A Detached Search for Connection: The Role of Affect and Contemporary Society in Millennial Women’s Fiction
Woude, Sara van der
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis investigates the role of detachment in fiction written by authors from the millennial generation (born 1981-1996). This is a highly relevant subject, as detachment from the self, others and society inhibits both personal wellbeing and societal progress. In order to gain insight into the state of attachment among the millennial generation, I have analysed interpersonal relationships in Naoise Dolan’s Exciting Times (2020) and Sally Rooney’s Beautiful World, Where Are You (2021), specifically by looking at the characters’ dialogue and inner monologue. I argue that in their portrayal of platonic and romantic relationships, the novels each present opposite views on the interaction between personal wellbeing and the political climate. Where Dolan’s novel depicts the stance that societal circumstances must first change in order to repair individual psychological health and engagement, Rooney’s novel presents the idea that small-scale connections can aid the restoration of both personal wellbeing and attachment to society and progress. The variation in these approaches affirms both the actuality of the debate on millennial detachment and the potential that fiction has to offer scenarios and solutions for the real world.