Evelyn Waugh Undergraduate Essay

Evelyn Waugh Undergraduate Essay-70
The disparity between what the character accepts and what the reader knows is right often provides the comic element….

The disparity between what the character accepts and what the reader knows is right often provides the comic element….Waugh's ideas, as we derive them from his later books, are too unconsidered to stand successfully separated from the comic devices which mask, strengthen, and give substance to them.

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His comic approach precluded his worshiping at any altar, and when he did so, method clashed with subject matter….

Waugh has often been called a satirist, but satire presupposes belief, doctrine, dogma.

Brideshead Revisited first established Evelyn Waugh as a "Catholic novelist" (to use a term that is surely something of a kiss of death), but many readers found his association of Catholicism and aristocratic virtues, the identification of House and City, arbitrary in the extreme….

It is impossible to read A Handful of Dust and then Brideshead Revisited without feeling the force of Mr.

In escaping them, apparently, one embraces the commonplace and tedious….

Waugh avoids issues, decisions, controversy, for all the world is the object of his farce.

Stated directly, his attitudes—politically and socially reactionary, prejudicial, contentious, snobbish, aristocratic—are no more effective than those of the outrageous newspaper magnates he guyed so unmercifully in his early novels. There is a view of Evelyn Waugh's fiction which is becoming increasingly familiar….

When he could lampoon all ideas, his own as well, Waugh had secure purchase on ground that was his alone; but when either because of age, success, or artistic belief he let down the comic mask and spoke personally, then his novels lost their style. Karl, "The World of Evelyn Waugh: The Normally Insane," in his A Reader's Guide to the Contemporary English Novel (reprinted with the permission of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc.; © 1962 by Frederick R. This view sees Waugh as turning quite early from the nihilistic fun of his first two novels, Decline and Fall and Vile Bodies, to a kind of Tory romanticism, evident as early as 1934 in A Handful of Dust.

Waugh's characters, rarely recognizing their limitations, and never apologizing, throw themselves fully into life.

When they meet obstacles that they had not dreamed existed and their ultimate power is questioned, then Waugh has a comic situation.

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