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Title:Spiritual Quest in French and English Post-War Novels
Author(s):Hajjar, Jacqueline Accad
Department / Program:Comparative and World Literature
Discipline:Comparative and World Literature
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Literature, Comparative
Abstract:The spiritual quest deals mainly with God and what he represents for man. It dramatizes the search for ultimate significance and direction in life. In the face of banal preoccupations and pressures towards conformity, secularization and demythologization, some men pursue a transcendent ideal which starts with an epiphany, a sudden realization of truth. This moment of realization is often the moment of surrender to God's will.
Six writers (3 French and 3 English) explore the various ways in which an individual might reach God. Each chapter revolves around a specific aspect of this search which is analyzed thematically. The knowledge of the self is crucial to the discussion of the other aspects of the spiritual quest which leads to an evaluation of moral values, freedom, love and faith.
The six writers search for values that will lead them to God. Francois Mauriac, Julien Green, Emmanuel Robles, Clive Staples Lewis, Graham Greene, and William Golding are representatives of society after the two world wars. Because they have experienced an epiphany, they are in search of a transcendent absolute.
The essential question of the self is explored in Le Sagouin and Free Fall. These novels illustrate that the preoccupation with self-identification often leads the heroes to a more intensive search. The characters of La Pharisienne and Chaque Homme dans sa Nuit demonstrate that finding a hierarchy of moral values usually precedes freedom as understood in Brighton Rock, Pincher Martin, and That Hideous Strength. The search for love concentrates on the four kinds explained by C. S. Lewis; and the witnesses of these different ideas are the heroes of Le Mystere Frontenac, Les Sirenes, and The End of the Affair. The concluding chapter treats the question of faith (in The Spire, L'Autre, and Till we have Faces) and shows that the whole quest is implicitly related to a search for God.
Issue Date:1982
Type:Text
Description:270 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1982.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/71464
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8302874
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1982


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