"Man with Box"

David D Malley, University of Rhode Island


Dating back to Edgar Allen Poe, short story criticism has pointed to the genre's ultimate and crucial goal of achieving an effect upon the reader. Indeed, a short story's effect upon the reader is integral to an explication of the story's themes. Further, the short story in its purest form visits upon the reader the effect of experiencing a perception of reality which lacks those psychic defense mechanisms that dominate our perceptions in everyday life. ^ One can achieve the effect spoken of above in a number of ways. However, given my chosen themes in this collection of stories, the majority of them employ methods of the postmodern fantastic, assuming from the outset a fictional reality which, increasingly absurd, encourages a questioning of accepted value structures. Also, these stories place a primary importance upon the reader's experience, upon the interplay between individual and text. ^ Man With Box is a collection of ten short stories which explore the socially constructed concepts of masculinity and success, as well as the experience of navigating life in the postmodern age while attempting to live up to the dictates of these concepts. ^

Subject Area

Literature, Modern|Literature, American

Recommended Citation

David D Malley, ""Man with Box"" (2006). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3248236.