Brideshead Revisited
Brideshead Revisited
by Evelyn Waugh

Brideshead Revisited Analysis

Literary Devices in Brideshead Revisited

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

We’re referring to the slightly morbid dorm-room décor which Charles has lying around early in Book One. We might have missed it altogether if Waugh hadn’t rather pointedly entitle...

Setting

The prologue and epilogue of Brideshead Revisited take place during the early 1940s, in the midst of WWII. Charles’s flashback – the main narrative comprising the novel – goes bac...

Narrator Point of View

Charles Ryder narrates two decades of his own memories over the course of Brideshead Revisited. We’re allowed into the thoughts of the twenty-something Charles he recalls as well as the refle...

Genre

Family seems to the source of everyone’s problems in Brideshead Revisited. Familial conflict certainly drives the novel’s plot and themes, from Lady Marchmain’s machinations to Lo...

Tone

The comic exchanges between Charles and his misanthropic father are some of the most famous in the novel, or even in Waugh’s collective work. This type of sardonic humor pervades Brideshead R...

Writing Style

Brideshead is written with rich, evocative language perfectly suited to the nostalgic nature of Charles’s recollections. If you get down to the level of the nitty-gritty, you’ll notice...

What’s Up With the Title?

(Note: This section is about the title of the novel, "Brideshead Revisited." For a discussion of the two internal titles, "Book One, Et in Arcadia Ego" and "Book Two, A Twitch Upon the Thread," see...

What’s Up With the Epigraph?

"I am not I; thou art not he or she; they are not they."First of all, it’s not an epigraph – it’s the author’s note. But we figured this is as good a place as any to talk ab...

What’s Up With the Ending?

Surprise! Charles is now a Catholic. Did you notice? If not, don’t worry, because we only get two small clues that Charles has converted by the time he’s in the army in the 1940s. The f...

Plot Analysis

Sebastian pukes into Charles’s first floor window.This is the start of a beautiful friendship. Sebastian’s eccentricities captivate Charles’s attention and draw him into the "ench...

Booker’s Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Voyage and Return

Charles seeks a "low door in the wall" as an entrance to an "enchanted garden." Then he meets Sebastian.The ‘other world’ here is a metaphorical one, and consists largely of Sebastian&#...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Charles meets Sebastian and makes several trips to Brideshead, where he is captivated by the estate and drawn into the Flyte family and all the baggage that goes with them.Sebastian becomes an alco...

Trivia

Remember Sebastian’s teddy bear Aloysius? Turns out Waugh based this delightful little eccentricity on one of his friend’s at Oxford who indeed carried a stuffed bear ("Archie") around...

Steaminess Rating

We're rating this PG-13, but only because all the sex and alcohol-related words in Brideshead Revisited are at a level of vocabulary too advanced for those under the age of thirteen to understand....

Allusions

William Shakespeare, Henry IV ("Henry’s speech on St. Crispin’s day") (prologue.31)Edward Marsh (editor), Georgian Poetry (1.1.27)Compton Mackenzie, Sinister Street (1.1.27)Norman Dougl...

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