This volume addresses the theme of family in literature through a diverse set of texts and through multiple methodologies.
Like the best family stories, it enlarges what seem like everyday domestic tribulations into an epic full of love and intense hatred, joy and stifled disappointment. Stretching all the way back to the earliest Greek dramas, the theme of family is truly one of the great themes of literature.
For readers who are studying the theme for the first time, four essays survey the critical conversation regarding the theme, explore its cultural and historical contexts, and offer close and comparative readings of key texts containing the theme.
Readers seeking a deeper understanding of the theme can then move on to other essays that explore it in depth through a variety of critical approaches. Classic works discussed include Anna Karenina, Pride and Prejudice, King Lear, The Tempest, Sons and Lovers, A Doll's House, "The Dead," and The Inferno. Contemporary works include The Bluest Eye, …and the earth did not devour him, A Raisin in the Sun, and selections from the poetry of Philip Larkin and Seamus Heaney. Among the contributors are Steven Mintz, Joseph Carroll, and Brett Cooke.
Each essay is 2,500 to 5,000 words in length, and all essays conclude with a list of "Works Cited," along with endnotes.
- Additional Works on Family
- About the Editor