Ring Lardner | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 13 pages of analysis & critique of Ring Lardner.
This section contains 3,664 words
(approx. 13 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Brian T. Cowlishaw

SOURCE: "The Reader's Role in Ring Lardner's Rhetoric," in Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. XXXI, No. 2, Spring, 1994, pp. 207-16.

In the following excerpt, Cowlishaw counters the argument that readers are helpless to battle the effects of Lardner's "authorial manipulation."

Readers' responses to Ring Lardner's short stories are remarkably homogeneous. Who, other than the "confirmed pursuer of ironies" (Booth, Irony 5), finds Whitey, narrator of "Haircut," sly and perceptive?1 Or Nurse Lyons, character in "Zone of Quiet," intelligent and charming? Few readers miss either Lardner's irony or his satire; they perceive the invitation to seek darker meanings below the innocuous surface, and they determine those meanings with consistent results.

Yet despite the strength and consistency of Lardner's rhetorical effects, critics have not thoroughly explained how they are achieved. Primarily critics overlook readers' activity, portraying readers as passive and helpless before Lardner's authorial manipulation. For instance, T. S. Matthews, reviewing Round...

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This section contains 3,664 words
(approx. 13 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Brian T. Cowlishaw
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Critical Essay by Brian T. Cowlishaw from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.