Ring Lardner | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 6 pages of analysis & critique of Ring Lardner.
This section contains 1,600 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Hal Blythe and Charlie Sweet

SOURCE: "The Barber of Civility: The Chief Conspirator of 'Haircut'," in Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. XXIII, No. 4, Fall, 1986, pp. 450-53.

In the following essay, Blythe and Sweet revise the standard interpretation of the barber-narrator as senseless in "Haircut," perhaps Lardner's most famous story, suggesting he is the principal instigator of the murder.

Although critics have traditionally adopted the view that Whitey, the barber-narrator of "Haircut," is "stupid"1 and "ignorant,"2 more recently Charles May has advanced the theory that Lardner's protagonist is "neither so crude that he applauds Jim's joke on Julie, nor so stupid that he thinks Jim's death was 'a plain case of accidental shootin'."3 A closer look at the story, however, suggests not only that Whitey understands what is going on and offers an "apparent sanction"4 of the killing, but that he is, in fact, the chief instigator of the town's deadly conspiracy. The barber's...

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This section contains 1,600 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Hal Blythe and Charlie Sweet
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Critical Essay by Hal Blythe and Charlie Sweet from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.