o he a nev e n d i n g , h u t a n a t t e m p t t o i n -s t i l l i n t h e r e a d e r ' s m i n d t h e p r o p e r f r a m e o f r e f e r e n c e w i t h v h i c h t o v i e w t h e f i n a l a c t . Shaw seems t o h a v e r e a l i z e d t h a t n e i t h e r he n o r t h e a u d i e n c e c o u l d a c h i e v e a p r o p e r d i s t a n c e f r o m t h e c o n t e m p o r a r y e v e n t s t o s e e t h e t r u e p a t t e r n s a t w o r k . I r o n i c a l l y , t h i s i s e x a c t l y t h e p r o b l e m e n u n c i a t e d i n The S i m p l e t o n . A c t F o u r i s t h e c l i m a x t o w h i c h t h e r e s t o f Geneva l o o k s f o r w a r d . N e a r l y t w i c e a s l o n g a s a n y o t h e r a c t , A c t F o u r d o m i n a t e s t h e p l a y . The t r i a l d o e s n o t a c c o m p l i s h w h at i t s e t o u t t o do. I n f a c t t h e s p e c i f i c c h a r g e s made i n A c t One, w i t h t h e e x c e p t i o n o f t h e J e w ' s , a r e n e v e r made i n t h e c o u r t . The " t r i a l " i s a n open f o r u m i n w h i c h t h e most p r e s s i n g t o p i c a l q u e s t i o n s a r e v e h e m e n t l y d i s c u s s e d . The a c t i o n b r e a k s i n t o a s e r i e s o f m u t u a l a c c u s a t i o n s a n d f i n a l l y i n t o a f a n t a s t i c announcement o f t h e e nd o f t h e w o r l d . The w h o l e a c t d e m o n s t r a t e s how i g n o r a n c e a n d s u p e r -s t i t i o n s b r e e d p u g n a c i t y a n d w a r , b u t I n t r e a t i n g t h e d i c t a t o r s Shaw c a n n e i t h e r d i s g u i s e h i s own p a r t i s a n s p i r i t n o r p r e v e n t i t f r o m i n t r u d i n g i n t o t h e p l a y . One o f t h e m a j o r a r t i s t i c p r o b l e m s w i t h Geneva i s t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n , i n A c t F o u r , o f t h e t h r e e d i c t a t o r s . Up t o t h e end o f A c t T h r e e Shaw a b -s t r a c t s t h e i s s u e s f r o m t h e c o n t e m p o r a r y s c e n e . He u s e s t h e League o f N a t i o n s a s a t o p i c a l d e v i c e t o d i s c u s s some o f t h e p r o b l e m s o f w o r l d gov-e r n m e n t , b u t t h e t o p i c a l i t y d o e s n o t o b s c u r e w hat Shaw s a y s . He c a n s i m p -l i f y a n d c a n u s e t h e f a n t a s y t o p o s t u l a t e i n t e r e s t i n g u s e s o f t h e Le a g u e w i t h o u t u p s e t t i n g t h e d i s c u s s i o n w i t h t h e f o r c e o f t h e r e a l p e r s o n a g e s t h e c h a r a c t e r s r e p r e s e n t . Of c o u r s e t h e S e c r e t a r y i s p r o b a b l y m o d e l l e d on 91 S i r E r i c Drummond, a n d S i r Orpheus M i d l a n d e r o n S i r A u s t e n C h a m b e r l a i n , b u t t h e i r i d e n t i t i e s a r e n o t s o v i t a l l y l i n k e d t o what t h e y s a y a s c h a r a c t e r s . B u t a s s o o n a s Shaw b r i n g s E r n e s t B a t t l e r , S i g n o r Bombardone and G e n e r a l F l a n c o de F o r t i n b r a s o n t o t h e s t a g e , t h e t e c h n i q u e o f c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n c h a n g e s . The i s s u e s become more c o m p l i c a t e d b e c a u s e t h e c h a r a c t e r s a r e ob-v i o u s l y H i t l e r , M u s s o l i n i and G e n e r a l F r a n c o , a n d Shaw i n e v i t a b l y becomes I n v o l v e d n o t o n l y w i t h s p e c i f i c a r g u m e n t s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e s e men, b u t a l s o w i t h Shaw's own s p e c i f i c a nd s o m e t i m e s a m b i v a l e n t a t t i t u d e s t o w a r d them. The theme o f i g n o r a n c e i s s t i l l p r e s e n t , b u t i s d i l u t e d becaus,e o f t h e e x t r a c o m p l e x i t y o f o t h e r i s s u e s . A l t h o u g h Shaw, t h r o u g h h i s i m p l i c i t p r a i s e o f t h e d i c t a t o r s and h i s e x p l i c i t c r i t i c i s m o f d e m o c r a c y and t h e E n g l i s h , i s u n d o u b t e d l y t r y i n g t o show how i n s u l a r t h i n k i n g , b a s e d on i g -n o r a n c e , i s common i n a l l c o u n t r i e s , he n e c e s s a r i l y d i s t o r t s b l a t a n t l y a t t i m e s o b v i o u s f a c t s a b o u t t h e d i c t a t o r s , a n d a n a w a r e n e s s o f t h e