Robert Newton Peck Thomas Farel Heffernan - Essay

Thomas Farel Heffernan

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Millie's Boy continues the use of the turn of the century southern Vermont setting that Robert Newton Peck introduced in A Day No Pigs Would Die. The earlier book was a bit of family history; it described isolated rural life in a residually Shaker community, and delivered a heavy dose of ruralism somewhat on the order of descriptions that Homer Croy might have written years ago, but colored by an overly sentimental examination of the boy narrator's psychology. Even worse was the effort to turn the boy into another Huck Finn by giving him cute ways of expressing his incomprehension of the world. Colorfulness via naiveté has its limits and they are as readily detected by young as by old readers.

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(The entire section is 448 words.)