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Understanding LovePhilosophy, Film, and Fiction$
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Susan Wolf and Christopher Grau

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780195384512

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195384512.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 November 2020

Between Desire and Destruction

Between Desire and Destruction

A Reading of The Go-Between

Chapter:
(p.163) 8 Between Desire and Destruction
Source:
Understanding Love
Author(s):

Douglas MacLean

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195384512.003.0008

The Go-Between, a novel by L.P. Hartley made into a film directed by Joseph Losey, tells the interrelated stories of a forbidden love between a beautiful aristocrat and a farmhand and of an adolescent’s introduction to the unruliness of sexual desire. Showing how the film can alter the dominant theme of the book while remaining exceptionally faithful to the story, this essay brings out how subtly a change in medium can change the meaning of a narrative. The cruel inflexibility of the English class system at the turn of the twentieth century and the arrogance of its upper class are highlighted in both versions of the story, but the movie emphasizes the human costs of a class system while the novel focuses on the psychological destruction of its young protagonist.

Keywords:   Go-between, L.P. Hartley, Joseph Losey, sexual desire, class system

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