Twentieth Century English Literature


1890-1930=difficult to define analyse, classify. Not all authors of this period=modernist. New tendencies, creative results. Intellectual change from 19th to 20th century. 19th century knowledge shaped by positivism, faith in detailed observation. Victoriam novel formed in an objective world, with empirical characters and actions. All changed in the 20th century and became uncertain insecure.

*Cultural climate

According to V. Woolf, world change with the opening in London of the postimpressionistic exhibition (December 1910) with V.Goh Cézanne, Gauging, Picasso…

“Interpretation of dreams”=1913 Freud.

Those mens emphasizes rational nature of 19th against the irrational unconscious, mythical of the 20th .Reality for these modernist=not only what we see, also lives in the surface of the things. Poet =able to abstract reality, giving reality the meaning of a fiction.

Social results

Modernist answer the disorganisation and chaos after the first world war, that is the destruction of civilisation. Art of this world interpreted Marx, Freud,and Darwin.

World of the existential exposure to ABSURDITY to the meaningless war results.

Movement of urban societies, show us city life, with the city-novel, represent every portions of reality.

Revolts against the past, certainties, customs.

IN USA= Americans attracted by European rich culture, want an American identity/culture=their Americans themes and techniques=not very revolutionary.

La revolución técnica y temática

Towards sophistication and mannerism


Towards internal self-scepticism.

Experimentalism suggest darkness,alination,desintegration, a difficulty to understand.

Modernism: from romanticism to the esthetic idea (reaches a crisis)

prose/novel= disseapearece of lineality.

Worried about representing:

*What we see ( complexity of the forms)

*The inner state of consciousness, of characters

*A sense of nihilistic disorder behind the other surface of life and reality.

* Worried to free the narrative art from the determination of a plot= FREE PLOT.

This novelistic revolution concerned with formal matters: uses of language, design of a novel.

victoriam fiction. More intimate, personal, sensitive. Each novel= a personal significance/Tecnihc

PLOT=disappears subjective

-New view of time: continuous flow in the consciousness of the individual. Time relative

Multiple view point , crossed references=back forward time.

-Nature of consciousness= man / woman not alone in a continuous line of events. Traditional English novel reproduces the real world. Winter= explore inner world of the character. Modernism describes what is under the surface. Traditionals novels reproduce reality though stories: people, time and place, but modernist novel change the telling of this reality for the use of language : metaphores, metonymies; builds a language.

Authors disappear in modern novel. Not reflected directly in his work, not an omniscient narrator. Loneliness, isolation of the individual (main theme)

Human dilemma between privacy end the need to communicate.

VIRGINIA WOOLF (1882-1941)= her prose: delicate, experimental, fundamental for the suppression of the difference poetry/prose. Her writing= modernist, experimentalism: “ to the light house”, “the waves”. She defended the feminine writing> ” A room of one´s own” (essay)

FORTIFY> a woman writer finds a 1st technical difference= the form in the sentence because writing, created by men, so for women , writing sentence too rigid, heavy and artificial.because man´s writing doesn't fit into the feminine personality, the woman writer makes for herself this feminine writing.

NOVEL= 1st genre cultivated by women/poetry, drammer, essays=more difficult for them. Dorothy Richardson= 1st to use the internal monologue.

For V.Woolf this internal monologue =psychological sentence of the feminine genre.

Her sentences= full of ellipsis, hyphens, parenthesis, commas…

“the waves”= to and fro-movement, rhythm, flashbacks, stream of consciousness. Many modernist men writers imitated her syntax of the sentence, Joyce created a free style, style capable of adapting this flowing of , she didn´t discover a feminine sentence, but she revolutioned poetic language, revolutionary adapting the stream of consciousness> only way to reach feminine thoughts.

Her literary experimentation in form and contest for her past novels, reflected and unreal reality, determined by logic.

Technical devices=

1) reader is made to take part in the interpretation of the novel.

2) She tries to gain unity in the novel.(in mss Dalloway= the party: in the waves= the sun; to the light house)

She plays with time and place. In her books we can see time still, and characters though space or opposite> character still travelling though time ( mind , flashbacks)

3) Time , place = part of the unreality of reality.

4) stream of consciousness= characters opens more that complexity, though language and consciousness.

5) complex use of symbolism; so, the writer has to create another world by suggestion and symbolism.

words= musical; elements of that symbolism.

symbolist novel; different for external reality.

V.Woolf uses a feminine language full of symbolism. This symbolism expressed in her writings with: hyphens, parenthesis, semicolommes… these devices indicate briefness and independence of sensations. In her literary experimentation= 1st characteristic= there is NOT PLOT. Modernist novels try to escape this convections of story telling; for V. Woolf ordinary life= not logical. “Mrs Dalloway” >V.Woolf show us life is state of constant creation and change. Characters= aware of the past time. Difficult to follow characters´s thoughts . this moment which Virginia describes= associated whit similar past experiences>FLASHBACKS. In characters= similar to Joyce, in the method of organitation.”Mrs Dalloway” organised in a similar way to “Ulysses”, and both, associated with 2 big cities= London & Dublin. Relationship among characters who have shared experiences together. Self consciousness, union bound among them. From time to time character´s sensibility ends, and there are many moments of revelation (in Joyce too).

