Anatomy of an 8-year-old Hater

“Look at old Horse-Face blushing!” called Partridge; and they all laughed — none more derisively than Anthony. For Anthony had had time to feel ashamed of his shame; time to refuse to think about that hole in Lollingdon churchyard; time, too, to find himself all of a sudden almost hating old Horse-Face. “For being so disgustingly pi,” he would have said, if somebody had asked him to explain his hatred. But the real reason was deeper, obscurer. If he hated Horse-Face, it was because Horse-Face was so extraordinarily decent; because Horse-Face had the courage of convictions which Anthony felt should also be his convictions — which, indeed, would be his convictions if only he could bring himself to have the courage of them. It was just because he liked Horse-Face so much, that he now hated him. Or, rather, because there were so many reasons why he should like him — so few reasons, on the contrary, why Horse-Face should return the liking. Horse-Face was rich with all sorts of fine qualities that he himself either lacked completely, or else, which was worse, possessed, but somehow was incapable of manifesting. That sudden derisive burst of laughter was the expression of a kind of envious resentment against a superiority which he loved and admired. Indeed, the love and the admiration in some sort produced the resentment and the envy — produced, but ordinarily kept them below the surface in an unconscious abeyance, from which, however, some crisis like the present would suddenly call them.

— Aldous Huxley, Eyeless in Gaza

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s