s e e r r o r s d e t r a c t s f r o m Shaw's m a j o r theme. Shaw d e l i b e r a t e l y p o r t r a y s t h e d i c t a t o r s i n t h e i r b e s t l i g h t and t h e E n g l i s h i n t h e i r most f o o l i s h . To Shaw, n i n e - t e n t h s o f w h at t h e d i c t a t o r s s a y a b o u t E n g l a n d and t h e i r own e x p l o i t s i s t r u e , w h e r e a s n i n e - t e n t h s o f w h a t E n g l i s h p a r l i a m e n t a r y f a v o r i t e s s a y i s " e m o t i o n a l b r a g , b u n k , and non-18 s e n s e . " Thus t h e E n g l i s h c o n t i n g e n t t o t h e t r i a l a p p e a r s g e n e r a l l y n a i v e and e v e n w eak-minded. Whenever t h e y t a l k t o t h e d i c t a t o r s , t h e y r e v e a l t h e i r i n a b i l i t y t o d e a l w i t h a n y t h i n g " u n - E n g l i s h . " S i r Orpheus c o n t i n u -a l l y d i v e r t s a t t e n t i o n f r o m t h e i s s u e s a t hand b y q u i b b l i n g o v e r some mean-l8Bernard Shaw, "The U n a v o i d a b l e S u b j e c t , " i n P l a t f o r m and P u l p i t (New Y o r k , I961), p. 289. 92 i n g o r t h e " c o r r e c t " p r o n u n c i a t i o n o f a -word. When c o n f r o n t e d w i t h t h e d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n h i s own p a r l i a m e n t a r y o r a t o r y and t h e h i g h l y c h a r g e d a n d m o v i n g r h e t o r i c o f t h e d i c t a t o r s , S i r Orpheus p r o t e s t s t h a t B a t t l e r i n -s u l t s h i s o l d s c h o o l b y p r o n o u n c i n g C i c e r o w i t h h a r d " c ' s . " B u t Shaw i s a l s o g u i l t y o f d i v e r s i o n a r y t a c t i c s . He h a s t h e J u d g e a c c u s e S i r Orpheus o f w a r c r i m e s - - o f b o m b i n g i n n o c e n t c i v i l i a n s . He does n o t c h a r g e t h e d i c -t a t o r s w i t h s i m i l a r c r i m e s . Shaw makes S i r Orpheus " d e f e n d " w a r when i t i s B a t t l e r who h a s o r d e r e d h i s army t o i n v a d e R u r i t a n i a ( P o l a n d ) . Of c o u r s e Shaw does n o t e x c l u d e Bombardone a n d B a t t l e r f r o m t h e d i s c u s s i o n o f w a r ; t h e y b o t h t r y t o d e f e n d w a r a s n e c e s s a r y a t t i m e s . Shaw was t r y i n g t o show t h a t E n g l a n d was n o t a s p u r e i n i t s own d e a l i n g w i t h w a r a s she m i g h t f e e l . A l l t h e a r g u m e n t s f o r w a r a r e s p u r i o u s , h u t u n d e r t h e c u r r e n t c i r c u m s t a n c e s , Shaw's t r e a t m e n t o f t h e d i c t a t o r s seems u n d u l y b i a s e d i n t h e i r f a v o r . I n t h e c o u r s e o f t h e t r i a l most o f t h e t o p i c a l p r o b l e m s a r i s e . War i s n o t t h e o n l y i n s t i t u t i o n o p e n l y d i s c u s s e d and d e f e n d e d b y a l l t h e b e l -l i g e r e n t s . The d i c t a t o r s i n e v i t a b l y a r g u e f o r d i c t a t o r s h i p a s more p r a c t i c a l t h a n t h e e f f e t e " d e m o c r a c y " i n E n g l a n d . They f l a u n t t h e i r p r o w e s s a s modern w o r l d l e a d e r s , a s men o f a c t i o n i n s t e a d o f mere t a l k e r s . B a r d o , when a c -c u s e d o f d e s t r o y i n g l i b e r t y a n d d e m o c r a c y i n E u r o p e , s a y s he c a n n o t d e s t r o y what n e v e r e x i s t e d . He i s o n l y c o n c e r n e d w i t h g i v i n g h i s p e o p l e good gov-e r n m e n t , "as f a r a s t h e i r f o l l y a n d i g n o r a n c e p e r m i t . . . . H a l f a d o z e n s u c h o b s t r u c t i o n i s t s a s y o u [ t h e Newcomer] c o u l d s p i n o u t t o two y e a r s t h e w o r k I do i n t e n m i n u t e s . The w o r l d c a n e n d u r e y o u no l o n g e r . Y o u r p l a c e i s i n t h e d u s t b i n . " (V, 731) B a r d o a l s o a r g u e s , l i k e Shaw i n t h e p r e f a c e t o The M i l l i o n a i r e s s , t h a t he i s a d e m o c r a t i c i n s t i t u t i o n b e c a u s e he i s f a r more p o p u l a r i n h i s c o u n t r y t h a n a n y e l e c t e d g o v e rnment i n E n g l a n d . B a t t l e r 93 c l a i m s t o h a v e e f f e c t e d r e a l p r o g r e s s i n Germany: I h a v e s t r e t c h e d o u t my h a n d and l i f t e d my c o u n t r y f r o m t h e