A poet that can be seen as denying Fitzgerald’s claims through Amory of the dissolution of the moral values through faith and believe of the recent old is Rudyard Kipling. Kipling believed highly in moral values of the old and that civilizations through all its good and evil cannot sustain without them and that everything must be done to protect them.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
– Rudyard Kipling, If
We can see in his poem, “If”, he is asking us to hold on, and keep faith, don’t doubt just trust and keep faith. He is asking us to wait for salvation is just around the corner. But Amory is tired of such waiting, if God were to exist evil cannot grab just momentous hold in this world. Kipling saw such ideals and views as defeatist; his view was to power on from such views. He held the believes of goodness of man but not man as individual but as a group, as a society, as a civilization – for one cannot live on their own and so their values and believes also need to be collective to survive. When it came to war he believed violence is necessary to sustain civilizations, we must fight against the enemy to keep hold of what is right and through it make the world right. He believed in making difficult choices, to make sacrifices for the greater good.
“It’s not given to people to judge what’s right or wrong. People have eternally been mistaken and will be mistaken, and in nothing more than in what they consider right and wrong.” – Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
We get such views again and again that we cannot decide what is good and what is wrong, but Fitzgeralds’s Amory did not believe so, or rather came to believe not so. The Old Gods were a lie; we need to make ourselves anew.
I wish you’d please take a look,
Between the covers of this book.
It was written long years ago,
By some-one that was in the know.
The first chapter shows the start,
That set Mankind from the Beasts apart.
History passing on down the years,
Showing human frailty with it’s fears.
Adam and Eve, with Abel and Cain,
The beginnings of a life insane.
This wasn’t good that’s for sure,
For God gave Moses Tablets of Law.
These should not have stopped at ten,
This wasn’t enough for stupid Men.
He sent his prophets one by one,
Then at last His Only Son.
In his honour they built a Dome,
A Catholic Church in Ancient Rome.
But Jealousy Envy and simple Greed,
Soon Man had many a creed.
Now there are Religions galore,
You may count them by the score.
So Please, Won’t YOU take a look,
Between the covers of this Book.
– Bernard Shaw, Please take a look
A much hidden cynic evaluation of the Bible, not entirely rejecting faith, but questioning religion. This in many ways echoes if not to the fullest Amory’s views. Religion and God doesn’t seem enough, we need more than that, now that we are at the brink of the greatest war, we cannot hold on to the fairy tales, there needs to be more that must explain as to why we do what we do. Pacifism is not for the sake of it, it creates inertia towards peace, the willingness to fight is the willingness to be defeated as human beings.