In “Birches” (Mountain Interval, 1916) Frost begins to probe the power of his redemptive imagination as it moves from its playful phase toward the brink of dangerous transcendence. The movement into transcendence is a movement into a realm of radical imaginative freedom where (because redemption has succeeded too well) all possibilities of engagement with the common realities of experience are dissolved. In its moderation, a redemptive consciousness motivates union between selves as we have seen in “The Generations of Men,” or in any number of Frost’s love poems. But in its extreme forms, redemptive consciousness can become self-defeating as it presses the imaginative man into deepest isolation.
“Birches” begins by evoking its core image against the background of a darkly wooded landscape:
When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy’s been swinging them.
But swinging doesn’t bend them down to stay
As ice storms do.
The pliable, malleable quality of the birch tree captures the poet’s attention and kicks off his meditation. Perhaps young boys don’t bend birches down to stay, but swing them they do and thus bend them momentarily. Those “straighter, darker trees,” like the trees of “Into My Own” that “scarcely show the breeze,” stand ominously free from human manipulation, menacing in their irresponsiveness to acts of the will. The malleability of the birches is not total, however, and the poet is forced to admit this fact into the presence of his desire, like it or not. The ultimate shape of mature birch trees is the work of objective natural force, not human activity. Yet after conceding the boundaries of imagination’s subjective world, the poet seems not to have constricted himself but to have been released.
Often you must have seen them
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
Soon the sun’s warmth makes them shed crystal shells
Shattering and avalanching on the snow crust–
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You’d think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.
Fascinated as he is by the show of loveliness before him, and admiring as be is of nature as it performs the potter’s art, cracking and crazing the enamel of ice coating on the birch trees, it is not finally the thing itself (the ice-coated trees) that interests the poet but the strange association be is tempted to make: “You’d think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.
Feminist Bashing of Tennessee Williams and A Streetcar Named Desire
A Streetcar Named Desire and the Gay Roots of Feminist Straight Bashing
Tennessee William’s A Streetcar Named Desire is widely considered the highest achievement of 20th Century American theatre. Stanley Kowalski is a symbol of the heterosexual male. Significantly this male icon is portrayed as a rapist. In 1947, Tennessee Williams (through Blanche DuBois) also describes Stanley as “sub human,” a term that would inspire outrage if it had been used against Jews, blacks, women or gays. The play is a good example of how Williams, a homosexual, contributed to the “modern malaise” by undermining the legitimacy of heterosexual males, females and the family. Williams’ complex motives may explain the motivation of feminists today.
Homosexuals have suffered persecution. This doesn’t automatically elevate them morally nor immunize them from political criticism. Personally, I believe in live-and-let-live. That’s why I wasn’t prepared to discover that homosexuals, in particular, lesbian feminists, are not so tolerant of heterosexuals like myself. They are conducting a vicious attack on heterosexual institutions that society no longer can afford to ignore.
Currently the attack comes from the feminist movement, which is led by lesbians. In “The New Victorians”(1996), Rene Denfeld documents how feminists are no longer concerned with equal opportunity, but are dedicated to transforming heterosexual society. Heterosexuality is regarded as the root of all oppression and homosexuality is seen as the remedy. “For many of today’s feminists, lesbianism is far more than a sexual orientation, or even a preference. It is, as students in many colleges learn, an ideological, political and philosophical means of liberation of all women from heterosexual tyranny…”
In their ruthless quest for power, feminists behave like Marxist zealots, quietly infiltrating the education and legal systems, government bureaucracy and media. They institute quotas that give women preference in education and employment regardless of merit, regardless that women may already be over represented. They display a cult-like, totalitarian attitude to dissent, refusing to debate, suppressing free speech and slandering people who hold opposing views.
It may seem absurd that gays and lesbians who represent about four per cent of the population should attempt to transform society. Of these only a minority is promoting these goals. But these activists have used specious guilt tactics to capture the moral high ground. With the complicity of the media and politicians, they wield power way out of proportion to their numbers.