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U.S.A. Essay | Critical Essay #5

This Study Guide consists of approximately 76 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of U.S.A..
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Critical Essay #5

Rather than satire—or rather including the satire and including also his naturalism—Dos Passos' method in U.S.A. is that of tragedy, a method based on an ironic attitude toward the past. U.S.A. is a great agglomerate tragic history. The protagonist, obviously enough, is the real U.S.A. in the first third of the twentieth century. Its tragic characters are the real subjects of the biographies: Debs, Luther Burbank, Bill Haywood, Bryan, Minor Keith, Carnegie, Edison, Steinmetz, La Follette, Jack Reed, Randolph Bourne, T. R., Paxton Hibben, Woodrow Wilson, and the rest. Merely to read their names is to sense the tragedy of their era: so much talent, ambition, love—all frustrated or misdirected or drained away into war, profits prohibitions, intolerances, and oppressions.

In the background of the novel, democractic individualism and reliance on the future (pursuit of happiness) are the characteristics...

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This section contains 1,004 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our U.S.A. Study Guide
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U.S.A. 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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