A Confederacy of Dunces | Critical Essay by Brad Owens

John Kennedy Toole
This literature criticism consists of approximately 1 page of analysis & critique of A Confederacy of Dunces.
This section contains 276 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Brad Owens

[The protagonist of "A Confederacy of Dunces"] is the quin-tessential pessimist who is continually offended by a world ill-equipped to recognize his genius…. [Ignatius Reilly] is one of the most repelling, entertaining, and, in some strange way, sympathetic characters I have ever encountered….

The setting in New Orleans, where Toole renders as surrealistic a social landscape as one would ever hope to find, peopled by characters whose dialects only gain in comic effect by clashing with Ignatius' educated and bombastic diction….

Toole doesn't use his characters as convenient targets for falling objects of one sort or another. Blacks, WASPS, homosexuals, policemen, conservatives, radicals, and more are laughable here, but they are more than caricatures or stereotypes. Toole has succeeded in creating characters with comic essences, whose laughability is somehow a predetermined feature, like an unusually large nose...

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This section contains 276 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Brad Owens