Barbara Suczek

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

An interesting example of the social construction of a mystery occurred in the late months of 1969, when a strange surge of excitement spread across the country, fomented, apparently, by persistent rumors relating to the nature and circumstances of the alleged death of Beatle Paul McCartney. (p. 61)

The story, in gist, is as follows: Paul McCartney was allegedly killed in an automobile accident in England in November 1966. The remaining Beatles, fearing that public reaction to the news would adversely affect the fortunes of the group, agreed among themselves to keep the matter a secret. Since it was obvious that Paul could not simply disappear from their midst without rousing a storm of embarrassing...

(The entire section is 1885 words.)