By Sterling Professor of the Humanities Harold Bloom
- provides very important and scholarly feedback on significant works from The Odyssey via smooth literature - The serious essays mirror a number of colleges of feedback - includes notes at the contributing critics, a chronology of the author's lifestyles, and an index - Introductory essay via Harold Bloom
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Additional info for Carson McCullers' The Ballad Of The Sad Cafe (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations)
However, the subtle balance of mood, theme, and image she sought in the story of Frankie Addams’ adolescence continued to evade her until 1945. In the meantime, she published The Ballad of the Sad Café in Harpers Bazaar, August 1943. Though Carson McCullers ostensibly used a southern mill town as setting for The Ballad of the Sad Café, the locale is also an imaginatively created milieu inhabited by grotesque and improbable characters—a milieu, for example, in which a female giant, Miss Amelia Evans, possesses, in the eyes of the villagers, awesome powers.
With his razor and knife and the sharpened stick he uses to pick his teeth, he is viciously phallic. McCullers describes him as an “evil character” with a “secret meanness” about him. She explains: 26 Panthea Reid Broughton For years, when he was a boy, he had carried about with him the dried and salted ear of a man he had killed in a razor ﬁght. He had chopped off the tails of squirrels in the pinewoods just to please his fancy, and in his left hip pocket he carried forbidden marijuana weed to tempt those who were discouraged and drawn toward death.
Lymon, the hunchbacked dwarf, openly weeps for himself, longs for a male lover, and ﬁnds pleasure in inciting trouble among other individuals, but he also has a shrewd sense of the realities that encompass him. Of all the characters, Lymon’s behavior is the least predictable; his motivation, the most paradoxical and ironic. He is both more and less than a man, neither adult nor child, neither sparrow and hawk nor quite human. Injured irreparably as a small child by poverty and by his parents’ mistreatment, Macy, in his turn, regresses to rebellion, self-destruction, and vengefulness when he encounters rejection in his marriage; but he also elicits sympathy as a victim of forces which are too powerful for him to control.
Carson McCullers' The Ballad Of The Sad Cafe (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations) by Sterling Professor of the Humanities Harold Bloom
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