Braine’s primary aim is to encourage his readers to reflect on the political and social systems around them.’ Discuss the ways in which Braine achieves this in Room At The Top.

Braine’s primary aim is to encourage his readers to reflect on the political and social systems around them.’ Discuss the ways in which Braine achieves this in Room At The Top.

Paul Catherall

John Braine’s novel ‘Room At The Top,’ is both the novel of an individual, and an entire generation. Written in 1957, it offers an insight into the cultural milieu of the post-war period, and provides a critical view of the society of the fifties from a working class perspective.
Although the novel is less concerned with politics, and more with the condition of individuals within an existing social framework, it is perhaps worth considering the possible influence of contemporary social, cultural and political events. The immediate post war era was a period of uncertainties for Britain; in particular, the nineteen fifties saw Britain’s world influence diminish, as the balance of power moved unalterably from the old European empires of France, Germany and Britain, to the new superpowers of the United States and the U.S.S.R. This sense of national insecurity came to a head in 1956 with the Suez crisis, when Britain was forced by protest at home, and by the international community to withdraw her military presence at the Suez canal. For many, the withdrawal of the British from Egypt signalled not only the end of the Imperial era, but the decline of a backwards looking, hierarchical establishment.
Social and political hegemony during the nineteen fifties was also destabilised by the arms race, and by the polarisation of ideologies between the capitalist West and Socialist Russia. The threat of nuclear war following the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 was intensified by diplomatic suspicion and unease between the superpowers following the invasion of Hungary and isolation of Eastern Berlin by Russia in 1945. Popular culture immediately registered the unease felt over the cold war, seen in the establishment of CND in 1958, and in subsequent popular demonstrations held around Britain.
Following the aftermath of the Second World War, the British industrial framework had been left fragmented; the economy, in depression, was largely still confined to American support, and the return of thousands of British servicemen brought mass unemployment to many of the larger cities. The popular belief that prosperity was at hand following the end of hostilities was largely unfounded, demonstrated by continued shortage of foods and luxury items, and by the government’s use of rationing until 1952.
During the 1946-51 Labour administration, social welfare became the focus of government policy. The National Health and Social Security services provided the working classes with a better standard of living, although educational opportunities for the working classes were still limited.
With the ascendancy of the Conservatives under Churchill in 1951, many working class people felt betrayed and isolated, as the government implemented it’s Industrial Charter, supporting the capitalist economy with favourable free trade policies for business, but paying what many considered too little attention to much needed reforms in education and working class living conditions.
It is in this bitter, often cynical vein that Braine delivers his critique of British society. Joe Lampton is not just the study of a character at odds with a restricted and often oppressive social hierarchy, but representative of the whole post-war generation which found itself heir to a rapidly changing but still undeveloped Meritocracy.
To defend realism in the 1950s was to be aligned not only with empiricism, common sense.. along the lines of fielding and dickens, but also with a broad commitment to liberal humanism. (23)
When we first see Joe Lampton in Chapter 1 of Room At The Top, we are presented with an idealistic, yet dissipated’ young man; the dynamic image of the train suggests social mobility and is a metaphor for Joe’s sense of relentless ambition:
“I was a dissipated traveller… directionless, mobile, violently hurtling to a better life. (1.)

Incidental comment on characters and surroundings often emphasise Braine’s emphasis on society and class, this is reflected in Joe’s constant allusion to his former working class status:
‘The clothes were my Sunday best… the most expensive I’d ever possessed…’ (2.)

The use of the retrospective narrative voice adds an objective tone to the narrator’s opinion of Joe, this is often revealed through the use of subtle metaphors. The narrator emphasises that Joe is defined by his environment, the tie-pin, shaped like a dagger, suggests how objects of everyday domesticity represent the individual’s conformity to convention:
the knot of my tie, held in place by a hideous pin shaped by a dagger.’ (3.)

