Beryl Bainbridge and her novels

Mackey, Elizabeth (1982) Beryl Bainbridge and her novels. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Beryl Bainbridge is a successful contemporary novelist who has produced ten novels over the past fifteen years, and her writing career shows every sign of extending well into the future. -- This Thesis comprises an introduction to this prolific writer by presenting some biographical data which shed some light on the author, her interests, the way she regards her own work, the background of each of her novels, and her views on contemporary life. It examines the accomplishment of Bainbridge up to the present by providing a critical survey of her novels in order of publication. An attempt has been made to find themes and ideas consistent in her work and to show how she has developed. -- She is an empirical writer whose emotionally traumatic childhood had a seminal influence on her fiction which is evidenced in her tacit admiration for intensity of feeling. -- Under her father's influence, Bainbridge developed a reverence for the past - a preoccupation which is particularly apparent in her early novels where she patterned her fictional characters on memories of her own family and depicted the odd little incidents of family life in the Forties. Her strong nostalgia for the past includes place as she sensitively evokes her native Lancashire. -- Mr. Bainbridge also instilled in his daughter a deep awareness of the essential loneliness of man, an obsession which accounts for the recurrent themes of isolation, loss and departure so prominent in her work. -- Bainbridge recognizes imperfections. She acknowledges failure, ugliness, squalor and corruption as an inescapable part of life. In later novels she becomes more absorbed in the ills of contemporary society. Declining moral standards, increase in crime and violence, and disregard for law and order are the conditions under which hapless characters succumb to falling standards in spite of themselves. Seldom actively pursuing evil, they are contaminated by an evil world. -- She finds humanity varied, unpredictable, full of short-comings and all too vulnerable in a perplexing world. She repeatedly stresses the oddness and incomprehensibility of people and life. Her realistic concerns, original views, polished style and delightful humour make Beryl Bainbridge a fine novelist.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7089
Item ID: 7089
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 237-249
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: 1982
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Bainbridge, Beryl, 1933---Criticism and interpretation

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