Fay Weldon Long Fiction Analysis
Fay Weldon’s fiction explores women’s lives with wit and humor in the cause of a determined opposition to the clichés of romantic fiction. Weldon is caustic in her implicit condemnation of injustice but avoids preaching by satirizing both sides of every issue and by revealing the gulf between what characters say and what they do. Despite their realistic settings, her novels blend fable, myth, and the fantastic with satire, farce, and outlandish coincidence; the combination produces highly distinctive tragicomedies of manners.
Weldon’s admiration for writers such as Jane Austen (whose work she has adapted for television) is expressed openly in Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen, but it is also evident from the parallels in Weldon’s own work. In a typical early Weldon novel, a limited cast of characters interacts in a defined setting. A series of misunderstandings or trivial coincidences initiates the action, which then takes on a momentum of its own, carrying all along with it until an equally trivial series of explanations or coincidences brings closure and a resolution that restores all to their proper place. The theme is often a minor domestic drama, such as a marital crisis, rather than an epic upheaval, but such personal interactions are seen to represent in microcosm society as a whole and therefore have a universal appeal.
Over time, her novels have become more wide-ranging in their settings, narrative...
(The entire section is 3065 words.)
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