Essay on The Loved One
Author(s): Rosie Bell
Copyright holder(s): Rosie Bell
The humour in "The Loved One" brings out the author's attitude by drawing our attention to the Americans' hypocritical attitude towards death: the false sentimentality, the over-emphasis on ritual, the euphemisms used "Loved Ones", Waiting Ones." All of these draw our attention to the false values of American society where symbolism is substituted for reality.
His satire is quite subtle; the use of names such as "Joyboy" and "Thanatogenos" for people employed in an industry which should be sober and solemn; the dressing and painting of the corpses so that they look even more "life-like" to the "Waiting Ones"; the "stage-managing" of the "paying of respects" to the corpse - posed with a favourite book, reclining on a settee, or some other fashionable posture.
He offers us two weak main characters - on the one hand, a female who has no personality, who relies on the guidance of a run-down agony-columnist who, when he gets the "push" for being inefficient, advises her to jump off a building as the only answer to her latest problem. On the other hand, we have a man who, after having tried his hand at being a poet and an animal mortician and failed, allows himself to be bought off by the local Cricket Club when he intends setting up as a Lay Preacher. He also turns out to be a cad and a blackmailer. He "helps" Joyboy to dispose of Aimeé's body, for a consideration and, using the money extorted from Joyboy along with the Cricket Club's money, sails off, First Class, into a bright new future.
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Essay on The Loved One. 2023. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 3 December 2023, from http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=911.
"Essay on The Loved One." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2023. Web. 3 December 2023. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=911.
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