Study Guide

The Education of Henry Adams Essay

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In the following essay, Hahn asserts that Adams' portrayal of his life as a failure was a literary device used for dramatic effect.

Anyone beginning to read Henry Adams' Education for the first time gets the impression from the very first chapters that Adams thought his life had been a failure, and that he considered it a failure because his education had not fitted him to play a useful part in the new and different world that was coming into being in the nineteenth century. The book can therefore be taken—so it seems—as a protest, based on one man's experience, against the effect of technology and industrialism on the personal values of the social system which they displaced.

Throughout the book Henry Adams gives the impression of a man who wished to participate actively in affairs but always missed the chance to function effectively. There is...

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This section contains 3,259 words
(approx. 9 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Education of Henry Adams Study Guide
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