The Last Lovely City Essay

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Hart has degrees in literature and creative writing and focuses her published writing on literary themes. In this essay, Hart looks at the psychological masks that Alice Adams explores through her characters in "The Last Lovely City."

Not until the middle of "The Last Lovely City" does Alice Adams explicitly mention the word mask, but the element that holds the fabric of this story together is Adams's implicit exposure of the masks behind which her characters hide. Beginning with the first paragraph, in which Adams has her main character, Dr. Benito Zamora, look down at his hands and describe them as "old beggar's hands," readers are forewarned that Adams is creating complex characters. How could a successful doctor consider himself a beggar?

As the story progresses, readers quickly realize that Benito wears many masks. The most obvious is his hidden longing for companionship. He is a recent widower...

(read more from the Critical Essay #2 section)

This section contains 2,076 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Last Lovely City Study Guide
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The Last Lovely City from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.