Regionalism and Local Color in Short Fiction Criticism: Regionalism/Local Color Fiction Of The Midwest - Essay

John L. Sutton (essay date 1996)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Sutton, John L. “The Regional Form as a Commodified Site in Hamlin Garland's Main-Travelled Roads.Midamerica 23 (1996): 56-63.

[In the following essay, Sutton views Hamlin Garland's short stories of rural Midwestern farm life as social commentary on the tensions between regional and national identity.]

In “God's Ravens” (published in the June 1894 issue of Harper's), Hamlin Garland's protagonist, Robert Bloom, feels he can escape the pressures of life in Chicago by moving back to the coulees of his native Wisconsin. This escape is not as complete as he thinks. Bloom is unable to assume the simple life he longs for and he relapses into a...

(The entire section is 2833 words.)

Stephanie Foote (essay date autumn 1999)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Foote, Stephanie. “The Value of Regional Identity: Labor, Representation, and Authorship in Hamlin Garland.” Studies in American Fiction 27, no. 2 (autumn 1999): 159-82.

[In the following essay, Foote evaluates the significance of Hamlin Garland as a regional writer, contending that Garland goes against the grain of “conventional” regional literature in that he refuses to “aestheticize” the Midwest in his fiction.]

Hamlin Garland has always posed something of a problem for literary critics; even those who find his work historically important seem to hold it in contempt. Prolific, passionate, sometimes absurdly polemical, Garland's writing has always...

(The entire section is 10488 words.)