VATB Essay (303)

Vandover and the Brute essay

Explore the ways that VATB dramatizes turn-of-the-century cultural anxieties concerning racial degeneration, masculinity, and the loss of social (class) position. What specific elements of narrative discourse (ex. distance, action, types) does Norris employ in order to render Vandover’s decline? In what senses might the novel be regarded as an exemplar of dark modernity? How do other characters (Geary, Dummy, Flossie, et al) function to confirm or contrast the significance of  his decline? Consult relevant secondary readings such as “Degeneration” from the Encyclopedia of the Gothic AND undertake research beyond our assigned readings.


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