Courage and Truthfulness: Ethical Strategies and the Creative Process in the Novels of Iris Murdoch, Doris Lessing and V.S. Naipaul

Author: Gillian Mary Adele Dooley

Dooley, Gillian Mary Adele, 2001 Courage and Truthfulness: Ethical Strategies and the Creative Process in the Novels of Iris Murdoch, Doris Lessing and V.S. Naipaul, Flinders University, School of Humanities

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Abstract

The novels of Iris Murdoch, Doris Lessing and V.S. Naipaul are studied in the light of statements they have made in essays and interviews regarding the ethical implications of writing fiction. The purpose of this research is to examine the nature of the problems they have identified in the creative process of writing and the strategies each has used to address the ethical problems they perceive, and to assess the relative success of their chosen methods. It can be seen that, although for each of them the quest for truth is their highest concern, they have each developed very different ways of dealing with the problems they believe are connected with writing truthfully, and in addition, they have defined the particulars of these problems in different ways. It is concluded that the more carefully examined and individually defined these problems are, the greater the internal consistency and credibility which is achieved by the strategies they have developed to address the problems, and the more their work has developed in the course of their careers.

Keywords: Iris Murdoch,Doris Lessing,V.S. Naipaul,Ethics in fiction,narrative technique
Subject: English thesis

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2001
School: School of Humanities and Creative Arts
Supervisor: Michael Meehan