JAMES JOYCE (1882-1941)= His literary career divided in three phases:

1º Ireland> “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man “

2º Austria> “Ulysses”

3º France> “Finnegars Wake”

With “A Portrait of the Artist”… and “Ulysses”= center of the modernist experience in modernist fiction. Joyce influenced by symbolistic period in France, Germany; England. Joyce born in the period called= CELTIC RENNASSANCE= two idealist for the limited reality of Ireland. Ibsen = he took him as a model; Joyce= His own style. 3 characteristics = relationship of being Irish: his nationality, religion and language.

*Nationality= he had Irish characters= humorous, imaginative, eloquent; In “ A Portrait of the Artist…” we find a desire of independence, frustrated with the downfall of Ireland's political leader. He represents the situation of Ireland, with the confusion and chaos in father´s house.

* Religion= Ireland's Joyce´s religion= CATHOLIC especially his mother. In A Portrait…” different stages of Jesuit education . his literary technique full of ecclesiastical symbolism.

*Language= own language. Latin (church) and Irish popular speech.

He lived in semi-blindness, so, he use his imagination a lot. Used auditory skills more than visual. Described mind and sounds he heard. STYLE= raise/fall of rhythm; words= magical. A Portrait”…= naturalist tradition; “Finnegars Wake” = symbolist; “Ulysses”= naturalist and symbolist.

He doesn´t invent, he uses his own experience. But his imagination gives difficulty to interpret experiences.As Woolf, interested in everyday routine and devices of human behaviour.from photographic realism of the life to esthetic impressionism. Words= control experience worried with : city (finding order in city) and art. for him ,we all get moments of truth and revelation, and the writer has to recollect this moments. Style characteristic:

-Novelistic worried with sinesthesia (mixture of sensations) e.g. heavy & silence.

-Form, though sequences of consciousness.

- Relation characters/ time.

- Dialogue ( use ) “Dubliness”, “ A Portrait”…

- Reporter of Irish life. He tells us conversations he hears with a lot of closer variations.

Relationship art/ life and musical preoccupation ( with sound of words/ repetitions)

structure sentence= according to musical patterns.

“The Dead” > although they are opposites, Dickens ( London ) and Joyce ( Dublin) , they are similar in recreation of cities that they loved like chroniclers of life and culture. “Dublinesses”> more conventional work. Influenced by late 19th short fiction. But he tries to produce something new different. Many critics> these stories from naturalistic tradition (French) :objectivity; irony and sobriety.

Humority subjected to rules. 15 short stories= slices of life. For him, human situation in Dublin> paralysis. Describes on externally poor moral/ intellectual/spiritual condition- similar to Heart of Darkness”. Environment opped to the Celtic renaissance.

Influenced by Ibsen> upper class society destroyed by a revelation of events from the past.

“ Dublinesses”> 15 short stories= frustration, defects, degradation of the soul with the life in Dublin.

Incompatible= the solution of the soul/ life in Dublin.

“The Dead” > Gabriel O´conery destroyed when he knows a past, but not forgotten passion of his wife for a young man. Gabriel similar to Joyce= literate, college, teacher, works for a Dublin newspaper, European, disapproves Ireland naturalistic aspiration. His own culture, superior to other people in Dublin. No salvation to Gabriel because, he doesn´t know he is living with a ghost who make a dead man of him. Irony at the end prose, gradually, dies too, beginning= very naturalistic approach, but later, change in perspective: story more private, intimate and personal. The symbols are: snow ( death), horse ( no future), art (side which will save him ), east/west ( beginning of life and death ), food ( the holy bread and wine) and sea ( stillness).

Similar to “Heart of Darkness”> in frustration defeats, a degradation of the soul. Describes an externally poor moral/ intellectual/ spiritual situation in Dublin / Africa.

Life in Dublin/ Darkness= as a paralysis; difficult the salvation of the soul, incompatible with live in Dublin/ Darkness; indirect narration, symbolism of the story:

Dublinesses: snow/ horse/ art/ food/ east6west/ sea.

Heart of Darkness: Kurtz/ trip/ wildeness/ sea/ light/ darkness.

