Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Chapter Three

Wow. I just finished re-reading chapter three. It is the sign of excellent writing that I could be held in such tension every second, wondering what was going to happen. The twists and turns, the verbal sparring, the men giving speeches exactly the opposite of what they actually believe...and yet, Syme was the more believable in his ability to understand the mind and heart of the anarchists.

Great moments: We are in the same boat. Yes, and jolly sea-sick.
This is a reference back to the first chapter's discussion about chaos, and sea-sickness being quite un-poetical, chaotic, and revolting.

The police are described as essential to anarchy.

The former Thursday was remembered for his bombs and dynamite. Funny line: "He organized the great dynamite coup of Brighton which, under happier circumstances, ought to have killed everybody on the pier."

Yet, this bomb-throwing, dynamite-blasting Thursday died saving a cow from the cruelty of being milked. Ha HA! There are plenty of people today who appear to love animals more than humans. Save the baby Whale! Abortion Rights Now!

Gregory's line: They never learn about anarchists from anarchists, reminds one of atheists who talk about Chrsitianity: they never learn about Christianity from Christians, or some Christians in their beliefs towards Catholics: they never learn about Catholicism from Catholics.

Witherspoons interjections are fun: I'm not meek! Down with love! Why aren't we cannibals?

I love how Chesterton writes the speech with the interjections (hear, hear) giving one a feeling of being there at the meeting.

Great line: Truth is terrible, even in fetters.

And another surprise at the end of the chapter.

What does Syme mean, "There is nothing possible between us but honour and death" ?

In the Combox, tell us your funniest line from Chapter Three.

Mine is the one about the former Thursday's beliefs about milk.


  1. Of course the police are essential to anarchy. "If there were no God there would be no atheists." Indeed, in the moment the most rebellious liberal opens her mouth to deny the past, she is immediately bound and enslaved to it - or she cannot speak with any expectation of being understood. Or, to put it another way, every heretical avant-garde theologian/philosopher who dreams yet another outmoded and drugged explanation of God, the cosmos, and himself, must nevertheless humbly swear his undying allegiance to the Thomistic realities of paper and ink or e-mail and web-pages - or by no mean shall his journal article be published.

    By strict ontology even the most radical rebels are all fundamentally fundamentalists.

    Hee hee.

  2. I think this whole chapter is hilarious! The fact that Gregory holds to his promise as apart of "honour", which I would call a branch of order. And then his feeble speech trying to dissuade Syme from thinking that the anarchist were dangerous in anyway, the opposite of which is why he is in the sticky mess in the first place, turns out to be his own downfall in his election.
    It just keeps getting better and better as Syme nominates himself for the post of Thursday.
    Gregory has a right to call Syme a devil, for he was truly a cheeky, dastardly fellow in these last two chapters.

    It is some of the best fun I have ever had in reading.


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