Aunt Ann's Funeral
Written by Anne Charlotte
(9/28/2004 3:47 p.m.)
One line struck me in the first chapter:
"When a Forsyte was engaged, married or born, the Forsytes were present; when a Forsyte died - but no Forsyte had as yet died; they did not die; death being contrary to their principles, they took precautions against it, the instinctive precautions of highly vitalized persons who resent encroachments on their property." And now it has finally happened: Ann, the eldest of the Forsytes has passed away and I think it was a blow for all of them, not only for poor James, who even cries. After all she was a sort of mother for all of them.
Her funeral was a really impressive event. I just wondered why only the male members of the family attended it. I suppose it was a Victorian custom but I can't think where it comes from. Does anybody know?
It is a real bombastic ceremony and I understand what Galsworthy means when he writes that it was a "triumph" for them, although I think this is a bit macabre.
Anyway it is a remarkable scene that showed me very clearly what a close-knit commumnity the Forsytes form.
I thought it was strange that the complete family but nobody else (except servants) was there at the funeral.
It seems as though the Forsytes have no contacts outside the family borders, they keep to themselves entirely. Strange, isn't it?