D.H LAWRENCE=aware with the modernist novel ( as V.Woolf), that is a fine consciousness higher poetic realism Joyce= European writer, French naturalistic and symbolist. But Lawrence was English, much closer in a spirit and in his view of the novel to Elliot. As Fielding and Elliot, also a moralist and novelist. The novel is used to moralised the human beings. Lawrence´s fiction, the main character, always struggling to develop into a whole character. So, Lawrence moralist, novelist, short story writer, poet, travel books, literary critic… As novelist, three main novels:

“Son and Lovers” (1913), “ The Rainbow”( 1915) and “ Women in Love “ ( 1920). Plot in “Son and Lovers”= struggle between his father and his mother. Father : miner, illiterate, often drunk, but a very vital man. Mother = higher social class, more intellectual and refined; result= UNNHAPPY MARRIAGE. The children are in the middle of his struggle father/mother. One of the most autobiographical novel by Lawrence= first in his mother´s side, but he would change his mind later. We can see in the novel the idea of the destruction of the instinctive man by an spiritual woman. In Lawrence´s fiction 3 phrases:

1)The autobiographical (1909-1912)= themes like male/female world, he thinks that women destroyed man´s personality (Aaron Rod). Dualism mind/body= /spiritual/physical) = against the idea of making the body prisoner of the mind,. Antagonism, towards the father and the authority. Degradation of the man from his potentialities.”Sons and Lovers”> a great example of bildungsroman: mind= mother, body= father. . conflict mind/body> mother/father. Paul caught in a Edipal situation. He fights for a normal relationship with his father and mother. He seeks spiritual attachment in Miriam and physical attachment in Clara. One main problem in the novel > difficulty of Paul to act as an integral man. He seemed by Lawrence as product of the industrial society. FRUSTRATION > main characterise of this novel autobiographical.

  • Emotionalajustment to the modern Era (1913-1920) = the rainbow> super description of realism of the 19th century.”Women in Love “. In some passages of the rainbow influenced by Elliot and Thomas Hardy. But the story describes mainly the changing psique relationship, because England was changing from a rural to an urban society. Whit this novel, for the first time, Lawrence explores the basic sexual relationship of the characters> describes also, the prissionate life of the individuals as a result of the social revolution of the past hundred years. Ursula> most important character> the modern woman who explores the physical world more than the spiritual. Her search is at time homosexual, but after she became pregnant by an polish officer. She losses her baby, but driving her convalescence. She sees the rainbow promise in the sky. Rainbow represents the possible return to human values. “ Women in Love”> represents the industrial world obsessed by money, possessions, lacks of humanity. But at the end of the novel this search for human values will be achieved. mind

  • Mystic prophet (1920-¡ )= individual human divided

  • body :physical achievement

    “Lady Chaterly´s Laer “1929= banned for many years.

    He wanted sex to be the source, the center of life. Men´s lack of values and mechanical man obsessed only with work and money. Lawrence preferred a dynamist style passionate and full of energy.( don´t deprive his prose of beauty)

    experimental quality> he looks for the inner reality of men

    fictional characters

    unconscious part of woman and man > difficult to read Lawrence

    for his problem to express emotions and feelings.

    “Sons and Lovers”> great example of the modern man/woman and the loneliness of the individual, lack of communication, split between oneself and the other self, notion of harmony.

    Settlement= city/country= this difference involves the lack of harmony between man and society.

    In the 20th century, man satisfied with social/political/economical achievements, but when he /she receives pressure from society, takes refuge in nature.= a kind of mother; protection; man/woman takes refuge in it when they feel alone or strangest in an hostile world. Physical location represents the moral situation. Dualism city/country-city/nature. Natural/industrialized men. Ambition destroys nature.

    Nature> freedom, intict, purity,passion.

    Industrialisation> slavery. Industrial man, society> creation of man which has turned against him and made him loses his identity, his naturality. Lawrence proposes a rediscovery of man though nature. Mind/body> antagonistic forces. Paul has been searching for light, but finally he tends to darkness. Paul´s choice: looks for protection and find the true reality of his being. Human relationship> family= no harmony, no balance. Mrs Morell attracts the children to her side, to hate the father, but paradoxically she is very conscious with the idea of family.

    Relationship Paul/woman= incompletely, unsatisfactory.

    Mrs Morell married Mr Morell because she wanted his characteristics, his nature and to change him. But they don't accept each other. The way they are. Mrs Morell> divided character= mother/wife/woman.

    Miriam> an idealist character. Nature joins. Paul and Miriam, both interested in nature.she is idealistic in the area of love. At first, she feels like an victim of love, but lated she will act romantically by letting Paul go with Clara. For Miriam sex not essential in love; she gives spiritual love. She is not ready., so, Paul needs a boding love, so, looks for a different kind of relationship(failure relationship).

    Clara> body= woman married, but abandm him. Represented like a beautiful flower that grows forgotten, waiting for someone who loved her. Her personality very attractive to Paul. With sexual relationship with Paul, she seems to come back to life again. The problem> Clara needs someone who needed her. But Paul is not sure. The special spiritual relationship Miriam/Paul is something that Clara will never have.(fail of relationship). So, the only woman whom Paul has ever felt joined, is his mother> the person who understand him perfectly well, his peace. It is a very easy way of loving for him, but, of course, it is not a complete love and, at the end, he reaches what he need.


