Everything you need to understand or teach The Thinking Reed by Rebecca West.
The most praised of West's novels, The Thinking Reed expands upon themes first set forth in The Return of the Soldier (1918). West's concern here is the malaise of Europeans after the First World War, a malaise created in fact by the war. The world through which Isabelle, the novel's main character, moves is a world without order, and the disorder which eventually results, symbolically, in the Stock Market Crash of 1929, looms near the novel's end. Through Isabelle's American perspective and her affairs with several European men, West critiques French and English, as well as American, culture after the war, finding culture without the order it had before the Great War.
Isabelle, an American from St. Louis, lives in France and in the course of the novel becomes involved with four different men: Laurence Vernon, an American whom she nearly marries; Andre de Verniers, a French aristocrat... View more of the The Thinking Reed Summary