Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters

Spoon River Anthology book cover
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What are some details in "Father Malloy"?

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"Father Malloy" is one of the few poems in Spoon River Anthology that is not narrated in the first person by its central character. As a result, the use of detail by the poem's unnamed narrator becomes crucial in establishing who Father Malloy was in life.

One significant detail is that Father Malloy is not buried in the cemetery on the hill with most of Spoon River's residents, but rather at a Catholic cemetery, indicating a religious divide between himself and the predominantly Protestant community. The fact that he is referred to as "Father Malloy," as well as the references to St. Peter at the end of the poem, confirms this, establishing an apparent conflict between himself and many of his fellow citizens.

However, Father Malloy's...

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