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Look Back in Anger: Men in the Fifties

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Abstract

‘A new hero has risen among us’, wrote Walter Allen in his influential review of Kingsley Amis’s first novel, Lucky Jim, in January 1954.2 The new hero is male, the ‘intellectual tough’ or ‘tough intellectual’. He is rude, crude and clumsy, boasts his political apathy, his suspicion of all causes, and he is out to do nobody any good but himself. His heroism consists in the fact that he is honestly self-serving, fiercely critical of all he sees as phoney, pretentious or conformist — a passion which expresses itself most readily in a rejection of what he sees as womanly, or domestic. He exudes a bullying contempt for women.

Keywords

  • Maternal Deprivation
  • Sexual Division
  • Sunday Morning
  • Late Fifty
  • Expectant Father

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Fatherhood is not yet fashionable. Men are not present at the births of their children, if they can possibly help it. They do not shop, push prams, design the home. Marriage to the unmarried male is a trap, and sex the bait, which by stealth and cunning may yet be won.

Fay Weldon on the fifties1

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Notes

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© 2007 Lynne Segal

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Segal, L. (2007). Look Back in Anger: Men in the Fifties. In: Slow Motion. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230582521_1

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