The cynicism with which the narrator recalls his earlier life suggests the naiveté of the younger man, and the dissolution and negativity of the narrator; the younger man lacks a kind the sophistication which the acquisition of money and experience brings:
‘My face was unused… not an innocent face, but naive of the muck one wades through to get what one wants…” (4)

The beginning of Joe’s new social mobility rests upon the support of the landlady at his bedsit, his use of standard English and adherence to upper class social convention initiates him into the world of the middle classes:
I had the impression of passing some test.” (5)

Joe constantly compares the world of the mill-town with that of the Top, this presence of binary opposites is present throughout the novel, drawing our attention to contemporary social reality, and the gulf between rich and poor:
‘My lodgings might have easily been one of those scruffy little houses by the station… I instead, I was going to the Top…’ (6)

Joe’s humorous description of Dufton is bitterley ironic, his remark that the river runs different colours suggests the decay and social exploitation of the industrial north:
“A lot of mills. And a chemical factory. And a Grammar school and a war memorial and a river that runs different colours each day.” (8)

Similarly, the contented world of the middle classes reflects Joe’s new optimism, absent from the confined world of the dismal mill towns:
“It was as if every sound – the wood fire’s friendly crackling., the tingle of crockery, the splash of running water – were invented for my pleasure.” (11)

The idylicism of the Thompson household is contrasted with the conformity and respectability of the town hall:
“As soon as I passed the front door, I recognised the municipal smell of radiators, disinfectant and floor polish… I’d forgotten how depressing it could be.”(12)

Joe is ultimately a member of the working classes who had been accepted into a new and better world. The experience is at first unreal for him, he feels as if he is experiencing an illusion or dream. A metaphor for Joe’s inability to accept this new reality is seen in his falling in the park, when the sudden sensation of pins and needles causes him to stumble after being numb. Joe’s first impression after recovering from numbness is of the colour of the surrounding park:
“It was as if some barrier had been removed, everything seemed intensely real, as if I were watching myself take part in a documentary film… The black cobbles splashed green and yellow and red with squashed fruit and vegetables…” (14)

Joe is frustrated by his own working class status, this is emphasised when he sees an expensive Aston-Martin car, with a glamorous young couple, working class dissatisfaction and frustration overcomes Joe’s earlier suppression of envy:
“I wanted a three guinea linen shirt, I wanted a girl with a Riviera suntan – these were my rights, I felt, a signed and sealed legacy.” (15)

The older narrator admits that he felt envy as a young man. Joe’s grading system is a safety valve for suppressed anger:
‘It was an incantation, a ritual; the frank admission of envy somehow cleansed us of it…” (16)

Joe is embittered by the lack of rights the working classes have against the ruling elite, he has voted for the previous labour government, but only because of his hatred for the ruling classes. Joe exposes working class apathy, and inability to fight contemporary injustice:

I wasn’t I may add, bothered about all this from a political point of view though if I’d been in a job where I was allowed to take part in politics I might have tried to clear up the mess – eventually, I suppose form a place like Hampstead, which, believe it or not is where Dufton’s Labour MP lives.(I voted for him in 1945…. …partly because the Tory candidate was a relative of the Torves, who owned the biggest firm in Dufton, and I wasn’t going to help them in any way -it would have amounted to licking their already well-liked boots.’) (20)

Far from supporting his town, or the working class itself, Joe instead seeks to join his so called enemies, as far as he is concerned, his humbler origins are best forgotten:
Dufton was dead, dead, dead…’ (21)

The encounter with Jack Wales and Susan reinforces this idea of social displacement. Joe is a child of the working classes, and identifies the upper classes as his enemies, yet he attempts to court one of their number simply for personal gain. Paradoxically, Joe defends his working class origins when confronted by Jack, the distinction between their wartime rank emphasises the survival of traditional class prejudice in society:
‘I knew him straight away. the big RAF moustache was worn with the right degree of nonchalance; he’d been an officer, it was an officer’s adornment. I never grew one myself for precisely that reason…’ (22)

Cultural inferiority is also one of Joe’s frustrations, the Thespians poke fun at Jack for slouching or mis-pronouncing his lines, but to Joe these are insults to his potential to be a success:
D’Ebon Rides Again,’ said Alice, ‘What a thought- erotic vices among the working classes..
I am working class,’ I said sulkily. And you needn’t explain your little quip. I know all about the Chevalier. I read a book once.’ (24.)

