Substance into Shadow: starvation and death in Arnold Bennett's Riceyman Steps

Asbee, Sue (2011). Substance into Shadow: starvation and death in Arnold Bennett's Riceyman Steps. Double Dialogues: The Hunger Artists, 2011(15)

URL: http://doubledialogues.com/issue_fifteen/asbee.htm...

Abstract

This article focuses on Bennett’s novel Riceyman Steps (1923) and examines the interdependent themes of food (and its rejection), sex and money in the context of post-First World War London. Bennett’s interest in new developments in psychology is apparent in the detailed descriptions of desire, self-denial and deprivation in this novel, first published a year after Virginia Woolf’s Jacob’s Room and T.S.Eliot’s The Waste Land. Close analysis of groups of imagery within the novel reveals that Earlforward, the protagonist, refuses to eat in an effort to maintain his autonomy, control of his household, and ‘the inaccessible secrets of his mind’ in the face of invasion; a miser, his home is a sealed fortress until the arrival of his new wife and the maid. Starvation is commonly considered a female preserve, which makes the gender implications of Bennett’s protagonist the more interesting.

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About

  • Item ORO ID
  • 38571
  • Item Type
  • Journal Item
  • ISSN
  • 1447-9591
  • Keywords
  • Arnold Bennett; pathography; illness and literature
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2011 Double Dialogues
  • Depositing User
  • Sue Asbee

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