g u t t e r i n t o -which y o u and y o u r a l l i e s -were t r a m p l i n g i t , a n d made i t o n c e more t h e t e r r o r o f E u r o p e , t h o u g h t h e d a n g e r i s i n y o u r own g u i l t y s o u l s a n d n o t i n a n y m a l i c e o f m i n d . (V, 739) -Wot o n l y d o e s Shaw p u t s t r o n g a r g u m e n t s ( a r g u m e n t s he u s e d h i m s e l f i n h i s s p e e c h e s , p l a y s and p r e f a c e s ) i n t o t h e mouths o f Bombard one and B a t t l e r when t h e y c r i t i c i z e t h e w e a k n e s s e s o f d e m o c r a c y , b u t he a l s o t o n e s down t h e i r a n t i - s e m i t i s m . Now Shaw was n o t a n a n t i - s e m i t e . I n f a c t he u l t i m a t e l y ( i n 19^0) was i n f a v o r o f f o r c e f u l l y o p p o s i n g H i t l e r ' s " p e r n i c i o u s n o n s e n s e " t h a t 19 c o u l d p e r s e c u t e a g e n i u s l i k e A l b e r t E i n s t e i n b e c a u s e he was J e w i s h . B u t "when t h e Jew a c c u s e s B a t t l e r o f t r y i n g t o " e x t e r m i n a t e t h e f l o w e r o f t h e human r a c e , " t h e d i c t a t o r d e f e n d s h i m s e l f b y s a y i n g he o n l y e x e r c i s e s t h e same p r i v i l e d g e as t h e B r i t i s h who e x c l u d e t h e C h i n e s e i n A u s t r a l i a and t h e A m e r i c a n s who e x c l u d e t h e J a p a n e s e i n C a l i f o r n i a . " E v e r y S t a t e c h o o s e s i t s p o p u l a t i o n and s e l e c t s I t s b l o o d . We s a y t h a t o u r s s h a l l be N o r d i c , n o t H i t t i t e : t h a t i s a l l . " (V, 732) When t h e Jew s a y s t h a t he has b e e n b e a t e n and r o b b e d b y German p o l i c e , B a t t l e r t e n d e r s a n a p o l o g y f o r t h e v i o l e n c e . A l l h i s a g e n t s a r e n o t a n g e l s and he c a n n o t be e v e r y w h e r e a t o n c e ! I f t h e Jews w i l l o n l y k e e p away t h e y w i l l n o t s u f f e r . "The w o r l d i s w i d e enough f o r b o t h o f u s . My c o u n t r y i s n o t . " W i t h t h i s p i e c e o f b l a t a n t s o p h i s t r y t h e q u e s t i o n i s d r o p p e d . T h e r e i s e v i d e n c e e l s e w h e r e i n t h e p l a y t h a t B a t t l e r i s n o t a s c a l m a n d r a t i o n a l a b o u t " t h e J e w i s h q u e s t i o n " as he a p p e a r s i n t h i s s c e n e , b u t Shaw n e v e r a l l o w s t h e h o r r i b l e i m p l i c a t i o n s t o 19"The U n a v o i d a b l e S u b j e c t , " p. 290. 94 20 emmerge i n t o t h e o p e n . I n s t e a d he t r i e s t o d e m o n s t r a t e t h a t H i t l e r ' s a n t i s e m i t i s m i s o n l y a n o t h e r f o r m o f t h e w i d e - s p r e a d s e n s e o f r a c i a l s u p e r i o r i t y t h a t n e a r l y e v e r y o n e f e e l s - - a n o t h e r f o r m o f i g n o r a n t c l o s e d - m i n d e d n e s s , a n d no w o r s e t h a n B e g o n i a ' s b e l i e f t h a t C a m b e r w e l l p r o d u c e s b e t t e r p e o p l e t h a n Peekham, o r S i r O r p h e u s ' b e l i e f i n t h e n a t u r a l s u p e r i o r i t y o f t h e E n g l i s h , o r Bombardone's contempt, f o r a n y o n e b o r n b e l o w a c e r t a i n a l t i t u d e . T h e y e a c h t h i n k t h e i r own k i n d i s s u p e r i o r a n d d e s t i n e d t o r u l e t h e w o r l d . Shaw' p o i n t i s t h a t t h e y a r e a l l f o o l i s h , a nd t h a t s u c h h a t r e d f o r t h e " o t h e r man" o r t h e " o t h e r c o u n t r y " i s w h at p r e v e n t s p e a c e f u l c o e x i s t e n c e i n t h e w o r l d . The c o n t r a s t Shaw i n v i t e s t h e a u d i e n c e t o make b e t w e e n S i r O r p h e u s ' p o s i t i o n a n d t h o s e o f B a t t l e r and Bombardone i s t h a t t h e d i c t a t o r s a r e more f r a n k i n e x p r e s s i n g t h e m s e l v e s . A l l t h r e e a g r e e t h a t t h e most a d v a n c e d r a c e must e v e n t u a l l y g o v e r n t h e w o r l d , a l t h o u g h t h e y c a n n o t a g r e e o n w h i c h i s t h e s u p e r i o r r a c e and who i s t h e d i v i n e l y c h o s e n l e a d e r . S i r Orpheus c h a r -a c t e r i s t i c a l l y t r i e s t o c o n c e a l h i s r e a l s t a n d b y q u i b b l i n g o v