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Brideshead Revisited Themes
Little Words, Big Ideas
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 owners...
Catholicism is a main focus of Brideshead Revisited. From hurried pre-wedding conversions to dinner-table debates on dogma, religion dominates the novel’s thematic focus. Every character stru...
Family is a huge source of conflict in Brideshead Revisited. The novel takes place in England over the course of the 1920s and '30s, when rank and titles among the aristocracy meant that expectatio...
Memory and The Past
Brideshead Revisited is told as a first-person narrative by a middle-aged man recalling what, for him, were much better days: his college years at Oxford and the decade that followed. While his mem...
Youth is repeatedly referred to as "Arcadia," or heaven, in Brideshead Revisited. The novel is told as the recollection of a middle-aged man, so it may well be that a pair of rose-colored glasses i...
Art and Culture
Brideshead Revisited is the story of a young man’s aesthetic education as he discovers a world of architectural beauty and struggles to build a life as an artist. Nearly all the novel’s...
Drugs and Alcohol
Alcoholism is at the center of Brideshead Revisited and essentially destroys a beautiful, charming young man. Of course, the alcoholism itself is driven by a slew of other problems, namely family a...
Society and Class
Brideshead Revisited offers a view into the world of British aristocracy in the 1920s and '30s. Titles, rank, and the obligations that go with them threaten to determine the course of each characte...
The narrator of Brideshead Revisited struggles to understand and define love over the course of two decades. The novel explores many different kinds of love, from the "romantic" but not necessarily...
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