In Part I, following a chapter on Jakes' life, Jones examines the early novels and Jakes' use of the genres of historical fiction, the western, and the historical family sage. Part II, The Kent Family Chronicles, devotes an individual chapter to each of the novels in this series, The Bastard, The Rebels, The Seekers, The Furies, The Titans, The Warriors,
The Lawless, and The Americans. Part III, New Beginnings, features chapters on North and South, Love and War, and Heaven and Hell, and chapters on California Gold and Homeland. The examination of each novel in this study includes sections on plot development, character development, and thematic issues. Jones also offers an alternative critical perspective from which to read each novel--such as feminist literary criticism, New Historicism, Marxist criticism, and Deconstructionism--that gives the reader an alternative viewpoint from which to consider the novel. A complete bibliography of all of John Jakes' work, works about John Jakes, and a listing of reviews of all the novels examined in the book concludes the study.
MARY ELLEN JONES is Director of American Studies and Associate Professor of English at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. She is author of The American Frontier (1994), Seeds of Change: Readings on Cultural Exchange after 1492 (1993), and Christopher Columbus and His Legacy (1992).
Jones provides insight into the experiences that affected the daily lives of the diverse people who inhabited the American frontier: the Native Americans, trappers, explorers, ranchers, homesteaders, soldiers and townspeople. This fascinating book gives a sense of the extraordinary ordinariness of surviving, prospering, failing, and dying in a new land; and explores how these westering Americans inevitably displaced those already bound to the land by tradition, culture, and religion. A wealth of illustrations complement the text of this easy-to use reference.
This casebook for the story includes an introduction by the editor, a chronology of the author's life, the authoritative text of the story itself, comments and letters by O'Connor about the story, critical essays, and a bibliography. The critical essays span more than twenty years of commentary and suggest several approaches to the story--formalistic, thematic, deconstructionist-- all within the grasp of the undergraduate, while the introduction also points interested students toward still other resources. Useful for both beginning and advanced students, this casebook provides an in-depth introduction to one of America's most gifted modern writers.