Beryl Bainbridge World Literature Analysis
Bainbridge’s novels, while all very different from one another in subject, share certain characteristics. Certainly, the setting is extremely important in each of the books; indeed, the setting becomes almost another character in many of the novels. For example, a number of the novels are set during World War II or immediately thereafter in Liverpool, England. Liverpool, a dirty, industrial city, was heavily bombed during the war, and its residents lived through extreme deprivation during this time. In Bainbridge’s novels, the lower classes in particular have a difficult time putting food on the table and simply staying warm. In addition, there is a clear depiction of class-consciousness throughout all of the novels set in mid-twentieth century England. Likewise, Bainbridge’s historical fictions also offer realistic and factual details about the times and places in which they are set.
Bainbridge’s characters often share a need for intimate relationships. They are looking for love, but few can find even affection. In particular, Bainbridge’s use of sexual scenes in her books borders on the disturbing. The encounters are never tender, but rather are often darkly humorous, violent, or simply sad. While body parts engage in intimate behavior, it is as if the hearts and minds of the characters are elsewhere. There is a callousness to human interaction in Bainbridge’s novels that is at once heartbreaking and compelling.
(The entire section is 1564 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of Beryl Bainbridge Critical Essays. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!