Preparing For Old Age (Part 2 of 4)

Prepare for your old age. Read the recent article:

Preparing For Old Age (Part 1 of 4)

 

Continuation:

 

Every town and village has its Ivan

Man is the result of cause and effect, and the causes are to a degree in our hands. Life is a fluid, and well has it been called the stream of life we are going, flowing somewhere.

Strip Ivan of his robes and crown, and he might be an old farmer and live in Ebenezer. Every town and village has its Ivan. To be an Ivan, just turn your temper loose and practice cruelty on any person or thing within your reach.

The result will be a sure preparation for a querulous, quarrelsome, pickety, snipity, fussy and foolish old age. Even accented with many outbursts of wrath that are terrible in their futility and ineffectiveness.

King Lear

Babyhood has no monopoly on the tantrum. The characters of King Lear and Ivan the Terrible have much in common. One might almost believe that the writer of Ivan had felt the incompleteness of Lear.

He had seen the absurdity of making a melodramatic bid for sympathy in behalf of this old man thrust out by his daughters.

Lear, the troublesome, Lear to whose limber tongue there was constantly leaping words unprintable and names of tar. He deserves no soft pity at our hands.

All his life he had been training his three daughters for exactly the treatment he was to receive. All his life Lear had been lubricating the chute that was to give him a quick ride out into that black midnight storm.

“Oh, how sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child,” he cries.

There is something quite as bad as a thankless child. That is a thankless parent an irate, irascible parent who possesses an underground vocabulary and a disposition to use it.

The false note in Lear lies in giving to him a daughter like Cordelia. Tolstoy and Mansfield ring true, and Ivan the Terrible is what he is without apology, excuse or explanation. Take it or leave it if you do not like plays of this kind, go to see Vaudeville.

 

Continue reading:

Preparing For Old Age (Part 3 of 4)

Preparing For Old Age (Part 4 of 4)

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