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 Discussion Point 7, Rochesters Farewell
jeppody
Posted: Jan 11 2007, 05:38 AM


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Originally Posted by Karen 23rd January 2006


By all that Lamb wrote, Rochester struggled with religion at the end of his life and eventually converted. Lamb is careful to remind us of the mind of the alcoholic.

How do you think Rochester's death was affected by his alcoholism?






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jeppody
Posted: Jan 11 2007, 05:39 AM


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Deppraved


Rochester's alcoholism left him suseptible to any and all diseases he was exposed to, due to an impaired and compromised immune system, and of course his reasoning was influenced by his state of continual inebriation. He was nore prone to deppression because of it, or had he been predisposed to depression anyway, alcohol would magnify and feed it.

Had he not been afflicted by alcoholism, he may have been able to continue drinking and swiving to his heart's content for several more years.

His brief attempts at sobriety failed, and perhaps contributed to his health problems, but it seems he struggled with Steps 2 & 3 because he.."was terrified of committing himself to something that was not true, but in using reason to try and find God, as opposed to trusting in faith, he was making things doubly difficult for himself. It is also a great irony that a man who had laughed at reason for so long should now be applying it in such a way." (pgs. 265/266) Faith can't be taught; you either have it or you don't.

He did wear his heart on his quill, so to speak.







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jeppody
Posted: Jan 11 2007, 05:40 AM


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Banana


Rochester had stopped drinking at the time of his death, hadn't he? I think he dabbled a little bit here & there but was mostly sober?

He obviously knew he was very ill and did not have much time left. Reflecting back on his life, he had certainly immersed himself in all the sensual arts and yet he seems to have found no real satisfaction. The man had a brilliant mind and he was still searching for answers. Religion was a subject that he had never explored during his lifetime. It certainly didn't fit into the Hobbism belief system. All the philosophical conversations with Burnet the priest were his attempt to understand religion. And as Deppraved said, faith cannot be taught. It's not based on logic.

So maybe the alcohol was a necessary catalyst to turn him towards God? Maybe religion was a substitute for the alchohol.

(Geez, Rochester would make such a great university course to study!

Analyze all his writings and then explore his life....I could write essays for days!)






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jeppody
Posted: Jan 11 2007, 05:41 AM


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Mairimaih


Rochester had discussed religion wider than Burnet before his death and had told his childhood tutor, that he was no athiest also
I think Rochester was drawn to his view of virtue, in others and a sense of spirituality all through his life, though he had a sceptical mind and battled with it all along too.. but I think some of his comments to friends on his death bed suggest that he was always debating the matter of religion internally all through his life









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