The Parallels between Thomas Wolfe's Life and the Characters He Created in The Web and the Rock

UNCA Author/Contributor (non-UNCA co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Alexandra Jones (Creator)
University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA )
Web Site:
Mildred K Barya

Abstract: After receiving criticism of being “too autobiographical”, Thomas Wolfe wrote a new novel manuscript titled The Web and the Rock which he called his most objective writing to date. In this essay I will focus on the last two-thirds of his third novel which illustrates his turbulent romantic relationship with Aline Bernstein through the characters Monk and Esther Jack. In this paper, I analyze the relationship between those characters to demonstrate Wolfe’s development as an author and how he used his writing as a self-aware therapeutic form. The Web and the Rock began as a work much different than his previous novels that progressed back into autobiographical writing when Wolfe needed to write honestly about his ended relationship. In my argument I will demonstrate that in spite of Wolfe’s claim to move away completely from autobiographical writing, this novel still contains many traits of autobiographical writing which was beneficial for Wolfe in a time when he needed to write honestly.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
Thomas Wolfe, The Web and the Rock, Aline Bernstein, Autobiography

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