The examined life

  • Suguna Ramanathan


While Snow gets the correct social setting in his novels, it is for him only the external layer. He has a good documentary eye and sharp sense for any currents afloat in the air, but his main interests are the human being functioning within society and the examination of human characters in search of a meaningful code. A morally examined life is central to most novels by Snow. If F. R. Leavis had not been so outraged by the semiphilistinism he thought Snow stood for and had read at least four or five novels by Snow without prejudgement, he would have found them permeated by moral concern. Leavis, who reproached the Bloomsbury group for not being moral enough, condemned Snow for not being sufficiently aesthetic in his response to life.


Moral Choice Emotional Life Romantic Love Moral Nature Nuclear Disarmament 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Helen Gardner, ‘The World of C.P. Snow’, New Statesman, 55 (1958) 410.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    C.P. Snow, Time of Hope (London: Penguin, 1962) p. 327.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    C.P. Snow, Review of English Literature, 3 (July 1962) 107.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    C.P. Snow, The Light and the Dark (New York: Scribner, 1974) p. 145.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    D.H. Lawrence’s phrase quoted by Frank Kermode, ‘Beckett, Snow and Pure Poverty’, Encounter, 15 (July 1960) 76.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    C.P. Snow, In Their Wisdom (New York: Scribner, 1974) p. 53.Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    Bernard Bergonzi, The Situation of the Novel (London: Pelican, 1972) p. 168.Google Scholar
  8. 10.
    E.W. Mandel, ‘C.P. Snow’s Fantasy of Politics’, Queen’s Quarterly, 69 (1962) 24ff.Google Scholar
  9. 11.
    K. Hamilton, ‘C.P. Snow and Political Man’, Queen’s Quarterly, 69 (1962) 416ff.Google Scholar
  10. 14.
    C.P. Snow, The Search (London: Penguin, 1965) pp. 262–5.Google Scholar
  11. 17.
    C.P. Snow, The Conscience of the Rich (London: Penguin, 1966) p. 73.Google Scholar
  12. 21.
    C.P. Snow, Time of Hope (London: Penguin, 1962) p. 358.Google Scholar
  13. 22.
    C.P. Snow, Variety of Men (New York: Scribner, 1967) p. 108.Google Scholar
  14. 23.
    C.P. Snow, Homecomings (London: Penguin, 1966) p. 238.Google Scholar
  15. 24.
    Rayner Heppenstall, The Fourfold Tradition (London: Barrie, 1961) p. 234.Google Scholar
  16. 25.
    R. Rabinovitz, The Reaction Against Experiment in the English Novel: 1990–1960 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1967) p. 164.Google Scholar
  17. 30.
    C.P. Snow, Strangers and Brothers, now re-titled George Passant (London: Penguin, 1962) p. 115.Google Scholar
  18. 33.
    C.P. Snow, The New Men (London: Penguin, 1970) p. 151.Google Scholar
  19. 37.
    C.P. Snow, Corridors of Power (London: Penguin, 1972) p. 334.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Suguna Ramanathan 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suguna Ramanathan

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations