Greatness Strikes Where It Pleases Essay

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Aubrey holds a Ph.D. in English and has published many articles on contemporary literature. In this essay, Aubrey discusses how Gustafsson gives the mentally retarded man a dignity that belies his intellectual deficiencies and how the story compares with other literary works that include mentally retarded characters.

Gustafsson's "Greatness Strikes Where It Pleases" says a great deal in a short space about mental retardation and how it was regarded in the mid-twentieth century. It deserves a place alongside other short stories of the century, such as Jack London's "Told in the Drooling Ward" (1914) and Eudora Welty's "Lily Daw and the Three Ladies" (1941), both of which treat the subject of mental retardation with humor and understanding.

The boy in Gustafsson's story is recognized by his family as being retarded when he is still very young. He does not learn as quickly as his brother and sister, and...

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This section contains 1,508 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Greatness Strikes Where It Pleases Study Guide
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