ABSTRACT: This article argues that Heartbreak House (1919) complicates the familiar modernist narrative of returning home for redemption by placing its central action in a bizarre, nautical-themed home that parodies key understandings of the design and uses of architectural space that arose following World War I. Drawing upon Shaw’s own engagements with architecture and interior design, the article examines how the play creates an image of totality and completeness through Captain Shotover’s home before it depicts this space’s literal and metaphoric splintering. The troubled and troubling relationship that characters have to the space around them stands as a metaphor of their own understanding of social organization and its radical reestimation in the early decades of the twentieth century.
SHAW: The Journal of Bernard Shaw Studies – Penn State University Press
Published: Nov 15, 2016