Midcentury Summary
John Dos Passos

Everything you need to understand or teach Midcentury by John Dos Passos.

  • Midcentury Summary & Study Guide

Midcentury Summary

Just as Dos Passos's social concerns represent a significant departure from those of the novels of the 1930s, his themes indicate artistic and philosophical maturation. He is concerned with the ways in which sexual and fraternal love pose an antidote to the universal problem of alienation. This theme receives a more optimistic treatment in this novel than in the U.S.A. trilogy (1930-1936). In those books, Dos Passos despaired of any possible personal solution like love. In fact, one constant thread in U.S.A. was that ideological commitments and the desire for success rendered the characters incapable of giving or receiving love. They substituted lust for love and became so selfcentered that they were not capable of feeling the needs or concerns of someone else.

In Midcentury, quite the opposite theme pervades. Except for Blackie Bowman, all the central characters find solace in their lives by...

(read more from the Short Guide)

Study Pack

The Midcentury Study Pack contains:

Midcentury Short Guide

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