Chapter

Personal perspectives

Sara Haslam

in Fragmenting Modernism

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780719060557
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700099 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719060557.003.0004
Personal perspectives

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This chapter analyses fragmentation in Ford Madox Ford's Edwardian novel, A Call: The Tale of Two Passions (1910), in what is essentially an exploration of the changing nature of sexual behaviour and sex roles. Sexual radicalism pre-dated the war. The new twentieth century had been named the ‘vaginal century’ before war began. The relationship between the sexes is cited by Samuel Hynes, Peter Gay and George Dangerfield, amongst others, as one of the extreme indicators of cultural upheaval in the Edwardian era. A Call investigates the repression of instincts, mental breakdown and the new threat of the ‘New Woman’. The codes of behaviour and the personal perspectives (of sex and society) which Ford takes as his subject matter in this novel were further and more conclusively fragmented by the sustained bombardment that was World War I.

Keywords: Ford Madox Ford; fragmentation; A Call; sexual behaviour; sex roles; sexual radicalism; vaginal century; repression; New Woman; World War I

Chapter.  8026 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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