Saturday, February 2, 2013
The Lady on the Throne
We open up 'A Game of Chess' with the lady, who sits upon the chair. Remember how she's apparently talking to someone but isn't receiving any answer? Well, I might have a theory regarding this scene, one that supports my response post to Tejas' thread "Chaos" (I suggest you read that one first). I recall in class that we noted that this lady sounded paranoid, definitely desperate. We established that she seeks some sort of connection with whoever she's vainly yelling to. My take on this is that she is on the way to falling into her own spiritual wasteland, if not already in or close to one. Consider that she isn't receiving a response, logically suggesting that in the future, she will recognize the futility in wasting her breath and eventually cease both her speech and simultaneously a subconscious attempt to reach out for some sort of connection. With her motivation gone, she inevitably becomes an empty shell, much in the sense like we considered the Underground Man to be. Secondly, I want to point out the fact that at the very end she resorts to a new strategy of trying to talk to whoever refuses to answer her. Her strategy goes from a question to an insult, hoping to provoke a response. This strategy falls even with the desperate nature we've classified her with. Essentially she lowers her standards. She stops requesting specific responses through questions and begins simply wanting a response (any kind of response) through insults. Not only does this lowering of standards attribute to a sort of degeneration we see common throughout the rest of the poem as it describes our slow decay towards a wasteland, but her desperation can be likened to a sort of delusion, in that logically her new method to illicit a response (an insult) has the risk of also driving the other individual away. It's definitely a stretch, but delusion is pretty similar to the disorientation we associate with the wasteland Elliot presents.