The new social mobility of the working classes is reflected in the skills Joe has acquired during his RAF service, for many young, working class men, the services have provided a new sophistication and self awareness. This sense of radical change in outlook and experience in the young men who returned from war, is reflected in Joe’s accountancy training whilst a prisoner of war, and in his ability to drive – then an occupation of the few:
‘Can you drive?’
‘Oddly enough, yes, I said.’ (25)

The drive to the St. Claire’s pub takes Alice and Joe past the Brown residence, Joe has never actually seen such opulent surroundings before, impressing his limited, and working class background and experience:
We were driving down Poplar avenue. From a big house to our left came a blaze of light and music. There was a gate half open in the high wall. I caught a glimpse of water and a white platform. My God!’ I said, ‘A swimming pool.’ (26)

Information and knowledge are essential to social mobility. Jack Wales is a member of the wealthy elite, and as such can afford to study Science at Cambridge, Joe has had to study whenever the opportunity has presented itself, thus his education in accountancy whilst actually a prisoner of war. Information and knowledge are the bastions of power, this is reflected in the close proximity of the library to the centre of power in Warley:
‘The library shared the same building as the town hall.’ (27)

To Joe, the world of university represents the domination of an oppressive establishment, reflecting the reality of the education system of the nineteen fifties, when compulsory secondary education had just come into being, but little provision had been made for higher education outside the precincts of the old Universities. For Joe, the University is a school for the future ruling class:
And over it all, the atmosphere of power, power speaking implacable standard English, power which was power because it was born of the right family, always knew the right people: if you were going to run the country you couldn’t do without a University Education.’ (28)

The futility of Joe’s predicament in desiring power and wealth is impressed through the Juxtaposition of the former scene, where Joe imagines the power and advantages of Jack Wales and with one where Joe phones Susan at a broken phone booth, in the faint hope that she will consent to go out with him:
There was a pane missing in the kiosk and a cold wind blew in. My hands were shaking with excitement…’ (29)

Despite his disadvantages, Joe must adopt the mannerisms of the upper classes to appear an acceptable suitor for Susan. On one hand he condemns the establishment, describing the upper classes as his enemies, and on the other hand, he imitates and attempts to embrace this new affluent society. Joe compares his situation with that of the allegorical fairy tale prince, admitting that he is the pauper:
Susan was a princess and I was the equivalent of a swine herd. I was, as you might say, acting out a fairy story. the trouble was that there were more difficult obstacles than dragons and enchanters to overcome.’ (29)

Joe’s frank admission that he is exploiting the socialites of warley suggests a comment from Braine on the nature of morality and ethics. Just as Joe suggests that the Thompson boy was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, he admits that he is no gentleman, but merely seizes the opportunities that life offers. Braine exploits traditional working class values, highlighting the moribund and degenerate affairs of the Thespians, who, like Eva Storr, assume the hypocritical appearance of upper class respectability and superiority, whilst being unfaithful to their spouse. Joe ‘s relationship with Alice is also amoral by traditional standards, he consciously disregards convention and sleeps with an older woman. Joe’s admission of guilt suggests not a condemnation of extra marital affairs, but
seeks to expose the hypocritical social reality of the upper classes.
June calls Joe a gentleman, but he admits that he can never be one in the true sense of the word:
‘Don’t depend on it I said.’ (30)

