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ERIC Number: ED308540
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988-Nov
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Life Review in the Novels of Molly Keane, Elizabeth Bowen, and Peter Taylor.
Wyatt-Brown, A. M.
Gerontologists have studied the role of memory and reminiscence in later life to see if life review leads to increased satisfaction in old age. Novelists offer some concrete examples of the varying ways that this review can affect the self-esteem of aging persons. Molly Keane, Elizabeth Bowen, and Peter Taylor all agree that late middle age provides a potential turning point in the lives of their characters. In fact, the action of their novels depends on the way in which the characters meet or fail to meet that challenge. These novelists write about intense, sensitive and inhibited people, who live in an upper-middle class milieu. Because their backgrounds have been socially constrained, at first growth in old age seems unlikely. Still all of the characters feel compelled to review their pasts in order to understand themselves better. The authors present this review in different ways, but two offer a modicum of hope. Of course, some characters cannot reassess their lives because they are committed to their old rationalizations. But those who can withstand the pain of self-revelation can sometimes transform their relationship with the past, an act which gives them some real hope for future happiness. (Author)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A