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Ch. 15 - The Accuser 
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Post Ch. 15 - The Accuser
Ch. 15 - The Accuser



Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:35 am
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Post Re: Ch. 15 - The Accuser
Chapter 15
Reserved for summary
I don't want to post it yet as it is important to keep the end of the story until later in the discussion


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Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:54 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 15 - The Accuser
The question, "What exactly does Chesterton intend by the term anarchy," throughout the book.

On a very basic level the book TMWWT deals with the inherent conflict between an ordered society and a society where everyone can do what he or she wants. That is the ultimate anarchy and while Chesterton has created a narrative where the police (law) is attempting to prevent a bombing (symbolizing the resulting chaos of fully implemented free will) the story is constrained by basic needs which even anarchy needs in order to exist.


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Suzanne
Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:01 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 15 - The Accuser
stahrwe wrote:
The question, "What exactly does Chesterton intend by the term anarchy," throughout the book.

On a very basic level the book TMWWT deals with the inherent conflict between an ordered society and a society where everyone can do what he or she wants. That is the ultimate anarchy and while Chesterton has created a narrative where the police (law) is attempting to prevent a bombing (symbolizing the resulting chaos of fully implemented free will) the story is constrained by basic needs which even anarchy needs in order to exist.

Anarchy is threaded through this book in so many ways. I think the changing of identities of almost all the characters is a form of anarchy because we rely on identity, we rely on knowing who we are dealing with and what they stand for, as a basic matter of order in our lives ... from what I can see, the only major character who does not hide or change his identity is Gregory, the one dyed in the wool anarchist, the serious anarchist. As we see in the last chapter, he holds his identity while everyone else is masquerading and changing hats .. rather ironic.



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stahrwe
Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:00 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 15 - The Accuser
Lindad-amato said: "Perhaps the groups lack of good organization and procedures to elect someone points out that anarchy is doomed to fail due to that lack of order? Syme, who is organized, seems to win the day."

Linda made this interesting comment back in Ch3 and I wanted to respond with the benefit of the remainder of the book. Order plays a big part in this book as does anarchy. Sunday is really the consummate leader and Chairman right to the end. Despite all the craziness, he calmly hears the 'complaints' of his Council in order (by days of the week) and doesn't contradict or make disparaging remarks, he just 'chairs'. Weirdly though, his Council is not made up of anarchists at all but of policemen symbolizing order. So we have order alongside disorder wrapped in anarchy mixed up with order again. But this doesn't bother Sunday. He is the Sabbath and he just rises above all the clatter. I think Chesterton ends his book in a simple and serene way, which suggests to me that after all the turmoil and struggle and pursuit that simple human qualities and values prevail, like red hair and picking flowers. I like this.



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stahrwe
Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:47 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 15 - The Accuser
The dominant theme that I took away from this book had more to do with appearances than with anarchy or order. I felt that Chesterton was showing how deceiving appearances can be. The idea of all of the so-called anarchists being police reminded me of the FBI and CIA who have for years infiltrated political organizations in the US. I wondered if at times there were more of law enforcement doing undercover work than there were true idealists supporting whatever cause.



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Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:48 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 15 - The Accuser
lindad_amato wrote:
The dominant theme that I took away from this book had more to do with appearances than with anarchy or order. I felt that Chesterton was showing how deceiving appearances can be. The idea of all of the so-called anarchists being police reminded me of the FBI and CIA who have for years infiltrated political organizations in the US. I wondered if at times there were more of law enforcement doing undercover work than there were true idealists supporting whatever cause.
Yes, I think Chesterton is talking about appearances and deception. I found it interesting that the police are unmasked one by one, in an orderly way and are not forced to admit their real identity but choose to do so. I wonder in Chesterton's time if there was the same consciousness about infiltration by police into organizations as in your example of the FBI and CIA? This tactic has been used for a very long time by police and armed forces to undermine groups and leaders and governments. We have popularized the notion in modern media, I think a great example is the British TV series 'MI5', but there is an underlying truth to it as well.



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Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:58 am
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Post Re: Ch. 15 - The Accuser
Order vs. anarchy:
Others have pointed out the irony that the anarchists are extremely well self-governed, orderly. They do their business openly, out of doors, democratically. Gregory, the only true anarchist is exactly what he seems to be. Disguises didn't work for him. When he tries even to tone down his opinions he loses his election, and that's the closest he ever comes to lying. The police were inducted into the service in secret, dark and shadowed rooms, by an unknown man. They cannot even identify their own and miss opportunities to act for their own cause. All are using covers, most have physical disguises. They spend most of the story just trying to figure out what really happening and are usually wrong. The contrast between order and anarchy reaches the absurd, building as an entire town chases the policemen, each group thinking the other is the destructive anarchists, and climaxing when it's revealed that Sunday is the root of both the organized anarchists and the confused policemen.
Given the context of Chesterton's life experiences, I think he's using the conflict between anarchy and order in society, and the struggle of the police to grasp what's happening, as a metaphor for the human struggle to understand the nature of world and our place in it.



Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:52 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 15 - The Accuser
Tomorrow is April 30th and is the final official day for the discussion of The Man Who Was Thursday.

The discussion started strong but has lagged a bit during April. I think that is an expected result given the unique properties of the book. I have benefited tremendously from the comments and observations of those who have taken part in the discussion and thank you and Chris for the opportunity to discuss Chesterton's novel.

I suggest that we spend a few days revisiting the book in six months including a reread, it doesn't take long to read it. I may have some news of interest to the discussion by then.

Of course, the official end of the discussion does not prevent anyone from posting comments so please share anything that comes to mind about TMWWT.

Thank you again.
Stahrwe


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Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:00 pm
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