Stanley Elkin's The Magic Kingdom Characters

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Unlike many of Elkin's novels, characterization is the special strength of The Magic Kingdom. All the characters are individuated and each deserves special attention, from the zany physician Mr. Morehead, to the nurses Colin Bible and Mary Cottle (both are flawed, but both share love and concern for the children and each is in some ways an effective care-giver). Bale, England's greatest beggar, is a complex combination of humanistic, serious person seeking to do good, and frustrated, unhappy man who cannot face his present situation without a compensating illusion. Cottle, a nervous, unstable woman, is portrayed sympathetically as someone who can give authentic love, whereas nanny Nedra Carp, whose vocation would lead us to believe she is an able care-giver, proves to be parochial in her preferences and to invite factionalism among the children. She is not, significantly, a factor in any therapeutic experience the children have in...

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This section contains 359 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Stanley Elkin's The Magic Kingdom Short Guide
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Stanley Elkin's The Magic Kingdom from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.