Ring Lardner American Literature Analysis
Above all, Lardner will always be known for his facility with words; specifically, he is renowned for his ear for regional dialects and the colorful conversations between his characters, most of which are carried on in regional vernacular. In addition, Lardner is noted for writing from a third-person point of view in which he uses a character within the story to narrate the tale for his readers.
Thematically, Lardner’s stories usually fall into one of two categories. First, there are the humorous stories that characterized much of the early part of his career. Often, these stories feature characters who suffer amusing difficulties because they cannot control their language. Indeed, Lardner seems obsessed with communication problems. Sometimes his characters fall into trouble because they are inarticulate, while other times the comedy results from the speech of a character who is too literal. Other stories feature flare-ups ignited by characters who will not listen to anyone, or who unconsciously use language to deceive others. Interestingly, Jack Keefe, the bumbling protagonist of You Know Me Al, is a perfect example of all four of these characteristics.
Often, Lardner’s humorous stories poke fun at fundamental human foibles, but they usually do so in a way that reaffirms the author’s faith in the basic goodness of his fellow human beings. Such is the case with “The Golden Honeymoon,” in which green-eyed jealousy comically...
(The entire section is 1435 words.)
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