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A Free Spirit of Rebellion, Mason and Dixon Show Flashbacks in Vineland

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Vineland is set in California in 1984, the year of Ronald Reagan’s reelection. The story details the free spirit of rebellion of that decade through flashbacks by its characters. The novel describes the traits of the fascistic Nixonian repression and its War on Drugs that occurred in U.S. society from the 1960s to the 1980s. “The central quest is that of a daughter for her absent mother, and while the process by which the two are united involves an impressive accumulation of information about international corporate practices and structures, the history of the Left in California, the effects of Reaganomics and the War on Drugs, and the popular culture of the 1980s, there are no epistemological impasses or withheld revelations” (Hite 719).…show more content…
The tension between satisfying our credulity and satisfying our skepticism, as David Lodge puts it – differently energises each of Fowles’s first three novels. Realism can also be seen as an ancestrally impure and precautious synthesis of history, romance and allegory; and from this point of view character is the problematising of the relations between its consistent parts that characterize much contemporary British fiction including Fowles’s. The formal agony and hesitation co-exist; with immense formal energy and inventiveness in problematic fictions such as Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook, Augus Wilson’s No Laughing Matters and differently in Iris Murdock’s The Black Prince as well as Fowles’s The French Lieutenant’s Woman. These novels carry the currently inescapable and romance theories of insubordination. They leave the reader as Lodge has suggested with a paradox about the relations between art and life. “The reality principle is never allowed to lapse entirely-indeed, it is often involved to expose the artificiality of conventional realistic illusion….This kind of novelistic, I am talking about referring a loyalty to both (reality and fiction) but later the orthodox novelists and confidence on the possibility of reconciling them. He makes the difficulty of the task, in a sense, his subjects” “(Bradbury 105). Fowles belongs to that generation typified by E.P. Thompson, opting, reaction
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