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|Title:||Myth, Metaphor and Symbol in the Early Novels of Morley Callaghan|
|Authors:||Bonkoff, Louise Marion|
|Keywords:||English;English Language and Literature;English Language and Literature|
|Abstract:||<p>In the memoir That Summer in Paris, Morley Callaghan's vehemence regarding metaphor is pronounced. He is critical of writing that, in his view, examines the object in terms of some other thing and he insists upon a direct relationship between language and what is being described. Reflecting his expressed convictions, Callaghan's own writing style in the early novels is plain, at times even prosaic, seemingly stripped of shading and nuance. Callaghan's protagonists correspond to his style for they are all "ordinary" in the sense that they do not experience extremes either of wealth or poverty, heroism or ignominity, power or impotence. A close examination of the early novels reveals, however, that although his style is plain, it is far from simple and Callaghan himself uses metaphor, myth and symbol abundantly in his writing. Each of his protagonists, though "ordinary", is confronted with a profound moral dilemma whose outcome depends upon a clear, though frequently subtle perception of truth.</p> <p>In each of the early novels, the significance of seemingly unimportant detail enhances the single vision of life that Callaghan presents. In the context of each novel and the context of the early work as a whole, Callaghan's vision of life is based upon the acceptance of man as he is, neither naturally innocent nor naturally evil, but dependent upon his ability to distinguish truth from falsehood in his struggle for physical and spiritual survival. The early novels span a period of nine years, from 1925 to 1937 (More Joy in Heaven, published in 1937, is excluded in this study because of length requirements since its theme is somewhat similar to Such Is My Beloved). Callaghan's growing mastery of female characterization during this period corresponds with a decline in the influence of tangible Christian, and especially Roman Catholic symbols, such as the cathedral and its soaring spire. Without in any way diminishing the intangible values underlying the Christian faith, Callaghan emphasizes the need for individual responsibility as he probes the relationship between the recognition of truth and the survival of the contemporary human being in a materialistic, success-oriented society. By confronting myth, using symbol innovatively and employing metaphor to enhance truth and expose fraud, Callaghan's writing credo, as he sets it out in That Summer<br />in Paris, is confirmed through the early novels.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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