on 20 December 2014
The Family Reunion is one of my favourite plays of Eliot. The return of Harry from abroad, where his wife has died in mysterious circumstances, is the occasion of the scene. We learn how much he has changed and how unchanged is Wishwood, his family home, which is upkept in an almost Havisham-like manner by Harry's mother Amy. The seeming disparity between the members of his family and Harry himself dissolves under the keen up-thrust of one of those 'loops in time' where the old and new self meets, and where it is apparent that some family members are replaying or working out a series of events and wish fulfillments that have haunted the family. The language is without parallel, as heightened as in any Classical chorus. The spelling and unspelling is undertaken by another pair of entangled family members, Agatha and Mary, who have fulfilled similar functions in the ménage. Beautiful, spell-binding, brilliant.
2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 13 April 2001
I had never imagined that Eliot's play would leave such an impact on me. I read the play because it was mentioned in another book I was reading, and out of curiosity I opted to go through it. What I found was an intricate, intelligent and heartfelt blend of such works as Hamlet, Macbeth, The Oresteia and The Holy Bible. Apart from managing to make the work exclusively his despite the influences, Eliot also manages to add his incredibly insightful views which have the uncanny effect of always removing the carpet from under our feet. As someone once said about Eliot, his greatness lies in saying things that no one ever thinks about. And the beauty (not mere mastery) with which he delivers his words is a further, though unnecessary, reminder of what a truly great poet he still is.