Suggested Readings

McDowell, Margaret B. Carson McCullers. Boston: Twayne, 1980.

Phillips, Robert S. “Painful Love: Carson McCullers’ Parable.” Southwest Review 51 (Winter, 1966): 80-86.

Stebbins, Todd. “McCullers’ The Ballad of the Sad Café.” The Explicator 46, no. 2 (Winter, 1988): 36-38.

Style and Technique

The author is acutely concerned with presenting an atmosphere within which rather bizarre characters can interact and seem plausible. She undertakes detailed descriptive passages to bring into focus the aspects of the town, the café, and the people that enable the reader to comprehend and believe the action of the story. Although the story is told from a third-person point of view, there is not an omniscient narrator but rather one who observes acutely and from time to time digresses to comment on the action, or even on the philosophy of the events of the story.

The strength of the story’s characterizations depends to a large extent on the author’s skillful control of descriptive passages. The movement of the story’s action is well paced, and the flashbacks to earlier episodes in the major characters’ lives are never intrusive but seem necessary and well integrated into the overall story line.

Bibliography

Suggested Readings

McDowell, Margaret B. Carson McCullers. Boston: Twayne, 1980.

Phillips, Robert S. “Painful Love: Carson McCullers’ Parable.” Southwest Review 51 (Winter, 1966): 80-86.

Stebbins, Todd. “McCullers’ The Ballad of the Sad Café.” The Explicator 46, no. 2 (Winter, 1988): 36-38.