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Title:Plot In "studs Lonigan": The Failure Of Manhood, The Triumph Of Artistry (farrell, Chicago, Illinois)
Author(s):Carino, Peter Alfonso
Department / Program:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, American
Abstract:James T. Farrell is often considered as a writer following in the naturalistic tradition of Stephen Crane, Frank Norris, and especially Theodore Dreiser. The Studs Lonigan trilogy, Farrell's major work, is often described as a naturalistic work providing a sociological examination of life in an Irish-Catholic neighborhood in Chicago during the nineteen teens, twenties, and early thirties. Studs Lonigan certainly fits this description, but if approached in terms of its plot structure, it is also an examination of the failure of manhood and an aesthetically unified work of art. As protagonist, Studs, in each of the three novels, attempts to define himself as a man, but the societal models he aspires to imitate leave him unfulfilled, debilitated, and finally dead before the age of thirty. Farrell links Studs's failure to the absence of a fulfilling personal or national tradition of male values in America. While unfolding the story of Studs as an individual, the trilogy expands progressively beyond him to present a taxonomy of American males--nihilistic toughs, deluded businessmen, corrupt politicians, ineffective familymen, and downtrodden workers. None provide salutary examples for youth, and all contribute to sustaining a spiritually sick America. The theme of failed manhood emerges from Studs's plot, even though his individual story at times is subordinated to Farrell's socio-historical concerns. Considered in light of Studs's plot, the trilogy's seemingly reportorial diffuseness forms an aesthetically unified whole.
Issue Date:1985
Description:286 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8521731
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1985

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