Spoon River Anthology Analysis

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Margaret, Fully a Slacker Everyone has a novel within them -- or at least thinks they do. Unfortunately, few manage to get that novel out of their heads and into print. In Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology, Margaret Fuller Slack is certain that she would have been a famous novelist, except obligations to her family got in the way of actually writing a book. She is unendingly bitter about how her life turned out. Margaret urges readers to ignore the pull of outside forces and to specifically ignore the pull of sex, which she claims ruined her life. However, between the lines Masters cleverly shows that the blame for dreams unrealized lie with Margaret herself. Through Margaret’s story, Masters studies how a person can cause their own unsuccess and still genuinely blame everyone but herself. From the very beginning, Margaret establishes herself as a very talented writer, full of potential. Masters introduces Margaret in three names: first, maiden, and last. Most women in the Spoon River Anthology are introduced in two, sometimes even taking their husband’s full name instead of their own. Here, he has Margaret grouping herself in with other famous women writers, such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, as then-modern women authors who had individuality but who still respected the tradition of taking on their husband's last name. Moreover, in the first line Margaret declares that she “would have been as great as George Eliot,” who one of the leading writers of Victorian England,
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