"Time and Again" Analytical Essay by Professor Victor Verb

"Time and Again"
A very critical assessment of Jack Finney's "Time and Again."
# 60203 | 1,341 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2004 | US
Published on Aug 14, 2005 in Literature (American) , English (Analysis)

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Time travel stories seem to have always been popular, perhaps because the format allows for so many possibilities that many people find intriguing. In this book, the author tells the story of graphic artist Simon Morley from 20th century New York City, who becomes part of a time travel experiment and is transported back to a 19th century where he encounters the types of characters and events that serve to define and characterize the previous era. Morley's subsequent adventures in 19th century New York are replete with illustrations and detailed descriptions of everyday behaviors and ordinary items to help the modern reader visualize what life was like in the past. Unfortunately, Finney took over 400 pages to write a 200-page book and it shows. This paper provides a review and discussion of Jack Finney's "Time and Again," followed by a summary of the research in the conclusion.

From the Paper:

"At this point, any uncertain reader may be ready to throw in the towel and admit that maybe the book is well-written, well-paced and entertaining after all. However, a ray of reason appeared in the form of one reviewer who pointed out: "It's as if the author did not have enough imagination or did not do enough research to come up with an interesting and believable mode for the time travel event. Jack Finney did a horrible job of convincing the reader of the feasibility of time travel and thus took a bit away from the wow factor of the book." For his "wow factor," H. G. Wells had his Morlocks and Eloi in The Time Machine and Mark Twain had Merlin and magic in A Connecticutt Yankee in King Arthur's Court; by contrast, Finney has: "There lies what? New York? And the world beyond it? . . . Out there lies the day you walked through this morning; it is filled with the inescapable facts that make it today. It will be almost identical tomorrow, very likely, but not quite" (55). Yawn."

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