The amazing thing about the novel is that the ideologieal\r\ntransfomiation from progressive to MusHm is accompHslied so\r\nconvincingly that we can readily accept it. One of Chesterton's\r\nmost striking characters is the progressive prohibitionist Philip,\r\nLord Ivywood, the naive aristocrat who leads the campaign\r\nagainst wine and social nonconformity: He espouses all the faddish\r\ncauses of his day, including vegetarianism and theosophy,\r\nand is, in short, the very model of a modern New Age general.\r\nHe represents that old patrician intellectual lineage that traces\r\nback through the Enlightenment to the thought-world of Plato's\r\nguardians. And he is clearly meant to be a thoroughly pernicious,\r\nsubversive force, the deadly ivy on the native oak,\r\nwhich in timi symbolizes the authentic Europe:\r\nBut Ivywood, Lord Ivywood,\r\nHe rots the tree as ivy would.\r\nHe clings and crawls as ivy would\r\nAbout the sacred tree.\r\nBut Ivywood, Lord Ivywood,\r\nHe hates tlie tree as ivy would.\r\nAs tire dragon of the ivy would\r\nTlrat has us in his grips.\r\nIvywood moves neatly from representing the voice of Fabian\r\nor progressive idealismâ€”the world of H.G. Wells or Bertrand\r\nRussellâ€”to becoming a tool of organized Islam, which uses\r\nhim as a convenient front man for the annexation of England.\r\nIn the multicultural dream that he advocates, the two religions\r\nwill merge to fomi a new synthesis ("Something called Chrislam,\r\nperhaps," glowers one disenchanted...
Join now to access the full article and gain access to other exclusive features.
Already a member? Sign in here