Dante and the Lobster Essay

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Barnhisel directs the writing center at the University of Southern California. In this essay, Barnhisel discusses the Dantean and Joycean parallels of the story and how, in his later fiction, Beckett refined his work of these influences in order to arrive at a more individual voice.

In a story with Dante in the title and in which the protagonist bears a name taken from Dante, readers expect allusions to the greatest of medieval poets. In "Dante and the Lobster," the work that in many ways commences Beckett's career as a writer, Beckett provides these allusions in significant numbers. However, it is too simple to read this story just as a response to or a rewriting of an episode from Dante. Also present, more powerfully, although much less explicitly, is the great literary figure of Beckett's life and the man who was Beckett's mentor during the years when he...

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This section contains 1,806 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Dante and the Lobster Study Guide
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Dante and the Lobster from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.