low camp

The World in the Evening

Christopher Isherwood writes another quasi-fictional account of love, loss, and regret in 'The World in the Evening'. As in many Isherwood novels, the main character of 'World...' is caught in a contest between his personal egoism and the needs of friends and lovers. This novel is highly popularized because of the narrator's definition of high and low camp--significant concepts to homosexuals.


'The World...' is narrated in the first person by the protagonist Stephen Monk. His life experiences are broken into three sections in the novel: An End, Letters and Life, and A Beginning. Frequently, Monk experiences flashbacks triggered by other characters or the letters of his deceased wife, Elizabeth.

Plot introduction

Marital problems cause Stephen Monk to return to his birthplace in Philadelphia. While there Monk undergoes a cathartic period of introspection. Though a member of the American jeunesse doree, Monk is an emotional and observant man. 'The World in the Evening' chronicles his bric-a-brac search for love.

Characters in "The World in the Evening"

Monk is a traditional Isherwood protagonist in that he is self-absorbed, emotionally indescriminate, and handsome. Elizabeth Rydal Jane Sarah Gerda Bob Kennedy Charles

Major themes

Homosexuality. Quakerism. Pacificsm.

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