Manhattan Transfer Social Concerns

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Nothing in John Dos Passos's previous books, two studies of the American war effort and a fin de siecle narrative about the aimless lives of artistic youths in Cambridge, foreshadowed the originality displayed by this study of the life of a growing metropolitan center. It was a breakthrough for its author in terms of theme, social consciousness, and literary technique.

He creates in Manhattan Transfer an indictment of a city that is indifferent, merciless, or cruel to its inhabitants, yet throbbing with hypnotic energy and restlessness.

Nothing quite like Manhattan Transfer exists in Dos Passos's writings up to this point, and nothing exactly like it existed in English or American literature. One central social issue Dos Passos invented with this new mode of writing expressed concerns about the degree to which institutions created to nurture human happiness actually worked to destroy it. His portrait of the first decades...

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This section contains 500 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Manhattan Transfer Study Guide
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