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Reality the Avenger: Truth Versus Illusion in Modern American Literature

Andrew Bernstein

Presented at: CC 1990

Date: Jun 30, 1990

Much of modern literature's tragic, pessimistic view of human life is based on the idea that man by nature is unable or unwilling to grasp the facts of reality. Showing the evaders crushed by an unforgiving reality, these works unwittingly reflect a profound philosophical point: that unreason leads to destruction. Unfortunately, only Ayn Rand has identified the opposite point: that reason leads to success. This course will examine the relation between the cognitive theories and the value- achievement theories of modern American authors, including William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Gibson, Ernest Hemingway, Sinclair Lewis, Arthur Miller, J.D.Salinger, and Tennessee Williams.


Parts: 5

Handout: none


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