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The individual exercise of reserve would ensure a "humble, secret, unaffected, unaspiring practice of piety." (16) The religious subject thus separates off some form of knowledge from the rest of the world, in the form of a secret, and claims it as the subject's own.
He stressed the immortality of the soul, however, in the expectation that the modern human would be prone to whittle his pursuit of happiness down to the running of a little farm or store--a truly petty and unaspiring expression of materialism.
For most of what prevents him from discovering the plot, even despite his several moments of deep suspicion, is his unruffled confidence that a slave like Babo, so naturally docile, so ideally suited to those watchful and pleasant "avocations about one's person," could never surpass the "unaspiring contentment of a limited mind" common to all Africans (83, 84).
When to all this is added the docility arising from the unaspiring contentment of a limited mind, and that susceptibility of bland attachment sometimes inhering in indisputable inferiors, one readily perceives why those hypochondriacs, Johnson and Byron--it may be something like the hypochondriac, Benito Cereno--took to their hearts, almost to the exclusion of the entire white race, their serving men, the negroes, Barber and Fletcher.
His "feeling for home" has been "made concrete" in "deep leather chairs, padded fenders and sectional bookshelves, `domes of silence' on yielding carpets, an unaspiring, comfortable sobriety" (CS 462).
Myra's account of her schooldays suggests other obvious connections between the childhood and adult worlds of "The Apple Tree." Like the adults who "applauded vigorously" (CS 461) a concert they loathed, Myra and Doria at Crampton Park "never spoke" of their unhappiness and "used to pretend they were all right." Like Simon's appropriate "unaspiring" furniture intended to give the right signals and no hostages, the school is "full of pictures to make it look homely" (CS 468).
Burns is also right to note that "many Hungarian films are competent to a high degree and relatively limited in scope; they are small, and make the most of that unaspiring condition" (190).