A Study of Celia’s Character in “The Cocktail Party” by T.S. Eliot

T. S. Eliot

T. S. Eliot (Photo credit: Burns Library, Boston College)

Celia can be easily seen as an exceptional progressing character who has learned the value of her spiritual reality. She has succeeded in surpassing the ordinary and reaching a higher state of sublimation and salvation.

At the beginning of the play Celia was seen as a woman happy to be involved in adulterous relationship with Edward. She engaged in social conversations and seemed dynamic enough to talk to everyone and to argue with Edward. Celia was appalled at Edward thinking that she had ‘taken’ Peter. She was also spontaneous and honest to remark on the unidentified guest being the devil. Her private affair gave her the personality she needed; she wanted love and attention and Edward wanted sexual fulfillment, so they existed for each other’s interest. Thus, she is obviously a happy, lively socialite. This seems an account of the character of Celia in the early phase of her life.

The second and most critical phase in her life is concerned with Edward’s abandonment of her, learning that Lavinia has left Edward she immediately assumes that he will marry her, she doesn’t have moral hesitations and doesn’t seem to care what society might think of her. However, as it turned out Edward can’t return her affections, and she was forced into a state of solitude; she became aware of the abyss she has been thrown into. Then suddenly she sees light and realizes that in Edward she was seeking something that was substantial to her and she must go on looking. In act one, she was explaining to Edward what she was feeling towards him and how she looked at him differently then. She was telling him of the thing  she ‘aspired to’ that she thought was him. She said, “It must happen somewhere – but what and where is it?”

Continue Reading: Bloomy eBooks: T.S. Eliot: A Study of Celia’s Character in “The Cocktail Party”



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