Revision of the American Frontier in Doctorow's; Welcome to Hard Times Cover Image

Revision of the American Frontier in Doctorow's; Welcome to Hard Times
Revision of the American Frontier in Doctorow's; Welcome to Hard Times

Author(s): Zohreh Ramin
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: SciPress Ltd.
Keywords: Revision; Historiographic metafiction; parody; western; American Dream

Summary/Abstract: The present paper seeks to demonstrate how Doctorow revises the history of America in his Welcome to Hard Times. The novel is written in the tradition of a parody which is the most characteristic technique employed in postmodern fiction. Setting his novel in the late nineteenth century Dakota County, Doctorow debunks traditional notions of the west as a land of endless opportunity, freedom and success. This he achieves through the inversion of character, setting and events in the cyclic structure of the novel. But the novel is not only a parody of the western. In this novel parody is a tool which provides Doctorow a means to reach a broader objective; by inverting traditional notions of the western, Doctorow not only the reader revise his understanding of the western myth of frontier expansion in particular and the American dream of hope for a better future and economic prosperity in general.

  • Issue Year: 2014
  • Issue No: 28
  • Page Range: 150-160
  • Page Count: 11
  • Language: English