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Title: The cost of community : the novels of Raymond Williams
Author: Newell Roberts, Gwyneth
Awarding Body: Aberystwyth University
Current Institution: Aberystwyth University
Date of Award: 1992
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Although well known for his work in the field of cultural studies, Raymond Williams' parallel career as a novelist has received little critical attention, despite the fact that he himself considered his fiction to be his most significant achievement. The purpose of this thesis is to correct that neglect by subjecting Williams' novels to close critical scrutiny. I focus primarily on Williams' notion of the ideal or 'knowable' community, as it is reflected in his novels. A model of community based upon the male-dominated, socialist, working-class environment in which he spent his childhood. This study is divided into three parts. Part One concentrates on the plight of educationally mobile working-class intellectuals: Williams is concerned to deny any tension in the relations between such characters and their natal communities. However, the novels show that he must impose a series of false solutions in order to mask the conflicts to which this configuration gives rise. Part Two examines the role of women in the novels. It suggests that they are marginalised by the nature of the community envisaged by Williams, and bear the most tangible cost of maintaining the community. This involves a discussion of Williams' approach to women's issues and exposes an ambivalence between his fiction and his political writings. Part Three focuses on Williams' strong sense of the land and his intense attachment to the Welsh border country. Williams' characters increasingly draw upon the history of their rural working-class families in order to sustain their own sense of connection to the community. This is achieved in part by an emphasis upon spiritual empathy with the landscape, which transcends the personal tensions between individual and community.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available