Iris Murdoch: The Sea, The Sea

(971 words)
  • Anne Rowe (Kingston University)

The Sea, The Sea, explores the attempt by two cousins, Charles and James Arrowby to renounce “magic” and reach a spiritual identity. Their respective journeys allow Murdoch to explore the nature of power, obsession, illusion and self-delusion, which, in this novel, become dangerous and murderous. The book won The Booker Prize in 1978 and is one of Murdoch's masterpieces in the representation of the deluded consciousness of the unreliable narrator, Charles Arrowby. A retired theatrical writer/actor/director and habitual womaniser, he has, throughout his life, conducted a succession of callous and destructive love affairs and most recently nursed his lover, Clement, through a long and painful death due to cancer. As the story …

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Rowe, Anne. "The Sea, The Sea". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 May 2003
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]