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    Essays by Cov Narc

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    royalewithcheese

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    Join date : 2016-09-18

    Essays by Cov Narc

    Post by royalewithcheese on Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:36 pm

    3 essays sent by an ex cov narc to me 5 years ago. They claim they were for a uni assignment but with all this projection (when there is 'off' punctuation or double spaces) i doubt that. I'm cptsd, I think.


    ‘Pray you now, forget and forgive; I am old and foolish’ King Lear 4:7
    Taking this statement as a starting-point, consider the treatment of old age in Shakespeare’s work.


    Lear’s surrender of power can be considered a consequence of age; he justifies his division of the kingdom as in order to free him to ‘crawl towards death’ and the prevalence of sight imagery (‘see better, Lear’ ) suggests metaphorical blindness is causing him to act in this ‘old and foolish’ manner, as might literal blindness associated with old age. The Fool later tells Lear ‘thou hadst little wit in thy bald crown when thou gav’st thy golden one away’ punning that a bare and impotent crown, lacking hair, appropriately symbolises Lear’s crown, which no longer commands respect or, arguably, recognition , and that this is a consequence of aging ‘wit’. For Gloucester, too, old age can be seen to cause his decline. In the letter that deceives Gloucester, Edmund says it is right for men to surrender their fortunes at a certain age ; Edmund’s plot is influenced by Gloucester’s age just as Gloucester’s inability to see the truth may be due to his increasing age.
    More than simply serving as a cause of political regression, we might argue that old age represents it. Kent addresses Lear as ‘old man’ immediately after he divides the kingdom, a mark of disrespect and a symbol of how his old age may represent his subordination. The wheel of fortune that cast Lear and Gloucester downwards marks the stages of life as well as politics: ‘I am even The natural fool of fortune’ . The political seems to run parallel to the physical. Eagleton considers how a discourse of madness relates to political insanity and Dollimore extends this idea of a connection to see material realities as the primary concern of the tragedy , which would suggest that age is used as a symbol of political decline.
    Yet this assumes that characters are tools for the articulation of a political didactic. Shakespeare titled his the first version of the play a history (Quarto) and the second a tragedy (Folio) – he intended an effect beyond the purely political. And though a hidden prerogative is possible all assumptions seem ridiculous when we consider that the most compelling parts of the play (for it is the text itself we should focus on, more than issues of intent) show human tragedy overshadowing political concerns. Shakespeare makes symbolic figures into real people, with real temptations and flaws. Critics may see this reading as symptomatic of a modern obsession with subjectivity, the human condition and psychoanalysis, yet for a Shakespearean audience the human tragedy of Lear would shine through alongside a seemingly basic political plot (explored from a purely political perspective by many previous works). We can argue, in fact, that the political plot is used to draw attention to the Lear and Gloucester’s essential fragility in that it releases them (in social and spatial terms) from the realm of politics and society.
    In the absence of his golden crown Lear is ‘crowned with...furrow weeds.' The hostility of nature to man, present in the severity of the storm, too, is suggested in the choice of flowers; ‘Hemlock’ is poisonous, used in the execution of Socrates , while nettles sting and burdock can irritate. In addition, the flowers draw attention to the ephemerality of humanity; they will ‘rot’ just as Lear sees himself rotting in and towards death (‘a man may rot’ ). ‘Idle weeds’ also represent a tragic superfluous nature, separate from the ‘sustaining corn’ of the state just as Lear and Gloucester, now fallen from political grace, are superfluous to society. The crown of flowers seems to express Lear’s mortality, morphing social and political ideals into human concerns after social structures have been mocked in the trial held by Lear in 3.6. The concerns of the state subside as the tragedy of Lear, the ‘old man’ , takes over.
    The crown of flowers and the trial scene are also pivotal moments in the development and expression of Lear’s madness, a symbol of his separation from society, (even if also functioning as a symbol of the state of society ). Madness and, in Gloucester’s case, delusion, is also a way of ‘maiming and massacring’ that Kott sees as essential, alongside ‘depriving him of his name, social position and character’, to the two men becoming ‘naked, or rather...nothing but a man’ in their old age.
