Date of Award

Spring 1973

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Thale, Jerone

Second Advisor

Robby, Robert

Third Advisor

Pindy, A. B.


C. P. Snow's STRANGERS AND BROTHERS sequence is a skillfully controlled work of fiction incorporating methods of traditional realism while deemphasizing verbal virtuosity, technique, and concentration on the internal nature of man, all of which characterize the great novels of this century. Deviating from modernism, Snow creates in the eleven novels of his sequence a fiction firmly based on theme, with a narrative perspective which gives to his presentation a balance between the internal nature of man and external social reality. In controlling both matter and form, his strategy is to dichotomize, separating internality from externality to reveal the continuity and discontinuity of twentieth century existence. With no poetic amplification to his use of language, Snow's style is marked by an economy and directness. It appeals more to the intellect than to the senses, just as his fictive reality requires response more on a cognitive than an affective level. Indeed, the reality he presents almost obviates imagistic or symbolic effect. The intention and shape of his fiction, therefore, effectively controls his style. Giving little attention to surface or physical reality Snow nevertheless depends on dramatic situations to shape and define both character and theme. The final effect of his narratives, however, is based on the alternation between dramatic imitation and narrative reflection, i.e., between a point of view which is immediate and one which is detached. This alternation of point of view is controlled through the use of a single narrator who in four novels of the sequence presents his own subjective internal life and in seven novels is primarily an observer and analyzer of external experiences (especially in the "corridors of power"). Both in internal and external experiences, however, the narrator's voice is precise and controlled giving the novels a tone of immediate clarity and detached rationality...



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