Portrayal of Heroes in the Select Novels of Saul Bellow

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Many novels of the past few decades have been characterized by themes which special importance human freedom, insurrection, fatalism, mechanical necessity and obsession, because of the tendency of modern hero. The changing eras in the cultural and literary of mankind have seen various figurations of the hero from the divine and super human to the disillusioned and the dying hero. The conventional heroes were numerable men endowed with unusual power, skill and capacity. Their lines were distinguished by their great actions and sacrifices. Their lives were marked by greater troubles and difficulties which they overcome and finally established themselves as heroes. These heroes have now disappeared from the earth. The heroes of modern literature struggle hard to make the best of their crushing situations. An Ihab Hassan points out, We see the modern hero as actor and sufferer, rebel and victim rough and saint. We see him in the glass of fiction darkly, paradoxically as man both typical and uncommon, the outsider in the street. (Five Faces of Hero 28) There seems to have developed a pattern in modern literature ironic and paradoxical, that involves the hero in struggle for identify in a world that almost always is rejected by him as incomprehensible or absurd. Because of the omnivorous nature of the novel as a literary form, both the intellectual theme of defiance and the metaphysical anguish are presented not only in sophisticated, cosmopolitan, intellectual settings, but also in provincial atmospheres, where daily routines, sounds, and smells are very familiar. The contemporary hero feels no constraint in talking about his terror in facing the world, of his loneliness of the paradoxical nature of his situation, of the absurdity of e... ... middle of paper ... ... Bellow, Saul. The Victim. Penguin Edition, Great Britain: Weidenfield and Nicolson, 1960. Chirantan kulshrestha, The Problem of Affirmation in the novels of Saul Bellow, New Delhi: Arnold Heinemann, 1978. Gross Theodore, L. The heroic Ideal in American literature New York: The Free press, London: collier Macmillan Limited, Gross Theodore. L, 1978. Helen Weinberg, The New Novel in America: The kafkan Modern Contemporary American Fiction Ithaca: Cornell University press, 1972. Ihab Hassan, “Five Faces of a Hero”, Critique vol.iii New York: Frederick: publishing co, 1966. Ihab Hassan, “Five Faces of a Hero”, Critique vol.iii New York: Frederick: publishing co, 1966. Keith Opdahl, The Novels of Saul Bellow University part: Pennsylvania state university press, 1967. Robert R. Dutton, Saul Bellow Boston: Twayne publishers, Revised edition, 1982.

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