We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Family relationships in the novels of Francois Mauriac

Winnett, Prudence J. (1982) Family relationships in the novels of Francois Mauriac. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis is concerned with the study of the extent to which the family relationships portrayed in Mauriac's novels can be regarded as channels of love and the role played by the members of the families described as vehicles of or obstacles to divine grace. Attention is focused on the insight Mauriac's treatment of family relationships gives us into the true nature of love, as this is understood by the Christian, man's need for it and the effect it has on the emotional and spiritual development of the individual. Since Mauriac's characters are generally shown to be egoistic in their relationships, to confuse their love of others with love of self or to communicate even disinterested affection in a meaningless way, an analysis of the vast majority of the families Mauriac describes reveals an almost total absence of genuine love, according to the New Testament interpretation of the word. Mauriac is shown to emphasize throughout his novels that family relationships are not naturally loving ones and that, far from being common, even minimally happy homes are rare phenomena, not born but painstakingly made. The secret of their relative success is shown to lie according to Mauriac in Christianity's law of love and its understanding of 'God' and 'Love' as synonymous. Whether or not they are aware of it, the most effective transmitters of this message are shown to be those who love others selflessly 'in deed and in truth', whilst those who fail in this respect prove to be correspondingly misleading. In the final part of the thesis, however, it is pointed out that God is shown by Mauriac to reveal himself constantly in various and often mystical ways, so that, however beneficially loving, or harmfully unloving, family relationships may be, the only force that can ever be said to constitute an essential obstacle to divine grace is an individual's own will.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1982
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 09:17

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter