Harold Bloom, Blake Hobby's Alienation (Bloom's Literary Themes) PDF

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By Harold Bloom, Blake Hobby

ISBN-10: 0791097986

ISBN-13: 9780791097984

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"A Harold Bloom compilation of articles at the subject of "alienation" in significant literature. Reviewed works comprise writing by means of Melville, Plath, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Huxley, Salinger, Potok, Joyce, Bradbury, Goethe, Homer, Woolf, Dostoevsky, Ken Kesey, RL Stevenson, Camus, Kafka, Samuel Beckett, TS Eliot, & Hawthorne."

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Not quite a bit a "reviewing" of works, yet a compilation of intersecting subject matters on alienation.

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Additional resources for Alienation (Bloom's Literary Themes)

Example text

219). Dr. ” “That shut me up,” Esther reports. Esther regards Joan with a mixture of rejection and identification. Although she frequently scorns her friend, she also admits, “I would always treasure Joan. It was as if we had been forced together by some overwhelming circumstance, like war or plague, and shared a world of our own” (215). Perhaps Joan represents the excluded margin of Esther herself, the road not taken. Soon after the conversation with her psychiatrist, Esther initiates her first heterosexual encounter with a mathematician she barely knows and experiences the opposite of tenderness.

Holden lives in a society in which God is mostly absent, and yet references to God—mainly in the form of casual profanity—abound. Although the novel is often remembered for its frequent use of the words phony and phoniness, the word goddam seems to appear more often. The word seems to appear on every page and it does appear in the novel’s first paragraph (“I’m not going to tell you my whole goddam autobiography or anything” [1]) and its last (“I think I even miss that goddam Maurice” [214]). In Holden’s world, many people and things seem “phony,” but practically everything and everybody also appears “goddamned” to Holden and others.

Here it is not the individual that is the immediate focus, as in Joyce’s Stephen Hero, but that upon which his sensibility was nourished. Those critics who complain that Wright has omitted the development of his own sensibility hold that the work thus fails as art. Others, because it presents too little of what they consider attractive in Negro life, charge that it distorts reality. Both groups miss a very obvious point: that whatever else the environment contained, it had as little chance of prevailing against the overwhelming weight of the child’s unpleasant experiences as Beethoven’s Quartets would have of destroying the stench of a Nazi prison.

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Alienation (Bloom's Literary Themes) by Harold Bloom, Blake Hobby


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