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It is not that the Englishman can't feel—it is that he is afraid to feel. He has been taught at his public school that... Options
Daemon
Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 12:00:00 AM
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It is not that the Englishman can't feel—it is that he is afraid to feel. He has been taught at his public school that feeling is bad form. He must not express great joy or sorrow, or even open his mouth too wide when he talks—his pipe might fall out if he did.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)
KSPavan
Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 12:33:59 AM

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Quotation of the Day

It is not that the Englishman can't feel—it is that he is afraid to feel. He has been taught at his public school that feeling is bad form. He must not express great joy or sorrow, or even open his mouth too wide when he talks—his pipe might fall out if he did.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)
ChristopherJohnson
Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 3:21:17 AM

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I cannot see anything bad in reserve and self-restraint. It is what we could call culture and educations. On the contrary, overly emotional people are often boring and difficult to deal with.
pedro
Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 5:29:48 AM

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He is, of course, talking about Englishmen taught in a public (for public read private) school. In such an institution it isn't his pipe falling out that he fears most when opening his mouth.

All good ideas arrive by chance- Max Ernst
C185445
Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 7:22:59 AM

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ChristopherJohnson wrote:
I cannot see anything bad in reserve and self-restraint. It is what we could call culture and educations. On the contrary, overly emotional people are often boring and difficult to deal with.


You have to read these -critical- words in context (whether they come from him or a character he created in a book, you never know here...).

I think he isn't talking about being "reserved" and "self-restraint" as we understand today but about an unnatural constraint that was ingrained by the state during the era he comes from. I'm not sure that was they (or we) had back then was healthy.

Adyl Mouhei
Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 8:14:55 AM

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Daemon wrote:
It is not that the Englishman can't feel—it is that he is afraid to feel. He has been taught at his public school that feeling is bad form. He must not express great joy or sorrow, or even open his mouth too wide when he talks—his pipe might fall out if he did.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)
Wilmar (USA)
Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 8:58:29 AM

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It is not that the Englishman can't feel—it is that he is afraid to feel. He has been taught at his public school that feeling is bad form. He must not express great joy or sorrow, or even open his mouth too wide when he talks—his pipe might fall out if he did.
Verbatim
Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 1:16:01 PM
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Pedro wrote: "In such an institution it isn't his pipe falling out that he fears most when opening his mouth."

What else is there, behind clenched teeth? Shhh
Bully_rus
Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 2:29:02 PM
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Daemon wrote:
It is not that the Englishman can't feel—it is that he is afraid to feel. He has been taught at his public school that feeling is bad form. He must not express great joy or sorrow, or even open his mouth too wide when he talks—his pipe might fall out if he did.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970)


Yeah. Who needs those tenuous feelings when you have famous British humour/irony and such perfect British arrogance – and Shakespeare, of course.
mudbudda669
Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 4:54:15 PM

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Word
money143
Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 5:53:11 PM

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A person gotta feel his emotions and express them fully in a different varities of ways not just by holding the piple in thier mouth.

What you give power to, has power over you.
monamagda
Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 6:26:00 PM

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Context from : "ABINGER HARVEST (1936)"

PART I - THE PRESENT

CHAPTER I - NOTES ON THE ENGLISH CHARACTER


They go on quoting it because it expresses their sentiments ; they feel that if the Duke of Wellington didn't make it he ought to. have, and if he wasn't an Englishman he ought to have been. And they go forth into a world that is not entirely composed of public-school men or even of Anglo-Saxons, but of men who are as various as the sands of the sea ; into a world of whose richness and subtlety they have no conception. They go forth into it with well developed bodies, fairly developed minds, and undeveloped hearts. And it is this undeveloped heart that is largely responsible for the difficulties of Englishmen abroad. An undeveloped heart -not a cold one. The difference is important, and on it my next note will be based.

For it is not that the Englishman can't feel-it is that he is afraid to feel. He has been taught at his public school that feeling is bad form. He must not express great joy or sorrow, or even open his mouth too wide when he talks-his pipe might fall out if he did. He must bottle up his emotions, or let them out only on a very special occasion.

Once upon a time (this is an anecdote) I went for a week's holiday on the Continent with an Indian friend. We both enjoyed ourselves and were sorry when the week was over, but on parting our behaviour was absolutely different. He was plunged in despair. He felt that because the holiday was over all happiness was over until the world ended. He could not express his sorrow too much. But in me the Englishman came out strong. I reflected that we should meet again in a month or two, and could write in the interval if we had anything to say ; and under these circumstances I could not see what there was to make a fuss about. It wasn't as if we were parting forever or dying. ` Buck up,' I said, ` do buck up.' He refused to buck up, and I left him plunged in gloom.

The conclusion of the anecdote is even more instructive. For when we met the next month our conversation threw a good deal of light on the English character. I began by scolding my friend. I told him that he had been wrong to feel and display so much emotion upon so slight an occasion ; that it was inappropriate. The word ' inappropriate ' roused him to fury. ` What ? ' he cried. ` Do you measure out your emotions as if they were potatoes ?' I did not like the simile of the potatoes, but after a moment's reflection I said, ' Yes, I do ; and what's more, I think I ought to. A small occasion demands a little emotion, just as a large occasion demands a great one. I would like my emotions to be appropriate. This may be measuring them like potatoes, but it is better than slopping them about like water from a pail, which is what you did.' He did not like the simile of the pail. ` If those are your opinions, they part us forever,' he cried, and left the room. Returning immediately, he added :` No-but your whole attitude toward emotion is wrong. Emotion has nothing to do with appropriateness. It matters only that it shall be sincere. I happened to feel deeply. I showed it. It doesn't matter whether I ought to have felt deeply or not.'

http://www.aaoldbooks.com/en-uk-us/Abinger_Harvest/default.asp
Doodle Snackers
Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 6:45:01 PM
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If public school Englishmen weren't so fearful of showing their privates in public, then they'd all but very likely end up feeling themselves.
pedro
Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2019 2:36:17 AM

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Verbatim wrote:
Pedro wrote: "In such an institution it isn't his pipe falling out that he fears most when opening his mouth."

What else is there, behind clenched teeth? Shhh


If you are not familiar with English public schools and their history, they were all single sex (male for centuries) and rife with homosexuality, not always consensual. As most politicians of note emanated from such schools it may explain how they are happy to hand down heartless policies such as the universal credit which has significantly raised the suicide rate.

All good ideas arrive by chance- Max Ernst
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