Evelyn Waugh: the development of a novelist.

Brown, Lloyd Raymond (1966) Evelyn Waugh: the development of a novelist. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Chapter 1. Waugh’s early novels are a mixture of farce, satire and comedy of character. He sees the absurd in all aspects of society and exposes it. Here he does not feel obliged to suggest a remedy; instead he uses exaggeration, understatement, parody, and burlesque to shock people into an awareness of the predicament of society. -- Chapter 2. Work Suspended marks a turning point in Waugh’s development as a novelist. The plot is no longer farcical, the mood is more serious, and the characters are real people. Both Brideshead Revisited and Helena reveal an even more astonishing departure from his earlier manner of writing. In both Waugh reveals his interest in religion, and in both he takes sides, suggesting the church as a cure for the world’s ills. -- Chapter 3. Waugh’s technical skill is still in evidence in the post-war satires. There are still traces of his earlier wit in these books, and they are writte3n with the same cold cruelty. The characters are still flat and the triumph of barbarism is still the theme. However, there is a difference. The detachment is gone; Waugh now sees the absurd in the things he detests. There is almost no farce; life is much grimmer; the world has hardened. -- Chapter 4. In the trilogy Waugh reached a happy compromise in his writing. Here he successfully combines the farce of Decline and Fall and the religion of Brideshead Revisited. However, the comedy is more humane and there is no preaching. Irony gives these books an objectivity missing in Brideshead, allowing Waugh to give both sides of ideas and situations presented. This is a gentler, more tolerant Waugh who has finally made an unconditional surrender to the world. -- Conclusion. Waugh’s theme has remained the same but his approach and attitude have changed. He has moved from fantasy to the more serious, three-dimensional novel, from cold detachment to misanthropy to humility. -- He has proven himself to be a skillful, versatile writer, an outstanding comic genius whose novels have a touch of universality about them.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/10217
Item ID: 10217
Additional Information: Bibliography : leaves 124-131.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: 1966
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Waugh, Evelyn, 1903-1966

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