유태적 가치의 변용과 확장 : 버나드 맬라머드, 솔 벨로우, 필립 로스의 소설을 중심으로
(The) Transformation and Expansion of Jewish Values : With a Focus on the Novels by Bernard Malamud, Saul Bellow, and Philip Roth
유태적 가치 변용 소설;
- 원문 URL
Bernard Malamud, Saul Bellow, and Philip Roth are a group of American writers who have stood at the center of the Jewish Movement. They set up characters who suffered from isolation from the main stream of American society. The characters in their novels show spiritual means to overcome sufferings and transcendental vision for the human life. Malamud's works reflect the Jewish values. During the age of the Great Depression in the early 1920s, Malamud's father, Max Malamud struggled to keep his family. Malamud's novels vividly describe the hard life that the old generation experienced. Among Malamud's early novels, The Assistant is one of his most successful works which reflect Jewish values. Morris, the protagonist of the novel, cannot adapt himself to the life in a modernized American city and is deprived economically. However, in Malamud's perspective, the economic deprivation that Morris suffers is not just failure of his life, instead, it is an extraordinary gift for a brighter Jewish vision. Morris takes both his economic disadvantage and Frank, who invaded his shop as a burglar, as a chance to demonstrate his Jewish spiritual life. Morris hires Frank as the assistant in the shop. Frank emulates Morris and becomes his successor of Jewish value. Saul Bellow is contemporary with Malamud, and shows the same attitude toward Jewish values. However, Bellow's novels are not based upon the early period of the Jewish migration to America any longer. Instead, Bellow's novels reflect the Jewish lives after the Jews settled on the American Continent. This can be seen in the fact that most of the characters in his novels have received higher educations and have relatively good jobs. Bellow succinctly describes these intellectuals' failures, frustrations, and inner conflicts in his works. Dangling Man is written in the form of a diary. It effectively shows us the inner world of intellectuals. Through Joseph, the protagonist of the novel, Bellow introduces to us an individual, who is separated from society and is completely free of any social responsibilities. This kind of freedom is a destructive force that deprives one's meaning of life. Herzong is also written in letter form, and shows us the inner world of intellectuals. Through this novel, Bellow depicts that life is not a game of notions, but vitality through practical contacts. Through these works, Bellow attributes the intellectuals' failures in their lives to the fact that they do not view the world as it is, but view it through their own paradigm of notions. Bellow tries to persuade his readers to escape from these notions and face the practical world to avoid the intellectuals' failures. Along with Malamud and Bellow, Philip Roth is believed to be one of the most outstanding Jewish writers. Roth represents the second and third generations of Jewish immigrants born and raised in America. Roth meditates the problem of a Jewish identity crisis that young Jewish people are faced with. This problem is well-portrayed in his first novel Goodbye Columbus. Through Neil, the protagonist of the novel, Roth diagnoses the identity crisis of the young Jewish generation and tries to find out what the traditional Jewish values mean to the modern American society. Portnoy's Complaint shows us more deepened identity conflicts. Jews in America are not recognized as “real Jews” even in their homeland, Israel. This kind of identity conflict of the young generation is vividly expressed through Portnoy's sexual impotance. With the publishment of this kind of work, Roth is faced with serious criticism from the traditional Jewish society. However, Roth's works do not degrade Jewish values, on the contrary, they exhibit the self-confidence of Jewish society by showing its weaknesses and shortcomings. By presenting the identity crisis that the young generation is faced with, Roth advocates to destroy the fence that separates Jews from the main society of America, and tries to persuade people to accept other cultures with an open mind.