By Harry Blamires (auth.)
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Extra resources for Twentieth-Century English Literature
Man and Superman (1903), a study of the life-force in action, in the shape of Ann Whitfield's sexual chase after the Shavian radical, John Tanner, has a 30 TWENTIETH-CENTURY ENGIlSH LITERATURE cohesion that is not at all enhanced by the insertion of a massive dream-debate on the topic in question. Back to Methuselah (1921), a five-act parable of Creative Evolution which takes a whole day to perform and surveys mankind from the Garden of Eden to a time thirty thousand years hence in the effort to prove man's span of life too short, in the event proves chiefly that a play can be much too long.
Bacon resists such proposed changes as marrying off Juliet to Paris and reconciling Romeo with Rosaline at the end of Romeo and jul£et. The slump in Baring's appeal as a writer is no doubt due to his donnish lack of the common touch. ' Controversy between Chesterton and Shaw was a running public entertainment. It was not Shaw's socialism as such that offended Chesterton, but Shaw's puritanism, the outer sign of which was his teetotalism and vegetarianism, the inner substance of which was an earnest moralism disentangled from roots in Christian supernaturalism.
II Society under judgment R. H. Mottram once described John Galsworthy (18671933) as the 'pure central type Englishman'. Galsworthy acquired this image partly from his personal inheritance as a member of a wealthy family of yeoman stock, educated at Harrow and Oxford, called to the Bar, and rich enough to live without work. It also derives from the scope of his significant work in fiction and drama. The Forsyte Saga traces the course of a solid English upper-middle-class family between 1886 and the 1920s, while the drama expresses the awakenings of conscience in the same class, Galsworthy's own, in the face of the evident social injustice and tension its ascendancy involved.