The Captive Mind

The third Character sketch examined by Milosz is Gamma. Milosz knew Gamma for many years as the attended university together in Vilno, Vilna, or Vilnius.  Milosz describes as a man from a minor noble family who was always attempting to prove himself; however, Milosz believes him to be a hack of a writer.  Because of his background, Gamma drifted towards the right countering the rise of German nationalism with Polish nationalism.  It appears, from Milosz descriptions of Alpha and Gamma, that those on the right, I would imagine a law and order type, quickly fell in left with the Soviets who were quickly restricting and post war Poland.  During the war, Gamma lived in Moscow becoming part of those Polish communists groomed by Moscow to take over the post-war Polish government.  Following the war, Gamma produces speeches inspiring the people to support the new Soviet regime and it is in this work that Gamma finds his place.  He becomes a propaganda machine for the Soviet system and he revels in his ability to inspire and bring about change.  He is eventually rewarded for his work with an ambassadorship position in Western Europe where he lives in opulence while the people of Poland suffer under Soviet Communism.  This is where Milosz attacks Gamma in my reading of the chapter.  Gamma, living in Western Europe, continues to write for and support the Soviet system but it is system he is free from.  Milosz finds him to by hypocritical supporting a repressive system that he does not understand.  However, Gamma received a promotion and moved onto a higher position in the Polish government forcing him back to Warsaw.  Now back in Warsaw Milosz believes that Gamma will have a much more difficult time living as he is now living in a police state that watches it’s writers closely.  His writing is repetitive as there is no creative process involved in supporting the party line.  Milosz believes that Gamma wants war so that he can again inspire people rather than produce bland novels supporting social realism while war remains unlikely.

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