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Natural depravity

Posted by Dhm on June 29, 2004

In Reply to: Natural depravity posted by R. Berg on June 29, 2004

: : : What is the meaning of "natural depravity" in the following excerpt (the book itself was written a hundred years ago):

: : : A man's not having sense enough to want to marry, or, having that, not having wit enough to do it, argues to her thinking either weakness of intellect or natural depravity, the former rendering its victim unable, and the latter unfit, ever to become a really useful novelist.

: : : As I understand, it can't be associated with homosexuality since the interesting part of the sentence is saying:

: : : A man's having sense enough to want to marry, but not having wit enough to do it argues to her thinking natural depravity.

: : : Homosexuals to my best knowledge didn't want to marry then, at least in the acceptable manner. Does the Author mean here some kind of born flaw? What do you think?

: : : "natural depravity"=?

: : : Thank You!

: : I don't think the author is necessarily thinking about homosexuality. "Depravity" here seems to be an exagerated way of saying "unnaturalness" in a general sense. The person being described seems to think that marriage is the natural state of humankind, and that remaining single well into aduthood is itself a form of depravity.

: How old is the piece of writing? "Natural depravity" sounds like one of those Victorian euphemisms for any form of sexual deviance. (Do we still call it deviance?)

Here I go quoting Eliot again:

"Macavity, Macavity, there's no one like Macavity,
For he's a fiend in feline shape, a monster of depravity."