Critics of Harold Frederic's The Damnation of Theron Ware have acknowledged the novel's narrative intricacies that allow great interpretive latitude. Still at issue is the very question of whether there is, in fact, a "damnation" of the main character. If so, what is the nature of the damnation, and who, or what force, brings it about? The very theme of the novel is still debated, and critics are not in agreement as to which character, if any, is Frederic's speaker. The key to interpreting the novel lies, I believe, in the very ambiguity of the narrative. If we can ascertain Frederic's purpose in it, we will also have ascertained the theme and structure of the novel.



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