Thomas Wolfe Long Fiction Analysis
Throughout Thomas Wolfe’s fiction there is evidence of a powerful but sometimes uncontrolled mind at work. Few would argue Wolfe’s genius, but many have questioned how well he directed it. Part of the difficulty may have come from his self-professed intention to create an American mythology. The result would be the record of an individual, lonely and lost in the flux of time, forever exploring the diversity of American life. Partly because of his early death and partly because of his own difficulties in giving form to ideas, Wolfe never managed to unify the vast body of his work. Add to this the considerable amount of influence his editors exerted on his manuscripts, and some intriguing questions still remain about the interrelationships of segments in the writings and the final form of his novels.
Wolfe wrote with passionate intensity, producing vast quantities of manuscript. His central themes focus on a lonely individual, the isolated artist, in search of self-discovery and the true meaning of the American experience. In Look Homeward, Angel, the first of these themes is most pronounced, for this is autobiography thinly veiled. The story of Eugene Gant is in many ways the story of Thomas Wolfe. After the publication of Look Homeward, Angel, which was generally well received, some critics began to raise questions concerning the novel’s weaknesses, especially the obvious attempt by Wolfe to capture experience at the expense of...
(The entire section is 4915 words.)
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