Analysis Of ' Brideshead Revisited ' A 19th Century British Satirical Novel By Evelyn Waugh
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Misuse of Religion
Across the centuries, people from different levels in society have used religion in a variety of ways. In many cases, it is revealed that people misuse it to benefit themselves. The structure of Brideshead Revisited, a 19th century British satirical novel by Evelyn Waugh, is composed of the fictional character, Charles Ryder, telling the story of his middle-aged life and periodically interjecting personal reflections. The Marchmain family represents aristocratic misuse of religion and how it ultimately leads to their unhappiness. Charles Ryder, an outsider agnostic from the middle class, strives to become a part of the Marchmain family. He constantly struggles to accept God into his life and questions the Marchmain’s use and faithfulness to Catholicism. Evelyn Waugh conveys his own experiences and transition into adulthood through Ryder’s reflections in order to critique people’s misuse of religion and argue the importance of having a genuine relationship with God.
Evelyn Waugh used the fictional character of Charles Ryder in Brideshead Revisited as a mouthpiece to make commentary on the upper class’ misuse of religion based upon his own experiences and observations. Waugh, a middle class Roman Catholic who grew up in early 1900’s New England, wrote several pieces satirizing the aristocratic class. He attended Oxford for a few years studying to become a teacher and artist, during his time there similar to his character of Ryder he engaged in