Red Nails Summary
Robert E. Howard

Everything you need to understand or teach Red Nails by Robert E. Howard.

  • Red Nails Summary & Study Guide

Red Nails Summary

Red Nails and the other Conan stories feature matter-of-fact nudity, violent fights, and frightening magic.

Nudity is a common theme of fantasy adventure fiction, for instance often found in the fiction of Edgar Rice Burroughs, author of the Tarzan books.

Red Nails features no graphic physical descriptions of naked people; the women tend to be undraped from the waist up, and Valeria is a notably muscular woman; the men tend to be undraped, as well, with Conan's magnificent chest formed by well-shaped muscles. The nudity does not titillate so much as it symbolizes the primitiveness of the peoples and cultures that are presented. The climate is temperate, the physical exertion is hot, and the people have no notions of physical modesty. The primary attraction of the novella is its adventure and mystery, without which the nudity is of no interest.

Violence is a more important theme than the...

(read more from the Short Guide)

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