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Loyalty - bounden duty or liberating challenge? An enquiry into issues of loyalty in a selection of novels by Stuart Hood, James Kennaway and Allan Massie

Benske, Karla H (2008) Loyalty - bounden duty or liberating challenge? An enquiry into issues of loyalty in a selection of novels by Stuart Hood, James Kennaway and Allan Massie. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This thesis explores the predominant theme of loyalty in the fiction of Stuart Hood, James Kennaway and Allan Massie. Loyalty as a concept is integral to any society and as such has featured strongly throughout literature, from ancient Greek drama to the present day. Nevertheless, there is no study of loyalty in Scottish literature. This thesis will close this gap by examining how issues of loyalty are presented in the fiction of these authors. Furthermore, the discussion of a selection of their novels will show that issues of loyalty form a link between the three authors and therefore prompt a comparison of their work. Stuart Hood, James Kennaway and Allan Massie have been largely neglected by literary criticism. They deserve more attention because their fiction delves much deeper into the depths of human nature than has been acknowledged. Hood is the most under-researched of the three authors, despite winning the Saltire Prize for A Storm From Paradise. Allan Massie has only recently been recognised to some degree, but studies of his fiction remain scarce. Kennaway enjoyed more attention when some of his novels were published in new editions in the 1980s. However, the interest in his fiction has since declined. Loyalty is essentially a social and philosophical concept and therefore requires a discussion of the authors’ novels that goes beyond an analysis of their narrative discourse. Therefore this thesis applies a philosophical paradigm of loyalty combined with a hermeneutic and literary analysis of the selected novels. George P. Fletcher’s Loyalty: An Essay on the Morality of Relationships will provide the framework for my enquiry into issues of loyalty. The changes and developments of the twentieth century form the focus of the analysis of loyalty and for this reason, my selection of novels from the writers’ body of work concentrates on fiction set in a contemporary, twentieth-century context. Following Fletcher’s paradigm, familial loyalties will be examined in Kennaway’s Household Ghosts, Massie’s The Last Peacock and Hood’s A Storm From Paradise. The question of national loyalty in Hood’s The Upper Hand, Kennaway’s Tunes of Glory and Massie’s Shadows of Empire will be analysed. Loyalty in relation to faith will form the basis of the interpretation of Hood’s A Den of Foxes, Massie’s A Question of Loyalties and Kennaway’s Some Gorgeous Accident. The thesis will argue that, as these novels richly demonstrate, loyalty is not only an integral part of any human interaction, but is also essential for an individual’s sense of identity. Loyalty is both a bounden duty and a liberating challenge. The authors’ preoccupation with conflicting loyalties exposes the tension between duty and free will, between the following of orders and the complete identification with a cause and proves that there is no ‘ideal’ form of loyalty. The fact that any individual’s final decision includes what is referred to as the unknown entity of sentiment ensures that loyalty continues to fascinate the writers discussed in this thesis and will always play a role in fiction.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Due to copyright restrictions the full text of this thesis cannot be made available online. Access to the printed version is available once any embargo periods have expired.
Keywords: Stuart Hood, James Kennaway, Allan Massie, twentieth-century Scottish literature, narrative, narration, Scotland, Scottish identity, tradition, heritage, Pibroch, loyalty, theory of loyalty, faith, faithlessness, duty, morality, moral certainty, family, familial relationships, relationships, reciprocity, rituals, sexuality, power, secrecy, secret, trust, distrust, nation, empire, history, national identity, citizenship, class, espionage, spies, double, doppelgänger, obsession, madness, schizophrenia, progress, regress, scepticism, Romanticism, dystopia, human nature, idealism, identity, George P. Fletcher, Georg Simmel, Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Scottish Literature
Supervisor's Name: Riach, Prof Alan
Date of Award: 28 May 2008
Embargo Date: 16 October 2011
Depositing User: Dr Karla H. Benske
Unique ID: glathesis:2008-05-28-423
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2008
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:18
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/423

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