THE DUNGEON OF THE HEART by Edwin T. Bowden

THE DUNGEON OF THE HEART

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Subtitled Human and the American Novel this is an examination of some twelve novels (though the figure is an arbitrary one) which the author feels are representative of a special problem in American fiction -- loneliness. He begins with the most obvious kinds of isolation, on the American frontier, in his discussions of Governor William Bradford's History at Plymouth Plantation and Cooper's Leatherstocking . The problem becomes more complicated in books such as My Antonia duckleberry Angel The Rise of Sila apham in which the difficulty is not simply one of physical separateness but emotional isolation as well, and Bowden makes interesting comparisons along these lines between Huckleberry Finn and Holden Caulfield. The Scarlet Letter the of a Lady Light in August. The Grapes of Wrath finally, by Dck provide further examples, whether through the commonplace or the grotesque, of the author's theme. Even the standardized business novel's concern with conformity offers another kind of illustration. The problem Mr. Bowden chosen to deal with is a universal one, and as he does point out, is not limited to American fiction. His discussion then does not serve to characterize the books he mentions or distinguish them from other novels but as an examination of a general theme it is of interest to the student of literature.

Pub Date: May 2nd, 1961
Publisher: Macmillan