Classic read: Saturday night and Sunday morning | Socialist ReviewThe novel opens in the midst of a rowdy Saturday night, "the best and bingiest glad-time of the week" for 22 year old Arthur Seaton, a factory worker in post-war Nottingham. Weekdays are spent "sweating his guts out" in the bicycle factory and daydreaming through repetitive work. However, after payday Arthur and his friends spend their weekends drinking and fighting, to "swill" the factory out of their system and explode the "piled up passions" from monotonous work. Arthur is engaged in a passionate affair with Brenda, the wife of a friend, and subsequently juggles his time between secret nights with Brenda, her married sister Winnie and a more traditional relationship with the younger Doreen. Unfortunately Brenda becomes pregnant and in a period prior to the Abortion Act she terminates the pregnancy by bathing in boiling water and drinking a bottle of gin.
Saturday Night, Sunday Morning
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Look Inside. Mar 02, ISBN At twenty-two years of age, Arthur Seaton is a hard-drinking lathe operator in a bicycle factory. Sharp, rowdy, and attractive, he is a lover of life in the raw, and his enormous vitality comes pouring through, at a family party, at the county fair, and in several pubs he haunts on Saturday nights, where more often than not he leaves with a woman on his arm. Alan Sillitoe was born in , the son of a tannery worker. He left school at age fourteen to work in a factory. He was one of the working-class novelists who revitalized British fiction in the s.
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H arper's fiftieth anniversary edition of Sillitoe's working-class classic doesn't add much value in terms of new editorial apparatus. But then it doesn't need to: Sillitoe's account of the rebellious young factory-fodder hero Arthur Seaton was timely when first published four years after the London premiere of John Osborne's Look Back In Anger ; it is timeless now. Unlike Osborne and fellow "angries", Sillitoe doesn't even pay the establishment the compliment of dramatising its decline. Arthur - a bright, cocky lathe-worker given to fighting, fucking and fishing first, meditating on the system that keeps him in his place second - lives wholly in the rowdy bosom of his extended Nottinghamshire family. Modern readers are unlikely to be shocked by his unsentimental affair with the married sisters Brenda and Winnie.
It was adapted by Sillitoe into a film starring Albert Finney , directed by Karel Reisz , and in was adapted by David Brett as a play for the Nottingham Playhouse , with Ian McKellen playing one of his first leading roles. The novel Saturday Night and Sunday Morning is split into two unequal parts: the bulk of the book, Saturday Night, and the much smaller second part, Sunday Morning. Saturday Night begins in a working man's club in Nottingham. Arthur Seaton is 21 years old, and enjoying a night out with Brenda, the wife of a colleague at work. Challenged to a drinking contest, Arthur defeats "Loudmouth" before falling down the stairs drunk. Brenda takes him home with her and they spend the night together.