    Novela tras modernismo con la primera guerra mundial= In literature very sterile period, no good writers, novels very insignificant in literature. After stimulant period modernism, new dull, boring, poor era in England. On the contrary, very productive in America. English novel= back to traditional novel and fictional culture. With the 2th w.w, another division in England social/cultural life= end of the empire and coming of the welfare state. Literary revolution. English fiction remains the same traditional forms. Emphasis on alienation, emptiness, negation> political phenomenon which results from wars, economic depression, increase of population. Cynicism about culture; Mark, Nietzsche, Freud= questioned if life is not developing into a world of frustration or falsity.society, establishment> questioned. Marxist, Catholics= tried to search for other, but this search= unsuccessful. Democracy, totalitarsm, Marxism> had turned unsatisfactory. The only solution for the irrational man is the individual experience. Man/woman have to explore inside him/her.

    Proletarian novel= years of unemployment, huger, frustration, few expectation in the western world. But English novel of protest seemed more moderate than the American novel. Period of rage of working classes, proletarian. In the proletarian novel they reflects their thoughts, aware of differences between them and upper- classes; they should organices themselves to improve their lifes and reconstructing society to suppress economic classes. RALPH BATES= revolutionary writer and man in Spain revolution

    “The Olive Field” (1936)= defective in telling, but strong in ideas proposed weak, grey novels.

    Henry Green=novelist, industrialist= write sophisticated satires, described the changing class structure after 2nd W.W “Living”(1929)best English novel of factory life. (showed the greyness of working class novels) style: laconic, repetitive. Themes: reorganisation of world and gitels who want marriage and children with a man who abandon her.

    Catholic novelist= (reality chroniclers ) 20th century; concerned with finding something to believe in. To find values one way is the catholic view of life, than other groups. Evelyn Wough= one of the most brilliant satirical novelist of his days, but become more serious writer.

    Angry Young Men= 50s period of -class rebellion in England. “Angry Young Men” represented this British rebels. Describe humans beings who want to be accepted by themselves and don´t want to be absorbed by the establishment. Group of intellectuals, most of them of working/low classes and universitaries. Roge for class distinction, pride in their lower middle class origin. these writers criticised British establishment, British universities, Royal Family and the post-war welfare state. John Wain´s 1st novel “Hurry or Down” criticised all this. In the early 60s the impetus of the movement finished and was soon to be replaced by other social and cultural expressions.

    Alegories y Satires=

    Allegory: story in verse or prose with a double meaning. Usually, in the allegory Wickedness or fooly= censured. In the western civilisation of 20th century there are many different ways to express in literature the emptiness, social criticism and loneliness. Fantasy is one of them, especially in the 2nd half of the 20th c. Although fantasy, forgotten in Gothic and romantic literature, end of the century stimulates imagination/terrors of the people. Also, in this end of the century there are omens, predictions of the end of the world, and science fiction novels. Apocaliptical moments= explosion of atomic bomb, bring the literature the questioning of man and civilization.

    Orwell(1903-1950) and Golding (1911-1993), present an imaginative world to express their concerns.

    ORWELL (1903-1950)=(Eton) attracted by Marxism, but his disillusion with Russian communism produced such a bitter work: “Animal Farm”(1945). At first, he considered the common man lets himself be manipulated by demagogues. As a journalist he knew very well that it was very easy to manipulate people through language. “Animal Farm”= satirical essay of Russian revolution. As a fabule, characters are animals, treated as if they were human beings, but, as an allegory of power, those animals' represents very specific components of society. Characters Molly (turn coat, pigs) never work and grow fatter and fatter. Dominate the others animals. In the final game between napoleon (Stalin) and Pillangton (human), the spectators find it impossible to distinguish between pigs and human beings.

    SATIRE= a form of writing, holding up a person of society to ridicule or showing the wickedness or fooly. Literary genre that makes fun of people, themes, situations, through exaggerations and distortion to attack, criticise them.

    MOSES=the Jesuits, church. Boxer,Clover=working class who work without thinking.

    PLOT=inspired by a dream of old mayor (are of the pigs). Animals of the menor farm expell the farmer and establish an animal´s republic they want to create a free, equal community (parallels Russian history from 1917 to tehean conference). In this work, Orwell is not only sacrificing communism, but also criticise man´s stupidity. Characters= animals very significant. Human beings can be manipulated as animals. Even thought they are the intelligent race.

