Introduction & Overview of Leaving the Yellow House

This Study Guide consists of approximately 45 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Leaving the Yellow House.
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Leaving the Yellow House Summary & Study Guide Description

Leaving the Yellow House 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 Bibliography on Leaving the Yellow House by Saul Bellow.

Saul Bellow's story "Leaving the Yellow House" is atypical of his body of work, which usually features urban settings and intellectual explorers. Still, yet it remains one of his most well-known and discussed stories. "Leaving the Yellow House" presents a protagonist who seems almost the antithesis of the Bellow searcher. Hattie Wagonner, seventy-two years old and alone, has lived most of her life under a cloud of self-deception. After an accident threatens her independent way of life, Hattie finds herself forced to look back on the past. Viewing her life as if it were a movie reel, Hattie is able to stop and examine the most important periods and events. Yet, such scrutiny seems to have little effect on her mindset. The resolution Hattie makes at the end of the story resides as firmly in her habit of denying the truth as any of the actions she has taken in the decades of her adult life.

This resolution has captivated scholars and critics. Many disagree on how to interpret the ending, Hattie's actions, and Hattie's character. Indeed, criticism of the story has been varied since its publication in the collection Mosby's Memoirs and Other Stories in 1968. Such a variety of ways to read the story only exemplifies its complexity and richness.

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This section contains 213 words
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Leaving the Yellow House from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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