1 minute read

New Men, The

Strangers and Brothers, The Masters

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: New from Tartary to Frank O'connor

a novel by C. P. Snow, published in 1954. Like other novels in the series Strangers and Brothers this book is narrated by Lewis Eliot, the Cambridge tutor who moved from Cambridge to work for the British government. The central character of the novel is Lewis's brother Martin who is involved in the manufacture of the atomic bomb. The narrative starts before the outbreak of the Second World War, and ends after its conclusion when Martin returns to Cambridge to do pure research, having refused the opportunity to remain in charge of government research into the bomb. Martin's wife Irene is unfaithful to him, and this private conflict mirrors the various difficulties characters in this novel have about loyalty. Many of the scientists, including Martin and Walter Luke, an important character in The Masters, have doubts about the morality of exploding the bomb. Luke's assistant Sawbridge betrays the atomic secrets to the Russians, and with Martin's assistance the government forces him to confess. Snow records the mixture of motives which drive his characters into certain positions, although he is perhaps better at investigating self-interest and love of power than at exploring genuine moral concern.

Additional topics