Notes on Contemporary Literature

Articles from Vol. 39, No. 1, January

Christianity in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Christianity lies right beneath the surface of this seventh and final Harry Potter novel, but it requires careful eyes and ears to detect it. Most obviously, the Cloak of Invisibility, the Resurrection Stone, and the Elder Wand are author J. K. Rowling's...
Frost's Fine Tuning: "The Figure in the Doorway"
To categorize "The Figure in the Doorway" as "nonsignificant" (James L. Potter, "Robert Frost Handbook", University Park: The Penn State UP, 1977) in the Frost canon is erroneous and certainly ironic; and in Frost's mind would have invoked unmitigated...
Literary Allusions in Saul Bellow's Herzog
Saul Bellow is the most learned and intellectual American novelist and the autobiographical Moses Herzog (named after a character in the "Cyclops" chapter of Joyce's Ulysses) is his best-read and brainiest fictional hero. The novel tracks and savors...
Water Symbolism in Brecht's the Good Person of Szetchwan in the Interlude between Scenes 7 and 8
Wang the water-seller relates to the three gods a dream he has just had about Shen Teh: Before you appeared to me and woke me, O Enlightened Ones, I was dreaming. I saw my dear sister Shen Teh in great distress, plodding through the rushes...
White-Washing Oppression in Atwood's the Handmaid's Tale
White privilege is rarely manifested in intentional, positive acts. It is, in Peggy McIntosh's terms, "invisible," "unearned," and "cashed in each day" ("White Privilege and Male Privilege" in Critical White Studies: Looking Behind the Mirror [Philadelphia:...