Formative influences on Arnold Bennett as revealed in five representative novels
Langevin, Gerald Robert
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In this thesis I have endeavored to prove that there is a marked correlation between the life of Arnold Bennett and his novels. In section II I have given a rather complete account of his surroundings during his life; of the books which influenced his living and thinking and writing; of the persons - literary and non-literary - who inspired Bennett. There is also included a detailed account of his personal and literary characteristics. In section III I have shown the relation of this biographical material with five of his novels - four dealing with the Five Towns region in which he spent his youth, and one with its setting in London in which he spent his last eight years of life. I have found that there are four outstanding characteristics of Bennett, namely: the fulness and correctness of his observation; his willingness to set down everything about his characters, whether flattering or not; his power to see external surroundings and internal conflicts through the eyes of his characters; and lastly, his preoccupation with money. In section III I have endeavored to give adequate proof that Bennett possessed these characteristics through specific quotations from his novels which support my contentions.
Thesis (M.A.)--Boston University, 1940