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

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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.


International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences (Volume 28)
Z. Ramin, "Revision of the American Frontier in Doctorow's; Welcome to Hard Times", International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, Vol. 28, pp. 150-160, 2014
Online since:
May 2014

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