Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Literature of the 1940s: War, Postwar and "Peace"Volume 5$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Gill Plain

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748627448

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748627448.001.0001

Show Summary Details



(p.206) Chapter Seven Adjusting
Literature of the 1940s: War, Postwar and "Peace"

Gill Plain

Edinburgh University Press

In contrast to the texts of the previous chapter, ‘Adjusting’ examines the postwar imperative of normalisation and the business of imaginatively reconstructing society. Opening with a comparison of J. B. Priestley’s social realism and Charles Williams’ mysticism, the chapter explores fictions of demobilisation and attitudes towards the postwar world. Taking as a keynote the questions posed by the filmmaker Humphrey Jennings, consideration is given to issues of class, social justice and the figure of the child. How, ask writers such as Marghanita Laski, can a better world be built for the next generation? This mode of reconstructive writing debates the impetus behind the Labour election victory of 1945, and these preoccupations can also be traced in very different modes of theatrical practice in the postwar years. Dramatists, from Priestley, to Christopher Fry, to Terence Rattigan use history as a space through which to debate contemporary politics and the hopes and expectations of postwar society. The chapter ends with a return to crime fiction, which attempts a return to normality through social comedy and the restoration of the individual body to cultural centrality.

Keywords:   Denial, Normalisation, Reconstruction, Demobilisation, Justice, Documentary, Cinema, Children, Theatre, Labour party

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.