Elizabeth Madox Roberts Long Fiction Analysis - Essay

Elizabeth Madox Roberts Long Fiction Analysis

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Although commentators on Elizabeth Madox Roberts like to describe her main theme in such terms as “the ordering of chaos” or “the triumph of spirit over matter,” one need not be so high-minded and vague. A hardheaded Kentucky version of her major theme would be more specific: ownership of the land. This theme reflects an old, revered attitude in Kentucky, where in some parts even today one can be shot for trespassing. The theme also reflects an old, revered American (even Anglo-Saxon) attitude, a pioneer urge to settle and possess, if necessary by violence—an urge that today achieves its debased avatar in the mass media and advertising.

In its gentler, more settled aspects, however, Roberts’s theme embodies...

(The entire section is 3462 words.)