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|1. The Conflict of Self and Society in Swift's Gulliver's Travels||1|
|2. The Affect of the Grotesque on Self and Surrounding in Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher||29|
|3. On Language as a Device for Constructing Identity and Controlling Conversational Space in Pinter's The Dwarfs, The Lover, The Caretaker, and The Homecoming||47|
|4. On Why Leopold Bloom May Be Considered a Successful Character in Joyce's Ulysses||65|
Posted June 26, 2003
I'm an English major, and last year, in my third year of college, I purchased this book, struck by the title. I'd read Murray's essay on Gulliver's Travels, and liked it; I was intrigued by his tendency to relate literature to moral and political issues. I've become more open-minded since then, and when I started reading this book I couldn't put it down. Murray is a fantastic essay-writer who knows how to draw the reader in with his evocative language. Most of the essays in this collection are less works of criticism than erudite ruminations to which Murray has been moved by specific works of literature or by considering literature as a whole. I highly recommend this book to students, scholars, and the curious mind.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 23, 2001
The essays in this volume examine the conflict of `self' in society as a leitmotif in Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher, Pinter's The Dwarfs, The Lover, The Caretaker, and The Homecoming, and Joyce's great modern classic, Ulysses. In his analysis, Murray discusses the ideas of behavioral and ideological conformity in Swift's work. He examines Poe's use of the grotesque to suggest correlations between the moral, physical, and spiritual degeneration of the characters, and the natural decay of their environment. Murray analyzes Pinter's dramas and suggests how the characters within the plays use language to create spatial boundaries to make themselves impervious to the language of their `social others.' Murray's final essay concentrates on the use of role-playing and misidentification in Joyce's novel. Murray brilliantly bridges the generations and synergizes some of the most influential works of literature within his critical study. New readers and nonspecialists will find his essays to be accessible and well researched. Scholars and advanced students will appreciate his analyses of recent developments in literary theory. Murray presents a work that is at once authoritative, scholarly, and stimulating.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.