William golwing

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Kingsley Amis (1922-1995). The University Campus as Microcosm of the State of culture. Lucky Jim (1953) The Second World War broke the sequence of the modernist such as D.H. Lawrence or Virginia Woolf; after this war there was a different temper and commitment. “Realism” was tried to be reinstated as well as the social novel such as Dickens’s or Fielding’s. This kind of novel was needed to document and interpret the social changes that emerged as a result of the welfare state, thus the novel became the contemplation of a working-class or lower middle-class youth that reveals the anguish of the period. The main theme of the English novel was the representation of the English society. Among the writers of this period we find Kingsley Amis, his novel Lucky Jim  is a “campus novel” (also known as an academic novel, it’s a novel whose main action is set in and around the campus of a university) that represents the mood of a group of writers from the middle to late 50s known as the “Angry young men”. LUCKY JIM:Hero: Jim Dixon, archetypal figure, embodies several of the new attitudes of the 50s such as disrespect, sulky (silent and bad tempered) anger against the educated, vulgarity… Teacher in a provincial university and, as such, he represents the post-war upward social move of the traditionally ignored working and low middle-classes. Furthermore, the insignificant interests of its intellectual members and the pressures of the job he has to carry out “drive him to pull horrible faces or engages in dissatisfied, murmuring anger”. His bitterness and anger mostly materialized in a kind of engaging awkwardness leading through drunken disasters with bedclothes and with the delivery of a lecture. Ironically, in the end he is rescued by a member of the moneyed classes he dislikes, and departs with an ideal girl for a remunerative job in London.  The happy ending of the novel together with harmless characteristic of Jim’s actions all through the novel, make Lucky Jim seem in retrospect more a simply comedy than a social criticism of an angry young man. Jim’s ridiculous adventures together with the absurd characters who threaten him are too weak to function as vehicles for satire or anger, the “luck” he experiences at the end of the novel, reflects more a reconciliation with society than any real desire to reform it.This work shows the cultural decline associated with the egalitarianism in education of the lower middle class and working class students. As a result of the raise of the possibilities to access university places together with an increase in the desire and the participation of these lower classes there was the same privileges among classes to access university, a fact that meant the elimination of distinction. For those people who were experimenting the transition it meant the cut of different worlds and the persistent and reassertion of this difference. For this reason many of the most important campus novels highlight the problems of survival and change of the various kinds of displaced people who are their heroes, such as Jim in this novel. The differences between social classes The theme of the differences between social classes works on a practical level right through the text, and Dixon, with his eye for social, visual, and linguistic hint, is often reproducing the divisions between classes. Although these distinctions are supposed to separate the members of the lower, middle and upper class, in Lucky Jim they actually serve to separate the characters  into the ones who try to be classy and the one who really posses it. The Welches, with their upwardly mobile social pretension, carry out  all the markings of class, such as coffee and cakes for supper. Meanwhile, the characters who are less mindful of social class—usually those from the lower-most class and upper-most classes— exhibit vulgarity and defects, but are far more admirable and refined that their pompous counterparts.  Muriel Spark (1918-2006). The Novel as Exploration of Evil. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961), The Driver’s Seat (1970) The supernatural plays a strong role in many of her fictions, the awareness of the novelist as creator of a work of art, a kind of God. Acute (powerful) sense of the existence of evil.The Prime of Miss Jean: she reflects when she attended (go regularly) a girl’s school in Edinburg. A brilliant portrait of character, environment, and ideology, the enclosed atmosphere of the girls’ school is subtly laced with the political climate of the public world, Miss Brodies’ “prime” coinciding with that of fascism.The novel is an excellent exploration of the cult of elitism and leadership, the creed of the chosen and the rejected, conflicts of a strong desire (lust) for power, personal support, and betrayal.The Driver's Seat: a chronicle of a death foretold. For Muriel Spark  the nature of evil is important, but she seems to know that any attempt at psychological investigation would be futile (pointless), as well as being aware that silence and gaps are often more telling than realistic description and linear development.Her novels exhibit social details, but they could be perfectly described as metafictional (a kind of fiction that openly comments on its own fictional status), since they constantly draw attention to the fictionality of the medium, the consciousness of the novel’s nature, and the dangerous illusion of the possibility of shaping reality into nice patterns.In the late 50s novelists were very much restricted in the English moral tradition, firmly clinching securing on to realism and “truthful” representation and strongly opposing experimentation. Spark openly dealed the question of the fictionality of the novel, stating that although she knows that all her novels aren’t true, a kind of it emerges from the novels.Basic formal elements of fiction like pattern and plotting are noticeable in all her novels. Even her characters are often extremely cunning plotters. The core of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is ultimately the teacher’s long-term use of the girls fro her own means, this powerful influence she exerts over her chosen girls, known at school as “the Brodie set”, is comparable to the fascist ideological brainwashing methods of Mussolini, the contemporary fascist dictator she ardently admires.In The Driver's Seat, the most representative of her novels, pattern and plot loom large. The novel is a dark story of manipulation and a deadly parody of the romance plot. The title The Driver's Seat is an expression that means, “control everything that happens in an organization, relationship or situation”. The protagonist is Lise a lonely young woman that plots her own death and controls to the end all the details of, as it were, a morbidly rehearsed ritual.According to Norman Page The Driver's Seat parodies the optimistic nature of tales by showing the protagonist in quest of a lover, rejecting various candidates on the grounds that they are not her type and finally selecting a reluctant partner who becomes both her victim and her murderer. At the same time the novel is an inverted version of the traditional detective story: the victim selects, pursues and corners the killer, laying a trail in this process which the police will subsequently follow. Although the novel exhibits the form of the traditional fiction, this situation seems to be reserved by the facts: the relationship between murderer and victim and the crime at the end of the story instead of the beginning as in most detective fiction.One of Muriel Spark’s favourite narrative strategies  the use of flashforwards or prolepsis (Greek term for anticipation), which in narrative occurs when the primary sequence of events in a story is interrupted by the interjection of a scene representing an event that is expected or projected to occur at a later time. Both of her works The Prime of Miss Jean and The Driver's Seat make use of this strategy thus contribution to make the pattern more intricate. Readers are thus able to know facts beforehand so we are given a vantage point of view from which we can observe the characters’ reaction to events and foresee the inevitable fate awaiting them.

 

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