    Adorned with flowers Lear is crudely childlike. Gloucester, soon after, will be led by his son to a mock suicide, a tragic make-believe which inverts parent child roles and makes Gloucester seem all the more helpless in his old age, ‘second childishness’ : ‘Old fools are babes again’ . Shakespeare seems to echo the final lines of Jacques’ speech in ‘As You Like It’ – Gloucester is ‘sans eyes’ , and vulnerable as a child, as shown earlier when he was manipulated by Edmund. Edgar holds Gloucester’s hand, telling him what lies below the cliff as if to a child. Indeed, Edgar will later tell Albany that he has ‘nursed’ the ‘miseries of (his) father’ .Lear becomes as a child again, too; he dreams of the life that he might share with Cordelia, ‘we’ll live, And pray, and sing...’ The Fool earlier reflected that Lear ‘mad’st thy daughters thy mothers’ and Regan told Lear he must be ‘ruled and led’ as if a stern guardian. Lear is, because of his age even more than his political fall (though the two are, as discussed, connected), now the helpless child, reminding us of when he at first ‘thought to... rest on (Cordelia’s) kind nursery’ . Both men seek comfort in their vulnerable old age and, rather than reflecting a larger ‘longing for a maternal presence’ , as suggested in Adelman’s seemingly narrow feminist reading, they seem to revert to childhood as if their lives were a cycle: ‘Men must endure Their going hence even as their coming hither’ . The second childhood of Gloucester and Lear seems both a natural and tragic development stage in their old age, is linked to foolishness and is an active response to the fears associated with their mortality.
    Led by his son, Gloucester’s attempted suicide plunges him into a meta-dramatic metaphorical void (perhaps the ‘mere oblivion’ of ‘As You Like It’) which transcends social concerns and seems to blur the boundary between play and reality, causing audiences to question the nature of human existence just as the characters do. Just before Lear’s death, Kent will ask ‘is this the promised end?’ and Edgar will reply ‘Or image of that horror?’ , drawing attention to the meta-dramatic dimension and the impossibility of experiencing death, a paradox which seems to mock humanity and which arguably makes the play even closer to reality. We can argue that after Gloucester’s faux fall the stage becomes a Beckettian chasm as setting is displaced: ‘When we are born we cry that we are come To this great stage of fools’ , says Lear, shortly after entering the scene, Gloucester’s abyss. The men are no longer entangled in and hidden by the ‘Robes and furred gowns’ which represent society. They transcend social concerns as their depleted physical condition makes them primarily old men, and children, of no status in an ambiguous setting: they must acknowledge their mortality. Lear clings to his title, ‘I am the King himself’ but there is tragic irony in this as he knows it bears no relevance in human terms: ‘they told me I was everything’, he says, ‘it is a lie, I am not ague-proof’ and later, of his hand, ‘it smells of mortality’ . While Gloucester is increasingly mute, silenced even at the point of his death, which occurs off stage, Lear’s tragedy seems to be that he acknowledges his own helplessness, ‘there is reason in madness’ – he has‘come to understand it (existence and fate) at last’ .
    Arnold Kettle, amongst other critics, has seen Lear’s madness as a form of catharsis as it seems to bring his apparent realisation of his mistakes . Indeed, Lear says ‘I am old and foolish’ and sees his position as ‘everyman’ (‘I am a man’ ) following his period of madness in the storm scene: perhaps he achieves some clarity before death. This fits well with classical ideas about the composition and effect of tragedy, with Lear’s madness thus a moment of ‘anagnorisis’ , echoed in his recognition of Cordelia as his daughter, which also, in suggesting he had not recognised her as his true daughter previously, enforces the idea that Lear is enlightened. The notion that Lear achieves wisdom in Old Age, seems, furthermore, to have led to critics reading the tale as one of Christian or, arguably more persuasive in light of the overall lack of a Christian god within the play, Humanist redemption . Much is made of Lear’s inviting the fool into the hovel as representing a ‘change in direction’ and some see Lear as noble in his old age, possessing ‘spiritual potentiality’ as he approaches death. Lear’s plea to Cordelia may be seen to reflect a desire for redemption. ‘Pray you now, forget and forgive; I am old and foolish’ , is ambiguous as it blurs the idea of redemption and simple forgiveness, an ambiguity further complicated in that ‘you’ is omitted in the folio edition .
