Erskine Caldwell | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 12 pages of analysis & critique of Erskine Caldwell.
This section contains 3,288 words
(approx. 11 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Richard Gray

[Caldwell's theme] is one of degeneracy—the reduction of the human being to the lowest possible levels of his experience. In appearance, at least, his rural characters bear no resemblance to the Jeffersonian yeoman whatsoever. Grotesques responding only to a basic physical urge, they represent an abstraction not merely from the human to the animal but from the complete animal to a single instinct…. Caldwell insists upon keeping his readers at a distance—on presenting his [characters] entirely in terms of externals and, in the process, dehumanizing [them]. (p. 112)

Nearly all of his country folk (the title seems a much more appropriate one than "farmer") operate between the poles of greed and sexual desire, and such comedy as his novels possess is generally the result of the violence that either or both of these instincts tend to provoke. In fact, the comic note is at its wildest in...

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This section contains 3,288 words
(approx. 11 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Richard Gray
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Critical Essay by Richard Gray from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.