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A Tremendous ThingFriendship from the "Iliad" to the Internet$
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Gregory Jusdanis

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452840

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452840.001.0001

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The Politics of Friendship

The Politics of Friendship

(p.21) 1 The Politics of Friendship
A Tremendous Thing

Gregory Jusdanis

Cornell University Press

This chapter probes at the place of friendship in society, specifically looking at E.M. Forster's A Passage to India and Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. It analyzes not only the possibility of friendship as a social building block in fifth-century Athens but also the use of friendship as a metaphor for political coexistence in revolutionary America. When comparing the political infusions within the Greek model of friendship with the more withdrawn intimacies of modern friendships, the chapter reveals a paradox. Modern individuals do not regard friendship as the mortar of society, but they have nevertheless made it the exemplary democratic relationship. In a sense, the chapter explores the private and public expressions of friendship, seeing the literary impulse as the capacity to imagine the world with the eyes of the other.

Keywords:   public friendship, private friendship, democratic relationship, modern friendships, political coexistence, society, A Passage to India, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, paradoxes

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