Norman Lear Peter Sourian - Essay

Peter Sourian

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

I accuse Lear of being a closet scholar. Like most creators with the broad touch necessary for quality-cum-success, he seems sure enough of his own originality not to hesitate to steal from past masters. His earlier shows, still running, reflect this. The Jeffersons's black bourgeois dry cleaner … is "movin' on up" so nearly in the footsteps of Molière's Monsieur Jourdain, that it is hard to believe that Lear has not been rereading the Bourgeois Gentilhomme. Further-more, both Jefferson and his white counterpart, Archie Bunker, of Lear's All in the Family, are typically Molièresque central figures: authoritarian male family heads, narrow-minded and covertly decentish in their willful...

(The entire section is 1144 words.)