Miss Lonelyhearts Characters

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West wrote that Miss Lonelyhearts is like a comic book, with each chapter a square in which many things are happening at once. Indeed, the characters are portrayed with a cartoonist's spareness of traits. Yet in face of the novel's central issue of suffering and coping with it, each character can be seen to have a focus of suffering and a successful or unsuccessful method of staving it off. Also, each character affects Miss Lonelyhearts' crisis and quest for a universal solution, as well as representing part of the Depression world that West observed, and relating to figures in literary history. As these multiple functions derive from often sparse detail, the characters — even when unrealistic as in Shrike with his "triangular face like a hatchet" — prove to be comic but complex figures in the tragedy.

Miss Lonelyhearts, himself with no given name, at first accepting his column...

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This section contains 263 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Miss Lonelyhearts Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
Miss Lonelyhearts from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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