Stillness in Locomotion and Self-dissolution of Metropolitans in Bowen's To the North


  • Yena Wang Shanghai Institute of Technology



Elizabeth Bowen, To the North, stillness, locomotion, self-dissolution


This article is to justify that modern metropolitans suffer from the dissolution of identities and a loss of loving ability to be a modern man of complete personality. Motion and stillness, life and death coexist within the same urban space of metropolitans. And the stillness in urban life space is both the cause and effect to accelerate the process of self-dissolution of metropolitans. The identities and autonomy of Bowen’s city dwellers are formed and destroyed in the process of moving. Bowen represents the metropolitans’ predicaments of self-dissolution during interwar London by setting them in a depressing space of constant travels and emotional stillness in locomotion. The crazy mobility brings the destructive outcome to make its subjects into the absolute stillness and self-dissolution of the subjects, which is also a common living state of modern city dwellers. This article tries to bring an awareness as well as to show a sympathetic feeling towards those predicated modern man.

Author Biography

Yena Wang, Shanghai Institute of Technology

School of Foreign Languages


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