On Chesil Beach Literary Elements

On Chesil Beach Literary Elements


Love story, social novel.

Setting and Context

The events in the story take place in a small hotel on the Dorset seashore, at Chesil Beach, Great Britain.

Narrator and Point of View

Third-person narration

Tone and Mood

In the story a sorrowful tone prevails, connected with the loss of all hopes and broken hearts sometimes ironic, even cynical when it goes about social and political aspects.

Protagonist and Antagonist

The protagonists of the story are Florence and Edward, a young couple, who has just married and the antagonist is a society, where existed strict rules which were obstructions for their happiness. But, on the other aspect, Florence and Edward become protagonists and antagonists in relation to each other, because their life values don’t coincide.

Major Conflict

The major conflict stands in contradiction between Florence’s and Edward’s attitude to sex.


The climax happens when newlywed have a quarrel at their wedding night on the beach and Florence leaves him.




In the story the role of love as the only thing which is needed for a happy marriage is understated.


The story alludes to historical events and famous people who created these events: Caesar, Charlemagne, Frederick II, Catherine the Great, Nelson, and Napoleon; Islamic conference in Baghdad, Communist east to the west of the city by way of a commandeered steamship on the Spree.


See the imagery section


The paradox of the story is evident: love can exist without sex for Florence, but it can't for Edward.


The story has parallels with social stereotypes, prejudices, the beginning of sexual revolution and change of moral values in society on example of one young couple.

Metonymy and Synecdoche

The author uses metonymy and synecdoche to reinforce the importance of the utterance: “pinnacle of existence”, “their favorite topics was their childhoods”, “great man theory”.


The author uses personification in descriptions of nature for creating a strong atmosphere: “trees clinging to a steep bank”, “a way lined by weeds of extravagant size”, “thick-veined leaves”.

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