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Man’s Changing Mask

Modes and Methods of Characterization in Fiction

1966
Author:

Charles Child Walcutt

Man’s Changing Mask
Man’s Changing Mask

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Man’s Changing Mask

Charles Child Walcutt was a professor of English at Queens College and a graduate professor of English at the City University of New York. He is the author or editor of a number of books, among them, American Literary Naturalism, a Divided Stream, Tomorrow’s Illiterates, An Anatomy of Prose, The Explicator Cyclopedia, and Reading: Chaos and Cure.

Man’s Changing Mask

CONTENTS
Part I DEFINITIONS page 3
1 What Is Character? 5
2 Some Illustrative Versions of Melodrama: American
Westerns; Corneille's Le Cid; Lillian Hellman's Toys
in the Attic; The Conjugal Bed; and America America 20
Part II A CRUX AND A CLASSIC page 39
3 Hamlet as Action 41
4 Jane Austen's Minuet: Pride and Prejudice 71
Part HI CHARACTERIZATION IN SYMBOLIC
JOURNEYS page 91
5 To the Last Outpost of Evil: Joseph Conrad's "Heart
of Darkness" 93
6 Quest for the Antagonist: Herman Melville's
Moby-Dick 104
7 The Idle Inquiry: Nathaniel Hawthorne's
"Young Goodman Brown" 124
8 Freedom Afloat — and Adrift: Mark Twain's
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 131
9 A Sargasso of the Sinister: Katherine Anne Porter's
Ship of Fools 145
Part IV THE GREAT TRANSITION page 157
10 Character and Coincidence: Thomas Hardy's
The Return of the Native 159
11 The Illusion of Action in Henry James 175
The Problem in Capsule: "The Real Thing" and "The Beast in the
Jungle," 178. Discourse on Feminism: The Bostonians, 182. Launching
the American Girl: The Portrait of a Lady, 194. Convolutions in the
Major Phase: The Golden Bowl, 203. Action and the Illusion of Ac-
tion: The Ambassadors, 209.
12 Aristocracy as Gesture 212
The Heroic Posture, 212. Eternal Fire in the American South: Calder
Willingham's Eternal Fire, 217. The Real Thing in the Wrong World:
Nancy Mitford's Don't Tell Alfred, 228.
Part V MODERN CONSEQUENCES page 237
13 The Idea Men 240
Mud Huts of Intellect: Sinclair Lewis's Babbitt, 240. Action as Spoof:
Peter De Vries's The Tents of Wickedness, 247. Idea Marching on One
Leg: William Styron's The Long March, 251. Steinbeck's Economic
Men: In Dubious Battle, 257. The Testing of Axel Heyst's Philosophy:
Joseph Conrad's Victory, 265. Actions Well Inspired by Ideas: James
Gould Cozzens's By Love Possessed, F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great
Gatsby, and W. Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage, 280. In and
Out of College with Mary McCarthy: The Groves of Academe and
The Group, 292. Other Novels, Other Ideas: Joseph Heller's Catch-22,
Lawrence Durrell's Alexandrian Quartet, Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dallo-
way and To the Lighthouse, Aldous Huxley's Eyeless in Gaza, and
Robert Penn Warren's All the Kings Men, 295.
14 The Diminished Self
Hemingway's Naked Eyeballs: "The Killers," "Big Two-Hearted
River," and The Sun Also Rises, 305. John O'Hara's Notion of How It
Was: From the Terrace, 314. Anatomy of Alienation: J. D. Salinger's
The Catcher in the Rye, 317. The Centripetal Action: John Updike's
The Centaur and Rabbit, Run and Wright Morris's One Day, 326. A
Pattern of Un-Pattern: Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of
Time, 336. Coda: Samuel Beckett's Malone Dies, 339. Signs of New
Trends: James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Philip
Roth's Letting Go, and Saul Bellow's Herzog, 346.
Index 357