By Kristine A. Miller (auth.)

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Furthermore, she concludes by asserting the legitimacy of her own response to the war: The war on Britain was undergone by all types. Not only the People were people, so were others. For the general run of us, existence during the war had a mythical intensity, heightened for dwellers in cities under attack. The majority of us, living through those years, did not attempt to rationalize them, nor have most of us done so since. War is a prolonged passionate act, and we were involved in it. We at least knew that we only half knew what we were doing.

Tellingly, 28 British Literature of the Blitz Bowen describes her explosive outburst of short-story writing during the Blitz with imagery of shrapnel: The stories had their own momentum, which I had to control. The acts in them had an authority which I could not question. Odd enough in their way – and now some seem very odd – they were flying particles of something enormous and inchoate that had been going on. 1 Bowen tried to redirect and control her fear that she would never finish The Heat of the Day – that instead the war would force her novelistic imagination into a “passive role” – by turning not only to the more fragmentary genre of short fiction but also to the safety of Bowen’s Court, the Irish family estate that she inherited on her father’s death in 1930.

Or else you give up making plans. Like many other people I chose the second alternative. ] When you are tired, which is most of the time, your thoughts repeat themselves as your machine repeats its process and you can’t disengage yourself from them. (Hartley, Hearts 149) The repetition inevitably numbed the impulse to think creatively and independently, and as a result, women working in war factories often found it difficult to be politically engaged: For, paradoxical as it may seem, life in a twelve-hours-a-day war factory makes one feel further removed from the war than one could in any other type of life.

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