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Roots Essay & Criticism

This Study Guide consists of approximately 125 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Roots.
This section contains 604 words
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Critical Overview

For the most part, Roots was a critical success, although no amount of critical acclaim could have overshadowed its overwhelming popular reception. Critics of Roots have tended to focus on the historical accuracy of the novel, Haley's use of dialect, and the book's emotional power.

Russell Warren Howe asserted that Roots "is crammed with raw violence and makes valid demands on the tearducts of the dourest reader."

Arnold Rampersad contended that Haley's "recreation of Kunta's middle passage journey in the hold of a slave ship is harrowing, the major place in the book where facts are incontrovertibly alchemized into vivid narrative."

Likewise, critics praised Haley's renderings of heart-wrenching scenes like the one where Kizzy is sold away from her parents, about which Paul Zimmerman wrote, "this soapy passage is heartbreaking."

Even critics who have found themselves moved by Roots have taken issue with the historical accuracy of the...

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This section contains 604 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Roots Study Guide
Copyrights
Roots 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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