William Dean Howells | Literature Criticism Arthur Boardman

This literature criticism consists of approximately 15 pages of analysis & critique of William Dean Howells.
This section contains 4,243 words
(approx. 15 pages at 300 words per page)
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Arthur Boardman

SOURCE: "Howellsian Sex," in Studies in the Novel, Vol. 11, No. 1, Spring, 1970, pp. 52-60.

In the following essay, Boardman argues that, despite his well-known dedication to theoretical and artistic Realism, William Dean Howells held vastly different opinions about sexuality among the upper and lower classes, associating upper class sex with "ideal love" and lower class sex with animalism.

To the twentieth-century mind, for a writer to be prudish, as William Dean Howells was by most standards, makes him hardly worth thinking about. Certainly, it tends to shut off investigation of what he thinks and feels about sex, and thus there is little serious study in print of Howells's attitude toward sex.1 Yet courtship is invariably a theme in his novels, often a central theme. Understanding what Howells thought about sex is essential to a clear apprehension and appreciation of his...

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This section contains 4,243 words
(approx. 15 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Arthur Boardman
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