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By K. Miller

This book interrogates the patriotic, utopian perfect of the People’s struggle via interpreting conflicted representations of sophistication and gender in literature and picture. Its subtitle--Fighting the People’s War--describes how British voters either united to struggle Nazi Germany and puzzled the nationalist ideology binding them jointly.

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As we will see, Bowen’s freedom to entertain contradictory impulses depended fundamentally upon her privileged social standing. ” 224). A 50-year-old female diarist describes similar anxiety in her diary written for Mass-Observation: I don’t know whether it’s the heat or I’m doing a bit too much running round, but today I’d a real black fit of depression – luckily rare to me. I felt a hood of misery over me that threatened to choke me. I felt my efforts were feeble and doll-eyed, and that anything I could possibly do was so futile as to be utterly worthless.

Of a left-wing élite: and this limits his field” (182). Furthermore, she concludes by asserting the legitimacy of her own response to the war: The war on Britain was undergone by all types. Not only the People were people, so were others. For the general run of us, existence during the war had a mythical intensity, heightened for dwellers in cities under attack. The majority of us, living through those years, did not attempt to rationalize them, nor have most of us done so since. War is a prolonged passionate act, and we were involved in it.

The howling ramping over the darkness, the lurch of the barrage opening, the obscure throb in the air. ] Our own “things” – tables, chairs, lamps – give one kind of confidence to us who stay in our own paper rooms. But when tonight the throb gathers over the roof we must not remember what we looked at this morning – these fuming utter glissades of ruin. No, these nights in September nowhere is pleasant. (“London, 1940” 23) Nowhere in London is pleasant because everywhere are the ruined landmarks of personal and national vulnerability.

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