John Irving Long Fiction Analysis - Essay

John Irving Long Fiction Analysis

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

John Irving’s fiction is distinguished by a highly personal fusion of seemingly incongruous elements. Irving’s settings, actions, and characters are often bizarre and violent. The world he presents is frequently chaotic and unpredictable, full of sudden death and apparently meaningless collisions of people, values, ideologies, and objects. Among his characters are a group known as the Ellen Jamesians (The World According to Garp), who cut out their tongues to protest the rape and mutilation of a little girl; a blind bear trainer named Freud (The Hotel New Hampshire); and a motorcyclist who locks a zoo attendant in a cage with an anteater (Setting Free the Bears). Characters die in excruciating ways:...

(The entire section is 8854 words.)