e r t h e t e r m -i n o l o g y when t h e o t h e r s a r r o g a n t l y s t a t e t h e i r b e l i e f s . But t h e d i f f e r e n c e , ' ^ I r o n i c a l l y , t h e e a r l y r e h e a r s a l v e r s i o n s o f t h e p l a y p o r t r a y e d H i t -l e r a s a b l i n d a n t i - s e m i t e , who h u r l e d venomous e p i t h e t s a t t h e Jew. Shaw, a c c o r d i n g t o L a w r e n c e L a n g n e r , r e v i s e d t h e s e p a r t s o f t h e p l a y a t h i s s u g -g e s t i o n . To L a n g n e r , Shaw was c o u n t e n a n c i n g a n t i - s e m i t i s m b y a l l o w i n g H i t -l e r t o . v o i c e h i s v i e w s on s t a g e . B u t t h e r e s u l t has i n f a c t e v e n more b r u t a l s u g g e s t i o n s b e c a u s e B a t t l e r i n t h e r e v i s e d v e r s i o n s a p p e a r s more r a t i o n a l t h a n H i t l e r was. The r e v i s i o n s a l s o s u g g e s t , h o w e v e r , t h a t Shaw was t r y i n g t o show t h e b a s i c sameness o f a l l c o u n t r i e s ' p o l i c i e s - - n o t t o v i n d i c a t e H i t l e r ' s b u t t o condemn a l l s u c h i n s u l a r t h i n k i n g . T h i s p o i n t i s n e v e r t h e l e s s o b s c u r e d b y t h e k n o w l e d g e o f what H i t l e r ' s p o l i c i e s r e a l l y w e r e . See L a r e n c e L a n g n e r , The M a g i c C u r t a i n , (New Y o r k : E.P. D u t t o n , 1951). A p p e n d i x I I , pp. 4 5 C T 5 8 , and G.B.S. and t h e L u n a t i c , (Hew Y o r k : A t h e n e u m , I 9 6 3 ) , PP- l 6 l - 1 7 3 . 95 Shaw i m p l i e s , i s o n l y one o f d e g r e e . The r e s u l t i s i n e v i t a b l y t h e s a m e — w a r . The J u d g e , a f t e r w i t n e s s i n g t h e s e e m i n g l y e n d l e s s c i r c u l a r a r g u m e n t s , i s f o r c e d t o come t o t h e g l o o m y c o n c l u s i o n t h a t t h e s i t u a t i o n I s h o p e l e s s . H i s p l a n t o b u i l d up a b o d y o f i n t e r n a t i o n a l l a w b y j u d i c i a l p r e c e d e n t i s f r u s t r a t e d b e c a u s e a l t h o u g h t h e r e i s no r e a s o n why t h e y a l l s h o u l d n o t be g o od n e i g h b o r s , t h e y p e r n i c i o u s l y r e f u s e t o a c t r e a s o n a b l y : Y o u h a v e r e d u c e d one a n o t h e r t o s u c h a c o n d i t i o n o f t e r r o r t h a t no a t r o c i t y makes y o u r e c o i l a nd s a y t h a t y o u w i l l d i e r a t h e r t h a n commit i t . You c a l l t h i s p a t r i o t i s m , c o u r a g e , g l o r y . T h e r e a r e a t h o u s a n d good t h i n g s t o be done i n y o u r c o u n t r i e s . T h e y r e m a i n undone f o r h u n d r e d s o f y e a r s ; b u t t h e f i r e a n d p o i s o n a r e a l w a y s up t o d a t e . I f t h i s be n o t s c o u n d r e l i s m w h at i s s c o u n d r e l -i s m ? I g i v e y o u up a s h o p e l e s s . Man i s a f a i l u r e a s a p o l i t i -c a l a n i m a l . (V, 750) A t t h e end o f A c t F o u r Shaw a g a i n a t t e m p t s t o a b s t r a c t t h e m a j o r i s s u e f r o m t h e s p e c i f i c p r o b l e m s I n E u r o p e . The J u d g e a n n o u n c e s t h e l a t e s t news f l a s h f r o m G r e e n w i c h v i a t h r e e A m e r i c a n o b s e r v a t o r i e s t h a t t h e e a r t h i s j u m p i n g t o i t s n e x t quantum and t h a t h u m a n i t y I s doomed t o f r e e z e . T h i s a n nouncement d i s s o l v e s t h e s c e n e i n t o f a r c e , as a s c i e n t i f i c l a s t j u d g -ment t h r e a t e n s a l l o f h u m a n i t y . The w a r i s f o r g o t t e n a s e v e r y o n e r e a c t s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y . None o f t h e p e o p l e q u e s t i o n t h e v e r d i c t o f s c i e n c e , f o r t h e A s t r o n o m e r R o y a l I s a man o f s c i e n c e , a n d must s p e a k w i t h o r a c u l a r t r u t h . E v e n S i r O r p h e u s , who u r g e s t hem a l l t o d e n y t h e a n n o u n c e m e n t , b e -l i e v e s I t . H i s a u t o m a t i c r e s p o n s e , as a n E n g l i s h p o l i t i c i a n , t o a n y u n -p l e a s a n t t r u t h i s t o "do h i s d u t y " - - l i e a b o u t i t . None o f t h e v a r i o u s dogmas c a n accommodate t h e quantum t h e o r y : F l