The importance of being Irish

The importance of being Irish

April 18, 2018

Irish nationalism is all too often seen as the battle ground of men, occupying city post offices and exchanging furious rhetoric, a generalisation that sees women marginalised. In actuality, women were linked to the very core of nationalism not only, as critcs like Eagles note, because of their involvement in radicalism but because the very […]

London’s education system

April 11, 2018

The Education Act of 1870, providing public support for elementary education– an increasingly important device for socializing and controlling the working class–was an excellent example of this subtle process of domination, especially coming so soon after the ‘labour aristocracy’ achieved enfranchisement as a result of the 1867 Reform Act. But there was another important aspect […]

Life in the burbs

Newsletters are the hallmark of suburbia, the reminder that you have moved out of the city and into its middle classes. They might feature a section called Environmental Update, which informs residents that “the wetlands area will be reclaimed this spring and wild flowers planted… .with every effort made to eradicate poison ivy.” Similarly, understanding […]

Singers in the East

eauty is inherent in the world and we have only to tune into it. Some beauty speaks particularly forcefully, other beauty exists in quiet delight. Great beauty may reside in forgotten places. Wherever it is and however it presents itself, thinking of beauty as resonance gives us new ways to find and appreciate it. Walking […]

Climbing the London Ladder

March 26, 2018

‘Society’ means class society–to be more concrete, in this context it means capitalist class society–and it is the evolving struggle between classes which constitutes the dynano at the basis of the process of urban developnent. Let us examine this assertion. In this society, as in most existing and previous societies, there is a basic contradiction […]

No room at the inn

The issue of housing in London is not a new one. The popular literature of the housing problem during the early 1980’s and were more systematically aired before the Royal Commission on the Housing of the   Working Classes in 1984-5. Far from being a dwindling enclave, as the Marshallian view would have it, the ‘residuum’ […]

Centralised appeal

The incessant fluctuations and low wages in the casual labour market have made thrift and punctuality impossible–irrespective of character. But the scheme was important in two ways. It was a means of directly controlling and socializing workers who had not yet inculcated capitalist values and behavioural norms and who were never employed long enough by […]

Call Girls Confess

February 26, 2018

Ok, so this is so cliched. I know, I know, it’s been done before. Done so well it got a tv show and seemingly everyone seems to know about it now. Done so well it’s actually become ingrained in social culture to the point where no one even bats an eyelid if they see you reading that […]

Parle Vous Francais

February 21, 2018

The history of the French feminist movement is the history of French women’s claims to the individualism and citizenship already granted to their male counterparts, at least on principle, in 1789 and more realistically in 1848 with universal male suffrage. In trying to achieve the recognition or equality that many women believed matched their participation […]

How Woolf establishes character

February 18, 2018

  In general Woolf avoids summative descriptions of characters, instead she favours invoking impressions by delivering fragments of character.   What does exactly does that mean? Well first of all it means you’re unlucky to find many solid biographical details about characters neatly arranged for you to digest If you look at quote (1) on […]

A Great Scottish Tradition

February 13, 2018

A Great Scottish Tradition   Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o’ the pudding-race!   These carefully chosen words, that ring out in happy halls across the British isles every year, were dedicated to the mighty Haggis in Robert Burns’ playful Ode to a Haggis. A few years after his sad demise, a […]

Oriental Landscapes

February 8, 2018

  While Western art takes as its template geometry and the human body, the Japanese template is nature. “Sabi”, the Japanese word describing the well matured, the mellowed, the object with the patina of age, describes beauty of the highest order. The traditional Japanese sense of beauty is probably the central element of Japanese culture […]

Ideas of the self

February 7, 2018

James Hillman (1992) in The Practice of Beauty was convinced that one of the reasons for the repression of beauty in our culture is that beauty is supposed to be good for us. The repressed in our society, said Hillman, “is not what we usually suppose: violence, misogyny, sexuality, childhood, emotions and feeling, or even […]


February 5, 2018

Arthur Miller also allows the audience to view Abigail Williams as a tragic victim. It can be considered that due to relevant background details she could be portrayed in a more sympathetic light. Abigail’s parents died when she was young, hence defining her as an orphan. A traumatic experience such as this may well have […]

Salem and witchcraft

February 4, 2018

The main female characters of the dread Crucible, who accuses many villagers in the town of Salem, of witchcraft. Arthur Miller skilfully allows the audience to see her as both tragic villain and victim, through the means of stage direction and language. Abigail Williams could be seen as a tragic villain throughout ‘The Crucible’. She […]


February 3, 2018

  The use  of multiplicity in language- a technique derived primarily from Medieval morality and Terentian play-  was a defining aspect of Elizabethan drama; so much so that Jonas.A.Barish defines the period as an attempt to ‘jam a whole linguistic universe into a word or a phrase’  Its use is particularly apparent in the plays […]

Times two

February 1, 2018

In contrast to this idea of multiplicity within a structured framework being used to concentrate elements together into a tangible form, Hamlet Act3, SC2 demonstrates how multiplicity can be used to cause a confusion that unravels any definitive explanation. Thoroughout theplay, Hamlet’s diction is filled with so many meanings and interpretations that Polonius- a figure […]

Luminous Halo

January 31, 2018

There is an obvious issue with arguing that Woolf’s fiction and her characters are ‘realistic’ portrayals. In many of her novels, the reader is allowed insight into the thoughts and minds of characters and many of these thoughts are relayed through a narrator via indirect free speech. If one views Woolf’s presentation of life as […]

Realistic Representations

  The last relevant recurrence that Trodd notes in Edwardian literature is that it sought to be realistic in its representation and “modelled its language on historical writings, […] biography and […] journalism.” In Woolf’s eyes this was the equivalent of coming to a sudden vision of true revelation and enlightenment, and then trying to […]

Character in Fiction

Virginia Woolf’s essay, ‘Character in Fiction’, is among the most influential and revealing of her notoriously profligate career. Often seen as one of Woolf’s great declaration of stylistic intent, it’s particularly remarkable because of the way that it establishes her own mantra in opposition to others. As Aleksandar Stevic notes “it is typical of Woolf […]

The Edwardian Convention

There were few authors that were as explicitly and comprehensively rejected by Virginia Woolf as the Edwardians were and it is clear that Woolf wanted nothing more than to be an anti Edwardian- a Georgian. Although she found their attempts to represent reality admirable, Woolf was dismayed at the lack of finesse and vivacity they […]

Freedom or repression?

January 30, 2018

The portrayal of sexuality in Visions of the Daughters of Albion is somewhat complicated by the continued use of the word virgin in the sections that seem to promote the freedom of sexuality.   This bizarre conflegration is seen vividly in the lines “to catch virgin joy/And brand it with the name of whore”. At first, […]

What is the light

January 25, 2018

We change, one flying after another, so quick, so quick, yet we are somehow successive and continuous, we human beings, and show the light through. But what is the light?   “What is the light?” a question that hangs in every corner of Virginia Woolf’s writing,  like the half seen strands of a shadowy spider’s […]

Greater Love

Owen’s scepticism in Greater Love is a fantastic example of the merits of scepticism. It is directed towards the prophaganda and falsification of the First World War, which it personifies in the figurehead of British Pride, Brittania. Whilst poets such Siegfried Sassoon attacked the portrayal of war with stark pieces like Suicide in the Trenches, […]

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