Literary Precedents for Confederate General from Big Sur

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In Confederate General from Big Sur, as in much of his work, Brautigan frequently alludes to classics of American literature. When Lee Mellon taps the gas lines of Pacific Gas and Electric, he is paralleling the actions of Ralph Ellison's unnamed protagonist in Invisible Man (1952). Mellon's impoverished encampment at Big Sur is in many ways a parodic revision of Thoreau at Walden Pond. References to earlier American literary rebels are spelled out in the novel: Mellon was raised in Ashville, North Carolina, the birthplace of Thomas Wolfe, and at one point in the novel Henry Miller is observed waiting outside his Big Sur home for the mail delivery.

But perhaps equally important precedents are the rebellious characters played by James Dean and Marlon Brando in 1950s films such as The Wild One (1954) and Rebel Without a Cause (1955), for like the protagonists of these films, Lee Mellon...

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This section contains 175 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Confederate General from Big Sur Short Guide
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Confederate General from Big Sur from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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