chapter  6
31 Pages

Uneasy Peace

ByWilliam Cederwell

Looking at writing by Elizabeth Bowen, Wyndham Lewis, William Sansom and Rose Macaulay, this chapter shows that images of London are used to articulate worries about the postwar period. The city becomes a way of resisting the forgetfulness that peace demands, while London characters find that war's end brings no let up to continued drudgery, control and regimentation. Angus Wilson, critically acclaimed after the war for his two short-story collections, The Wrong Set and Such Darling Dodos, made generational conflict a motif for the uneasy peace. The figure of the downcast middle-aged Londoner also surfaces in T. S. Eliot's 1949 play, The Cocktail Party. London is like a vast holding pen for displaced persons, its houses 'towering brick camps, with gouged out clammy basements, packed with transients'. London is like a vast holding pen for displaced persons, its houses 'towering brick camps, with gouged out clammy basements, packed with transients'.