'A Secret Weapon': Noel Coward's politics and anti-intellectualism in \(This\) \(Happy\) \(Breed\) and \(Peace\) \(in\) \(Our\) \(Time\)

Nishimoto, Kanako (2018). 'A Secret Weapon': Noel Coward's politics and anti-intellectualism in \(This\) \(Happy\) \(Breed\) and \(Peace\) \(in\) \(Our\) \(Time\). University of Birmingham. M.A.

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This thesis examines the functions of intellectual characters in Noel Coward's This Happy Breed ( 1939) and Peace in Our Time (1947) in tenns of the playwright's own political views as well as his anti-intellectualism. In these plays, the intellectual characters are associated with certain political parties imported into Britain. Namely Communism in the fonner and Nazism in the latter, who are ousted from the texts in the end figuratively and literally respectively. The various unpublished manuscripts that I discovered in the Noel Coward Collection at the Cadbury Research Library and Noel Coward Archive by Alan Brodie Representation in London demonstrate that Coward strongly opposed the exclusive connection between the intellectual and power in politics as well as in the literary realm in order to achieve democracy in Britain. By marginalising the intellectual characters in the texts, Coward defined his own political position of anti-intellectualism, which stands in contrast to the views of his contemporary Left-wing intellectuals in the literary world such as the Bloomsbury group. This thesis, conducting these close reading of the texts, aims to reconsider and re-evaluate Noel Coward's plays in the political contexts and to provide new interpretations of these works.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.A.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.A.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of Drama and Theatre Arts
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/8239


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