The cult of celibacy
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Posted by Kay on February 22, 1998 at 19:00:38:
In response to Mr Beebe, written by Kate on February 22, 1998 at 08:40:09
] "He said: 'Mr Vyse is an ideal bachelor'. I was very cute. I asked him what he meant. He said: 'Oh, he's like me - better detached."
You're probably right, Kate, especially considering the author, but I have been pondering the alternatives. In Chapter 18, Mr. Beebe almost makes a cult of celibacy:
"His belief in celibacy, so reticent, so carefully concealed beneath this tolerance and culture, now came to the surface and expanded like some delicate flower." Perhaps this is the only way he could reconcile his sexuality and his religion.
As to Cecil, homosexuality is not really clear, though possible. There was much discussion of the time about the effect of segregation of the sexes in education and in other aspects of life. Without experience with a sister or close friend, Cecil may not have been able to relate to women, as Lucy comes to realize. Some men were just unfit for marriage.
Or, maybe he was a little like Casaubon in "Middlemarch." He realizes soon after the engagement that his well of passion does not run deep.
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