Braine does seem to attack the social superiority of the upper classes, perhaps questioning their divine rights to influence and govern the rest of the society. Almost all the wealthy, successful inhabitants of warley have inherited rather than earned their wealth; what we witness is a general pattern in the narrator’s subtle descriptions of these entrepreneurs, describing them as physically gross, degenerate or warped in some way. their dress is usually ostentatious, as if emphasising their enhanced social status, they have frequently pale and pallid complexions, and appear just as depressing and confined by their circumstances as the poor. George Aisgill is drawn and lean of build, he sips he whiskey like medicine, and eats sparsely:
it was if he’d deliberately chosen masculinity because it was more comfortable and profitable…’ (31)

The dinner with the Aisgills particularly reflects the sterility of their class, they have no children, and their marriage seems based purely on social and financial motives. When Joe is driven to their bare, 1930s functionalist style house, he reflects on their wealth, considering the ostentatiousness of their car:
‘It was like being in a mobile drawing room; except that it was a great deal more comfortable than many drawing rooms.’ (32)

Passing the Wales’ mansion, Joe is impressed by the enormity of the task that lies before him in securing Susan; the working classes inhabit a different reality from that which his rival Wales comes, Joe’s repetition of the word and suggests the awe felt by a child at something beyond their comprehension:
‘It was a mansion in fact, a genuine Victorian mansion with turrets and battlements and a drive at least quarter of a mile long and a lodge at the gate….’ (33)

The working class concern with rationing is mad fun of by the aisgills, reflecting contemporary concerns over fair food supplies between the classes. Joe says the Aisgills have used up their ration – they insist they have ‘lots more.’ the Aisgills obviously eat better than the average family because of their connections and are able to bypass rationing, rather than condemn this injustice, Joe becomes a willing participant in this minor crime:
It was perfectly clear, and I enjoyed the meat all the more. It was like driving Alice’s car; for a moment I was living on the level I wanted to occupy presently. I was the hero of one of those comedies with a title like King for a day… tasting the undeniable reality of home killed beef and feeling the whiskey warm in my belly, put myself into George’s shoes.’ (34)

The relationship with Susan emphasises Joe’s humble origins, he frequently admits to using Susan simply for social advancement, this is seen when he takes her to an expensive cafe:
‘She was my passport, it was her sort of place…’ (35)

Joe cannot seem to find happiness with Susan, and finds her company almost irritating; he secretly envies her privileges. Susan suggests that her father had much responsibility during the war. Joe reflects that the war must have been a boom period for many businessman, reflecting contemporary distrust of those entrepreneurs who had profited from wartime industry:
What fun he would have had too, I thought. The rich always had the most fun during the war. They had the double pleasure of influencing the course of events and making themselves still richer..’ (36)

With Alice, however, Joe has discovered a warm and loving friendship, and is able to express his true feelings. The relationship is however slightly maternal, and reflects Joe’s displacement from society as one made parent less by war. Alice’s own barrenness also suggests a maternal void filled by Joe. the relationship draws attention to the confined and restricted morality of the nineteen fifties, since their relationship will ultimately be broken partly by social pressure:
‘When Alice came to sit beside me the sense of pleasure increased. I felt reassured too, protected like a child…’ (37)

Joe repeatedly transgresses the moral parameters of convention, by taking out Susan, he violates the social code of the good match between individuals with the same financial background, thus incurring the displeasure of the establishments committee. Braine seems to pose the lower class individual against society from almost every angle, this defiance of convention is a challenge to conventional social boundaries:
‘I was the devil of a fellow, I was the lover of a married woman, I was taking out the daughter of one of the richest men in Warley, there wasn’t a damn thing I could do… (38)

At Christmas, Joe stays in Dufton, but is displeased with his town, after the experience of warley ,he views his old home as an industrial backwater:
‘It was too low, too dingy, too working class…’ (39)

