Writing Thatcherism: The Inevitability of Interconnectedness

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GRIN Verlag, 2008 - 24 oldal
Seminar paper from the year 2008 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,0, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz/ Department of English), course: Seminar: Thatcherism in British Literature, 22 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The 1980s marked a watershed in British history. Margaret Thatcher's rise to power stirred up the country, for she took hitherto unprecedented and contentious measures to shape the political landscape of Britain. Her agenda, amongst others, encompassed the privatisation of formerly state-owned industries which brought "popular capitalism" into being (Seldon / Collings 28). This new mindset saw to it that greed was no longer outlawed. Apart from this, she uncompromisingly clamped down on trade unions and led Britain into the Falklands War. In a speech in 1999, Tory MP William Hague was fulsome in his praise of Mrs Thatcher, who, according to him, had had the courage to set the British people free from the intimidation of trade union barons as well as from planned economies (cf. Hague). But this is just one side of the coin. Against this, historians like Eric Evans propound that Thatcher must be seen as a "damaging and divisive failure" who created a Britain that was "less tolerant, more greedy and far less humane" (Seldon / Collings 91). Her opponents held her responsible for the demise of community spirit because it was she who encouraged and provided a framework for individuals to pursue their own materialistic interests. The "Iron Lady" polarised society: she was either adored or demonised. It is precisely this antagonism which has provided a fertile ground for writers. To see this, one just needs to look at the outpour of hatred directed against self-seeking Tory villains. Jonathan Coe is a recent and eminent English novelist who views Thatcherism and its aftermath critically. Coe's satire What a Carve Up! (1994) offers a "view of p

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