The book, The Mole People: Life in the Tunnels beneath New York City, exerts an efficacious impact on the perceptions of the readers as they come to recognize the existence of these mole people as well as they would recognize their community as a section of society. The mole people have been considered as invisible creatures as they live underground and seldom interact with the upper stratum of society. But the non-fictitious account of the tunnel dwellers serves as an eye opener.
It would be judicious to say that the real impact of the book lays hidden in its real account and interviews of the tunnel dwellers that makes the book realistic and captures the sentiments of the readers although the setting seems to have element of fiction. It has been a known literary device employed by the novelists that they transforms the real events into fiction to make them interesting, but Toth, a journalist of great fame, presents the events and experiences of the mole people with prosaic and simplistic fashion that enhances the impact of the book. She starts the book with the determination to ‘dismiss the myth of animal-like underground dwellers’ (Toth, 1993, p.x). Despite the profound influence of the book I agree with Maffi who says that the work is not ‘wholly convincing’ as it is ‘marred by the old lapse into sensational journalism’ ‘but the overall picture of a sprawling metropolis that spurns its swelling broods of undesireables and derives them underground is positively spin-chilling’ (Maffi, 2004). Moreover it is also felt at some points that the author did not succeed in drawing the line between myth and reality as the demarcation tends to be blurred.
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