A Review of Amis's Lucky Jim

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  • Topic: Kingsley Amis, Campus novel, World War II
  • Pages : 4 (1435 words )
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  • Published : December 5, 2010
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Review of Amis's Lucky Jim

Amis’s first novel, the one that shot him to fame is, Lucky Jim. The novel was hailed on a variety of grounds: as an entertaining academic farce or a bleat from below against the stultifying narrowness of British academic life and indeed of 1950s British provincial life in general.

It is regarded as campus novel. One of the features of a campus novel is to possess dystopian novel's characteristics. As it can be traced in J.A.Cuddon's dictionary of literary terms and literary theory , the utopia and it's offshoot, the dystopia, are genres of literature that explore social and political structures. Utopian fiction is the creation of an ideal world, or utopia, as the setting for a novel. Dystopian fiction is the opposite: creation of a nightmare world. It can be assumed that dystopias usually extrapolate elements of contemporary society and function as a warning against some modern trends and this feature can be observed in Lucky Jim. The enclosed, boring and dishonest atmosphere of history department which is expressed through the novel can be an evidence for this.

Various kinds of displaced persons are highlighted. From the beginning of the story, Jim Dixon knows himself apart from the class of the bore condition of the academic society and his superior, Professor Welch, and begins to mock, despite the fact that he has to suffer because he is in need of keeping the job. He extremely suffers from unconfessed abnormalities. There is a deep contrast between his external behavior and internal thoughts, a contrast between Jim's need to present a respectable and capable lecture to hold his job in history department and the loathing and contempt he seems to feel for just about everyone and everything around him. In fact he has to wear a mask in order to please his superior and keep the job.( even when he finds about burnt bed sheets, tries to conceal the burnt by cutting the sheets nervously because this burn could take his balance of...
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