Melanctha Essay

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In the following excerpt, Sutherland, reflecting ideas of the 1950s, presents his interpretation of Stein's experimental style in "Melanctha," focusing on her handling of time.

. . . According to the general agreement the big thing in Three Lives is the middle story, "Melanctha." It is a tragic love story ending in death from consumption; so that it is available to the traditional literary taste and the educated emotions. Furthermore it is, as Carl Van Vechten says [in his preface to Three Lives], "perhaps the first American story in which the Negro is regarded as a human being and not as an object for condescending compassion or derision." It is a good deal to have attained that clarity and equilibrium of feeling in a difficult question, but "Melanctha" as a piece of literature does much more. Where "The Good Anna" and "The Gentle Lena" are composed as the presentation of a...

(read more from the Critical Essay #4 section)

This section contains 2,716 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Melanctha Study Guide
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Melanctha from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.