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The Jolly Corner Essay & Criticism

This Study Guide consists of approximately 83 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Jolly Corner.
This section contains 660 words
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Critical Overview

"The Jolly Corner" has generated much critical commentary. On one level, Spencer Brydon's experience is quite familiar and represents a painful but inevitable aspect of the human condition. Critics explore the implications of his self-doubt and insecurity as well as the meaning of the story's conclusion. Is the final scene a moment of redemption for Spencer; or, is Spencer incapable of really coming to terms with his past?

Some commentators view the story as autobiographical. Like Spencer, James left the United States (in 1875), lived in Europe for a long period of time, and returned to find America much changed. Spencer's conflict between Europe and America is subject of much of James's fiction, literary criti cism, and diary entries. Moreover, Alice Staverton's name echoes James's beloved younger sister.

Spencer's alter ego represents a personal and philosophical crisis that James's father often spoke about—the "vastation." Henry James, Sr...

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This section contains 660 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Jolly Corner Study Guide
Copyrights
The Jolly Corner from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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