Tag Archives: social class

Leigh, Mike (dir). Vera Drake

 

vera

In 1950s England, housekeeper Vera Drake (Imelda Staunton) is a kindly wife and mother who offers selfless devotion and unwavering care to her family, which includes her husband (Philip Davis) and two grown children (Alex Kelly, Daniel Mays). However, unknown to her friends and family, Drake provides abortions to local women with unwanted pregnancies. When the authorities learn of her illegal activities, Drake loses the admiration of many around her — and possibly her freedom.

Director: Mike Leigh
Writer: Mike Leigh
year: 2004

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Eliot, G. Middlemarch

This panoramic work–considered the finest novel in English by many critics–offers a complex look at English provincial life at a crucial historical moment, and, at the same time, dramatizes and explores some of the most potent myths of Victorian literature.

Author:  Eliot, George
Title: Middlemarch
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year:  1998
ISBN: 0192834029

 (spoiler alert)

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An incredible book, certainly one of the most sophisticated and finely crafted novels i’ve ever come across. Eliot creates an entire (albeit small) society during the 19th century’s great changes in politics & economics (the emergence of middle class wealth and political liberalism) and also in Science. One of the main characters is Lydgate a Doctor who arrives in Middlemarch full of the spirit of evidence based inquiry acquired from the then pioneers of medicine in Paris. He soon comes in to conflict with traditional practitioners who feel threatened by the new knowledge and science they do not understand.

Ishiguro, K. The Remains of the Day

In the summer of 1956, Stevens, the ageing butler of Darlington Hall, embarks on a leisurely holiday that will take him deep into the countryside and into his past . . . A contemporary classic, The Remains of the Day is Kazuo Ishiguro’s beautiful and haunting evocation of life between the wars in a Great English House, of lost causes and lost love.

Jonathan Lloyd HYMS
:- themes social class, professionalism, relationships, unrequited love, ageing – beautifully written, also made into a film
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Publisher: Faber and Faber
ISBN: 0571225381

Dostoyevsky, F. The Idiot

Inspired by an image of Christ’s suffering, Dostoyevsky set out to create a protagonist with “a truly beautiful soul” and to trace the fate of such an individual as he comes into contact with the brutal reality of contemporary society. The novel begins when the innocent epileptic Prince Myshkin – the ‘idiot’ – arrives in St Petersburg and finds himself drawn into a web of violent and passionate relationships that leads to blackmail, betrayal and eventually murder.

Jonathan Lloyd HYMS: themes epilepsy, social class, ostracising effects of illness.

Publisher:
Penguin Classics
Yeaar: 2004
ISBN: 014044792X

(spoiler alert)

Austen, J. Pride and Prejudice

 

The novel Pride and Prejudice follows the main character Elizabeth Bennet as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education and marriage in the landed gentry society of early 19th century England. Elizabeth is the second eldest of five daughters of a country gentleman landed in the fictional town of Meryton in Hertfordshire, not far from London.

Author: Austin, Jane
Title: Pride and Prejudice
ISBN: 0521825148