Deserts of suburbia and achieved serenity : Patrick White

McLaren, John (1978) Deserts of suburbia and achieved serenity : Patrick White. In: The dream and the reality. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)


Chapter of 1971 Monash University M.A. thesis "Patrick White and the Realist Tradition". The eight chapter of the unpublished book The Dream and the Reality, a literary work by John McLaren on the study of the realist tradition in Australian fiction. The purpose of McLaren’s study is to explore the attitude of Australians to their country which has always been ambiguous and show how some Australian fiction writers reacted to this particular experience and environment, how they have treated the dream and how they have dealt with reality. In this chapter McLaren reviews the literary works of Patrick White, and his later novels, short novels and stories closely associated with contemporary events, with characters in them attempting to achieve their vision through their involvement. At stake in these works is not only the salvation of the individual, his choice between the way of the living and the way of the dead, but the conflict in society between the forces of life and death. The world of these works is distinct from the traditional Australian imagery of desert, bush and country town which provides most of the substance of his earlier works.

Additional Information

Date is approximate. Original paper is of poor quality. The eight chapter of The Dream and the Reality covers pages 339-394. Table of contents of The Dream and the Reality is available at

Item type Book Section
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 2005 Literary Studies
Current > Collections > McLaren Papers
Keywords Australian literature, literary realism, fiction, novels, MCLAREN-BOXB15-DOC7
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