Under the Net Essay

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Hart has degrees in English literature and creative writing and writes primarily on literary themes. In this essay, Hart explores the influence of Ludwig Wittgenstein's philosophy of truth on Murdoch's first novel.

Although she was never a student of the turn-of-the-century Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein, Murdoch did once meet the philosopher and befriended Wittgenstein's star pupil, Yorich Smythies. Murdoch was also influenced by Wittgenstein's concepts, as many critics have noted, especially in her first novel, Under the Net. This influence begins with the title and carries through the story, in particular through her protagonist Jake Donahue.

Tractatus (1921) is that the deepest truths, although people might conceive of them, can never be fully verbalized. Truths, he believed, become diminished by the limitations of language. Any attempt to talk about, to explain, or to write a truth is similar to placing a net over the truth, which in essence is to...

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This section contains 2,041 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Under the Net Study Guide
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Under the Net from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.