A Solemn Act
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A Solemn Act examines the possible effects of economy and social class in an age of rapid technological advancement. This dissertation is divided in two parts; a 7,700 word section of Creative Writing and a 3,300 word Critical Reflective Essay commenting and examining the themes, theories and writing techniques used within the process of researching and drafting the Creative Narrative. The author has taken inspiration from research into theorists such as Michel Foucault, Karl Marx and Fredric Engles, and Theodor Adorno, and from a variety of authors including classical writers such as H. G. Wells, and his novel The Time Machine (2002), Charles Dickens, and Oscar Wilde. Alongside this are examples of modern media, which also helped to inspire the writing of this work, such as the computer games Deus Ex: Human Revolution (2012) and Resonance of Fate (2010) and Silent Hill 2 (2001) as well as contemporary works of fiction such as Alistair Reynolds’ Terminal World (2010) and Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (1999). The resulting piece is a three-chapter excerpt of what was planned to be a much longer piece of writing. The novel is an example of steampunk, an amalgamation of the two genres of science fiction and historical writing. Inspired by the events of the London Riots in 2011, the novel analyses the discontentment of modern society that lead to this event, through the paralleled society set in an alternate London; where society is divided between the Undercity, where the working class reside, and the Overlay, a city built on top of it and home to the richer inhabitants. The conflict between the bourgeoisie and proletariat is further reflected through the strained relationship of the two main characters, brothers Arthur and Fitzwilliam Seymour. Included within the appendices are examples of the background research and planning that went in to the creation of this work and provides a greater understanding of the novel’s overall plot.
BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing
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