Simon Kővesi
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A Disaffection (1989)
in James Kelman
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This chapter studies A Disaffection, one of Kelman's novels that feature a character with a working-class background. Unlike the protagonists of the other novels, however, A Disaffection's Patrick Doyle is the only one who attends university. The chapter states that Kelman describes Doyle as ‘a naive character’ and that he forces a political distinction between him and Doyle. Doyle is a character caught between two worlds, each of which he continually defines against the other. Kelman uses him as a representative of an alienated Scotland, and actively criticises education in this novel. The chapter also discusses the theme of control and the concrete references to the proper nouns of real historical personages.

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