“Straight out of the button-molder’s own ladle”: On the complexity of characters in Arthur Koestler’s Thieves in the Night

  • Zénó Vernyik English Department, Faculty of Science, Humanities and Education, Technical University of Liberec
Keywords: Koestler, characters, stock, type, Arab, women

Abstract

This paper discusses the complexity of female and Arab characters in Arthur Koestler’s Thieves in the Night. Through an analysis of three main characters (Dina, Ellen and the Mukhtar of Kfar Tabiyeh) and several minor ones, it shows that the allegation of contemporary reviews, and some works on Arthur Koestler ever since, that the novel is excessively built on stock characters is untenable. In fact, the representation of women and Arabs is both specific and detailed, in addition to the fact that these characters show a clearly detectable line of development, even if their initial presentation might in some cases be reminiscent of Petrarchan or other types.

Author Biography

Zénó Vernyik, English Department, Faculty of Science, Humanities and Education, Technical University of Liberec
Zénó Vernyik has graduated from the University of Szeged and Masaryk University and holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature. He is an Assistant Professor in the English Department of the Technical University of Liberec, Czech Republic. His primary research interests are the oeuvre of British writers of Hungarian origin (primarily Arthur Koestler and George Mikes), modern and contemporary American and British literature, spatial theory, and the representation of cities in literature. He has also published articles on Australian cinema and Belgian literature.
Published
12-12-2016
How to Cite
Vernyik, Z. (2016). “Straight out of the button-molder’s own ladle”: On the complexity of characters in Arthur Koestler’s Thieves in the Night. International Journal of English Studies, 16(2), 25-43. https://doi.org/10.6018/ijes/2016/2/246591
Section
Articles