Elizabeth Jolley Long Fiction Analysis

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

In “Self Portrait: A Child Went Forth,” a personal commentary in the one-volume collection Stories (1984), Elizabeth Jolley muses on the frequency with which the theme of exile appears in her works. Often her major characters are lonely, physically or emotionally alienated from their surroundings, living imaginatively in friendlier, more interesting environments. Because of their loneliness, they reach out, often to grasping or selfish partners, who inevitably disappoint them. For Jolley’s lonely spinster, widow, or divorcée, the beloved may be another woman. Sometimes, however, the yearning takes a different form, and the beloved is not a person but a place, like the homes of the old men in Mr. Scobie’s...

(The entire section is 3527 words.)