A survey of fiction that examines society and politics from the margins, often with radical and alternative views of the world. It brings together a set of critical perspectives on a fairly diverse set of texts, although most fit into the category of fiction, and most were written by American authors.
Many of the works featured in Critical Insights: Literature of Protest are well known and have been studied before, but they are not usually examined as a part of a tradition of protest literature. Original critical essays on a diverse collection of writers highlight Harriety Beecher Stowe, Mark Twain, George Orwell, Yevgeny Zamyatin, and many others.
The literature of protest is defined as fiction and poetry that emerges from minority social positions and will critique majority status quo conditions. This literature covers a wide range of periods and will emerge from a variety of international authors and events, from American abolitionist narratives to the critique of the totalitarianism in 1920s Soviet politics.
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.
Each essay is 2,500 to 5,000 words in length, and all essays conclude with a list of "Works Cited," along with endnotes.
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