First published in , George Santayana’s The Last Puritan was the American philosopher’s only novel, and it became an instant best-seller, immediately. Published in , George Santayana’s The Last Puritan was the American philosopher’s only novel. It became an instant best-seller, immediately linked in its. Book Source: Digital Library of India Item : George ioned.

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The Last Puritan

The little physical contact given to the young Oliver in the capacity of emotion was to be had through Irma the German governess, although this too would prove awkward in time. Santayana has a point to put across; the reader is either right or wrong. He was “thin, sallow, and tired” and “he couldn’t sleep well at night, and seemed to be half asleep and dreaming all day.

Try for the intellectual snob appeal market — it’s right down that lane. One the way back to the Vicarage Jim let Oliver in on a secret of his. Their arrival at church pleased the Vicar and caused him to change his whole sermon. The rest of the trip he hardly saw Jim Darnley. This part tells us of Mario returning to Iffley to speak with the Mrs. Not much happens in this book, either internally or externally.

In each of the characters the reader can find elements of the author and elements of his philosophy, primarily as it relates to his critique of America. This visit to the church becomes memorable because directly after the sermon Oliver meets Rose Darnley, Jim’s sister, for the first time.

The sunny side was to be found in nature, geography, mathematics, and anything left untainted by the crude passions of humanity. I can’t think of Santayana’s name without also mentally chanting “Squashed Banana Here are two confessions of weakness.


He repeatedly observed that his spirit was trapped at the roots, entangled, but he never quite knew why.

It’s pages in length, but at the end you don’t feel like there was anything that should have been cut or reduced. I can’t really believe anyone anywhere has ever really lived in the bizarrely Manichean way the main character and his family is supposed to have lived, trying to pretend to themselves puritna they don’t have bodies or desires or the like, and this despite the fact that Eliot’s biographies all say that’s his whole situation and the stuff one picks up from Freud and the like.

The Last Puritan – Wikipedia

Every character speaks in this manner; and as a result, the characters lack sufficient individuation. There are no fiery collisions of personality, just collisions of worldviews, which do not so much as collide as slide off one another. It is stated in the opening scene “If he [Nathaniel Alden] went out at all it was to perform some duty, such as to ascertain the state of his financial affairs.

It relates the life of Oliver Alden, the descendant of an old Boston family. When I bought this book, I knew it was going to be great. Topics were ideas, not people – I miss that The section really reaches its peak with the meeting of Lord Jim on the Black Swan. Piety is another form of duty for our dearly drab Nathaniel.

THE LAST PURITAN by George Santayana | Kirkus Reviews

Rose accepted this proposal and he kissed her. An important book, in the American tradition. But therein lies the problem for Oliver. His mother becomes a devout patriot and Irma eventually leaves the Alden household.

She bounced from one automatically elicited thought to the next and Oliver understood the irrationality in his mother.

They decided to keep it a secret until the day that they can prove it true. According to Santayana, the genteel tradition is a disconnect between tradition and practice, what Americans profess and how they act.


Upon joining the army, Oliver ignores his personal problems, and “he threw off this ‘depression’ as again they called it. But the tragedy of Oliver was deeper than this. His childhood was privileged, though, and the pleasures he was offered would have been the greatest joy for many a boy, if only they feorge offered to him as pleasures.

Kelly rated sqntayana it was amazing Aug 22, As the other georgr noted it is a novel serving as a framework for philosophical ideas. His early education was too one-sided, which was what Harriet thought best, and his lack of rounding out a full character would inevitably become his downfall. Caste systems were breaking down and social mobility increased.

His views on marriage are a distressing prevalence of his commitment to duty. Mario cannot help but notice how unappreciative the Darnley’s were of Oliver, despite all that Oliver had done for them.

MIT Press, 5. Yale University Press,page The Last Puritan is volume four in a new critical edition of George Santayana’s wroks that restores Santayana’s original text and provides important new scholarly information.

Here is a more or less random sample from the kind of soliloquizing Santayana has his characters do: Oliver protests this decision, and argues that war is foolish, but Mario proceeds to tell Oliver that he doesn’t understand such things and joins anyway. Here are two confessions of weakness. In other sanyayana, writers of fiction must not only tolerate, but cultivate, ambiguity in their works.