When Joe meets George, they discuss beer, the bulwark of the north,’ commenting that this kind of social activity is a content way to control society. This message seems a comment from Braine on the ineffectuality of the working classes:
‘The mainstay of the industrial north… If the Dufton pubs closed for just one day, there wouldn’t a be a virgin or an unbroken window left by 10 o clock.’ (40)

The inadequate social system of the northern towns is demonstrated in Aunt Emily’s discussion of fatalities in the family, she wants to remind Joe of the advances he has made, in contrast to the bitter hardships of the past. She cautions against marrying too far above himself:
‘you’re grandpa wo’r killed at the mill… and not a penny piece compensation did your grandma get….Money marries money lad. be careful she doesn’t break your heart.’ (41)

Joe’s response reveals the apathy of the working classes to content themselves with their lot, Joe defies her aunt – he will have Susan, regardless of his true feelings for her:
‘I love her. I ‘m going to marry her.’ But I felt shamefaced as I spoke.’ (42)

Joe’s response to the second world war is reflected in his description of his old home, now a burnt out ruin, his thoughts are of wasted lives and injustice on the most vulnerable members of society:
A sluggish wind crept down from the Pennines, cold and damp and spiteful, trying to find a gap in my defences… it had no power over me now, it was a killer only of the poor and the weak.’ (43)

The memory of walking through the ruined house suggests braine’s desire to reflect the full horrors of war as it truly affected the ordinary man ,without the subjectivity of propagandist sentiment:
But what made me really sick was treading on a piece of flesh which squirmed from under my foot like a mouse… I couldn’t connect it with father and mother. I refused to accept it.’ (44)

Similarly, Alice discusses the hidden trauma of the servicemen, exposing the little discussed agony of a generation of young men scarred by the experience of war, and perhaps the frustrations of many British people with the propaganda and patriotism that surrounded the myth of England and the cause that so many young men died for:
‘All these men, so well mannered and mild and agreeable – but what’s behind it all? Violence and death. They’ve seen things which you’d think would drive anyone mad, and yet there’s no trace.’ (45)

The town hall officers also discuss the war, interestingly, Reggie describes himself as an anti-hero:
‘I became the B A’s most inefficient clerk… then I became the B A’s most frightened infantryman. ‘ (46)

Reggie describes horrors of war as seen first hand, we get the impression that although he perhaps cannot express his true feelings on the subject, the experience of war has deeply affected him; Braine’s treatment of the war seems to give the ordinary soldier a voice above the nationalism of wartime publicity and propaganda :
‘I once saw a Jerry open the turret of a Sherman and throw in a hand grenade…’ (47)

For Joe, the war had been a practical opportunity to become educated, Alice demands why Joe didn’t escape from the POW camp:

‘It was all right for him to escape. he had a rich daddy to look after him and to buy him an education. he could afford to waste his time, I couldn’t. those three years were the only chance I’d get to be qualified…. I was bloody well pleased when I was captured… I didn’t like being a prisoner, but it was a damned sight better than being dead.’ (48)

The working classes feature prominently in the novel, they often appear lethargic, doomed to follow their predestined path of servitude in the more menial occupations; their clothes, habits and even expressions seem to conform to an acceptable pattern or stereotype; this is seen in the young man accompanying his girlfriend:
‘I felt a mean complacency; with that solid mass of brillianted hair and mass produced face, bony, awkward, mousy, …the face enjoying itself at Blackpool.. – Len or Sid or Ron – he’d never had the chance of enjoying a woman like Susan.. the passion and innocence which a hundred thousand in the bank could alone make possible.’ (49)

When Joe and Susan travel to Burley woods, Susan’s accent attracts attention:
To speak standard English is itself suspect… And to talk about holidays abroad is one of the most infallible marks of the stuck up.’ (50)

