Noteworthy American Writers: Carson McCullers Essay

Noteworthy American Writers: Carson McCullers Essay

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Carson McCullers is regarded as one of the most noteworthy American writers of the twentieth century. She had a challenging life; she was constantly battling illness, a turbulent marriage and alcoholism. The way she lived and felt is reflected in some of her novellas and short stories. In Ballad of a Sad Cafe there is a blend of isolation and the absence of love that consumes three characters: Amelia, Marvin, and Lymon. The novella The Members of the Wedding delves into the life of Frankie Adams an immature 12 year old who battles the trials and tribulations of her upcoming teenage years. McCullers peculiar characters writhe from loneliness and the pursuit of love that is recognized by the reader with deep compassion.
The novella Ballad of a Sad Café exemplifies how love can occasionally be one-sided resulting in pain that stems from adoring someone who doesn’t reciprocate the sentiment. McCullers clearly defines her opinion of love when she states "Love is the joint experience between two persons but the fact it is a joint experience does not mean that it is a similar experience to the two people involved… love is a solitary thing” (McCullers 215). The story begins with an illustration of the town, which in itself is lifeless and bleak. There is little to nothing there aside from a cotton mill, the houses where workers live and a dismal main street. McCullers states “the town is lonesome, sad, and like a place that is far off and estranged from all other places in the world” (McCullers 197). Love is the main theme of the story which is shared by three unconventional characters: Miss Amelia, Cousin Lymon, and Marvin Macy. (McCullers 215). The different characters appear to denote that love and desirability may n...


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...Issue 2 (1975): 47-52. Web. 9 Apr. 2014.
Gleeson-White, Sarah. "Revisiting the Southern Grotesque: Mikhail Bakhtin and the Case of Carson McCullers." Southern Literary Journal. Vol.33.Issue 2 (2001): 108-123. Web. 9 Apr. 2014.
Kohler, Dayton. "Carson McCullers: Variations on a Theme." College English. Vol, 13.Issue 1 (1951): 1-8. Web. 9 Apr. 2014.
McCullers, Carson. Collected Stories of Carson McCullers including The Member of the Wedding and The Ballad of the Sad Cafe. 1998. First Mariner Books, 1987. Print.
Millar, Darren. "The Utopian Function of Affect in Carson McCullers’s The Member of the Wedding and The Ballad of the Sad Café." Southern Literary Journal. 41.Number 2 (2009): 87-105. Web. 8 Apr. 2014.
Young, Marguerite. "Metaphysical Fiction The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers." Kenyon Review. Vol. 9 Issue 1 (1947): 151-155. Web. 9 Apr. 2014.

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