The Loved One Evelyn Waugh Essay

When Dennis had to arrange the obsequies of his room-mate, an elderly English writer who “strangulated” himself, he fell under the fatal spell of Whispering Glades and he fell also for the allure of Aimée Thanatogenos, a beautiful girl with “a rich glint of lunacy” in her eyes, whose pride and pleasure it was to paint the faces of the dead. He has omitted no revolting detail, from the self-expression of the chief embalmer, who put jubilant smiles or pitiful frowns upon the subjects of his art according to his mood, to the fatuous precepts of the revered founder, known as The Dreamer. “The Loved One” derives its title from the only word used to describe the dead at Whispering Glades.

The evasive phrase is symbolical of the false view of life which Mr. A deliberate effort to smother reality under trappings of irrelevant decoration and to distort values so that comfort, conformity and a perpetual adolescent euphoria pass for the only worthy goals arouses his nauseated contempt.

It is a more truly decadent phase of civilization than many more conventional corruptions.

That such a tendency can be found in Southern California, and nearly anywhere else in the United States today, is probably true.

At any rate, the Whispering Glades Memorial Park of this novel could hardly have been imagined by any English writer! But she appealed to some perverse element in Dennis.

Sample Research Paper In Apa Format - The Loved One Evelyn Waugh Essay

Dennis Barlow, a young English poet who had lost his movie job, found refuge as an attendant in The Happier Hunting Ground, a pet cemetery and crematorium which sped on a lesser scale many of the wondrous innovations of the greater institution. Dennis courted her with excerpts from the great poets (she thought they were his) and plunged her deeper into the lore of Whispering Glades. Waugh gets through with the sanctimonious, sentimental, hypocritical, childish, disgusting, ostentatious, mercenary and vulgar practices of Whispering Glades he has produced a gruesome mixture of farce and indignation.He takes a job at a pet cemetery, scandalizing his fellow Englishmen in Hollywood, particularly an actor named Sir Ambrose Abercrombie, who believes the expatriate British have a reputation and an image to uphold.When an old screenwriter and fellow Brit named Sir Francis Hinsley is fired from the film studio and commits suicide, Sir Ambrose enlists Dennis to take care of funeral arrangements.Most of the characters either work in one of the funeral homes or are employed by a Hollywood film studio.Waugh portrays the Los Angeles denizens as part of a culture that fosters and encourages the selfish pursuit of petty goals.Other novelists have found it in England and various other nations. Waugh, with the artist’s privilege of concentrating his attention on one part of a complicated whole and ignoring the rest, has blasted the Whispering Glades mentality with the lightning of his wrath.“The Loved One” is not only satire at its most ferocious.It is a macabre frolic filled with laughter and ingenious devices. Although it is short, it could have been shorter to advantage.At times the joke wears thin, the continued attack seems a little too much like beating a demonstrably dead dog.At a well-known funeral home called Whispering Glades, Dennis meets a young woman named Aimée Thanatogenos, who is a cosmetician in the embalming rooms. Joyboy, the chief embalmer at Whispering Glades, who is widely considered to be a stylish and cultivated man, although he actually is a rather perverse momma's boy.Aimée, a thoroughgoing product of Los Angeles, is empty-headed yet yearns for higher things, although she cannot really say what this means to her. Dennis, a dishonorable fellow, initially wins the contest for Aimée's heart, in part because of love poems he filches from famous writers and leads her to think are his own. Joyboy discovers this fraud, he exposes Dennis to Aimée.


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