When alone together, Susan demands that Joe never slight her again, Joe resents her priggish manner and morality:
I felt angry. She was lucky, she’d always been lucky, she’d never known the reality of a cold bedroom and the stuffy living room with the blaring radio, she’d never had to worry about exams or a job or the price of new clothes, even her way of speaking with its touchingly childish affections was a luxury no one of the working classes could afford.’ (51)

Susan is no more to Joe than a rung up the social ladder, she is in many ways a direct contrast with Joe, and far less suitable a match than Alice:
‘a part of me felt a great tenderness for her.. but the most important part of me was continuing the operation according to plan.’ (52)

Susan conforms to the sterile character type seen amongst most of the middle and upper classes . Susan repeatedly seems utterly Platonic with Joe, cold and decorous, rather than passionate:
‘Her hands were icy. ‘We’d better go, I said,’ ‘You’re cold.’ (53)

Joe is called to see his chief, Hoylake doesn’t want to be the tool of the establishment, but is bound by ties of loyalty and social convention to dissuade Joe from pursuing Brown ‘s daughter. Brown is an important councillor, and head of the Establishments Committee; Joe is an intelligent man and will understand what Hoylake is trying to say:
‘He is as you know the chairman the establishments committee. He’s an engineer; he’s an engineer, he likes everything about him to run with the smoothness of first class machinery. He has his whole life, and the life of his family, arranged in detail for the next twenty years. If anyone got in his way, he’s be utterly ruthless…’ (54)

The social world, for all Hoylake’s meritocratic promise of promotion, defines and dominates the establishment of local government, the very name of the establishments committee’ is suggestive of central government and the presence of the ruling class.

The description of the dark office, in which Hoylake’s desk looks like an operating table, suggests that the process is like an operation, and that Joe is like malignant tissue being expunged from the social body:
I was on the outside again, my grubby little face pressed against the window, I’d lost the wherewithal to buy what I hankered for, and the shopkeeper was chasing me away.’ (55)

Allusions are consistently made to a fascist state, a restrained meritocracy, which has not yet acquired to full freedoms of civil liberties, this idea is reflected in the complaints of Robbins the chemist:
Every damned thing rationed, not one promise kept. You might think they were deliberately trying to ruin the business man. Where’s our freedom?…Were under a Gestapo…’ (56)

Joe compares himself to Jack Wales – bitterly imitating an official report or economics lesson, as if voicing the conventions of the establishment:
…he had all the qualities which his rival so conspicuously lacks, he is at present studying for a science degree at Cambridge… he also possesses the polish of manner, the habit of command, the calm superiority of bearing which are the attributes of -let us not be afraid to use the word – a gentleman.’ (57)

Though the 1950’s are not ‘The middle ages’ (58) the social hierarchy of Warley will prevent the relationship of Joe and Susan as gently as possible, the rebuff by the Storrs also suggests that the influence of Brown reaches deep into warley society:
‘You fool, I said aloud to myself, you bloody fool. Why didn’t you see it before? The whole of Warley’s ganged up against you. I looked at myself in the mirror… the suit was my demob utility. And I was wearing my shirt for the second day. I had the working class mentality…’ (59)

Joe is continually made to feel uncomfortable at the civic ball, his poorly fitting clothes suggest his awkwardness at the occasion. Jack ridicules Joe by referring to upper class friends that served over Joe in the forces:
‘I ‘ve never in all my life felt so completely friendless.. with the viscous little darts laden with the pride-paralysing curae of Do you know – ? and Surely you’ve met -? (60)

Joe feels compromised by circumstances, he breaks off contact with Susan, but begins afresh with Alice. Despite their happiness, the relationship is impractical, Joe bemoans their lack of private income, since Joe’s livelihood is threatened by the establishment of Warley and influence of Gerorge Aisgill, this improbable relationship reflects the constraints and limitations imposed on society be the conventions of the establishment:
‘For, although we’d planned a lifetime together, we instinctively behaved as if we were meeting for the last time,’ (62)

