Elmer Gantry Essay

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Aubrey holds a Ph.D. in English and has published many articles on twentieth century literature. In this essay, Aubrey discusses how Lewis's characterization in Elmer Gantry serves his satiric purpose.

Institutionalized religion has attracted its fair share of satirical assaults in its time, but Elmer Gantry must surely rank as the most savage in American literature. Lewis is like a ruthless hunter who spares nothing and still has ammunition left at the end of the day. It is a fairly narrow assault, since Lewis's targets are confined to Protestant churches and revival campaigns, but within that range, Lewis's fire is deadly and continuous. For the most part, he does not create complex human portraits but caricatures. Those who believe in the doctrines of the church are presented as fools or morons, and are easy targets for malicious fun. One such incident (chapter 2, section 3) is when the pious...

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This section contains 1,844 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Elmer Gantry Study Guide
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Elmer Gantry from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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