Richard Yates (1926–1992) was born in Yonkers, New York. Yates served in the United States Army in World War II. Upon returning from the war, he worked as a publicist and a reporter before publishing his first novel, Revolutionary Road (1961), which established his reputation as a writer. Yates’s stories often address the frustrated dreams and unfulfilled aspirations of regular people who are plagued by self-doubt and self-delusion. “Doctor Jack-o’-Lantern” originally appeared in his collection Eleven Kinds of Loneliness (1962).
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From Eleven Kinds of Loneliness (Little, Brown and Company, 1962
What makes it possible for us to connect to others? What gets in the way?How do we connect with those who are different from us?Who gets left out and why?What do people gain or lose from joining a group or a community?Should we love the people we serve?Do one’s motives for serving or giving matter? How?How far should we go in trying to identify with those we serve?What are the greatest obstacles to teaching and learning?What are the qualities of a good teacher?What does good teaching look like?