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Study Guide

Literary Precedents for We Were the Mulvaneys

This Study Guide consists of approximately 86 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of We Were the Mulvaneys.
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Literary Precedents

We Were the Mulvaneys connects to nineteenth and early twentieth century traditions of family novels and plays, though it lacks the emphasis on successive generations of family in works like John Galsworthy's Forsyte Saga (1922) and lacks the social satire of the tradition of Jane Austen. It relates more to the darker tradition of Nathaniel Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables (1851; see separate entry) and Eugene O'Neill's Desire Under the Elms (1925), particularly in Judd's focus on revenge and questions of justice.

With its revenge theme and the hope it offers despite that theme, the novel fits in the tradition of classical tragedies—for example, of Oedipus Rex and Hamlet. Michael's slow descent into alcoholism—the fall of a good man who loves but cannot sustain his family—recalls F. Scott Fitzgerald's portrait of Dick Diver in Tender Is the Night (1934; see separate entry).

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This section contains 143 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our We Were the Mulvaneys Study Guide
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We Were the Mulvaneys 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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