84, Charing Cross Road Essay

Helene Hanff
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Kryhoski is currently working as a freelance writer. She has taught English literature in addition to English as a second language overseas. In this essay, Kryhoski considers some of the ambiguities inherent in a literary work constructed solely from Hanff's personal correspondence.

Critics have commented on the elusiveness of the text of 84, Charing Cross Road in its translation onto screen or stage. What makes the work particularly beguiling for the reader (and for the screenwriter or playwright) is the ambiguous characterization of Helene and others, as well as of the specific events of the text, as influenced by its presentation as a bundle of letters. The choppiness of the correspondence leaves more open to interpretation than would the structure of a more traditional novel. Considering the inconsistencies in Helene's character, as well as the overall structure of the work, it is easy to see the story's power to...

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This section contains 1,741 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the 84, Charing Cross Road Study Guide
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