Theme of Diversity in Crying of Lot 49, Good-bye, Columbus, and Survivor
Diversity is an attribute that is seen among people, situations and
cultures. Everyone has encountered different situations at one time or more
during their lives that has either been pleasant or upsetting. Certain novels
written in the 1950's to the present show signs of multiformity very clearly.
In regards to culture, people are placed in unusual situations where their
diversity is shown.
Throughout the novella, "Good-bye, Columbus," written by Philip Roth,
conflicts are seen as far as social status among families. This novella was not
diverse in the written aspect, in fact I thought of it as easy reading. "Sure,
I should serve four different meals at once.... I should jump up and down twenty
different times? What am I, a workhorse?" (Roth 4) The reactions in Brenda's
house differ because they have a maid and Brenda's Mom doesn't have to pick up a
finger. Neal and Brenda's families are obviously placed in different social
brackets and this adds to the conflict that the relationship is not equal.
From the readers point of view, the tie that Neil feels toward Brenda is
one of physical attraction. "She dove beautifully and a moment later she was
swimming back to the side of the pool, her head of shortclipped auburn hair held
up, straight ahead of her, as though it were a rose on a long stem." (Roth 3)
He sees her only as a beautiful woman and allows that to get in the way of
actually realizing the true reasons for her actions. Brenda on the other hand
is using him to be her "slave." This is seen with all her actions that show
that she honestly does not care about his feelings, his wants or desires. "'
We'll be right back,' Brenda said to me. 'You have to sit with Julie.
Carlota's off.'"(Roth 13) She finds Neil very accommodating in fulfilling her
needs. Neil is constantly being thrown into predicaments for the first time,
such as Brenda's country club, where Neil is viably not accustomed to being.
"My next question was prompted by a desire to sound interested and thereby
regain civility; it didn't quite come out as I'd expected- I said it too loud.