Seminar paper from the year 2013 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,3, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel (Englisches Seminar), course: 'How to be English without being British?' or: 'How to be British without being English?' Identities in Contemporary British Novels: Barnes, Ballard, Levy, language: English, abstract: What is 'Englishness' and how can it be distinguished from 'Britishness'? Why do we need these national identity concepts and why do they pose a problem? The purpose of this essay is to discuss these questions by means of a careful analysis of two selected books: Julian Barnes' England, England and Andrea Levy's Small Island. While both novels deal with the concept of 'Englishness', they do so in different ways. While Barnes exposes the constructedness of collective identities like 'Englishness', Levy reveals its excluding function and the paradoxes between 'Englishness' and 'Britishness' from the perspectives of Jamaican 'Windrush'-migrants.