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Volume :9 Issue : 36 1989      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

The Divine Psychiatrist in The Cocktail Party

Auther : Mufeed hawamadeh

This research studies Eliots play, The Cocktail party, as a drama of reformation. The work relates the experience of a number of psychologically and spiritually fragmented and detached characters who find themselves manipulated into solutions to their problems through a set of laudable plots arranged by a dominating psychiatrist, Sir Henry Harcourt Reilly. The latter Plays the role of the reformer who restores order and health to his corrupt society.

Supported by two diligent and observant aides, Julia Shuttlewaite and Alexander Gibbs, and endowed with full knowledge of psychiatry, Reilly succeeds in saving a married couple, the Chamberlaynes, from a definite social and psychological separation; he also prepares a psychologically and spiritually sacked girl, Celia Coplestone, for crucifixion as a means towards achieving eternal blessedness. Further-more, Reilly enlightens, yet does not restore, an unready patient, Peter Quilpe. We are led to believe, however, that some other reformer will take care of Peter. Reillys mission does not end with treating these cases; rather he starts another similar mission somewhere else. By weaving his play around the efforts of Reilly, who manipulates the other characters and the action of the play, Eliot seems to posit his vision of the role of gifted individuals who take upon themselves the guidance of their societies to the shores of safety wherever they go astray.

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