Compare and contrast "Pushcart Man" by Langston Hughes and Dubliners by James Joyce.

Comparing and contrasting "Pushcart Man" by Langston Hughes and Dubliners by James Joyce reveals many intriguing and vivid similarities and differences between the two works. In both works, we see religion, family conflicts, rebellious youth, and people striving to survive and earn a little money. There are also big differences. For example, in "Pushcart Man," Hughes's characters aren't identified by names but by traits or descriptions, like "fellow in a plaid shirt."

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This is a fun question. Right away, we can make two easy comparisons between Langston Hughes's "Pushcart Man" and James Joyce's Dubliners. With both, we are dealing with the short story form in the context of big cities.

Hughes's short story takes place in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, whereas Joyce's short stories put his characters in the Irish capital.

Harlem and Ireland in general are both connected to populations that have been disempowered or disenfranchised. Consider, for example, the 1964 Harlem riot or the famine that afflicted Ireland from 1845 to 1869.

In both "Pushcart Man" and Dubliners we have characters struggling to survive. In Hughes's story, the Pushcart Man himself is trying to get people to buy his tomatoes and potatoes. In Dubliners, there are several downtrodden people trying to acquire money. Think about "Two Gallants" and the gold coin. Also consider “The Boarding House” and Mrs. Mooney’s attempt to marry her daughter to a man with more money.


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