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Evelyn Waugh’s The Loved One – Conference II, Part 2

Whispering Glades is the mock cemetery created by Waugh to show how the make- believe world of Hollywood plays out in the business of death. It is a false religion in the business of making money. Death is treated as just another stage of life except without animation, without movement, and most importantly, without a soul. The corpses look alive. The dead are not dead, just peacefully resting. The property is more amusement park than cemetery. The subject of death is treated with such delicacy that one is not sure what they are talking about. Everything is upside down. The Loved One is a horrifying vision of fact that is shaped into a work that tells a great truth. This bizarre and macabre and unusual work of art with a profound religious point of view is a vision of what happens to a society that denies its God, attacks nature and forgets that death is the moment of agony when soul and body separate and a human being stands before a judge. That fact hovers behind this book from the first page to the last. Eternity stands before us.

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