a n c o a w a i t s t h e d e c i s i o n o f t h e P o p e , P o s k y must c o n s u l t Moscow, and S i r O r p h e u s ' c l a s s i c a l e d u c a t i o n i s e q u a l l y u s e l e s s a s a g u i d e . The f a r c e r e d u c e s t h e w h o l e s c e n e t o a b -s u r d i t y , w h i c h i n t u r n i s c a u s e d h y i g n o r a n c e . Shaw a t t e m p t s t o r e i n f o r c e h i s t h e m e , t h a t i g n o r a n c e r e d u c e s t h e w o r l d t o a b s u r d i t y and t h e n d e s t r o y s i t , w i t h t h i s c o n c l u d i n g s c e n e . The t r i a l I t s e l f becomes a f a r c e b e c a u s e o f t h e i g n o r a n c e , s u p e r s t i t i o n a n d c r e d u l i t y o f p e o p l e . The f i n a l c o n -c l u s i o n o f t h e p l a y i s t h e n i n d i c a t i v e o f Shaw's p e s s i m i s m a t t h e end o f t h e t h i r t i e s . F o r h i m , t h e r e a l enemy t o s o c i a l a n d p o l i t i c a l p r o g r e s s i s t h e d e e p l y e n t r e n c h e d i g n o r a n c e t h a t i s n e a r l y i m p o s s i b l e t o d i s l o d g e b e f o r e i t e x t e r m i n a t e s h u m a n i t y . B o t h t h e J u d g e and t h e S e c r e t a r y , t h e t w o e n -l i g h t e n e d p e o p l e i n t h e p l a y , a n d t h e two most c o n s i s t e n t r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f Shaw's v i e w s , a r e d e f e a t e d b y t h e w o r l d ' s i g n o r a n c e , and t h e p u g n a c i t y t h a t i t b r e e d s . I t i s t h e b i t t e r n e s s a n d p e s s i m i s m i m p l i e d i n t h i s e n d i n g t h a t u l t i -m a t e l y d e f e a t G e n e v a , a c c o r d i n g t o P i l e c k i , b e c a u s e t h e y " c r i p p l e Shaw's e f f o r t s t o g i v e t h e w o r k a n a g r e e a b l e t o n e . " ^ - C e r t a i n l y t h e e n d i n g d o e s l i t t l e t o j u s t i f y e i t h e r t h e hope Shaw e x p r e s s e d i n t h e p r e f a c e , o r t h a t t h e J u d g e e x p r e s s e d i n A c t T h r e e . B u t t h e p l a y has more s e r i o u s f a u l t s t h a n t h e ones P i l e c k i a s c r i b e s t o i t . B a s i c a l l y Shaw c o m m i t t e d a n a r t i s t i c b l u n d e r i n c h o o s i n g t o u s e e x t r e m e l y c o n t r o v e r s i a l t o p i c a l e v e n t s t o exemp-l i f y a g e n e r a l theme. P i l e c k i a d m i t s t h a t t h e method i n v o l v e d a g r o s s e x -a g g e r a t i o n o f f a c t s b e c a u s e Shaw was t r y i n g t o show t h a t b o t h s i d e s were t o 22 b l a m e . B u t he a l s o s a y s Geneva i s n o t e n t i r e l y d e f e a t e d b y t h e t o p i c a l i t y o f t h e s u b j e c t m a t t e r . I f B a t t l e r and Bombardone were n o t o b v i o u s l y H i t l e r a n d M u s s o l i n i , Shaw m i g h t h a v e s u c c e e d e d i n a more f a n c i f u l p o l i t i c a l com-2- LShaw 's G e n e v a , p. l 8 l . 2 2 I b l d . , p. 180. 97 e d y i n t h e manner o f A r i s t o p h a n e s . B u t t h i s o n l y u n d e r l i n e s Shaw's l a p s e a s a c r i t i c a l a r t i s t . He e v i d e n t l y d i d n o t want t o r i s k t h e a u d i e n c e ' s m i s i d e n t i f y i n g t h e c a r i c a t u r e s . I r o n i c a l l y , t h e method l e a d s t o more m i s -u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e r e a l theme. The p l a y , h o w e v e r , a l s o s u f f e r s f r o m a l a c k o f s t r u c t u r a l u n i t y . A s we h a v e s e e n , much o f t h i s p r o b l e m i s a r e s u l t o f Shaw's p o s t - w a r r e v i s i o n . I n t r y i n g t o r e c t i f y some o f t h e t h e m a t i c a m b i g u i t i e s i n A c t F o u r , Shaw i n t r o d u c e d a s t r u c t u r a l w e a k n e s s i n A c t T h r e e . B e f o r e t h e w a r G e n e v a d i d h a v e a k i n d o f s t r u c t u r e a n a l o g o u s t o i t s message. The p l a y , w i t h i t s two s h o r t a n d v e r y l i n e a r f i r s t a c t s , r u s h e d t h e a u d i e n c e t o t h e m a s s i v e f i n a l a c t . Shaw seemed t o be c o n c e r n e d t o w a s t e no t i m e i n h i t t i n g h i s a u d i e n c e w i t h t h e " p o l i t i c a l f a c t s . " B u t w i t h t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n o f t h e d i g r