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The Ballad of Peckham Rye Social Concerns

This Study Guide consists of approximately 19 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Ballad of Peckham Rye.
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Muriel Spark's major concern in The Ballad of Peckham Rye—as in many of the rest of her novels and short fiction—is the problem of class and class-consciousness and its effect on morality and the relations between the sexes. Though Spark has claimed not to be a very political writer, this novel nevertheless concentrates on the disastrous effects of class and economics on love and morality. It begins with an account of a jilted bride, Dixie Morse, a workingclass girl who is obsessed with living in a model bungalow after her marriage. The novel ends almost precisely where it begins; what happens in between is a humorous, fanciful, and highly satirical flashback of sorts, explaining, in a roundabout way, what brought about the jilting. In the process, "upper-middle-" and "lower-working" class values alike fall prey to Spark's scathing and witty critique.

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This section contains 1,181 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Ballad of Peckham Rye Short Guide
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