Keep the Aspidistra Flying Literary Elements

Keep the Aspidistra Flying Literary Elements


Twentieth Century Fiction

Setting and Context

London, England, 1930s

Narrator and Point of View

The novel is written from Gordon Comstock's point of view although the author's point of view seems very similar

Tone and Mood

Hopeless and depressing are the words that spring to mind both for Gordon's situation and also for the fact that he does not even seem to realize how depressing his life has become.

Protagonist and Antagonist

Gordon is the protagonist. What he sees as society's dependence on money is the antagonist

Major Conflict

There is conflict between Gordon and Rosemary regarding sleeping together and the root cause of her reluctance to do so


Gordon decides to return. To the mainstream life that he has despised because Rosemary is pregnant.


The fact that Gordon's first slim anthology of poetry was only published because his friend called in some favors from a publisher foreshadows the fact that his "magnum opus" is unlikely to get published and that his work is not strong enough to be published without pulling strings


Rosemary expressed concerns that their child will not be entering a secure environment which is an understatement because Gordon's finances are so tenuous that he can't even support himself let alone a family


Gordon alludes to the Marxist "Anti-Christ" which in turn alludes to other left-wing manifesto magazines and pamphlets of the day


The reader imagines the entire book in a sort of grayscale color as every visual image painted for the reader is depressing and dank. Everything in Gordon's life seems to take on the hue and the smells of his horrible bedsit and the images created mirror the hopelessness and boredom of his life


Gordon believes money would make him more attractive to women and blames money itself for this when in fact his lack of money is making him bitter and spiteful which is what is actually repelling women


There is a parallel between Rosemary's desire for Gordon to return to a paying job and his own suppressed desire to do so

Metonymy and Synecdoche

The lower middle classes : identifies all people of a certain class and moreover a certain set of behaviors as one


There is no personification in this novel

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