e s s i v e t h i r d a c t - - u n d o u b t e d l y i n t e n d e d a s a commentary o n A c t F o u r — G e n e v a becomes s t r u c t u r a l l y weak. D e s i g n e d t o c l a r i f y t h e f i n a l a c t , A c t T h r e e s e t s up more t e n s i o n s a n d a m b i g u i t i e s . S h o r t o f s c r a p p i n g A c t F o u r e n t i r e l y , Shaw c o u l d n o t o v e r c o m e t h e i n h e r e n t w e a k n e s s e s i n v o l v e d I n h i s v e r y t o p i c a l a p p r o a c h . When Gen e v a i s c a r e f u l l y a n a l y z e d , i t r e v e a l s much a b o u t Shaw a t t h e end o f h i s l a s t v e r y p r o d u c t i v e p e r i o d . I n a way I t i s t h e l o g i c a l d e v e l o p -ment o f t h e t r e n d o f t h e p l a y s i n t h e t h i r t i e s . The p l a y r e p r e s e n t s Shaw's l a s t a t t e m p t , b e f o r e t h e w a r , t o a n a l y z e t h e p o l i t i c a l c h a o s t h a t was r a p i d -l y b r i n g i n g t h e w o r l d t o r u i n . I n i t Shaw t r i e s t o u s e t h e most t o p i c a l e v e n t s a n d p e o p l e t o I l l u s t r a t e h i s a r g u m e n t . But t h e v e r y t o p i c a l i t y w i t h w h i c h he t r i e s t o g i v e f o r c e t o h i s p l e a , f i n a l l y d e f e a t s t h a t a i m . Shaw's m a i n t h e s i s I n Geneva i s v a l i d a n d s t i l l r e l e v a n t t o d a y , b u t h i s u n h a p p i l y c h o s e n e x a m p l e s weaken t h e p l a y . No m a t t e r how v a l i d t h e a n a l y s i s i n g e n -98 exal, Shaw's own c l o s e i n v o l v e m e n t w i t h t h e e v e n t s p r e v e n t e d h i m f r o m s e e i n g some o f t h e c o n s e q u e n c e s o f them. I n e v i t a b l y h i s u n d e r e s t i m a t i o n o f t h e d i c -t a t o r s ' p e r v e r s i o n mars t h e r e s t o f a v e r y i m a g i n a t i v e p l a y . CONCLUSION Shaw's p o l i t i c a l p l a y s o f t h e 1930's r e p r e s e n t h i s a t t e m p t t o o f f e r a c o n t i n u a l f l o w o f a n a l y s i s and c r i t i c i s m o f a n age w h i c h he t h o u g h t was h e a d -i n g r a p i d l y f o r d i s a s t e r a n d w a r . I n Too T r u e t o he Good (1931), he ana - • ityzes m o dern man's s e n s e o f d i r e c t i o n l e s s n e s s and i n d i c a t e s t h a t he must r e - e v a l u a t e h i s a i m s a n d g o a l s , h i s m o r a l i t y a n d e c o n o m i c s , a n d d i s c a r d w o r n o u t v a l u e s w h i c h no l o n g e r d e s c r i b e e i t h e r human n a t u r e o r c o n t e m p o r -a r y p r o b l e m s . T h i s p l a y i n t r o d u c e s a theme w h i c h p r e v a i l s i n a l l Shaw's p o l i t i c a l e x t r a v a g a n z a s o f t h e p e r i o d : t h a t men must o v e r c o m e t h e i r l i m i t e d f r a m e s o f r e f e r e n c e a n d must c u l t i v a t e a n o p e n - m i n d e d n e s s i n " ' - t h e i r s e a r c h f o r m e a n i n g and d i r e c t i o n i n a c o m p l e x w o r l d . I n On t h e Rocks (1933), he i n v e s t i g a t e s g o v e r n m e n t a l p r o b l e m s i n E n g l a n d and i m p l i e s t h a t i n a w o r l d o f s e l f i s h i n s u l a r i t y , g o v e r n m e n t f o u n d e r s a n d n e e ds more t h a n e v e r a s t r o n g l e a d e r t o i m p o s e a d i r e c t i o n on t h e c o u n t r y . R e c o g n i z i n g t h e s i n i s t e r i mp-l i c a t i o n s o f e v e n a n i n t e r i m d i c t a t o r s h i p , Shaw i s a l m o s t d r i v e n t o d e s p a i r . I n The S i m p l e t o n o f t h e U n e x p e c t e d I s l e s ( 1 9 3 4 ) , Shaw r e t r e a t s f r o m t h e u g l y a n d a l m o s t i n s o l u b l e p r o b l e m s o f t h e i m m e d i a t e w o r l d , t o d e f i n e and e x a m i n e i n a b s t r a c t and s y m b o l i c t e r m s t h e p r o b l e m s d i s c u s s e d i n t h e e a r -l i e r p l a y s . Shaw r e a f f i r m s h i s f a i t h i n L i f e F o r c e , a g a i n s t r e s s e s t h a t l i f e w i l l c o n t i n u e t o e v o l v e , and a s s e r t s t h a t i f man w a n t s t o be t h e v a n -g u a r d o f e v o l u t i o n he must be a b l e t o a d a p t -to t h e u n e x p e c t e d . H a v i n g s t a t e d h i s u l t i m a t e t h o u g h t s arid a l l e g i a n c e s i n The S i