Death of the Hero? Heroism in British Fiction of the First World War

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Abstract

Although the First World War is commonly associated with a profound sense of disillusionment, it continued a development begun in Victorian times in redefining the meaning of heroism in everyday terms of stoicism and endurance as well as feats of daring. In line with the broader emphasis of this volume on ongoing processes of heroisation and de-heroisation, Einhaus explores the shift towards a modified, more broadly defined understanding of heroism, and traces ways in which British literature of the period reflected and shaped a new understanding of the heroic whilst engaging critically with existing definitions of heroism. To this end, the chapter provides a case study of Richard Aldington’s novel Death of a Hero (1929) alongside a small number of popular texts, including Richard Marsh’s Sam Briggs, V.C. (1916).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHeroes and Heroism in British Fiction Since 1800 : Case Studies
EditorsBarbara Korte, Stefanie Lethbridge
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherSpringer
Pages85-100
ISBN (Print)9783319335575
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2016

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