Last Exit To Brooklyn Literary Analysis

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ABSTRACT Hubert Selby Jr’s Last Exit to Brooklyn represents a perspective in America that is often overlooked due to the rising success of the 1950’s after World War II. This novel covers controversial topics like from rape, violence, drugs, crime and homosexuality. Due to the manner in which the novel is presented, there is much debate on whether the genre of Selby’s literary work is naturalism, moral satire, or both. The goal of this paper is to correctly identify what genre the novel falls in by analyzing and investigating the components of each genre and how they differ, the context and background of the novel itself, the characters and their decisions, and outside resources in order to understand the true purpose of Selby’s work. KEY TERMS Naturalism Moral Satire Genre Crime Poverty Violence Drugs Fiction Last Exit to Brooklyn Hubert Selby MANUSCRIPT BODY Hubert Selby Jr. published his first novel, Last Exit to Brooklyn, in 1964. This novel contains six parts that include recurring characters whose actions revolve around central themes of violence, drugs, homosexuality, and rape in 1950’s lower class Brooklyn. There is much speculation and debate between scholars on whether the novel’s genre should be classified as naturalism or moral satire. Naturalism and moral satire can be distinguished by attentively examining the key components of the particular genre. Last Exit to Brooklyn most resembles moral satire as Hubert Selby Jr. writes to criticize lower class life

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