    Yet the idea that Lear ‘falls only to rise’ , recognises his mistakes and achieves some form of redemption and elevated knowledge before death seems to gloss over the fact that Lear cannot escape the foolishness (‘natural fool’ ) which characterises the entrapment of old age and epitomises the tragedy of the human condition. Lear has become or, if he was always so, has come to recognise that he is, the ‘bitter fool’ that we were told by the Fool early on would ‘presently appear’ . He cannot escape this condition and so cannot achieve redemption. He dies calling ‘look on her: look, her lips’ , interpreted by Bradley amongst others as showing that he thinks Cordelia might be alive. Some suggest this offers redemption, if Lear is saved from acknowledging his daughter’s death he can die hoping her to be alive , but they are surely wrong: Cordelia is dead, so his words are delusional if denying this, and redemption must come with truth. Furthermore, even if this is not what Lear means, his request that others ‘look’ seems to go unnoticed, he dies without assurance that they have looked or seen anything – his final question goes unanswered.
    This is not to deny the idea that Lear ‘is represented as a character making perpetual discoveries’ , but, rather, to suggest that these discoveries are ultimately impotent (he discovers this, too): Lear’s understanding of his own foolishness cannot give any sense of catharsis. He comprehends his situation but is unable to alter it, and he sees this too. Lear says that he is ‘old and foolish’ rather than that he is old and has been foolish, thus he sees his foolishness as a state of being rather than an action – he is a ‘natural fool’, and can no more escape this condition than he can escape old age - it is a part of his ‘second childishness’. His most profound desires and actions are made trivial and ridiculous: Edgar mocks him during the trial scene, he howls like an animal upon Cordelia’s death, trying to test if she is alive with the aid of a feather or looking glass – fooling around, it seems.
    Gloucester (seemingly ignored by critics reading ‘King Lear’ in search of a moral tale of redemption, surely because he makes such readings problematical) had earlier called on the gods to ‘shake (his) great affliction off’ before his attempt at suicide, but later disappears from the play denied redemption. Like Lear, he is childlike, foolish and, ultimately, vulnerable, and his inability to understand his entrapment in the way that Lear seems to, reinforces this idea of ultimate impotence and inability, the tragedy of the human condition. Both men leave the realm of social and political concerns early on, arguably because of old age, and both become exposed to (and in Lear’s case, aware of) their ultimate fragility. The motif of the wheel of fortune, traditionally political, represents life and the ultimate fate of humanity – political life the springboard from which we move to explore life as a human condition. Lear and Gloucester are caught in a cycle which leads them to their death, ‘I am bound upon a wheel of fire that mine own tears Do scald like molten lead’ and though they pray to be forgiven and their mistakes to be forgotten (‘Pray you now, forget and forgive’ ) they are, in the end, ‘old and foolish’ , and denied this closure. Their old age, moving them ‘towards death’ and exposed by their political banishment is a vehicle through which we explore their ultimate fate, and their powerlessness, as children and fools, to escape it.

    ‘British fictional writing in the decade or so after 1945 tends to resort to nostalgia as a defence against a threatening and anxious sense of dislocation’. Discuss this observation with reference to nostalgia and dislocation both in fiction and poetry written during the post war period

    Literature of the post-war period is often concerned with a sense of socio-political and individualistic, emotional, dislocation. The idea of a new state founded on welfare capitalism which promised a fairer society and greater class mobility was welcomed by some but viewed with hostility by others who felt the ‘agony..(of) the disruption of class relations’ , feared the decline of British, and at times English, tradition, and/or were sceptical as to the likelihood, or even the possibility, of success. Furthermore, the challenge of reconciling the events of the war with a wider social and cultural progression complicated literary expression of such immediate concerns. Modernism, with fragmented and insular narratives, intended to express the limitations of modernity, the implications of industrialisation and the frustrations in trying to escape from a method of cultural production which was, according to critics developing Marxist ideas, an inescapable ideological formation . This attempt at transcendence, motivated by ‘notions of cultural apocalypse and disaster’ continued, and was widely acclaimed, but other prominent writers expressed a desire to assert placement and temporality, to reinstate conscious consideration of and engagement with recent issues and, in the face of immediate personal dislocation, seemed to set themselves against a style of writing which seemed to view dislocation as the desirable property of the philosophically agile. Though crude, as the shadow of the war was complex, we might say that the horror of the reality of war, ‘black-outs, evacuees, rationing, aerial bombardment and industrial mobilization’ , had displaced the relevance of an enquiry into the uncertainty of reality .Events of the Second World War had, for these writers, changed the chronology of cultural progression. The use of nostalgia, a return to pastoral, the evocation of emotion and the bittersweet presence of memory, seemed to express a desire to regain some sense of location and tradition in a fragmented society seemingly intent on rebirth. There seems also to be a need to reinstate the significance of social, spatial and temporal concerns in a cultural tradition which seemed to seek dislocation to counteract the notion of entrapment implied by location. Furthermore, later writers seem to develop this to combine incorporation and transcendence, to offer desirable dislocation whilst, paradoxically, combating a sense of disconcerting immediate social dislocation.
