Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews December 11, 2023
December 4, 2023
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at email@example.com. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
See discount terms and conditions.
At first, Neville might seem to be a rather clichéd portrait of a
homosexual aesthete: he is physically weak, overly refined, obsessed with male
beauty, and somewhat promiscuous. But Neville is also a great artist—the most
successful artist in the novel. Unlike Louis and Bernard, who also harbor
literary ambitions, Neville centers his life on his relationship to his art, to
the exclusion of most other relationships. This intense purity of focus seems to
make the difference in his success as a poet. From the start, Neville is
disturbed by mess and disorder, continually noticing Bernard’s sloppiness of
dress. But Neville’s desire for order goes beyond the material realm. For
Neville, life itself is a chaotic mess, and only in art and literature is
perfection attainable. Neville understands this fact clearly after the death of
Percival, whom Neville loves and idealizes. Once Percival is gone, Neville looks
to a series of lovers for a temporary replacement for the intense feelings he
once got from merely watching Percival. In each case, Neville uses his
concentrated if fleeting devotion to the new lover as a source of energy for
writing his poetry. In the end, Neville sees that he has spent an entire
lifetime devoted to the study of love itself.
If Bernard’s problem with language is that it is not large enough to
contain reality, Neville’s problem is that it is not focused enough to serve his
particular needs. Neville’s life is one of concentration and exclusion. He shuts
the world out from his book-lined room, awaiting only the approach of his latest
“one.” Neville’s need for a focused, polished language to express his meaning is
part of the reason for his disdain for Dr. Crane and for conventional religion.
For Neville, the headmaster is a pompous fool, mouthing empty phrases, and most
religion is little more than a collection of such insincere words. Beyond the
platitudes of the sermons he hears, Neville also sees Christianity as a
sad, death-obsessed religion and prefers the pagan Greeks and
Romans for what he sees as their love of life and pleasure in this
Ace your assignments with our guide to The Waves!