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Title: The social origins of Shavian drama.
Author: Sparks, Colin Stuart.
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 1988
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This thesis is concerned to show how the plays of George Bernard Shaw were the product of the historical circumstances in which they were written. Recent Marxist writing on the problem of determination is critically reviewed and an alternative solution, drawing on Lukacs and Goldmann, is proposed. It is argued that the 'world vision' articulated in a particular work can only be understood as a 'projection' based upon the historical circumstances of its production. The Fabian Society is located within the class structure of Britain and the nature of their political ideas examined. They are shown to be a group of intellectuals who aspired to a 'state capitalist' society but who found it difficult to identify an agency to achieve this. Shaw's early writings are shown to have the elements of the 'analytic' aspects of the Fabianism but only when he developed into a central thinker of this current could he complete his world vision with an 'executive' element. This allowed him to shift to playwriting. His plays are shown to be concerned with the same problem of agency as are the political writings. The ways in which this was handled was a product of the changing historical circumstances.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available