    Evelyn Waugh’s vision of an estate in ‘Brideshead Revisited’ places main protagonist Charles on the brink of change. In the prologue, now at war, Charles observes at Brideshead ‘an exquisite man made landscape’ , ‘planted a century and a half ago so that, at about this date, it might be seen in its maturity’ ; the garden, a symbol of refined society, human achievement and, to some extent, humanity, is threatened – after this point it will be in decline and debased. ‘Maturity’ seems to hint at a loss of innocence, in this context seeming an illusion to Eden, even, which might be associated with the disruption of warfare. Soldiers’ frolicking in the fountain implies destruction, by soldiers like Hooper, of the classical pastoral vision which may serve as a metaphor for society, where, in social terms, the lower classes are characterised by the bleak urbanity of industry: ‘the age of Hooper is hard on the heels of the pastoral dream’ . Waugh’s topical anxiety is that the war brings the climax of a developing threat to the established upper class with a spatial and temporal dislocation – places, symbols of establishment and tradition, are destroyed. The gentile class, imperfect but supposedly loveable, as implied in the complicated familial relationships of Sebastian’s parent and siblings, are under threat – and so Sebastian, true to his name (a Dickensian choice on Waugh’s part), takes ‘Flyte’. This is not to say that Sebastian’s decline is purely social, but that we can recognise that the trajectory of Sebastian’s caricatured extravagance and ultimate corruption contributes to the sense that the family are a dying breed, and that this is to be lamented.
    Nostalgia manifests as a reminder of what is lost and cultural references, beyond the obvious symbolism of the estate, for example?? leave the reader, inheriting Waugh’s anxieties, wondering what sort of a future can be constructed from a present so forcibly detached from the past. The pastoral is displaced, ironically, by the threat of ‘“another jungle closing in”’ , Charles’ response to his wife’s relating how his barn and a Georgian public house were being adapted from ‘traditional material to modern needs’ . Charles compares modernity to barbarism and this fits with the formal construction of the text, too – the perceived ‘present’ is dominated by violence and destruction while the past is romanticised, and the path from the ideal to the current state is explained. The novel is a sort of nostalgic frame narrative, a form which makes the reader feel the dislocation of the high class, but also, paradoxically, forces the dislocation of the reader who, in sympathy with Charles, may lament the existence of a social class and associated values. If there is reluctance to go on, however, there is also a suggestion of inevitability. Charles reflects, ‘despite this isolation and this long sojourn in a strange world, I remained unchanged, still a small part of myself pretending to be whole’ . This is perhaps a nod to the clinical fragmented narratives that characterise Modernist writing; the suggestion that Charles is ‘unchanged’ in his fragmented state seems almost complicit. Yet what is different and, arguably, topically relevant, about Waugh’s writing is an exploration of causality, an acknowledgement of social considerations and a pragmatic approach to exploration of individual dislocation prompted, though not entirely caused, by the war, and this is a wholly anti-modernist approach .