    Moral fabules=traditional in English literature since “the Pilgrim´s Progress” of John Bunyan .In 1678 Allegories with a moral, not new, are still in fashion in the 20th c. but this allegories like “Animal Farm” have more misanthropy. Fantasy used in 20th century to express pessimism ,criticism by Orwell Golding. For Golding, theme of the novel is a attempt to show the defeats of society.The moral of the novel is that society depends on the nature of individual not on a political system.Golding> sceptic to any political system; represented this scepticism in “Lord of the Flies”.”Lord of the Flies “ like “The Pilgrim´s Progress” shows how the religious meaning has been changed.He descended from a family of the schools masters. Destined to be scientific, but studied literature. He joined the Royal Navy in the 2nd w. w, he shows the atrocities that human being was capable of doing.he observed that evil is something inherent in the human hearth is the bases of “Lord of Flies”.the novel has a lineal structure because it shows the condition of the children at the beginning and at the end of the novel. There are three sessions in the novel:

    1)The arrival= they arrive at an island, is the paradise for the children and they don´t have a moral authority. The life is easy they want to create their own utopian society free from adult restriction.Meetings are very important in the plot , they mean reason, law, order and communication among the children.

    2)The beginning of break up this society =divided into 2 groups and points of view so they have 2 leaders.They became enemies, lost the innocence.

    3)The disappearance of all civilisation and the lack of communication= the novel represented by school boys with no adult to control them.The evil nature appears when they have hurt Piggie.

    *Ralph= sensible and natural leader. He is happy at the beginning but this disappears because he observes the fail of his leadership.

    *Jack= violent , selfconfident.he is another leader. Always laughing at Piggie who represents reason and Jack represents istint

    *Piggie= physically imperfect, intelligent, reasonable. He is Ralph´s complement he cannot survive from himself.he need Ralph and his personal force.

    *Simon= truth and reason. He has faith in humans beings.

    *Rogert= irresponsible, sadist, insint of an animal.

    There are three important things represented in the novel:

    • Description of the nature of man.Against the 18th c. idea that man was good an victim of society.Golding shows the disappearance of civilised control, go to brutality.Golding goes back to Adan and Eva and the original fault.

    • Fair, always present in man´s soul.In “Lord of the flies “; progresses and provocates the degeneration and violent.

    • Innocent and experiences; innocence is losing from day to day; for example killing an animal represents the frontier between innocent and experences.there are a lot of pessimism in the novel.


    Difference between books that have been written by women an a female literature>express women´s experience and point of view. In the 19th c. women novelist /imitators, in the 20th c./innovators; tried to write like the 20th c. they didn´t have a literature of their own. Contributed to the literature of the age: Jane Austen, Emily Bronte; George Elliot. In 19th c. the problem of women writing:

    • nº woman writers, reduced to small group.

    • Male critics saw women´s writing in their own idea of what feminity have to be.

    • Women´s writing considered as an exception to the rule. Is considered in a different way from men's writing.

    Since the 60s in England and America 1968 there has been an enthusiasm for the idea of the emergence in literature of a female self-awareness. Many critics considered now that women writers have established a pattern in literature.this female literary tradition comes from the relationship between women writers and their society. So is the favourite gender, more important than poetry or drama.reason= the novel has been the only literary gender in which women have participated.according to V.Woolf this dedication is due to several reason:

    • Novel: flexible, women can adapt it to her necessities of expressions.

    • Other genders: created by men, so, for women, very difficult to change that male language.

    • Lack of money, time, training.(difficult to write poetry or drama)

    History and culture also contributed to the novel.20th c.=age of prose,so, some writers adopted the novel male & female.

    Most of the 19th c. phase of imitation (women imitated male writing) from the appearance of the main pseudonym to the death of George Elliot.

    1) Phase of imitation- 1840-1880 (feminine phase)

  • 1880-1920-women won female vote (feminist phase= protested against values and traditions)

  • 1960-?-female phase, Margaret Drabble, Muriel Spark.

  • With the death of many young men writers (1st w.w.) women writers achieved a national literary tradition that had excluded them.

    Last generation of victoriam women writers who had been born 1880-1900 developed from feminist phase to female phase of self-exploration of a search of identity. But lack of confidence from women feminist behaviour.

    Feminist writers retracted a separated literature of inner space. This literature try to look for safety from the man world.V.Woolf in the late writings, moved to social realism.However many woman writers in 1940 and 1950 continued to work in a conservative way (not influenced by modernism).

    Ivy Compton-Burnett famous novelist who are closely connected to a female tradition in the post-war English situation, they seem to represents a passive rather than an active community.

    In the 1960 the female novel entered a new undinamic phase influenced by the international women´s movements.the contemporary women's novel observes the traditional form of the 19th c. realism. But they operated in the context of the 20th c. Freudian and Marxist analysis of existence.

    DORIS LESSING: she was involved in communist party and peace movement. She probes in her novels the representation of political questions from a woman point of view.this let her to adopt a variety of political perspective and literary tecniqs.” The golden Notebook” begins self-exploration period and female subjectivity. In the 20th c. greater social possibility than before, New view of woman . Golden Notebook describes best the condition of contemporary women. The time is the idea of a free woman as illusory, as the idea of free society. The protagonist Ana and Molly seem to live free live, they live like men. Ana has known financial problem, she has not domestic bounds but because of this freedom she feels emotionally unprotected, she needs love and protection. Very difficult to live a free existence. Show 4 notebook; black, red, blue, and yellow. She finds difficult to achieve integrity. The terms work/ love, independence/ dependence, solititude/ relationship are oppositions and contradictions which are difficult to solve and she has to make choices. Ana pays a price and this is another important topic of the novel.

