Author's Diction~Vipin Behari Goyal: Hollow Modern Women castigated By T.S. Eliot in The Waste Land

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Hollow Modern Women castigated By T.S. Eliot in The Waste Land

Reputation is more important than chastity for Modern Women


Modern Man and the Ape Man came across each other at the bridge, once again. Modern Man had come to admire nature on the recommendation of his Psychiatrist and Ape Man had come to admire the technology of man-made bridge. When Modern Man asked Ape Man about his views on boredom, he was reluctant to share. When Modern Man insisted he spoke only one line.

“Here one can neither stand nor lie nor sit”

For Modern Man the line was simply absurd. What can someone do if not stand, lie or sit? Fly? He was annoyed at the Ape Man, as if he was responsible for what Tiresias said.

"No you can’t even fly, because you do not have a powerful imagination like Super Man". Modern Man felt stuck. He looked at Ape Man.

Ape Man explained “To look for anything is to act on the hypothesis that it exists, faith precedes faith in regressive manner.” Modern Man remembered having heard this too. Ape Man said “You can’t take stand for your belief, you can’t prostrate in surrender, nor you can contemplate in lotus position. So you are doomed.”

Modern Man was stunned till he received a voice message from his wife. “I am at a party and will return home at late tonight. Do not wait for me. Serve dinner yourself. Love you, baby”. Followed by the sound of a kiss.

They had an instant eye contact. Ape Man was smiling satirically. Both had noticed that excuse to party was lame. The voice was hollow and there was no background noise of the party.

Ape Man said “If there were wateror….if there were the sound of water only.” After a pause, he said "Hollow Woman”.

Modern Man ignored the remark. He did not want to discuss his personal relationship with his wife with the Ape Man.

Ape Man could read the mind of Modern Man. He changed the topic. He told to Modern Man “Your civilisation is travelling back, towards us and our civilisation is travelling forward towards you. Like a time traveller we are neither past nor future. I hear about your nude beaches and organic farming. You are back to nature on the advice of your psychiatrist. In my clan many women have started covering their private parts with sheep skin. I know this shame will make our society corrupt. Women with covered skin becomes more desirable. This will lead to all other types of corruption.”

“Stop them from wearing loincloth. You are the Head” Modern Man retorted.

“Society is also dynamic. It evolves and undergoes a change with the advancement of time like an individual”. Ape Man was now in a trance. He continued "Chinua Achebe in Things Fall Apart could not stop society from evolving”.

Modern Man knew he was talking to a Time Traveller.

Modern Man decided to take his opinion. “Why did you call our women as hollow” he asked.

“Because they are more bothered about reputation than chastity. Remember Philomela?” Ape Man asked.

Modern Man nodded. He had been reading The Waste Land many times a day. Chastity was no more a virtue in his society. Everything is mechanical. Even Sex. Mechanisation is Boredom. Even all the attempts to break the monotony have also become stereotyped.

Chastity of Pamela by Richardson was mocked at in Shamela by Henry Fielding. Chastity even a fake chastity is better, as a bad man is better than bad name.©

Things were falling into place when the Modern Man received a voice message from his girlfriend.

To save himself from embarrassment Modern Man walked away.

© Vipin Behari Goyal
Advocate, Rajasthan High Court, Jodhpur, India

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