The Struggle with Ambivalence: Greene, Huxley and Orwell

Dr. Tony Fitzpatrick
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The paper argues that, as writers on the Left, the work of Graham Greene, Aldous Huxley and George Orwell demonstrates some striking similarities. Focusing upon their publications from the early 1930s to the end of World War Two the paper proposes that each struggles towards and against a political-philosophical ambivalence that tells us something about the period. For Greene this was a struggle involving materialism and spiritualism; for Huxley it concerned mysticism and the sociological imagination; for Orwell it concerned aesthetics and revolution. Though each writer failed to fully systematise the ambivalences they expressed their honesty and openness contrasts with the dogmatism of the contemporary Left and Right and prefigures the 'radical pragmatism' of post-war reconstruction.

Keywords: Greene, Huxley, Orwell, politics, philosophy
Stream: Literature, Literary Studies, Philosophy, Ethics, Consciousness, History, Historiography, Political Science, Politics
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr. Tony Fitzpatrick

Reader, Sociology & Social Policy, Nottingham University

PhD received from Edinburgh University in 1996. Joined Nottingham University in 2000, becoming Reader in Social & Political Theory in 2004. Treasurer of the UK’s Social Policy Association 2003-06. Interests include theories of welfare, new technologies, environmentalism, social democracy and applied ethics. Most recent books are Welfare Theory (Palgrave, 2001), After the New Social Democracy (Manchester, 2003) and New Theories of Welfare (Palgrave, 2005) and principal editor of International Encyclopaedia of Social Policy (3 volumes, Routledge, 2006).

Ref: H06P0074