“Deadlier than the male”: antifeminist satire in the works of P.G. Wodehouse and Evelyn Waugh

Buckingham, Daniel Adrian (2019). “Deadlier than the male”: antifeminist satire in the works of P.G. Wodehouse and Evelyn Waugh. University of Birmingham. M.A.

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This thesis explores the short stories and novels pertaining to P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves, alongside the early novels of Evelyn Waugh, in particular Decline and Fall (1928) and A Handful of Dust (1934). Two strands run through this thesis: the argument that these works can, and should, be read as antifeminist satires, and an exploration of the reasons for, and consequences of, the relative neglect of this reading in extant scholarship on Wodehouse and Waugh. Chapter I offers a review of recent critical works pertaining to these writers, identifying the mechanisms by which their unpalatable satire is neglected or tacitly defended, while offering counter-readings which place their works in the tradition of antifeminist satire. Chapter II builds on the notion of satire as at once traditional and insidious, exploring texts through the satirical strategies of generic inhabitation and parody. Chapter III establishes, via discussion of cinematic, televisual, and textual adaptation, that such insidious censure and critical apology has allowed this troubling satire to endure and proliferate up to the present. The thesis concludes with a discussion of the implications of such endurance in the context of satire’s potential efficacy, and gestures towards the responsibilities inherent in critical engagement with troubling satire.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.A.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.A.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of English Literature
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/8996


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