    Yet Waugh’s novel, whilst ‘satirising the modernist desire’ in a common post-war fashion, is a documentation of the fates of the upper class, in the first person mode. ‘Brideshead Revisited’ has been seen as a symbol of Waugh’s ‘impatience with the idea of a people’s war’ , a conscious dislocation of the upper class experience of war (as in the difference between Charles and Hooper). Other authors have been seen to show a move towards the ‘neo-realist’ , with the documentation of the everyday lives of ‘ordinary’ people, and the shared sense of dislocation in which the individual is ostracised from all society. A Historicist method attributing all elements of a post-war text to a writers’ personal socio-political or emotional engagement with the war may see this as a consequence of the class levelling effect of the war, as well as the increased participation in culture previously reserved for the intelligentsia . Yet we may also see such developments as symptomatic of a more long term socio-political and, importantly, cultural trends, the natural development of a literature dislocated by Modernism, and authors who wanted to be useful rather than just aesthetic .
    George Orwell’s early fiction had looked to the romanticised world of childhood , a subjective and individualist response to a sense of dislocation in modern society and a traditional form of nostalgic escapism. After the war, however, Orwell’s most anxious writing reflected a frustration with what the war may have seemed to represent – destruction of Marxist faith in social harmony and transcendence. In ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’ and ‘Animal Farm’ Orwell presents a critique of modern society as well as cynicism regarding the sustainability of socialism (the ultimate opposite of dislocation). Progress is denied. In some ways, the political anxiety of these two novels may be seen as working along the same lines as Waugh: though Orwell’s society is a new, scientific, industrial society, as in Waugh, the threat is temporal and immediate. The present depends upon a socially constructed past: ‘‘who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past’’ . The only attainable moment is that of the present, the past is destroyed (like Brideshead) and the future is uncertain: the reader is subsequently dislocated. Orwell’s society functions by ‘reality control’ and culture is controlled (this has links to Marxist ideology, too). A questionable reality (temporal dislocation and a persistent focus on observation and perception) is ruled by a state manufactured cultural symbol : the fears of Modernism actualised . Whether he knew it or not, in Oceania, Orwell seems to have, paradoxically, articulated a comprehensible Modernist state. But Orwell’s depiction of Winston’s experience is opposed to the Modernist mode of dislocation as a response to society – this exile is shown to be as futile as integration, and Orwell can offer us only a paradoxical lack of resolution.
    What prevents the text from seeming a Modernist narrative of questionable solipsism in a dystopian socio-political context (a paradox, but this is what such dislocation might seem) is Orwell’s insistence on nostalgia. In ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’ nostalgia is physical locations, destinations for escape for Julia and Winston: the field in which they meet (the hint of pastoral suggests traditional natural escapism) and consummate their love, the lanes of the proles and the room above Mr Charrington’s shop are offered as comfort and fill the fragmentary narrative . And these places are invested with emotion, most particularly, love. Love is associated with the past, and with places, and it is love which almost redeems Winston from a sense of dislocation by providing a temporary space for the location of self. At the end of the novel, when we think all has been destroyed, Orwell offers a paradoxical glimmer of hope in Winston’s ‘false memory’ of his mother; total integration (which is, paradoxically, dislocation) is complicated because nostalgia, it is suggested, is internalised now, in memory. The difficulties of this memory are complex, and the fact that it is deemed ‘false’ shows that ‘the exile could not win’ , but, unlike Modernist texts, Orwell does not destroy the appetite for resolution of this eternal dislocated state. Orwell’s reaction to the complicated post-war situation is to create a novel founded on paradox. The lack of a final resolution for the dislocated protagonist may represent a response to the complicated fragmentation and day to day dislocation of post-war society, as well as a cultural discipline struggling to revise Modernist conscious dislocation.
    The poetry and novels of Philip Larkin provide an interesting, if unexpected, point for development of this sense that literature struggled to align the immediate socio-political dislocation of the war with the dislocation of Modernist writing.