m p l e t o n , Shaw seemed t o a b a n d o n h i s c o n c e r n w i t h p o l i t i c a l p r o b l e m s i n h i s p l a y s , u n t i l t h e u r g e n c y o f w o r l d d e v e l o p m e n t s i n t h e l a t e t h i r t i e s b r o u g h t t h e p r e a c h e r i n Shaw t o t h e p u l p i t o f t h e s t a g e a g a i n i n Geneva (1938). B u t 100 i n t h i s p l a y Shaw's i n a b i l i t y t o m a i n t a i n a n a e s t h e t i c d i s t a n c e f r o m w o r l d e v e n t s i n t e r f e r e d w i t h h i s a r t i s t r y s o t h a t he p r o d u c e d a p l a y l a c k i n g t h e u n i t y o f theme a n d s t r u c t u r e f o u n d i n t h e e a r l i e r p l a y s o f t h e p e r i o d . B u t w h i l e t h e p o l i t i c a l p l a y s o f t h e t h i r t i e s c h r o n i c l e Shaw's v e r y c l o s e i n v o l v e m e n t w i t h c o m p l e x s o c i a l p r o b l e m s , t h e y a l s o r e v e a l Shaw's a t t e m p t t o d e v e l o p s p e c i a l d r a m a t i c t e c h n i q u e s t o r e n d e r a n a r t i s t i c ex= p r e s s i o n o f h i s t h o u g h t s . The s e e m i n g l y c h a o t i c s t r u c t u r e s , weak c h a r a c -t e r s a n d g a r r u l o u s s p e e c h e s r e a l l y a r e i n many ways w e l l s u i t e d t o t h e t o p i c a l t h e m e s . Shaw u t i l i z e s a s y m p o s i u m t y p e o f d i s c u s s i o n , w h i c h i s a p p r o p r i a t e f o r t h e s e a r c h i n g f o r d i r e c t i o n , t h e open i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f a l l a s p e c t s o f a c o m p l e x p r o b l e m . B u t p e r h a p s t h e most c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a n d l e a s t u n d e r s t o o d t e c h n i q u e i n t h e s e p l a y s i s Shaw's u s e o f s t r u c t u r e a s a m a j o r t h e m a t i c d e v i c e . Once u n d e r s t o o d , t h e s e e m i n g l y random s t r u c t u r e s a r e n o t e v i d e n c e o f " i m i t a t i v e f a l l a c y " , o f u s i n g n e g a t i v e t e c h n i q u e s t o e x p r e s s n e g a t i v e t h e m e s , b u t o f a n a r t i s t i c h a n d l i n g o f t e c h n i q u e t o e n -h a n c e t h e m a t i c comment on t h e c h a o s . I n t h e b e s t o f Shaw's p o l i t i c a l p l a y s t h e r e i s a w e l l i n t e g r a t e d m a t i n g o f theme a n d s t r u c t u r e w h i c h b e -l i e s a n y i d e a t h a t t h e s e p l a y s a r e t h e p r o d u c t s o f a man I n h i s d o t a g e . SELECTED L I S T OF SOURCES CONSULTED P r i m a r y S o u r c e s Shaw, G e o r g e B e r n a r d . A d v i c e t o a Young C r i t i c and O t h e r L e t t e r s , e d . E. J . W e s t . New Y o r k : C a p r l c o i ^ B o o k s , 196*37 ~ ~ The B l a c k G i r l i n S e a r c h o f God• New Y o r k : C a p r i c o r n B o o k s , 1959. . C o m p l e t e P l a y s w i t h P r e f a c e s . New Y o r k : Dodd, Mead & Company, 1963: . D r a m a t i c O p i n i o n s and E s s a y s . New Y o r k : B r e n t a n o ' s , 1910. . G e n e v a : a f a n c i e d p a g e o f h i s t o r y i n t h r e e a c t s . L o n d o n : Con-s t a b l e & C o . , J u n e , 1939. . " I f I Were a P r i e s t . " A t l a n t i c M o n t h l y , CLXXXV (May, 1950), 70-72. . M a j o r B a r b a r a : A S c r e e n V e r s i o n . H a r m o n d s w o r t h , M i d d l e s e x : P e n -g u i n B o o k s , 19^5• . "On G o i n g t o C h u r c h . " S a v o y , No. 1, J a n u a r y 1896, p p . 13-28. . Our T h e a t r e s i n t h e N i n e t i e s . L o n d o n : C o n s t a b l e & Co., 1932. . P l a t f o r m and P u l p i t , e d . Dan H. L a u r e n c e . L o n d o n : R u p e r t H a r t -D a v i s , I96I, 196£\ . The Q u i n t e s s e n c e o f I b s e n i s m . New Y o r k : H i l l and Wang, 1957-Shaw on T h e a t r e • New Y o r k : H i l l and Wang, 1958. . "Uncommon S e n s e A b o u t t h e War." New S t a t e s m a n , 18 ( O c t o b e r 7, 1939), PP . 483-4. . What I R e a l l y W r o t e A b o u t t h e War. New Y o r k : B r e n t a n o ' s , 1931-S e c o n d a r y S o u r c e s : Books A b b o t t , A n t h o n y S. Shaw a n d C h r i s t i a n i t y . New Y o r k : The S e a b u r y P r e s s , 1965. B e n t l e y , E r i c . B e r n a r d Shaw. N o r f o l k , C o n n e c t i c u t : New D i r e c t i o n s , 1947. 