Reviews of Clergyman's Daughter, a (1935)
Review by datovs (2012-05-24)
A clergyman's Daughter is the story of a woman who lives a life of misery but with discipline, conscientiously continuing the monotony of her existence. A subconscious move removes her memory and provides a means of escape from the clutches of a tyrannical father. However, her life descends further and further into a benign and miserable existence. The degradation of the protagonist is somewhat similar to Les Miserables' main character, only more brief and with a quick exit from starvation.
Whilst Orwell has commented on the class differences in Burmese Days, a Clergyman's Daughter comments on the struggle of the female sex within society. Whilst the ending provides an opportunity for the protagonist to be smart, Orwell chooses an alternative, and less optimal ending that diminishes the value of the novel, but furthers his argument on the individual value of women. It is a novel that carries itself well, but falls somewhat flat with a very frustrating end.
(This review refers to the 1935 version titled “Clergyman's Daughter, a”)