    ‘British fictional writing in the decade or so after 1945 tends to resort to nostalgia as a defence against a threatening and anxious sense of dislocation’. Discuss this observation with reference to nostalgia and dislocation both in fiction and poetry written during the post war period

    Literature of the post-war period is often concerned with a sense of socio-political and individualistic, emotional, dislocation. The post-war ‘agony(of) the disruption of class relations’ , sense of the decline of British, and at times English, tradition, and scepticism as to the likelihood, or even the possibility, of success of the welfare state are just some of the reasons for this. In literature, the challenge of reconciling the events of the war with cultural progression further complicated expression of such immediate concerns. Modernism used formal dislocation (monologue, stream of consciousness, tunnelling and de-familiarisation ) but after the war other prominent writers expressed a desire to assert placement and temporality, to consider the immediate socio-political and personal dislocation of the war in a realist style, as in Evelyn Waugh’s ‘Brideshead Revisited’, for example. In the face of an immediate and very real personal dislocation, these writers seemed to set themselves against Modernism . The harsh reality of war, ‘black-outs, evacuees, rationing, aerial bombardment and industrial mobilization’ seems to have required a new ‘neo-realist’ mode of expression. The use of nostalgia by such writers was a key feature, expressing a desire to regain some sense of location and tradition in a fragmented society and opposing a fragmented style of writing. George Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’ presents an individual trying to gain a sense of location in a dislocated society by seeking places which represent a lost way of living, just one example of how nostalgia is used to combat this sense of dislocation. Modernism was characterised by formal dislocation, yet these post-war writers wanted to create a unified expression of socio-political dislocation in a realist style, using nostalgia to give a sense of rootedness.
    Evelyn Waugh’s vision of an estate in ‘Brideshead Revisited’, 1945, places main protagonist Charles on the brink of change, dislocated from a society in which he had lived. In the prologue, now at war, Charles observes at Brideshead ‘an exquisite man made landscape’ , ‘planted a century and a half ago so that, at about this date, it might be seen in its maturity’ ; the garden, a symbol of refined society, human achievement and, to some extent, humanity, is threatened – after this point it will be in decline and debased. Soldiers’ frolicking in the fountain implies destruction, by soldiers like Hooper, of the classical pastoral vision which may serve as a metaphor for society, where, in social terms, the lower classes are characterised by the bleak urbanity of industry: ‘the age of Hooper is hard on the heels of the pastoral dream’ . Waugh’s topical anxiety is that the war brings the climax of a developing threat to the established upper class with spatial and temporal dislocation; memories of Oxford, Brideshead and Venice demonstrate what is lost.
    Nostalgia manifests as a reminder of loss and may leave the reader, inheriting Waugh’s post-war anxieties, wondering what sort of a future can be constructed from a present so forcibly detached from the past. The pastoral is displaced, ironically, by the threat of ‘“another jungle closing in”’ , Charles’ response to his wife’s relating how his barn and a Georgian public house were being adapted from ‘traditional material to modern needs’ . Charles compares modernity to barbaric primitivism and this fits with the formal construction of the text, too – the perceived ‘present’ is dominated by violence and destruction, an urban jungle of warfare, while the past is romanticised. The scenes of Charles’ paintings may reflect this change from the romantic, complete location (as in the paintings of Brideshead) to the dislocation of modernity (an urban jungle), and, expressed in terms of art, this can be linked to the idea that Modernism doesn’t offer the comfort that can be found in the clarity of perception of realism. We gain an overall sense of longing for a tangible past as nostalgia expresses the sense of present dislocation. Charles reflects, ‘I remained unchanged, still a small part of myself pretending to be whole’ . The suggestion that Charles is ‘unchanged’ in his fragmented state seems almost complicit with Modernism, yet what is different about Waugh’s writing is an ability to express dislocation in a realist mode, explore causality and acknowledge social considerations. This pragmatic approach to exploration of individual dislocation seems a wholly anti-modernist approach .
    Waugh’s novel may be seen to be a documentation of the fates of only the upper class, in the first person mode, and in this sense perhaps doesn’t quite represent the universality of dislocation that was a prevalent theme in post-war writing. More common, we can argue, and symptomatic of a greater manifestation of realist ideals, is a move towards the documentation of the everyday lives of ‘ordinary’ individual people , and the depiction of a paradoxically shared sense of dislocation. Patrick Hamilton’s ‘Slaves of Solitude’, 1947, using a realist mode of writing, evokes this sense in its depiction of a group of people in a boarding house, a sort of microcosm of society in which each individual must exist in the solitude of a single room. Miss Roach, the main protagonist of the novel, has been literally dislocated by the war as she was forced to move out of central London into the suburbs. Interestingly, Hamilton takes an intimate, personal approach to the dislocation of the war in his portrayal of the social ostracising of Miss Roach by Vicki and the Lieutenant. Though Miss Roach doesn’t realise it, this dislocation (eventually culminating in her moving home, once again) may be seen as an attempt by Hamilton to articulate the intimate dislocation of the war – Vicki and the Lieutenant are present only because of the war.
