The Hideous Strength – The Liquidation of Anachronisms, Section 4 (Chapter 4.4)

SUMMARY

A committee meeting at the NICE, the deputy director presides. The only items under discussion are the acquiring of land and destruction of a church in Edgestow (this undoubtedly involved the Dimbles’s house) and the murder of William Hingest – Bill the Blizzard to Mark. The silver lining, according to Wither was that the Institutional police, lead by the Fairy Hardcastle, had taken control of the investigation. Hingest is eulogized by Wither, something for which he was “well fitted.” They share a moment of silence, each one not “thinking about death.” Mark determined that the real business of the NICE went on elsewhere, not these worthless committee meetings.

DISCUSSION

Of course Bill the Blizzard was murdered by the NICE for leaving. So of course they were first on the scene. Straik has just told us that the project of the NICE could not be carried out without violence (76).

Mark again betrays the idea that he longs for the “Inner Ring” (78) and isn’t surprised he is not yet there. If it was this easy it probably wouldn’t worth much.

Herein lies the furthering or the liquidation of the second anachronism – Hingest’s death – being the NICE’s response to it. I don’t know that it can be said that there is a new anachronism in this section, though we do get a moment of silence honoring the dead in which all involved are “not being morbid and not thinking about death” (80). Death is probably not something to long contemplate by this bunch. ‘Tis better to be in the house of mourning than the house of mirth, after all (Ecc 7:2). The house of mourning does one little good when he doesn’t contemplate death. Of course the NICE has plans for “the real resurrection” and the inheritance of the earth by the “saints.”

I’m a bit surprise, and maybe disappointed, that Straik doesn’t play a role in eulogizing Hingest.

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