Writing Techniques in Penrod

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Tarkington deliberately gave Penrod and its two sequels an episodic structure. Children live from day to day, from incident to incident. The longterm view of a careful plot just does not fit a boy's psychology. Penrod, and children generally, concentrate on what the present moment offers. Tarkington was also aware that this episodic structure was tailor-made for serial publication. Penrod, like most of his works, appeared in serial form before it became a book.

He wrote not only for children, but for adults as well. The comments intended for a mature reader have irritated some critics. Leslie Fiedler in Life and Death in the American Novel accuses Tarkington of "heavy-handed cuteness" in his juvenile stories. The humorous comments on the action are sometimes couched in words that a twelve-yearold would usually have to look up in a dictionary, and then, because Tarkington occasionally resorts to humorous circumlocutions, he still...

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This section contains 234 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Penrod Short Guide
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Gale
Penrod from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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