The main aim of this thesis is to develop a theoretical approach to working class literature, up to and including the 1930's, in order to place Lewis Grassic Gibbon's A Scots Ouair within the context of working class writing.\ud \ud In developing this approach I have drawn on the critical models of Marxist, feminist, post-colonial and post-structuralist literary theories. These have enabled\ud me to explore issues of economic marginalisation, imperialism and the construction of gender and identity,\ud as raised both by Gibbon's distinctive narrative and\ud linguistic style and by earlier texts.\ud \ud The main argument of my thesis is that many of the themes and issues found in earlier working class literature, such as poverty and unemployment, find expression in A Scots Ouair, and that Gibbon's narrative and linguistic style constitutes an aesthetic realisation of his political vision. In addition I consider the idea of silencing and ellipsis as a defining characteristic of Gibbon"s work and of working class fiction as a whole, affecting all aspects of a text, including the construction of identity, the presentation of plot and the narrative voice.\ud \ud In selecting a range of material from the eighteenth\ud century to the 1930's, I hope to establish both the\ud continuity between Gibbon's work and earlier texts and\ud the ways in which his trilogy may be seen as a\ud distinctive and innovative contribution to working class\ud fiction.\ud \ud This thesis is my own original work. I have acknowledged in full all other reference works I have used
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