Evelyn Waugh: Vile Bodies

(2408 words)

Vile Bodies (1930) is a novel by Evelyn Waugh, set in the near future (the early 1930s). The action occurs mainly in England, though in the first chapter characters cross the English Channel in a ship, and the ironically entitled “Happy Ending” takes place on a battlefield in what seems to be France. Characters are generally realistic, but Vile Bodies is satirical, and Waugh emphasizes their knavery and folly. The effect is often comical, but the tone of the novel is ultimately sad, for the world of Vile Bodies is degraded and fallen, and the characters are incapable of improving it. The title comes from the Bible, Philippians 3:21 in the King James Version: Jesus Christ “shall change our vile body,…

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Wilson, John Howard. "Vile Bodies". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 June 2010
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=8624, accessed 25 November 2015.]