Spoon River Anthology | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 7 pages of analysis & critique of Spoon River Anthology.
This section contains 1,695 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Stanley Edgar Hyman

SOURCE: “Truths from the Grave,” in Critic's Credentials, edited by Phoebe Pettingell, Atheneum, 1963, pp. 91-96.

In the following excerpt, Hyman asserts that Masters was “not a great writer, nor even a good one,” but he maintains that in Spoon River Masters “confronted the spiritual poverty of his America.”

Back in the days when poets had three names, in 1916, Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology appeared, and scandalized the nation. I doubt that after almost half a century it will scandalize anyone. Yet it retains an odd sort of power despite its quaintness, like grandmother's pearl-handled revolver.

Spoon River Anthology consists of almost 250 epitaphs, all but two or three of them spoken by the deceased. Their composite picture of the Illinois town of Spoon River is thoroughly repulsive. Julia Miller married an old man to legitimize her unborn child, then took a fatal dose of morphine anyway. Nellie Clark...

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This section contains 1,695 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Stanley Edgar Hyman
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Critical Essay by Stanley Edgar Hyman from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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