Pleasingly unexpected, part 2 of The Redemption of Narrative focuses on literary journalists and animal rights activists and so enlarges Williams's critical territory. Although Williams has certainly been linked with these groups, Whitt does a satisfying job of discussing Williams's aims beside writers with whom she is not commonly aligned. In chapter 5, Whitt compares Williams with literary journalists such as Theodore Dreiser, Upton Sinclair, Tom Wolfe, and Sara Davidson. Discussing genre as well as social conscience, Whitt is drawn to the evolution of types of writing, noting that Williams, too, "is impatient with literary categories" (201). The expanding circles in which Williams is placed are the valuable contributions of chapters 5 and 6. While always associated with environmental activists, Williams is less often linked with animal advocates. First investigating Williams's concern with animals in the setting of the American West, Whitt subsequently analyzes animal killing in works by Hemingway, Orwell, and Roger Rosenblatt before returning to Williams and the role of animals and animal rights in America, particularly in western American literature. Whitt observes that "all four authors are among those who effectively employ animals in complex allegorical frames," challenging readers to "reconsider the welfare of all
Western American Literature – The Western Literature Association
Published: Mar 30, 2017
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