A Month in the Country

The Theme of the "Outsider" in A Month in the Country 12th Grade

Written by J.L Carr, A Month in the Country focuses on the story of Tom Birkin; a veteran of World War I who, after his wife leaves him, takes a job to restore a medieval painting in the church of a small village in Yorkshire named Oxgodby. The author explores the theme of “the outsider” throughout his novel using it as a basis for the narrative and integrating it into the protagonist's character. The development of this theme is further aided by the depiction of Oxgodby’s community, the characterization of the protagonist as an outsider and the development of his relationship with fellow veteran Charles Moon.

The setting of A Month in the Country portrays the theme of "the outsider" through Oxgodby's close communal atmosphere, typical of small village life. Presenting Oxgodby in this light further exemplifies the outcast status of Tom, Moon and Reverend Keach, forming the sub-plot integration of Birkin into the village society. Birkin observes his secluded situation in the town with the reflection that- "Most country people had a deep-rooted disinclination to sleep away from home and a belief that, like as not, to sojourn amongst strangers was to fall among thieves". This metaphor implies the views that "country people"...

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