What It Means To Be Upper Class and Bored

Elizabeth Bowen's The Death of the Heart was on one of many lists of the best books of the twentieth century.  I have been attempting to read it for some time, but because of my multitasking reading and the relatively low interest I have in the book (not that it isn't good), it keeps getting moved further down the list.

The passage below is one reason why I shouldn't allow it to continue to slip.

from The Death of the Heart
Elizabeth Bowen

The most stubbornly or darkly drawn-in man has moments when he likes to impose himself, to emerge and be a bully. The diversion of a raindrop from its course down the pane, the frustration of a pet animal's will in some small way all at once becomes imperative, if the nature is to fulfil itself. Thomas took pleasure in thrusting Portia into the study away from Eddie, to talk to Major Brutt. A hand on her shoulder-blade, he pushed her ahead of him with colourless, unadmitted cruelty. Eddie, dogged, determined to be as much de trop as he could be, followed along behind.

One would think from this passage that Eddie is some sort of benefactor or hero, but so far, that is not the picture one has formed of him.  We'll have to see how it all plays out.  Unfortunately for Portia, the title of the novel does not bode well for any within.


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