    Continuing the engagement with specifically post-war concerns, George Orwell’s novels ‘Animal Farm’, 1945, and ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’, 1949 reflect an anxious frustration with the social dislocation that the war may have seemed to represent. Orwell explores this from a cynically socialist perspective by suggesting the destruction of Marxist faith in social harmony and society working towards a better future. The sense that Marxist ideology was out of date after the war may be seen as further enhancing the sense of personal dislocation in the post-war climate, as the notion of a unified society was undermined by the destruction of the war. In these two novels Orwell presents a critique of modern society and cynicism regarding the sustainability of socialism (the ultimate opposite of dislocation). In some ways, political anxiety may be seen as working along the same lines as Waugh: as in Waugh, dislocation in ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’ is temporal and immediate. The present depends upon a socially constructed past: ‘‘who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past’’ . The only attainable moment is that of the present, the past is destroyed (like Brideshead) and the future is uncertain: the reader is subsequently temporally dislocated. A questionable reality is ruled by a state manufactured cultural symbol . The fears of Modernism are actualised , but the dislocation of the state is poignantly related to post-war concerns, and Orwell’s depiction of Winston’s experience of individual dislocation is opposed to the Modernist mode of dislocation.
    What prevents the text from seeming a Modernist narrative of questionable solipsism in a dystopian socio-political context is Orwell’s insistence on tangible nostalgia. In ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’ nostalgia is physical, destinations for escape for Julia and Winston. The field in which they meet (the hint of pastoral suggests traditional literary use of nature as a symbol of escapism, thus rooting the text in the realist tradition as well as physical reality) and consummate their love is described by Winston as ‘the Golden Country’ in contrast to ‘the reality... London, vast and ruinous’ . The lanes of the proles and the room above Mr Charrington’s shop are offered as comfort in an otherwise bleak narrative , and Winston expresses a desire to get inside the glass paperweight, which offered depth and ‘a sort of eternity’ . And these places are invested with emotion, most particularly, love. Love is associated with the past, and with places and objects, and it is this which almost redeems Winston from a sense of dislocation by providing a sense of past and future.
    At the end of the novel, when we think all, even the hope of nostalgia, has been destroyed, Orwell offers a paradoxical glimmer of hope in Winston’s ‘false memory’ of his mother. Nostalgia, it is suggested, is internalised now, in memory. Though the memory is said to be ‘false’, in rooting it in physicality (it is based around an object – the snakes and ladders board) Orwell continues to fight dislocation by providing realistic nostalgia. The difficulties of this last memory are complex, and the fact that it is deemed ‘false’ shows that ‘the exile could not win’ , yet Orwell, paradoxically, does not destroy the appetite or potential for resolution of this dislocated state. Orwell’s reaction to the complicated post-war situation is to acknowledge dislocation but, formally, through nostalgia and realism, struggle against it. Orwell’s novels seem to reflect a trend noted by Sinfield – the desire to be useful rather than just aesthetic ; though Orwell does not offer a reconciliatory solution to dislocation, he, like Waugh, gives a socio-political causality, and, through nostalgia, discusses topical concerns and documents the desire to escape the post-war sense of dislocation: the difference between this and Modernist writing.
    We can see that much of the literature after the war focused upon the sense of socio-political dislocation prevalent after the war, but also that one of the defining characteristics of British post war writing was a unity in form, a neo-realist style used to give a unity of expression to the fragmented dislocation of post-war society, and to combat the aesthetic dislocation of Modernist writing. Paradoxically, perhaps, as the climax of dislocation was epitomised in the war, these authors turned away from Modernist fragmented narratives to piece together a post-war concerns in a way that could be understood as much as felt, to articulate the sense of loss that characterised the post-war mood, often through nostalgia: the representation of a lost past.




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