Purgation in Evelyn Waugh's The Scarlet Woman

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17/2/2015 10:58 AM

Purgation in Evelyn Waugh's The Scarlet Woman



Isra' Hashim Taher, Ph.D.


Abstract

The Scarlet Woman, Waugh's only screenplay and one of the least popular among his works, says more than it really does. Despite its crudeness in terms of plot, acting, and directing, it conveys a serious message. On a limited scale, The Scarlet Woman might be regarded as Waugh's version of Dante's Purgatorio. Written when he was at Oxford, it shows symptoms of subconscious rejection of the wild life he led without God. Five years before his conversion to Catholicism, Waugh seems to have been waiting for purgation. This is his design in The Scarlet Woman.



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