Social Conflicts In Amiss Lucky Jim English Literature Essay

The purpose of this essay is to analyze and describe the principal topic of the masterpiece of well-known author Kingsley Amis and that are social issues which accompany a content of the novel constantly. Some readers might not have noticed those matters, but the other ones, who are familiarized with, see them as a completely crucial element of the writer in this book. Firstly, I would like to give you some information about several circumstances, which influenced the author’s writing, especially the generation in which Kingsley Amis lived and encouraged the change in addition to other authors of that time. Then, I will focus only on particular social conflicts to convince you about an uniqueness of this novel.

Lucky Jim was written in 1954. At this time the author was a member of so-called Angry Young Men – a group that changed even by a little bit of influence the whole society in those days. Disagreement with the conventional way of life was expressed only with words, paradoxically they merged with the higher society. It depicts the situation in a small university. ”The society did need to be changed, since it was too boring, tedious – just not healthy and in every way sickening. The Angry Young Men were often perceived as harbingers of the new classless culture, their voices expressed the anger of a generation for whom in the end nothing really seemed to have changed after their endeavour.” These particular circumstances are obviously represented in this plot of the writing.

The book is based on a conflict of what we think would be right, and what we would like it to be. Amis shows the comedy of being an outsider trying to fit into the new world he has always struggled with to reach. Jim, the main character, has better luck with authority than the most outsider heroes just like Wilson’s hero in the The Outsider (1956) for instance. He is suggested to be a kind of outsider as he has become completely frustrated in his working-place environment and the result is the engagement towards success, which is typical for the existential generation in which the writer played an important role. This ‘boom’ brought many people into this field and self-cognition. He follows journeys up and down the social scale. Amis´s hero moves up, only to be irritated with presentations which are usually presented in a provincial university. He is rescued in the end by well-paid employmnemt and a match with a desirable affluent woman. ”It shows the endeavours of a young man to break the ethical rules of his social class and to be in touch with the working class, maybe a lot of interests in class and social mobility extending into deeper thinking of identity, role and self.” In earlier campus-based works there was a list of human characteristics inverted by unreal environment where academics lived and worked.

Amis focuses on the environment of a university campus intensively and depicts several mostly unusual relationships of local colleagues, which do not contain any pieces of honesty – the everybody’s own interests and the hypocrisy ‘have the crown’. The author amuses readers with comical situations grotesquely and reliefs of processes. The characters feel so comfortable in their positions, they are satisfied enough that the situation can be considered as a social rule of their community. Comfortableness overshadows people’s sincere spontaneous behaviour and they seem to be forced to ‘put fake masks on their faces’. Dixon tries to get on well with his superiors to keep the job and to make a good impression, but the things are going to happen from bad to worse as he does not fit into the superficial mid-level class because of not being worthy to take a part in a such ‘precise community’. Dixon keen on entering the society even though he has never adored it (he fights against the whole university led by Welch), but Jim realizes that if he wants to achieve some tiny scraps of something important in his miserable live, in which he has not actually reached anything so far, somehow he will have to change his ways and himself supposedly to move upwards. To be honest, his peers have everything truly – their permanent occasions, high salary, mostly of them have girlfriends or wives. It could be argued that Jim’s supreme (highest) necessity would be the career, actually the material fact which must be done without doubt. The unpleasant imperfection of Dixon´s character seems to be no presence of purpose as for his ‘building career’ and that is why the lax manners show adequately quickly and bring him into amusing troubles. His openness mainly presents a thorn in the eyes of hypocritical colleagues. Jim causes many comical and embarrassing situations with his provocative behaviour from which he always gets out thanks to unprecedented facial expression and admirable sense of humor. I can claim he wittily tries to mock himself.

From my point of view Jim Dixon is trying to be a member of this numb and rigid community. He starts to behave differently towards the academics (especially professor Welch). There we are able to recognise the notional connection of breaking rules of his social class and the other class and there appear unfamiliar characters which have experienced a different sort of life from the one he knows. People do not recognize how other persons do affect them. He is not willing to accept the university rules, which were approved many years ago and where he does the best, but somehow it is not enough. He is forced to suppress his common sense and submit himself. Nevertheless the main character retains a human and healthy resistance opposite ”all musty” by his jeers. I can honestly say that he represents an ironic connection – a differenent attitude of the author beyond the old conventions. I would argue that clearly shows the author’s position.

On balance then, I have been doing my best to achieve reader’s imagination about the social conflict between the main character and the rest of community. Now, I would like to analyze a conflict between Jim Dixon and his personal life or feelings.

In his personal life, he does not so well as he has expected. He keeps an open relationship with unattractive woman Margaret, who, after breaking up with his ex-boyfriend, mentally collapsed. It is said Jim is dating with her rather out of duty and remorse. Margaret is not a typical family woman, who cares about children and the husband. Conversely, she is predominantly interested in her career and in men who are rich, nice and dressed-well. She uses the opportunity of being woman and so cleverly she handles men’s feelings and wants to attain their attachment. However, Jim Dixon meets with a beautiful, spirited and rich Christina at one party, a girlfriend Welch’s son Bertrand, who is crazily in love with, but he is aware of a hole, an imaginary borderline that separates the beautiful girl and himself. In an effort to ingratiate profesor Welch he is absolutely unsuccessful. Against his reason he is determined to a rapprochement with Christina, but Jim does not want to hurt her boyfriend so their relationship is more or less platonic. From my perspective, he seems to be definitely hopeless as for the love. Firstly, he intends to be adored and have a honor to enjoy himself. Secondly, he does not regard himself as a good option for the girl of his dreams. This example obviously shows a lack of self-confidence. There appears the indecision as in personal life when he hesitates between Margaret, who he has a responsibility to and who he can date with, and Christina, who Jim is in love with, but he might not be able to have her, so in his profession – he does not like his working place and mainly his colleagues, who do not deserve this prestige. However, he found the courage to tell the truth at the end of the book even though Jim was quiet desperate. Fortunately, when people yield their efforts (they are at the end of personal options), there often appears an opportunity which they haven’t expected at all to fix themselfs and start to restructure their lifes, isn’t it truth?

Taking everything into consideration, I have focused mainly on description of those characters and I would conclude the author’s intention was to demonstrate the social status quo in the reality through this novel. People must have struggled for their necessities to survive and to ensure their careers at first place instead of taking care about the families. They could not behave naturally as authoritatively high society did not allow them. The changes and the following resultes in the characters’ lives show us how hauntingly negative was Amis’s attitude to this. To sum up the problem of criticized community it is important not to hide from who you are, but to identify who you are in fact.

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