Irreconcilable differences : modernist representations of class and gender in the early work (1911-1936) of Rebecca West Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/z890rx19j

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  • This thesis on Rebecca West's writing (1911-1936) addresses the relationship between her polemical essays and her fiction, exploring modernist representations of class and gender differences and conflicts. West expresses a view of gender and class relations in early twentieth century Great Britain that is based on opposed and dichotomous pairs which cannot be deconstructed. Multiple and shifting tensions between socially constructed versus essentialist views emerge through representations of war, marriage, female bodies, and social bodies. I provide an analysis of several of West's political articles published in The Clarion and in The New Republic from 19/1-/916, and two novels, The Return of the Soldier (1918) and The Thinking Reed (1936). I argue for a reading of West's work that does not attempt to reconcile the contradictions therein, but rather examines them as "irreconcilable differences." Reading West's work in this way allows for an understanding of West's view of the paradoxical nature of gender and class relations, as well as what Marshall Berman termed the "paradoxical unity" of modernism.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Linda Kathman(linda.kathman@oregonstate.edu) on 2008-03-25T14:32:27Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 Pence_Peggy_D_1998.pdf: 534862 bytes, checksum: bcc7cf9c7bdeda5503f77b92ce115f38 (MD5)
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