The meaning of the novel “Return to Brideshead” by Evelyn Waugh or how to live the golden years between the two wars

Evelyn Waugh is unfamiliar to domestic readers, but this does not mean that you need to leave him outside the field of your attention. So today we will consider the extremely entertaining novel Brideshead Revisited. So sit back, it will be extremely interesting!

Brief story

Brideshead Revisited:Photo:

The novel is built on behalf of the capital of the infantry formation of Charles Ryder, who, on the orders of his immediate superiors, arrives at the ancient English estate of Brideshead. The history of this house is inextricably linked with the family itself and the youth of the protagonist. Involuntarily, in his memory, in addition to military everyday life, there are vivid images of truly beautiful times in the bygone pre-war era.

The story of the protagonist Charles begins in Oxford, where he meets Sebastian Flight, whose parents own the estate. The main storylines tell us about the relationship between two young people, and after Charles with Sebastian’s sister Julia.

A little about the characters

Return to Brideshead.Photo:

Let’s briefly consider the main characters of the novel. It:

Sebastian is perhaps the most eccentric character of the entire Flyte family. The image of a young man is rather tragic, because, due to his seniority, he tries to comply with all the dogmas of his parents. And they put excessive pressure on him so that he does not make their mistakes. Excessive attention and guardianship does not benefit the young man, in addition, they are always expected and demanded from him greater achievements than from everyone else combined. Julia – a young girl receives a Catholic upbringing, however, under the influence of her brother and father, she gradually moves away from religion, she is also disgusted by dogmas and postulates. However, as she grows older, she realizes that she did not give up religion of her own choice, and gradually finds solace in prayers. However, against the background of the desire to lead an active secular life, she cannot adjust her life in such a way as to fulfill Catholic dogmas. Charles is a phlegmatic young man who calmly endures all life’s blows. At the beginning of the novel, the hero is extremely indifferent to everything that happens in the world, but gradually, in the ancient estate, he creates a certain emotional response. Charles believes he is just a cog in a larger machine.

Brideshead and Religions

Return to BridesheadPhoto: Apple Zen

The Flyte family is extremely unusual, and yet has pronounced features of British aristocracy. Against the background of material well-being, the family is experiencing a split on religious grounds – some are ardent atheists, while others adhere to the Catholic faith.

The author does not try to convince the reader that it is worth believing in God or abandoning him completely. On the contrary, he diligently shows all the facets of different points of view on this issue, so that the reader can draw conclusions for himself.

The meaning of the novel


This novel is about how important it is for a person to have his own home or a secret place that has a saving effect on the soul. Before us is the golden age of the aristocracy of the interwar period. Yes, then people fully enjoyed the rest and thrill of brilliant balls.

However, life steadily dictates its own terms, and the violent force that was accumulating in Germany soon spilled over to France, Great Britain and other European countries.

A lot of noble families are falling into decline, as are the Flights. And Charles, already being a military man, returns to the old estate, and recalls his first love, his charismatic and eccentric friend, as well as the happy days spent in their company.

Inside the Making of BridesheadPhoto:

The house has long been converted into a hospital, trampled all the flower beds and flowers with soldiers’ boots.

However, the author is trying to tell us that, even if that reality no longer exists, behind the black stripe there will always be gray or white, you just need to clench your teeth tighter and endure all the hardships that life has prepared for us.

This concludes our analysis. If you have any questions or suggestions, be sure to write them in the comments. And we have prepared for you some equally interesting analyzes. Here they are:

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The meaning of the novel “The Grapes of Wrath” by Steinbeck or how to survive in America to a visitor from behind a hillock

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That’s all for us, so have a peaceful sky over your head and see you soon on the pages of new articles!

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