Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Dr. William R. Thompson
The foregoing statement summarizes the spirit in which this writer approaches an assessment of the alienation theme which runs through the major works of Bellow like a motif uniting an orchestral composition: sometimes intense, sometimes subdued; played with variations, but always present. The problem of alienation, whether muted or loud in a given work by Saul Bellow, presents an antagonism to the literary hero and ultimately to the author himself. It forces upon the artist the necessity of coming to grips with it, of making some kind of adjustment to it. This alienation is a central problem in each novel, although "alienation" as a label may not be acceptable to all as the proper term for the problem. This obstacle may be removed or brought within the realm of toleration, however, by the present writer's spelling out just what he means when he employs the term in relation to the Bellow protagonists. The term, it must be warned, does not lend itself to an easy definition in its connotations for the literary critic, and for that reason it will be necessary to discuss it extensively if its meaning is to be clear and the facts presented in the proper light within the context of the present discussion.
Copyright 1969 Byron Dean Hull
Hull, Byron Dean, "Saul Bellow's Alienated Protagonists : Jamesian Psychology as Therapy" (1969). Master's Theses. 1211.