Literary Precedents for The Grass Harp

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Certainly the theme of thwarted or misdirected love is common in literature, but Judge Cool's theory of the progression of love strongly resembles that espoused by the old man in Carson McCullers' short story "A Tree, a Rock, a Cloud." Verena Talbo also seems closely related to the emotionally starved and physically unattractive grotesques in McCullers's novels, especially Miss Amanda in The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (1951; see separate entry). Also, the satire as a young man confronts small town social conventions and religious hypocrisy achieves a comic tone reminiscent of Mark Twain, especially in Huckleberry Finn (1884; see separate entry) and Tom Saayer (1876; see separate entry). In addition, Capote exploits comic eccentricity with much the same deft touch that Eudora Welty uses, but his exploration of the way family tensions affect various characters' destinies echoes the more serious concerns of William Faulkner.

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