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Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Birthday Party, parts 3931 - 3934

 3931. So it happened that on the evening of the birthday party, Emily, who was confined to her room because of her crime, was extremely upset and crying. The Tutor tried to comfort her, but she was in a dilemma. What should she have said to comfort her charge, and how do you imagine a person in her position should have handled the situation?

 3932. I am going to say right out that I think Emily was justified in stabbing her brother with her little calligraphy pen, and I say it without compunction. I would have been content if she had punctured his arm twice, even three times!  But not four, to four I would not go. Four creates an image of some sort of crazy mayhem all out of proportion to the situation. 

 3933. On second thought I have to go back and say that one stab is understandable, and two would cross some invisible line we all know about. However, even though I sympathize with the criminal, I would not have been able to bring myself to congratulate her, or praise her action. Just like you, I would confine myself to that kind of very mild reproach couched in sympathetic tones.

3934. Mild reproach, couched in sympathetic tones so familiar to children, coming out of the mouths of their parents, who have long ago forgotten what it means to feel life passionately, and express their feelings forcefully.

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