The Time Is Not Yet Ripe and Contemporary Attitudes to Politics


Louis Esson is on record as having agreed with the notion that literature is a mirror held up to nature, and The Time Is Not Yet Ripe fulfils this function by providing a faithful reflection of contemporary attitudes. The cynical mistrust of politics forms the substratum of the play, yet the Utopian ideal is also given a voice through Barrett's political beliefs. However, Esson's views on the purpose and function of literature also suggest that whilst a mirror can only reflect what it sees, the writer is required to provide 'an interpretation, or, in the high Shakespearean sense, a vision of reality'." In short, the writer must present some overall statement on the material his work reflects; he must provide some 'vision' of that 'reality'. The Time Is Not Yet Ripe fails to do this, and it fails because it is unable to resolve the dilemma posed by conflicting contemporary attitudes.

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Published 1 May 1978 in Volume 8 No. 3. Subjects: Australian drama, Political fiction, Politics, Louis Esson.

Cite as: Ikin, Van. ‘The Time Is Not Yet Ripe and Contemporary Attitudes to Politics.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 8, no. 3, 1978, doi: 10.20314/als.ad8e1d25eb.