The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg Themes

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Several narrative elements render the honest reputation of Hadleyburg suspect from the beginning. The narrator describes a town that "care[s] not a rap for strangers or their opinions," while a couple of its residents so severely offend a stranger that he feels compelled to wreck revenge against the whole town. After the stranger delivers the sack of gold to the Richardses, Mary becomes anxious about theft, exclaiming, "Mercy on us, and the door not locked!" She regains composure only after she "listens awhile for burglars." The suspicion, fear, and malice evinced by these events belie the town's "unsmirched" honesty and suggest that an imperfect reality lurks beneath the surface. The real nature of Hadleyburg becomes apparent as the story progresses. In the privacy of their homes the townsfolk slander each other, revealing the mutual hatred that exists in the community. For instance, Goodson ranks as the "best-hated...

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This section contains 976 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.