    MARGARET DRABBLE: Her literary production “ A Summer Birdcage”, “ The Garrick year “ “ The Millstone”. Contemporary woman novelist, follow a female self- discovery phase. Treated topics= adultery, abortion, lesbianism, prostitution. Based on Victorian writers, but with personal artistic autonomy. Created an own literature.

    Contemporary women writers= socercess of modern novel, chronology, myth, stream of consciousness, flashbacks. Heroines full of unexpressed rage.

    In 1990s all these writers are developing into new phases.

    3 phases: feminin, feminist, female, combined in the second half of 20th c. with a social political concern.

    Drabble the most traditionalist= in her past she used material from the Bronte novels as myths in their own writings. Drabble has write about 19th women novelist. Her characters names of great victoriam heroines: Rosamunde, Jane, Sara, Emma.. Her protagonist talk about 19th c. writers heroines and topics= in some ways based on the 19th c. women´s life. She is the novelist of maternity.

    The three novels develop the topic of survival, difficult for a personal independence life, Sara, Emma and Rosamunde uses the term survival several times.novels by women or about women were concern with a marriage plot. When the protagonist was married that was the end as an heroin, the interested return when she was a mother.

    To control their lives and to achieve independence is impossible in the 20th c. modern woman is still a dark one.

    Drabble tries to show in her fiction how difficult is to be for a woman to succeed in modern society.

    The Millstone” =conceiving a child from her first and only sexual relationship.

    “The Garrick year”= responsibilities of tensions bet6ween domestic life and professional life. Emma becomes the first woman T.V. newsreader.

    Drabble´s heroines as representative of high social classes have been attacked because they don´t represent the stereotype English woman.they are privilege women.

    Rosamunde has to be selfish if she wants to survive. “The Millstone” shows the isolation of human being with an enorurmous clarity.

    Drabble´s quality is controlling intelligence. She has a quite modest style.

    MURIEL SPARK: Edinburgh. She became writing when she became catholic. Catholicism a big influence. She doesn´t search her work religiously, she even cricizes.”The Prime of Miss Jean Broodie”. She described an elitist, strict high school.she likes to analyse group of people and attacks social instutions as marriage, school, religious communities, resting houses for old people.”In the Prime of Miss J. Broodie” we have individualism and collectivism. Miss Brodie controls her students. She even makes one of these students; go to Spain to fight for Franco.

    Fascism represented not only in the teacher also in the ideas of her students.

    The main topic on the novel is Calvinism in a very ironical way, the girl cannot think for her selves. Three main themes Individualism, Calvinism and Catholicism. Catholicism and Calvinism are different in the idea of destinity; catholic face one can chose, Calvinism depends on the God.

    METAFICTION: is a term given to a fictional writing. There are questions about the relationship between fiction and reality.In the last 20 years novels involve questions, refexions and uncertainties. The connection of these doubts is referring as metafiction because they explore the theory of fiction through the practise of writing fiction. The term of fiction was originated in an essay by Williams Gass.

    Since 1960s there was an interest in the problem of how novelist construct and meditate their experiences.

    Language reflects a coherent meaningful and objective world is no longer too. Language in the last 20 years is considered as an independent and self-contained system which generates its own meaning. Novels survived trough constant renovation of language.

    It is impossible to describe an objective world because the observer always changes the observed.

    Metaficcion process= how it is possible to describe anything? The main problem is to represents the world. Novelist trough experiences of illusions, deception often represents the world. Metafiction doesn´t hide fiction; try to adjust what someone says to what someone feels.

    The linguistic develop the metalanguage=it is a language which takes another language as an object. Saussure= the signifite is the concept evoque by the world so a metalanguage is a lang. Metafiction may concerned itself with particular conventions of the novel.

    METAFICTION AND THE NOVEL TRADITION. Patricia Waugh argues the metafictional practice has become very important in the fiction of the last 20 years. The term metafiction is new, the practice is as old as the novel. The language appears to mix with the real world. When we study metafiction we are studding identity. Metafiction shows an exaggerate the foundations of the real world.

    Bakhtin refered to the process of relativitation of the real world as the “dialogic”. Bakhtin defines as a dialogic the novels that introduce a direction into the world and this direction is opposed to the original directions. Bakhtin consider dialogic against the omniscient author.

    The positivist and empirist view of the world no longer exists in metafictional novels.

    Muriel Spark´s novels are metafictional novels without organised plots. David Lodge considered M. Spark is a metafictional novelist because of the use of metaphors, metonyms.

