Stanley Elkin's The Magic Kingdom Summary
Stanley Elkin

Everything you need to understand or teach Stanley Elkin's The Magic Kingdom by Stanley Elkin.

  • Stanley Elkin's The Magic Kingdom Summary & Study Guide
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Stanley Elkin's The Magic Kingdom Summary

The key theme of Stanley Elkin's The Magic Kingdom engages a philosophical and ethical paradox. Because we share mortality, we feel some obligation to help those less fortunate than we, and especially those on whom life has played a cruel joke. There can be no more sympathetic figures than dying children, and no more powerful reminder of our powerlessness in the face of fate or inevitability. What, then, are our obligations to one another? At what point do these obligations become self-serving?

Elkin does not answer these questions, but the dignity with which these children face their mortality supports his theme of compassion and obligation. No one could refuse to try to help. Yet what can anyone do? His hero, Eddy Bale (among the first Elkin protagonists not identified by his vocation) throws all his energies into planning this expedition to compensate for his loss of his terminally ill...

(read more from the Short Guide)

Study Pack

The Stanley Elkin's The Magic Kingdom Study Pack contains:

Stanley Elkin's The Magic Kingdom Short Guide

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