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Although The Family Reunion has characters of a sort but they do not appear to be very well drawn During the play Eliot uses a lot of symbolism and portrays the characters to be representative of certain types of people rather than being in-depth individuals During this essay I will examine why this is so and the reasons that Eliot may have chosen to depict his characters in this way Amy is the widow of Lord Monchensey and is the centre of Wishwood She sits in the house and never goes out Amy holds onto people and expects them to come to her in a somewhat predatory way The other characters come and go although Harry is the only one whom we actually see leave None of them seem too rounded and are rather more symbolic than actually real The periphery characters seem to be mainly on the surface and retreat away from their inner spirituality It would seem that to Eliot ignoring this is denying half of the self Harry is portrayed as the most spiritual character although this seems to be at a sacrifice of any normality as a person Agatha is the only main character who manages to remain in both worlds When shes being spiritual her language is heightened by poetry yet she can still converse sufficiently well in the real world In The Art Of TS Eliot Helen Gardner also says that The characters at the centre are presented almost wholly from within the surrounding characters almost wholly from without p 156 Gardner The more surface characters are individualised by their differing reactions to the heros dilemma and by the characteristic verse patterns each is given to speak p 95 Smith C H It seems that these characters are left intentionally undeveloped in order that they may function as a comparison with the more spiritual characters of the play The play allows characters to speak their thoughts out
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