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Points of intersection: A handful of dust and St. Mawr

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  1. The protagonist in A Handful of Dust.
  2. The characters of Brenda and Mrs. Witt in St. Mawr.
  3. Lawrence's protagonist of Lou and Waugh's protagonist of Tony Last.
  4. Lou Witt's realization on escaping the false illusions that surround life.
  5. Lawrence's description of rebirth and revitalization.

In Evelyn Waugh's novel A Handful of Dust as in D.H. Lawrence's novel St Mawr, a common rhetorical layer discusses the search for life's meaning, which in many aspects mirrors Ellington's experience of finding agreeability in music, as well as the sensation of childishness. In A Handful of Dust Waugh's protagonist, Tony Last, searches throughout the story for something grander than the reality and drudgery of English life. This search manifests itself more subtly in his attachment to Hetton and quite clearly in his quest to find the City. Similarly, in Lawrence's St. Mawr Lou Witt is a protagonist who searches for something greater than her reality in ?a little old house in Westminster? (Lawrence, 6), and St. Mawr is the catalyst for Lou's search which leads her to the American Southwest. Both Lawrence and Waugh were English-born writers and both works were published within ten years of each other.

[...] However, in A Handful of Dust Waugh points out that the first base camp the furthest point of commercial penetration from the coast? (Waugh, 234). The impact of commercialization and the commodification of human lives is yet another common theme throughout the two novels. In Waugh's novel, the road to the City is untouched by commercial development. Tony, a creature of civilization, is unable to escape his own commercialized culture; they attempt to trade wind-up mice with the natives, who run away from the toys, and this may symbolize the impurity that Waugh associates with commercialization which is antithetical to the discovery of that greater truth. [...]


[...] (Lawrence, 154) Lawrence describes a process of rebirth and revitalization that man must go through to extract himself from the illusions surrounding life and civilization. Tony Last is unable to win anything from the crudeness of nature because of his inability to see the charade that is life. Mrs. Witt, like the New England woman, has to hide from her own corpse because she cannot give herself to that wild spirit like Lou resolves to do. She can only hide in her own wit and vanity. [...]


[...] In the beginning of A Handful of Dust it is ambiguous as to which character is meant to be the protagonist. Waugh introduces the novel with a description of a lackadaisical Beaver, who will later prove to play an integral part in pushing Tony into his search. Beaver is accustomed to frequenting clubs such as Brat's, which is described as follows: air of antiquity pervading Brat's, derived from its elegant Georgian façade and finely paneled rooms, was entirely spurious, for it was a club of recent origin, founded in the burst of bonhomie immediately after the (Waugh, 9). [...]

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