TWILIGHT OF THE TOFFS: FALL OF A CASTE, RISE OF A MYTH

Sanchez Fernandez, Carlos (2013) TWILIGHT OF THE TOFFS: FALL OF A CASTE, RISE OF A MYTH. Masters thesis, University of East Anglia.

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    Abstract

    Dissertation ABSTRACT:
    This dissertation deals with the representation of the interwar upper classes (above
    all, the aristocracy) in the contemporary English novel. I have chosen three novels
    for my study: Ian McEwan‟s Atonement (2001), Kazuo Ishiguro‟s The Remains of
    the Day (1989) and Evelyn Waugh‟s Brideshead Revisited (1945).
    My main critical perspective is a structuralist one, namely that of Roland Barthes in
    his Mythologies (1956). I show how, notwithstanding the period in which they were
    written, their aesthetic orientation, or their authors‟ personal stand concerning their
    society, the chosen novels, spanning six decades, can be analyzed by applying the
    same „figures of myth‟, according to Barthes‟s terminology.
    To facilitate a better understanding of this literature, I have also connected it with a
    common historical and ideological background, that of the interwar period.
    Moreover, as Barthes‟s ideological stand is a Marxist one, if heterodoxically so, I
    will be relating the novels to a number of Marxist concepts, such as hegemony,
    dominant and residual cultures, or false consciousness. Concepts from other fields of
    contemporary intellectual history, such as psychoanalysis, will also be featured for
    the same purpose. Finally, I have also given a prominent role to social history in my
    analysis.
    My main conclusion will be that myth has superseded factual representation of the
    traditional landed aristocracy, turning it into a category that is still operative in the
    domain of fiction, informing the international reading public‟s views of British
    society and culture, even after the historical demise of that social class.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Literature and Creative Writing
    Depositing User: Mia Reeves
    Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2014 13:01
    Last Modified: 05 Mar 2014 13:01
    URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/47932
    DOI:

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