May Sarton Long Fiction Analysis
The Small Room, a novel dealing with women training women as intellectual disciples in the atmosphere of a small women’s college, was written while Sarton lived in Nelson. The novel also introduced a lesbian love affair between Carryl Cope, a brilliant but flinty scholar, and Olive Hunt, a benefactor of the college. Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing, which Sarton wrote at a time of gloom because of worries over her financial situation, was at first refused publication because it depicted a lesbian relationship, and the publishers required excisions before the book was accepted. Kinds of Love, As We Are Now, Crucial Conversations, and A Reckoning explore various marital or amatory dilemmas along with the problem of being a woman and an artist. The Bridge of Years is, perhaps, Sarton’s most complex work. This is partly because the prototypes of the main characters were close to Sarton’s own experience and the themes were motivated by intellectual friendships established in Europe prior to World War II.
The Bridge of Years
Based on Sarton’s student years in Belgium and memories of her own family, The Bridge of Years centers on a Belgian family, Paul and Melanie Duchesne, and their three daughters, during four segments of their lives. These periods, besides accounting for personal growth in the major characters, also demarcate the stages of political...
(The entire section is 2749 words.)
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