Parliament of Fools

Welcome! We fools are a mish-mash of lovers of the English language. Pull up a computer chair, and imagine with us that you're sitting by the fire in a local cafe. Sip your cyber-cappucino and discuss with us your thoughts on our latest reading assignment. Hopefully we'll experience all the joy of reading together, without the cost of Starbucks.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

We Happy Few

I'm surprised that no one's mention the name that O'Brien picked for his lieutenant. With a story that mentions carrying burdens, it seems like a clear allusion to the bearing of one's cross or perhaps to the Great Crossbearer Himself.

Let me indulge in a little Reader Response. (Sorry!)

Upon my reading of the story, I certainly thought of Christ and his cross, but most of the time, I thought of the things that I and my family must bear, as I compared myself to Cross and his men: "They share the weight of memory. They took up what others could no longer bear. Often they carried the wounded or weak" (18-19).

They carried the weight of men. We all do. We are frail. As Christians, we hump through the 'Vietnam' of daily life with our Old Adam, the flesh, our sinful nature. Simul justus et pecccator. We, too, carry the weight of men.

Even though I didn't initially like him, I'll have to confess that I saw myself in Lt. Cross, just as I see myself as Boromir in The Lord of the Rings. (Aren't we all Boromir?) We carry burdens. We are frail, but we have the choice to live honorably under the weight of what we carry, and there is redemption.

By vocation, as head of my family, I am the
lieutenant of our little 'platoon'. I related to the frailty of Lt. Cross and appreciated his final resolve at the end of the story/chapter. Life is hard and full of temptation and trials. As Jimmy Cross finally realized, our obligation is "not to be loved, but to lead" (25). And we are called to our Captain who takes upon Himself our various burdens and then calls us bear the burdens of others.

What joy to serve under such a Captain, who like Henry V, calls us His brothers (and sisters) and bids us to join Him in battle!

Non nobis domine, domine,
Non nobis domine,
Sed nomini, sed nomini,
tuo da gloriam!

So that's my incoherent Reader Response rambling this morning, but hey, that's what blogs are for, eh?



  • At 7:43 PM, Blogger Devona said…

    I haven't finished reading your post at all. But your first point made me say, "Woah!" Out loud. I never saw that.

    OK I'm gonna go finish reading your post now.

  • At 7:49 PM, Blogger Devona said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 7:50 PM, Blogger Devona said…

    So I'm wondering then, is Kiowa's picture NT more than just another way to deal with the stress of war? Was there a reason that it was Kiowa that we focused on when we stopped to reflect on death and the fraility of life, as QOC mentioned.

    Maybe there is a correlation between these thoughts. I'm going to have to read it again.

  • At 4:35 AM, Blogger Queen of Carrots said…

    Maybe I'm approaching it too cynically, but I felt like the ending was meant to be more ironic than redemptive. The fighting and death is portrayed as so random and pointless--there is no clear connection, even, between Cross's absent-mindedness and the death--that Cross's new resolve seems meaningless. What's the good of fighting better in a pointless cause? Indeed, it's rather as if instead of using the drug of his romantic obsession he will now be surviving with the drug of a power trip.

  • At 6:01 PM, Blogger Devona said…

    It's good to have a cynic on board. :)

    I'm wondering, are you reading the book, or did you get the audio version? I"m wondering because we seem to read a different voice into the narrative, and I'm wondering if that's the spin you put on it, or if that was the way that the actor chose to read the text.

    Am I right that you were the one who could only find the audio book version? I could look myself, but that would make too much sense. :)

  • At 3:54 AM, Blogger Queen of Carrots said…

    Yeah, I did only get the audio version--I reserved the book, and it still isn't in at the library. It does make it a lot harder and perhaps the voice of the reader influenced my thoughts. Interesting idea.


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