Decline and Fall - Study Guide Prelude Summary & Analysis

This Study Guide consists of approximately 28 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Decline and Fall.
This section contains 188 words
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Summary

The prelude is set in the quadrangle of Scone College, on the night of the meeting of the raucous Bollinger Club. Paul Pennyfeather, a theology student, inadvertently gets entangled in the festivities, loses his trousers, and is considered to have indulged in “indecent behavior.” His commoner status makes it easy for Oxford to expel him and he leaves the college in shame.

Analysis

The prelude sets the tone for the work, bringing out the main themes the work explores.

The inequality of the classes, the powerlessness of the common man, the farce of educational institutions, and the randomness of events is illuminated through Waugh’s characteristic, black humor and absurdism, humorously lampooning British society in the 1920s.

The continuous tension and the sense of unease are both hilarious and a serious under-scoring of all that was abhorrent to him, but above all Waugh wished to convey his message...

(read more from the Prelude Summary)

This section contains 188 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Decline and Fall Study Guide
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