The Vicious Circle Known as Life

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"Maybe you read too many books- life is complicated, but underneath the principle has never changed since the Romans- f--- them before they can f--- you."

Miller, page 8

Life is indeed a cycle.  Miller's "Resurrection Blues" touches upon the basic human moral struggles.  In the conversation mentioned above, Felix explains to Henri that life is cut-throat.  This quote applies throughout the rest of the play.  It is especially evident towards the conclusion that all has come full circle.

The characters undergo a supposed change as the play progresses, but when Charley's return is questionable, everyones' character turns back on their words and also turns on their own personas.  People are willing to change when they see a chance to reap the fruits of another's labor, but as soon as any risk is onvolved on their part, they get cold feet.  Such is the case with Felix. 

He makes it a point to run the country very strictly and do anything that he can to make it better, even if it involves crooked ways.  Emily convinces him, using her charm and sensous appeals, to change and rethink his ways.  However, when one looks closely, it is evident that Felix still wants his life to remain the same: he wants everythin else to change around him.  As soon as he is the one who could be "screwed", Felix completely turns back on all that he was willing to "change".  Life involves sacrifice, but Felix is not willing to sacrifice anything of his own.

Charley's refusal to come down in order to let them crucify him is also a bit of a pun.  The goverment functions much like the Romans did with regards to Jesus Christ, but this time, it is the Christ-figure that beats the government to the punch.  Thus, life is a vicious circle of events.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL267/2009/04/miller_resurrection_blues/

5 Comments

Aja Hannah said:

I agree. I liked the point that the book made about people and how they are less likely to change. I also liked how the book portrayed Charley/Jesus/God. They kept some of his divinity like walking through walls, healing people, and lighting up, but they also emphasized his humanity like some of the gospels do. He's not quite sure he's the son of god and if he wants to go through with the crusifixtion.

I like also how he said he didn't want the focus to be on his miracles, but on his message. This reminds me of other countries and their religion. Islam is supposed to be a peacful religion, but we focus more on people's actions than on their message.

Andrew Adams said:

While most people hate to admit it, that kind of cut-throat mentality in most ways rules the world. Survival of the fittest and all that. I like these characters because in a lot of the novels we have read we have not been able to use our own views to some extent. Since this is modern, we can better relate to the messiah that's not treated very nicely, or the controlling dictator who can't change for the good.

Alyssa Sanow said:

The ideas in your blog reminded me of the ideas we discussed in relation to Time Traveler's Wife. Even though Henry (in Time Traveler's Wife) is so different than the average human, readers are still able to relate to his emotions and relationship issues. As Aja mentioned above, "They kept some of his divinity like walking through walls, healing people, and lighting up, but they also emphasize his humanity..." This emphasis on his humanity allows the readers to sympathize with his plight and confusion.

Christopher Dufalla said:

There is definitely a greater capacity for us to relate with when it comes to the characters of this play. Miller has stripped away the fluff and left the barren individual present for us to view. It's not always pleasant, but the idea that he's getting across is that life is just that, full of good and bad, and we must experience both. The Christ-figure is shown to possess many human qualities that make us wonder about his supposed divinity (including his doubt about his own role), but we are also amazed at his supernatural realm of persona. As for the people around him, they are set in their ways and must admit to failure, for real-life stories don't always have happy endings.

Jennifer Prex said:

That was interesting how Felix always kept changing his mind when he was threatened with having to change himself. As much of this play does seem to comment on real life, I'm guessing that this is another comment. In general, people want things to change, but they don't want to change themselves--just like Felix in this play. Human beings are creatures of habit. Anything that upsets that balance is generally viewed as a threat. The Christ-figure upset this balance. His very presence called for people to change, not just situations to change. He was, therefore, considered to be a threat.

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