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Is "The Commercial," in Mauve Gloves and Madmen, Clutter and Vine by Tom Wolfe, an...

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pashti | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted August 16, 2013 at 1:55 AM via web

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Is "The Commercial," in Mauve Gloves and Madmen, Clutter and Vine by Tom Wolfe, an artistic success and what does Wolfe lose in terms of aesthetics through his adherence to the laws of New Journalism?

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Kay Morse | College Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted August 16, 2013 at 9:41 PM (Answer #1)

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"The Commercial" is a story about a fictional black sportsman who is offered and accepts an advertising deal but who is bitterly disappointed when the advertisers want to present him as an uneducated stereotype by having him mispronounce words and generally subject himself to demeaning dehumanization.

As part of the larger collection, Mauve Gloves and Madmen, it is difficult to say whether one short story was an "artistic success" in itself. One can say that there was some public disappointment that Wolfe's topic in Mauve Gloves was not another original exploration of an undocumented youth subculture. Once can also say that the collection began a "feud" between him and other prominent literary contemporaries as a reaction to Wolfe's attacks against the intellectual elite (the intelligentsia).  

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