The Lynchers Summary
John Edgar Wideman

Everything you need to understand or teach The Lynchers by John Edgar Wideman.

  • The Lynchers Summary & Study Guide

The Lynchers Summary

The Lynchers is a bleak book, and its themes are unsettling. Wideman explores work, madness, and dying as components of a society in decay.

Work is a particularly meaningful concept in terms of the African-American experience, resonant after hundreds of years of slavery. All of the characters are stuck in meaningless jobs, from garbage collecting to rote work at the post office. Even Wilkerson, the teacher, finds that he has submitted to schedules and obligations which deny the basic humanity of his students. Wideman evokes a depressing picture of urban life in his descriptions of men waiting on the corner for temporary work or of three black boys sharing the same janitorial job without anyone even noticing. The meaninglessness of work contributes to the frustration permeating the characters' lives and is a commentary on the plight of their counterparts in contemporary African-American life.

Another theme of the novel...

(read more from the Short Guide)

Study Pack

The The Lynchers Study Pack contains:

The Lynchers Short Guide

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