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An Unsocial Socialist   By: (1856-1950)

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An Unsocial Socialist by Bernard Shaw is a captivating and thought-provoking novel that delves into the complexities of social and political ideologies. Set in the late 19th century, the story unravels the life of Sidney Trefusis, a young and idealistic socialist who becomes embroiled in a web of personal and political dilemmas.

Shaw masterfully crafts a narrative that exposes the contradictions within the socialist movement, highlighting the inherent flaws that often arise when ideals clash with individual desires. Through Sidney's character, Shaw explores the tension between communism and the pursuit of personal happiness, and raises profound questions about the nature of society and the role of individuals within it.

One of the most striking aspects of the novel is Shaw's ability to create multifaceted characters that challenge traditional stereotypes. Sidney Trefusis embodies the complexities of an idealistic revolutionary, torn between his commitment to socialist principles and his own romantic longings. The other characters, including Sidney's love interest, Henrietta, and his enigmatic and eccentric aunt, Lady Bastaple, add depth and richness to the narrative, each representing different facets of society's expectations and limitations.

With his trademark wit and sharp social commentary, Shaw offers a scathing critique of the upper classes, exposing their hypocrisy and self-interest. The novel takes the reader on a journey through the intricate webs of power and privilege, shining a light on the manipulations and subversions that drive society.

An Unsocial Socialist is not just a political novel; it is a deeply philosophical exploration of human nature, morality, and the pursuit of happiness. Shaw delves into the inner thoughts and motivations of his characters, providing insights into their experiences and ideologies. Through these introspective moments, the author challenges readers to question their own beliefs and confront the inherent contradictions within human society.

While the novel may not be as well-known as Shaw's other works, such as Pygmalion or Arms and the Man, it stands as a testament to his mastery of both storytelling and social critique. An Unsocial Socialist is a compelling and intellectually stimulating read, urging its audience to question their own political and social convictions.

In conclusion, An Unsocial Socialist is a true gem within Shaw's literary repertoire. It offers a refreshing perspective on socialism and its implications, while also shining a light on the complexities of human nature. A must-read for anyone interested in political philosophy, social critiques, or simply a well-crafted and engaging novel.

First Page:


by George Bernard Shaw


In the dusk of an October evening, a sensible looking woman of forty came out through an oaken door to a broad landing on the first floor of an old English country house. A braid of her hair had fallen forward as if she had been stooping over book or pen; and she stood for a moment to smooth it, and to gaze contemplatively not in the least sentimentally through the tall, narrow window. The sun was setting, but its glories were at the other side of the house; for this window looked eastward, where the landscape of sheepwalks and pasture land was sobering at the approach of darkness.

The lady, like one to whom silence and quiet were luxuries, lingered on the landing for some time. Then she turned towards another door, on which was inscribed, in white letters, Class Room No. 6. Arrested by a whispering above, she paused in the doorway, and looked up the stairs along a broad smooth handrail that swept round in an unbroken curve at each landing, forming an inclined plane from the top to the bottom of the house.

A young voice, apparently mimicking someone, now came from above, saying,

"We will take the Etudes de la Velocite next, if you please, ladies."

Immediately a girl in a holland dress shot down through space; whirled round the curve with a fearless centrifugal toss of her ankle; and vanished into the darkness beneath... Continue reading book >>

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