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Introduction & Overview of The Last Question by Dorothy Parker

This Study Guide consists of approximately 39 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Last Question.
This section contains 226 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
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The Last Question Summary & Study Guide Description

The Last Question Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading on The Last Question by Dorothy Parker.

Introduction

"The Last Question," published in Dorothy Parker's 1928 collection Sunset Gun and reprinted in The Portable Dorothy Parker, is a poem that greatly appealed to the sensibility of the 1920s through its complex tone of world-weariness and its almost fatalistic acceptance of the dangers brought on by a new love affair. The poem was almost shocking in its day for its frank acceptance of female sexuality and an unsentimental depiction of a relationship that looks doomed from the outset. Parker used her own celebrity as a writer to become a sort of role model for young women of her time. Though the poem appears fairly conventional in its use of rhyme, rhythm, and repetition, its theme reflected the spirit of the flapper generation that came to womanhood immediately after World War I. This generation exulted in new liberties and the breaking away of old customs. There are costs, however, to throwing off the old certainties, and this poem reflects those costs, showing touches of despair and self-destructiveness. The poem is rebellious without being revolutionary. It tries to subvert the old rules of romance by flouting them; it shows a witty and sardonic woman's love affair, but it does not propose any specific cure for the dangers of the liaison. It does not suggest that there is any way to remake human relationships in a feminist mold.

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This section contains 226 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Last Question Study Guide
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The Last Question 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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