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Lodge’s narrative technique Essay

Abstract: David Lodge (1936-) is highly respected and regarded as a critic and writer who is profilic in both fields in modern British. As a writer, David Lodge is mainly famous for his academic novels especially his Campus Trilogy: Changing Places, Small World and Nice Work in 70-80 in the 20 century. Campus Trilogy is regarded as the research object in the paper. This thesis attempts to make a comprehensive study of Campus Trilogy from Narratology Angle. It wonders to discover the undetected implication in the narrative works to fill the blank in this area of research by the macroscopic analysis and microscopic scrutiny. The thesis consists of four chapters. Introduction includes a brief introduction to David Lodge, his literary achievements, his representative works Campus Trilogy, its literary review and the significance of the thesis. In addition, the concepts and methods are simply presented.

Chapter I outlines Narrative Structure of Campus Trilogy. By arranging the binary opposite blot structure in the time and space which lays out elaborately, it makes the novel fascinating but needs readers to read the novels caregully. Chapter II demonstrates Campus Trilogy from Narrative Perspective. The author organizes the different focus modes to meet the author’s need by means of different features of the focus modes. This refelcts Lodge’s academic viewpoints from one side: oppose the jacobinical opinion of The Death of Author. Lodge uses the changing focus to make you know what he wants you to know and and conceal what he doesen’t want you to know. It gives the readers to imagine and guess. Meanwhile the narrative voices in Lodge’s novels are, fro one time, single, for other time, multi-voices with those of the real author, implied author, narrator, and characters. He manages the hard and soft voices as per the needs of his works.

Chapter III deals with the Meta-fiction narrative techinque using in Campus Trilogy. The author masters the skill of Parody and Collage to break the true effect of the narration. It exposes the fiction of the novels by itself and subverts the readers’expectation. Otherwise it makes the reader keep the critical attitude to think the relationship between the reality and novelistic. Chapter IV explores the narrative technique of Irony in Campus Trilogy. Lodge hides his viewpoint by setting the ironic characters, irony of situation and ironic allusions. Readers are in aesthetic, emotional and ethical multiple situations and ironic allusions. The essence of the way to success of the scholars is reaching the primitve and vulgar natural level of existence. They achieve slef-destruction successfully. They lost the humanity spirit not only owing to the infinite expansion of the economy, but also the deviation and betrayal of the humanities scholars.

In a word, though Lodge’s novels contain the deep implied meanings, they have the strong readability. On the one hand, David Lodge indulges himself to the various experimental skills of Meta-fiction, so some of the critics classify him to be a post-modernism novelist. On the other hand, as a traditional writer, he has a sens of historical and social mission. He doesn’t give up the basic traditional realist. The scholar life in Campus Trilogy is based on his own personal experience or the familliar affairs around. It makes the readers know the life of the schilars in the Ivory Tower. In the mean time, his novels reveal the decadency of the humanity in the modern society. Consequently his Campus Trilogy hovers among realism, modernism, and post-modernism but not simple post-modernism narratology.


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