12. are you there god? Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. So the following soliloquy that arises out of a typical dialogue with one of his seedy but well-intentioned friends made me sit up and take notice. This arrangement takes Augie to the ‘end zone of his adaptability.’ Thankfully, his angelic act of helping Mimi procure an abortion gifts him a release. He is attacked and bound for refusing. He talks about not being to process all the information, all the news, all the events that were coming at him from every direction. Theirs is a marriage filled with the usual toil of staying together. Augie responds by saying that you can find bad motives for anything, but that all he wants is something lasting and durable, where the “axial lines” are. Perhaps this is what is at stake when there is such a thing as choice – that Augie, you and I might make the wrong one and live a life not quite up to scratch. Augie responds by saying that you can find bad motives for anything, but that all he wants is something lasting and durable, where the “axial lines” are. p.9. The novel closes on this sentiment: We all refuse to live a disappointed life. In this passage, Augie describes the straight lines that dictate the course of an individual life, and his desire to follow them; in other words, he aspires to live honestly. p.384. To consolidate his status, Simon wants Augie to marry Charlotte’s cousin, Lucy. He will be brought into focus. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. But lately I have felt these thrilling lines again. But while in Mexico, he meets a kindred spirit, Stella. Padilla introduces him to a new aphorism: Simon reenters Augie’s life a wealthy man, having married a rich coal-miner’s daughter, Charlotte Magnus. Monkey was the basis of much thought with us… see-no-evil, speak-no-evil, hear-no-evil, a lower trinity of the house. Monkey was the basis of much thought with us… see-no-evil, speak-no-evil, hear-no-evil, a lower trinity of the house. Penniless and alone, he hitchhikes and train-jumps back to Chicago with only an almost-rape and a night in jail to speak of. Error: Twitter did not respond. Meanwhile, Simon has fallen on hard times and rents the house out under Augie. All around him he sees people trying to hold their own worlds together, but he has come to the realization that “the world is held for you.” Why strive against that reality? In a moment of self-reflection, Augie is rejecting the hapless life of his millionaire boss and seeking to get back to the “axial lines” which bring true fulfillment. Though their marriage is loveless, they both share a hunger for power that rivals Macbeth’s. Death will not be terrible to him if life is not. The monkeys were looking out for him. The advantage of such lesser gods is that you can take their name any way you like. monkey divinity v. axial lines: a summary of augie march Posted on January 27, 2011 by zhenya alvaranga Monkey was the basis of much thought with us… see-no-evil, speak-no-evil, hear-no-evil, a lower trinity of the house. The embrace of other true people will take away his dread of fast change and short life. This is the philosophy spoon-fed to young Augie by Grandma Lausch: She and Simon teach him to rort the system and Augie, ophan of such divinity and having a ‘weak sense of consequences,’ obeys. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Her history is as checkered as Augie’s, only hers haunts her in the form of debts and the memory of a bout with ‘appendicitis’ similar to Mimi’s. Augie March was written in 1952 so must be seen in the context of a young man trying to make sense of the world in the big, bad mid-20th century. While at this job, Augie is ‘adopted’ by the wealthy and childless Rendlings. I have a feeling about the axial lines of life, with respect to which you must be straight or else your existence is merely clownery, hiding tragedy. I made it maybe a 1/4 through the book (till about where they sent Georgie away?) it's me, margaret., 1970, 16. the lion the witch and the wardrobe, 1950. enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. However, I think that Augie is getting to the heart of something that is relevant for us today. It’s a mystery what exactly Bellow meant these axial lines to be, but at the very least Augie was momentarily rejecting the confusion and materialism of modern life. He has no desire to be a “god” or rule over others but to simply carry out the days of his life on the Illinois prairie. He makes it back home to Stella only to discover that she has been ‘double-lifing’ him. Enjoyed your brisk summary and your focus on Bellow’s unifying themes…. I’m coming to the end of The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow, a coming of age story set during the Great Depression in Chicago. Augie still believes he can escape the interior world and find communion with people around him, though he admits, ‘‘I may well be a flop at this line of endeavor.’’ On a broader level, The Adventures of Augie March uses Bellow’s beloved American spirit to … Augie keeps moving, his character driving him toward his fate along his ‘axial lines’. Until he gets caught. Even his pains will be joy if they are true, even his helplessness will not take away his power, even wandering will not take him away from himself, even the big social jokes and hoaxes need not make him ridiculous, even disappointment after disappointment need not take away his love. He marries Stella and joins the navy. p.9. When Einhorn hears of his association with Gorman, he rehires him, if only to protect him, until Augie finds a job at a department store. He brings him back to reality, claiming that Augie is trying to make up for his own father deserting their family, and also Augie’s own complicity in leaving his family behind. He takes up with Gorman, a menacing criminal, but Augie, with his ‘soft answer’ and inability to be a ‘trick Tybalt all coiled up to stab’, is rendered a failed protégé. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page. ( Log Out / But Augie has no use for earthly trappings and rejects their kind offer. In these axial lines he can, as he professes to Clem, discern his fate. He soon forfeits this occupation as well, but he is not empty-handed. (For his work as a research assistant he has been reading up on the works of Aristotle and others, so his sudden attempt to create a philosophy of his own life comes out of that experience, but in the context of the whole book is almost comical.).