    “The Driver´s Seat”=centre on the enigmatic nature of female in the 20th c. Liz constructs her death as a suicide. The reader doesn´t understand the motivations and the critic has not find answers to the question Why did she do it ?

    “In flever´s Madame Bovary” gives a lot of explanations about the suicides. But female suicide as an enigma are against 19th c.

    “The driver´s Seat” is one of the best examples of this enigmatic nature of female suicide in women´s literature. There are a double enigma in the novel of death and feminity.The novel goes between complicity and criticism of this solution for women. The mysterious death is the murder by a sadist psychopath. Her suicide can be considered as the desperate effort of an invisible woman to render her individuality. The way in which she dies can be seen as unique to her. Like many others novels where the heroin commits a suicide; the question is whether death is the only way of real feminine power of self-articulation.

    Answers are only hypothesis. The enigma is search in the interpretation of insignificant details. The task of the detective and the reader consists of deducing some certainties to solve the enigma of her death and her life. Basic questions0 How?, Who? and Why?.

    Spark reproduces the principles of detective stories. The conflict is between a public identity and a private identity that is characteristic of feminity in a collection of women´s fictional and autobiographical.

    Her flat clean, neutral minimalist reflects emptiness in her life. It is the tragedy of a life with no stimulant activities and no personal relationshionships. 10 years before the narrative takes place, the same time, she starts to work as a secretary, the flat hasn´t change.

    Death is the manifestation of others death particularly the death of herself.

    Liz is 35 years old according to Freud the womens like Liz the only solution is the death. In the novel is explained her social and psychological death. Liz has nothing to lose because she already feels half death. Freud, aggressiveness is turn round upon the self.

    “You need a holiday…” She prepares this journey,change in personality the day before taking the plane.She looks for the necessary dress. Getting the new dress often symbolizes a new hope. The clothes in many women believe believe that they can use and change their own selves. Life enthusiasm with her death dress shows the new hope that she has in a different life. She is obsessed with projecting an image in their suicide, costs her image when she´s planning her death. The image is different from her personality. She wants to disguises her dying body like an actress and in this way she alienate her -self in one of the most enigmatic questions of the novel.

    Elaine showalter explains that a woman creates her identity closing her dress.

    She gets throw away her passport; symbolizes the disappearance her public image.there are a contrast between public image and underline itself this topic is explained in “the public Image”.

    Liz death is clearly voluntary, is carefully planed and it is controlled by her. The person who executed her death is not herself is a psychopath. Liz convinces the sadist to murder her. She “seduces” her victim and she anticipates her own death.

    The novel creates an example of what may happen when a woman loses control of her life and carries out her aggressive fantasies. Liz satisfies her sadism in her own.

    Trough the centuries this aggression has been thrown against women´s self because it was suffer for them.

    DRABBLE: WOMEN AND CHILDRENS. Women and childrens remains constancy. We cannot say that all her novels are writing about intelligence and cultivated woman like Rosamunde. Four of her main novels have references to 19th women´s writers.

    A Summer birdcage” recalls “Pride and Prejudice”.

    “The Millstone” recalls “The Scarlet Letter”. The millstone is about an intellectual woman only sexual enchanter produces an illegitimate child.

    In “The Garry Year” Emma progresses from a self- consciously isolated to a participant in the events of her life.

    In “The Ice's Age” Anthony having failed as an academic entertainer finds himself in the middle of a military coup. Contemplating strange moral-code by which he is behaving he is acting.

    Although she is influenced by victoriam novelist she also connected to modern writers in the sense of corncense of life, like marriage, family, children.

    Drabble insists in moral problems0 family background, children, husband & wife, provides the basic material of her novels. Treated without violence, madness, sexual-perversity, which are associated with modern fiction.

    In “The Garry year” Emma considers her marriage with the actor David Evans, as a good gamble. Each of them thinking that the other has the qualities for which it is worth to get marries. When she gets pregnant is transformed by the birth of her daughter into relief. Having a daughter is something common, but she is proud of this commonness.

    Rosamunde finds that pregnancy brings awareness of the facts and feelings of maternity. Rosamunde thinks that is something simply and common, but it is something which she has lost and now she recovers.

    In “Jerusalen,the Golden” Clara (victoriam name) is looking for an emotional situation dense and complex. The answer is in family group.

    With the exception of “The Ice Age”, all the novels stick very closely to the women experience.

  • Drabble was in her third pregnancy when she wrote “the Millstone” her pride prevents her from telling George Mathews, her child´s father. At first, she thinks about an abortion. In the end, she decides to keep the baby when her older sister admises putting the child up for adoption.everything is miraculously into places.

  • Rosamunde´s parents ignorant of her daughter problem, give her their elegance and big flat. Lidia Reynolds, her friend shares the flat with her.

    The only difficulty is with the National Health Service. The birth is easy and octavia, the child is a healthy and beautiful baby. Doctor discovered a hard defeat which requires a difficult operation. The child survives, Rosamunde realizes the vulnerability.