102 The P l a y w r i g h t As T h i n k e r . C l e v e l a n d : W o r l d P u b l i s h i n g C o . , 1955-C h e s t e r t o n , G. K. G e o r g e B e r n a r d Shaw. New Y o r k : H i l l a n d Wang, 1956. C o s t e l l o , D o n a l d P. 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Shaw's P l a y s i n R e v i e w . New Y o r k : Thames and Hudson, 1 9 5 1 . M e i s e l , M a r t i n . Shaw a nd t h e N i n e t e e n t h - C e n t u r y T h e a t e r . P r i n c e t o n , New J e r s e y : P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , I963. N e t h e r c o t , A r t h u r H. Men a n d Supermen. New Y o r k : B e n j a m i n B l o m , 1 9 6 6 . 103 N i c k s o n , J o s e p h R i c h a r d . "The A r t and P o l i t i c s o f t h e L a t e r P l a y s o f B e r -n a r d Shaw." U n i v e r s i t y o f S o u t h e r n C a l i f o r n i a D i s s e r t a t i o n , 1958. Ohmann, R i c h a r d M. Shaw: The S t y l e a n d t h e Man. M i d d l e t o w n : W e s l e y a n U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1962. P a t c h , B l a n c h e . T h i r t y Y e a r s W i t h G.B.S. New Y o r k : Dodd, Mead, 1951. P i l e c k i , G e r a r d A. Shaw's G e n e v a . The Hague: M o u t o n & C o . , 1965. Purdom, C. B. A G u i d e t o t h e P l a y s o f B e r n a r d Shaw. 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" B e r n a r d Shaw's M a r x i s t U t o p i a s . " Shaw R e v i e w , I I , 9 ( S e p t e m b e r 1959), 7-26. . " B e r n a r d Shaw's On t h e R o c k s . " Drama C r i t i q u e , I I , 1 ( F e b r u a r y , 1959), 34-41. L e a r y , D a n . J . "Shaw's Use o f S t y l i z e d C h a r a c t e r s and S p e e c h i n Man and Superman." M o d e r n Drama, V, 477-490. M c D o w e l l , F r e d e r i c k P. ¥. " A n o t h e r L o o k a t B e r n a r d Shaw." Drama S u r v e y , I (May, 1961), 34-53-. " C r i s i s a n d U n r e a s o n : Shaw's On t h e R o c k s . " E d u c a t i o n a l T h e a t r e J o u r n a l , X I I I ( O c t o b e r , I961), 192-200. . "''The E t e r n a l A g a i n s t t h e E x p e d i e n t ' : S t r u c t u r e and Theme i n Shaw's The A p p l e C a r t . " M o d e r n Drama, 2 ( S e p t e m b e r , 1959), pp. 99-113. . "Heaven, H e l l - , a n d t u r n - o f . - t h e - c e n t u r y L o n d o n : R e f l e c t i o n s u p o n Shaw's Man and Superman." Drama S u r v e y , 11:3 ( W i n t e r , 1963), 2^5" 268. . "'The P e n t e c o s t a l F l a m e ' a nd t h e 'Lower C e n t e r s ' : Too T r u e t o be Good." Shaw R e v i e w , I I , 9 ( S e p t e m b e r , 1959), 27-38. . "Shaw's I n c r e a s i n g S t a t u r e . " Drama S u r v e y , I I I (1964), i+23-440. . " S p i r i t u a l a n d P o l i t i c a l R e a l i t y : Shaw's The S i m p l e t o n o f t h e Un-e x p e c t e d I s l e s . " M o d e r n Drama, I I I ( F a l l , 196757, 196-210. . " T e c h n i q u e , S y m b o l a n d Theme i n H e a r t b r e a k H o use." PMLA, L X V I I I ( J u n e , 1953), 335-356. M u i r , K e n n e t h . "The G r e a t n e s s o f Shaw." E s s a y s i n C r i t i c i s m , V I I (1957), 217-221. N e t h e r c o t , A r t h u r H. "The S c h i z o p h r e n i a o f B e r n a r d Shaw." 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"The Nun and t h e D r a m a t i s t : Dame L a u r e n t i a M c L a c h l i n a n d G e o r g e B e r n a r d Shaw." C o r n h i l l M a g a z i n e , 3rd s e r . , C L X V T I I (1951), 415-468. W e i n t r a u h , S t a n l e y . " B e r n a r d Shaw's O t h e r S t . J o a n . " S o u t h A t l a n t i c Q u a r -t e r l y , L X I V , 194-205. W i l s o n , Edmund. " B e r n a r d Shaw a t E i g h t y . " A t l a n t i c M o n t h l y , C L X I , 2 ( F e b r u a r y , 1938), 198-215. M i s c e l l a n e o u s S o u r c e s E s s l i n , M a r t i n . The T h e a t r e o f t h e A b s u r d . New Y o r k : A n c h o r B o o k s , 1961. G a r t e n , H. F. M o d e r n German Drama. L o n d o n : U n i v e r s i t y P a p e r b a c k s , M e t h u e n , 1964. S o k e l , W a l t e r H. e d . A n A n t h o l o g y o f German E x p r e s s i o n i s t Drama: A P r e l u d e To The A b s u r d . New Y o r k : D o u b l e d a y A n c h o r O r i g i n a l , 1963. 

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