In City to Glass Quinn and Peter Stableman’s personalities and their abilities are profoundly affected by different events in their lives that are outside of their control and “This Be the Verse” Is presented with hereditary faults, namely, genetic flaws that costs omelet individual agency that negatively impacts the you’ in the poem, resulting in despair. The despair experienced by Quinn, Peter Stimulant and ‘You’ In the narratives becomes a challenge to their complete individual agency.
In this essay it will be argued that both”This Be the Verse” and City of Glass give a representation of a modern life in which despair presents limitations to individual agency. Firstly, there is the fact that the individuals in City of Glass and “This Be the Verse” have, in spite of some situations beyond their control, their own free will. They are aging their own choices in different situations they encounter. This self- determination Is represented differently In both texts. In City of Glass, Daniel Quinn who is the main character, is faced with different instances where he is in a position where he needs to make a choice.
The first crucial decision he has to make is when he receives a phone call that Is not addressed to him. He first decides to decline the phone call, but later on In the story he receives the same phone call but this time he chooses to take it and take on the identity of the person the caller meant to address, namely: Paul Austere. Another example off choice he has to make takes place deeper in the story, when Quinn is working on the Stimulant’s case and he is waiting to see if he can find Peter sultan so he can follow him. But while he Is waiting, he comes across what appears to be two Peter Stillness.
He Is encountered with the choice of which one of the two Stillness to follow. The decision he makes is only his own. In both examples, it is clear that Quinn is making his own choices and has free will in his decisions. At the end of the poem “This Be the Verse” there is a representation to free will. Despite the poem’s claims of not having any control over one’s own fate because of hereditary faults and genetic flaws, one Is presented with a choice one can make to take control over one’s life and stop passing on flaws to someone else. In other words “to put a stop to the endless misery (Macbeth).
The choice presented is ‘Offs interpreted as a suggestion to the reader that the only way to stop this is by commuting suicide or by not having any children. However, in both narratives it is clear that this apparent free will may be compromised. Secondly, past experiences and genetics, both uncontrollable, have had an influence on the choices made by some of the individuals in the texts. First of all, we have Daniel Quinn. We know that his wife and son passed away five years prior to the story. This event which was out of Quinn’s control had a negative effect on his life, namely: despair.
This despair is apparent with the following 2 quotes from the book: “A part of him had died, he told his friends” (Austere 9) and “He no longer wished to be dead. At the same time, it cannot be said that he was glad to be alive. ” (Austere 1 1) Then there is also the fact that Quinn is repressing his past due o his failure to cope with the death of his family which makes him incapable of controlling his consciousness and create his life into the future because he denies internal awareness. He therefore lacks a personal basis upon which he can make judgments in the present (Lewis 33, 34).
From these three quotes above it is apparent that an event that was beyond his control had a negative impact on his life, which made him change. He was as the narrator suggests, an ambitious man. He had published many books of poetry, written several critical essays and worked on long orientations but after the death of his family he became a different person (Austere 9). He became introverted and isolated himself from any social life. Because of this, one could wonder if these circumstances were a possible motivation to take on the case of Peter Stimulant and leave his life as Daniel Quinn behind and become a detective instead (Lewis 55, 56).
Another individual in City of Glass that was affected by past experiences is Peter Stimulant Junior. Because he was abused by his father when he was a child, Peter Stimulant Junior now has become an individual with restrictions and limitations. He had trouble finding words to express himself and he had difficulty relating to others and meeting social expectations. He was unable to develop like a normal individual due to his abuse and that also affected his decisions and autonomy. From the following quote, the limitations in his speech reflect his social awkwardness and are a clue to his true state of mind: “Excuse me.
But I am doing well today. So much better than usual. If I can give you the words you need to have, it will be a great victory. Thank you. Thank you a million times over” (Austere 27). In the case of “This Be the Verse” the author describes how from the moment of conception, which is an event outside of one’s control, one is influenced by hereditary faults as well as one’s upbringing. These hereditary faults are not outside factors but genetic. As can be seen from the following quote: They buck you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do. And add some extra, Just for you. Larkin) Thus, this despair which was the consequence of events outside of the individuals’ control, has a profound effect of limiting the capacity of the individuals of making autonomous choices. It is demonstrated through passages from both texts how despair has caused the individuals in both narratives to not be able to make autonomous decisions. In Peter Stimulant’s case, he is aware of his inability to be autonomous and shows how he is also aware of his despair, as the following passages suggest: “l say what they say because I know nothing. I am only poor Peter Stimulant, the boy who can’t remember. Boo who. Wily mainly. Nincompoop.
Excuse me. They say, they say. But what does poor little Peter say? Nothing, nothing. Anymore” (Austere 27) and “l forget how to cake the words come out of my mouth. Then it is hard for me to move. Hay hay. Or even to see. That is when I become Mr.. Sad” (Austere 35). In Quinn’s case, he becomes obsessed with his case and this desperation to solve it causes him to lose everything he has. He spends his days sleeping in an alley to see if he spots Peter Stimulant. He later finds out Peter has committed suicide and that he, himself has been living in the alley for two and a 3 half months. By this time he has also spent all of his money.
Later he finds out that since he had been away for too long, he has lost his apartment to a new tenant. His espalier can be felt through the following quote: “Quinn let out a deep sigh. He had come to the end of himself. He could feel it now, as though a great truth had finally dawned in him. There was nothing left” (Austere 191). Because he refused to deal with the despair of the death of his family he found himself following a case that in the end brought him more despair. As for “This Be the Verse”, despair is the subject of the poem since it is hereditary faults that disprove one’s individual agency.
Individuals are unwillingly affected by their genetics and their upbringing, faults that have been passed on by past enervation. Parent’s pass on their faults and the faults of their parents as well. This is a huge cause of despair because even if the individuals try to avoid these faults and try to avoid becoming like their parents they can not. Individuals are at risk of inheriting their parent’s bad habits without consciously realizing it. It is then unavoidable. For example, if a child is born to an alcoholic parent, there is a high chance that the child will become an alcoholic himself (Bookstore).
Because of that, there is an ongoing cycle of despair This despair may also be because there is no en to blame for these faults. Individuals may blame their parents for these faults but in fact they are also not to blame, since they have had faults passed on to them as well (Bookstore). As it is to be interpreted in the following passage, which talks about parents also being affected by their parents: But they were bucked up in their turn Who half the time were soppy-stern And half at one another’s throats. (Larkin) Larkin also shows how this misery becomes a cycle, Just as described above, generations pass on to generations.
By “Man hands on misery to man. It deepens like coastal shelf”. First it is implied how man is the cause of the despair and misery of his fellow man and the ‘coastal shelf’ that is described here is a representation of the depths of despair which mankind drags itself into, unless the cycle is stopped (Macbeth). In conclusion, while the individuals concerned in both City of Glass and “This Be the Verse” have free will in the choices they make in the situations they encounter, they are at the same time restricted and limited in their autonomy and decision making.