William Styron | Critical Essay by Frederick J. Hoffman

This literature criticism consists of approximately 5 pages of analysis & critique of William Styron.
This section contains 1,210 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Frederick J. Hoffman

Critical Essay by Frederick J. Hoffman

It is futile to stir up the old clichés about "decadence," "Southern tradition," the "Southern model," etc. Styron has better and larger fish to fry. He is, above all, concerned with a basic and timeless issue, though it surely has its place in twentieth-century literature.

It is, in brief, the problem of believing, the desperate necessity for having the "courage to be." Almost all of his fiction poses violence against the human power to endure it and to "take hold of himself" in spite of it. The pathos of his creatures, when it is not directly the result of organizational absurdity, comes from a psychological failure, a "confusion," a situation in which the character, trying to meet an awkward human situation, makes it worse and (almost invariably) retreats clumsily or despairingly from it. (p. 144)

I...

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This section contains 1,210 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Frederick J. Hoffman
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