Does Nelson Algren’s success at portraying the undesirable elements of society owe more to his literary technique or his personal experiences?
Can a writer who believes that “there are no absolute moral values” write a morally satisfying novel?
What suggestions does Algren convey to you by referring to Frankie Machine’s arm as “golden”?
Algren is said to regard compassion as a “fatal weakness.” Does his writing ever reveal himself as partaking of this weakness?
Discuss the claim that Algren “used popular rejection as an excuse to stop serious writing.” Algren was in many ways a man of his time. What aspects of his social criticism seem most relevant today?