Housing matters in the texts of Gordon Burn, Andrew O'Hagan and David Peace.

Gordon, Rhona (2014) Housing matters in the texts of Gordon Burn, Andrew O'Hagan and David Peace. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.
Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b3097549


This thesis examines the representations of housing in the fiction and non-fiction texts of Gordon Burn, Andrew O’Hagan and David Peace. This thesis will explore the relationship between housing and class in all three writers’ work and consider the ways in which housing displays and conceals class. These three writers have never been critically examined together, and their similar subject matter provides interesting points of contrast and comparison. ‘Housing. The Greatest Issue of Our Poor Century’ writes Andrew O’Hagan in his novel Our Fathers (1999) and this is a sentiment shared by Burn and Peace throughout their texts. All three writers depict the ways in which housing has changed over the course of the twentieth century, as against the slum clearances of post-World War II Britain, Modernist tower blocks were erected. Against these visual changes there was a sustained campaign, by all major political parties, to increase home ownership. A succession of Acts throughout the latter half of the twentieth century saw council houses being sold to tenants and a subsequent decrease in the construction of council houses. These Acts promoted, and made easily achievable, home ownership and ingrained within society the idea that owning property was a symbol of success and security. By examining changes in housing Burn, Peace and O'Hagan consider the fate of the working-class in the latter half of the twentieth century, and this thesis will explore to what extent, and in what ways, housing displays and conceals class.
Chapter One will consider the changes in housing policy over the latter half of the twentieth century and the ways in which government policy affected issues of class. This chapter will look at the ways in which Burn, Peace and O’Hagan consider issues of class and will argue that by examining issues of housing all three are examining the fate of the working-class. Issues of housing are inexorably linked with issues of class and this chapter will form the basis on which the remaining chapters’ arguments are based. Chapter Two will explore issues of housing in the cases of Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe and Fred and Rosemary West, specifically the ways in which housing both concealed and motivated their crimes and how in turn assumptions about class hide their murders within plain sight. Chapter Three will examine the construction of high-rise tower blocks and the ways in which the creation of housing allowed for social crimes to be committed for both political and economic gain by various individuals. Chapter Four will look at the underground spaces of the houses featured in the previous chapters and will consider to what extent the underground reflects the issues of the over-ground and the significance of the underground in debates about class. The final Chapter, Chapter Five, will look at depictions of the celebrity house and will consider how the house of the celebrity fits into narratives of twentieth century housing and how the inhabitants are as hidden and revealed as their working-class counter parts.

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: Gordon Burn, Andrew O'Hagan, David Peace, housing, twentieth century literature, twenty-first century literature, class, working-class fiction, celebrity
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Supervisor's Name: Coyle, Dr. John
Date of Award: 2014
Depositing User: Ms Rhona Gordon
Unique ID: glathesis:2014-6088
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2015 08:11
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2019 14:28
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/6088

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