John Dos Passos: The Grand Design (2902 words)


The Grand Design is a fitting conclusion to John Dos Passos’s trilogy of disillusionment, District of Columbia, at once more innovative and more despairing than the other two components. During the next decade Dos Passos would concentrate on historical and autobiographical writing; his two novels from that time (Chosen Country, 1951 and Most Likely to Succeed, 1954) would be a substantial decline artistically. The Grand Design is less balanced in tone than the U.S.A. trilogy because Dos Passos has fallen victim to a tendency that is nearly inevitable for political satirists. He has begun to see politics as uniformly good and evil; his characters cease to be multi-dimensional, or real people …

Citation: Dougherty, David C.. "The Grand Design". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 November 2015 [, accessed 07 August 2022.]

708 The Grand Design 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.