    Rosamunde meets George and she takes him home; she lies about Octavia´s age, so he ca have no idea of his paternity. They are not able to stay together.

    She wanted to communicate, the importance of a child, the feelings that a mother has for a child, and the changes that a chid brings to one´s life.Rosamunde cannot go to her parents and fiends with her problems. A woman with a problem which is a dryness of spirit. Mixes confident, covardis and female stereotyping. The major point is that independence in a human being is double “h”; on the one hand is a virtude but it is also an impediment because it is separated people similarly the baby Octavia is a contradiction because her birth is humiliated, painful and frightening. She will change Rosamunde and the experience of having a baby is important and regarding. The bad luck of getting pregnant became good luck because throw the child (who name of a famous feminist Octavia Hill), Rosamunde experiences real love and becomes more human. Questions= How can be independent and have other people dependence? How can a person intelligent, beautiful and lucky, feel lonely? Novel is not so different from other Drabble´s novels because the protagonist is very similar to other heroines; she is emotionally vulnerable and struggling to be both a woman and a human.

    Parents painted as socialist even belong to a high social class. They believe comfort is dangerous to the soul and they look for ways to punish themselves. Rosamunde´s father is an economist professor who helps under develops countries. Against capitalism, the reason they don´t put their flat to rent and Rosamunde take it. She notes that her life is too pleasant, she ought to do something unpleasant, that why she tries to be a good teacher.

    Rosamunde´s mother had educated her daughters to be equal. Rosamunde consider it as a disaster, her older sister is an economist but was married when she graduated. Rosamunde thinks that she must be unhappy. Beatriz is the pacifist of the family, live with her husband, who is a scientific nuclear station and her sons play with guns. Rosamunde feels that her parents don´t like she chose literature.

    She tries to escape from her background but it is impossible, when she decided to have the baby.

    Rosamunde uses language to restrict rather than to expand for example, Octavia is ill she changes thinking from the immortality of the soul to the fact that there is no pain.

    Like others Drabble´s heroines Rosamunde believes that what we think we get.

    Relationships with men in general many problems that are not her fault.

    Rosa consider herself superior to Lydia in everywhere.She prepares food just edible but Lydia makes food rich, different, amusing. Rosa can be fair but she is not generous.

    At the end she tells George that her nature is to worry “there is nothing I can do about my nature, is there”.

    Octavia damages Lydia's novel. She compares herself with the maid of John Stuart who burnt the only manuscript of Thomas Curly´s history of the French revolution. She does not realize how this novel can help her to improve her character.

    Rosamunde ask a neighbour to take care of Octavia while she goes to the chemist, new communication, she considers this to have others in debt.

    Rosamunde mixes out on Lydia's novel as an opportunity to use herself as others.

    Impossibility to communicate with Lydia and George.she relegated to the position of George Bernard Shaw; “one”, a woman wants children but no husband. She lies to George she does not want to marry George.

    She thinks that literature is grounded in the real rather than in the magic.

    She is upset with Lydia for basing her novels in facts.

    Before Octavia is born a mother gives her a baby to hold and the baby wet her throw this we see the impossibility of Rosamunde to be more flexible.

    Lidia is more concern with reality she prefers writing bad books than not write. At 26 having published 2 novels she thinks she has dry up, does why she writes about Rosamunde and her baby. Lidia creates literature from life. Rosamunde finds life and reality her own pregnancy as too unrealistic for a novel.

    Rosamunde believes that because something happens it is true.

    She is moved by ironies.

    Her solipsism disappears a little by maternal love. Her limitations are replaced by new limitations.

    She knows that she will be left in darkness by her child. She remains static position and her surname Stacey could stands for the word “Stasis”.

    The dim life= the world of drabble´s heroines not brilliant,they never enjoy themselves fully because they feel for others, they feel guilty, they are afraid that they will lose what they have because they don´t deserved. Rosamunde not used to happiness, accustomed to momentary feelings of satisfaction, of excitement..When she holds Octavia for the first time she knows what to be happy. Her privilege status carry the situation of being a single mother. She was a child isolated by her family and her intellect. Hospital she feels sociable and cheerful.

    One of the base moment= she and Beatriz played with 3 boys in the park. They discover that they had a maid they think, they were rich.

    She will have to ask strangers for help and Octavia´s health problems will obligated to be worry by continuous check and examinations.

    Before Octavia was born she only thinks about people in theory. The message= human rather than a female. Rosamunde fights for the rights to see her daughter. She prefers to feel uncomfortable rather than offend.

    Rosamunde throw her daughter is supposed to reach a new sense of self and also self-relation to others.

    The effort cost at the end, we can she Rosamunde in her mid 20th with greying hair. She still needs to develop as a female. She is a successful mother, university teacher, she has made small advances but not capable of using systems that are fair to others.

    Enviado por:Nuria
    Idioma: castellano
    País: España

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