Henry Roth "Call it sleep" - an Analysis (Google eBook)

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GRIN Verlag, May 16, 2011 - Literary Criticism - 25 pages
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The New York Times described Rothís novel Call it Sleep as ďOne of the few genuinely distinguished novels written by a twentieth-century AmericanĒ (Roth blurb). The book tells us about David Schearl, child of Jewish immigrants in the first decades of the 19th century. Similarities between the authorís biography and Davidís life are quite obvious. This paper will give a short overview of the authorís life and point out a few similarities with the book. After a brief abstract of the novelís content the focus will be on identity created through language and the Jewish origin of the character. Identity is a very important motif in Rothís novel and it is influenced by the history of Jewish immigrants in New Yorkís Lower East Side, as well as by the urban experiences of the character. David searches for his own identity within and outside of his own community. In the following parts Rothís technique will be explained by Cohnís theory of psycho-narration, with a focus on the modernist climax in the penultimate chapter. The paper ends in the conclusion that Rothís novel is about the search of identity, depicted through a variety of methods.
  

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