Wunderkind Essay

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In the following excerpt, Perry offers an interpretation of McCullers's "Wunderkind," asserting that "the essential conflict . . . is how to react to the pressures and distortions of adult sexuality."

["Wunderkind"] reveals McCullers's first trial of the theme she fully develops in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter: adolescence brings a paralyzing knowledge of inadequacy to the exceptional girl and bars her passage into the world of art....

McCullers's first published story, "Wunderkind" (1936), is clearly a preview of Mick Kelly's characterization and situation in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter . Fifteen-year-old Frances has earned a reputation as a "Wunderkind," but suddenly finds her ability daunted by a trio of male faces—her piano teacher, Mr. Bilderbach, his associate, Mr. Lafkowitz, and a young violinist, Heime. Most of all, Frances is disturbed by her sense that her teacher is "looming" over her, "urging" and "insisting" that she perform in a...

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This section contains 719 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Wunderkind Study Guide
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Wunderkind from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.