Re: RARA-AVIS: nightmare alley

From: Kerry Schooley (
Date: 11 Jul 2002

At 09:12 AM 11/07/2002 -0500, you wrote:

>i finished gresham's _nightmare alley_ a few days ago,
>and it was great.
>my only complaint about the book is some odd socialistic
>rhetoric in the book. i call it odd because its like
>your sitting at the movie theater and all of a sudden a
>commercial pops up in the middle. it weakens the book.
>the implication is that stan's dilemma just might be a
>result of the evils of capitalism, and thats pure rubbish.
>stan is destined for hell whether under the cruel yoke
>of capitalism or arm-in-arm with brother marx and engels.

Perhaps I digress, but I find this an interesting statement. Can't argue with the first bit, the intrusion of a political point weakening the story. If the point isn't inherent in the plot and character development, then no inserted explanation is going to sell it. But it's the last bit that I'd like to question. Can there be no evil inherent in capitalism, pre or post the socialist decline? Were capitalism and socialism our only choices, and now with the triumph of capital are we left with acceptance as the only option to personal salvation?

I know I'm out of step, but even after the fall of the wall, I can't say I've found peace topping up my morality at Wal-Mart. Too many colour choices perhaps.


------------------------------------------------------ Literary events Calendar (South Ont.) The evil men do lives after them

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