English Studies at the University of New England: A Report from the Field.
In one of the first exchanges between Robyn Penrose and Vic Wilcox in David Lodge's Nice Work, Wilcox argues about the value and meaning of work. Dr Robyn Penrose, a temporary lecturer in English literature and expert on the industrial novel of the mid-nineteenth century, has been appointed the University of Rummidge Faculty of Arts Industry Year Shadow. She is assigned to Victor Wilcox, Managing Director of J. Pringle & Sons in a government program aimed at fostering understanding between town and gown. Vic claims that the 'only criterion' to use in evaluating education is the money to be earned as a result of time and energy being expended (76). In his eyes, 'Men like to work. It's a funny thing, but they do ... they need to work for their self-respect' (85). Contrastingly, Robyn argues for 'nice work', work that is 'meaningful' and 'rewarding', work that 'would be worth doing even if one wasn't paid anything at all' (86).
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