On the return to Warley, Joe is invited to the conservative club by Mr. Brown, he is given an ultimatum to leave Susan, but adamantly refuses. The result is startling, Brown will accept Joe as his son in law, providing he finishes his relationship with Alice, the paradox now awaits Joe – to choose the woman he truly loves, a relationship which may ruin him, or one he does not love which promises the delivery of all his ambitions. Success at the top however, may mean more sacrifices than Joe is willing to give:
‘You’re the sort of young man we want. there’s always room at the top’ (62)

By accepting Brown’s offer, Joe conforms to the social conventions of the upper classes, and himself becomes ‘the successful zombie,’ a living replica of the kind of man he used to despise. In truth, he has contributed to the demise of Alice, but his decision -between an uncertain future with a socially unacceptable match, and one promising untold wealth seems less of a choice and more of an inevitable conclusion for al parties concerned. Joe is the father of Susan’s child, and Brown is forced by this and the strength of the law to allow Joe to marry Susan. For a member of the working classes , the opportunity presented in Susan is too good to refuse, she is like his lottery ticket, and he has essentially won a lottery in securing Susan as his wife. Although Joe is torn by the choice he is bound to decide, and is reduced to the bare gutter by his experiences, he is yet bound to continue his relationship with Susan, to the approval of Warley:
‘She’d have ruined your whole life, Nobody blames you…’
I pulled myself away from her abruptly. Oh my God, I said, that’s the trouble.’ (63)

Ultimately, the novel is concerned with society and the influence of social convention on the lives of individuals. The social and political systems of Warley incorporate both council and business, so that considerable power resides with the wealthy alongside the supposed government representatives.
The establishment controls every aspect of town life, from education to social events; they are an elite circle, to which only the most successful individuals within the town may be admitted. The self-consciousness of Joe is particularly apparent in this respect, he constantly alludes to his former state before working for the council in Dufton; the narrator also alludes to Joe’s condition as a younger man, contrasting the uncertainty of youth with the security of later life and success.

The use of binary opposites is particularly important device in the novel, rich and poor, powerful and weak, confidence and apathy, splendour and squalor, all these contrasts are used throughout to give a balanced picture of contemporary society. Dufton is constantly compared with Warley, as are the homes of the wealthy with lower class dwellings Joe has encountered, in particular, Joe compares apparently unconnected things, such as the superiority of the Aston Martin to many houses he has seen.
The novel does therefore have a particular social and political emphasis, and could certainly have been influenced by the Marxist and early New Historicism theories of literature as expounded by terry Eagleton and Raymond Williams during the nineteen forties/fifties. Braine may also have been influenced by the Structuralists, with their emphasis on the social pattern and structure that underlie the individual.


Twentieth Cebntury English Literatur, Harry Blamires, Macmillan Press 1982

Post War Briitsh fiction, Andrizej Gasiorek, Arnold 1995
Possibilities Essays on the state of the novel, Malcom Bradbury, Oxford Paperbacks 1983.

Braine, J, Room At The Top, 1st Publication 1957 (Arrow Books 1997)


1. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.1
2. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.2
3. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.(2.)
4. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) Pp.7-8
5. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) p.9
6. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.9
7. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.13
8. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.16
9. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.18
10. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.23
11. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.22
12. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.24
13. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.26
14. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.26
15. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.29
16. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.29
17. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.32
18. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.34
19. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.34
20. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.34
21. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.34
22. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.40
23. Post War Briitsh fiction – Andrizej Gasiorek, (Arnold 1995) P.4
24. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.49
25. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.35
26. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.51
27. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.56
28. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.56
29. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.57
30. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.58
31. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.59
32. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.65
33. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.66
34. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.69
35. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.75
36. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.77
37. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.77
38. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.78
39. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.86
40. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.86
41. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.90
42. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.91
43. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.94
44. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.96
45. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.103
46. Braine, J, Room At The Top, (Arrow 1997) P.112
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