by Evelyn Waugh
Brideshead Revisited Theme of Friendship
Brideshead Revisited revolves around a close friendship between two young men who meet in college. Loyalty is tested when friendship comes in conflict with family, and a territorial sense of ownership means tensions run high. The relationship between these young men or may not be sexual in nature, but it is undeniably one of unconditional love. Friendship is an isolating force in this novel; the closer the two young men become, the less they care to interact with the rest of the world. And the more the world impinges on their time together, the further they are driven apart.
Questions About Friendship
- Sebastian declares that he is friends with Kurt because "it’s a rather pleasant change when all your life you’ve had people looking after you, to have someone to look after yourself." Does this also explain his affinity for Charles?
- You’ve heard our two cents on the matter, but how do you interpret Charles and Sebastian’s relationship? Do you think there is romantic love involved? Sexual love? Specifically, what passages in the text help to interpret this?
- Does Charles abandon Sebastian, or does Sebastian abandon Charles?
Chew on This
Charles and Sebastian’s friendship is only possible in isolation from the rest of the world.
Charles and Sebastian’s friendship is predicated upon mutual deception.