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The Cider House Rules by John Irving

Synopsis and reviews of the riveting novel of merit

alec wignall

on 10 May 2011

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Transcript of The Cider House Rules by John Irving

The Cider House Rules by John Irving CIDER HOUSE RULES

1. Please don't operate the grinder or the press if you've been drinking.

2. Please don't smoke in bed or use candles.

3. Dr. Wilbur Larch - resident orphanage director, obstetrician, and abortionist.

4. Homer Wells - failed adoptee, Dr. Larch's protege, begins medical education at young age.

5. Merit - This book allows the reader to view the topic of abortion from several different angles.

6. Reflecting the morality of the abortion argument, the book also introduces the moral issues presented in life such as love, sex, loyalty and honesty.

7. Exploration of these topics from several separately-biased viewpoints allows the reader to form own opinion based on the novel's overall unbiased outlook.

8. "The rules of the book's title are, of course, literally those regulations posted in the apple pickers' dormitory of the Ocean View Orchard's cider house, rules intended to order the behavior of men and women whose transient lives would appear to offer the perfect model for lawlessness... These rules, always ignored, are eventually discovered to be irrelevant... every group has its own rules. Sometimes these separate sets of rules complement each other; frequently they are at odds. "

9. "The Cider House Rules also affords Irving a venue for challenging our assumptions, fears, and prejudices about abortion, that most fractious of social issues. Rather than merely rendering an overt decision about the ethics of abortion, Irving, using the Dickensian mode of characterization, chooses to confront his readers with detailed, fully realized visions of the complications and uncertainties that comprise the human condition."

Davis, Todd F., and Kenneth Womack. "Saints, sinners, and the Dickensian novel: the ethics of storytelling in John Irving's 'The Cider House Rules.'." Style Summer 1998: 298+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 8 May. 2011.

Thompson, James R. "Chapter 7: The Cider House Rules: Novel as Polemic." John Irving. Carol C. Harter and James R. Thompson. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1986. Twayne's United States Authors Series 502. Literature Resource Center. Web. 9 May. 2011.

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