Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Question

Did Philip Roth construct a plausible alternative history using believable characters and situations? Was the story’s resolution satisfactory to you?

2 comments:

Pat Kennedy-Grant said...

I think there is at any time in this country's history a chance for a candidate who is famous and popular to become the leader of a town, state, or country. Elections, we have seen on many occasions, are reduced to popularity contests. I'll vote for the man I could sit and have beer with. I'll choose a war hero. I will choose a person who is my religion, my gender, my race. All these are reasons people use to make choices of who should lead. Therefore, Lindbergh, is a perfect example of how celebrity can drive an election. What happens after the person is elected can be success, or perhaps war and disaster. Maybe it would have been better to have a beer with the guy than elect him to president.

As to the conclusion of the novel, well, much to neat. Everything is put back in its place. The world is righted and everyone takes a deep breath. True war follows but it is the world we the reader know to be true, one that moves into the most prosperous and powerful time for America. But what has been lost during that period? Some things look repaired but all the mended cracks weaken the whole and making it more susceptible to final destruction without too much trouble. Anti-semitism is still there, the war rages, many citizens have given up on their country, others have given up rights all this takes a toll. It is difficult to take rights back once given away.

Evelyn said...

It didn't help that I tried to ram through the ending of this book at 2 a.m., but I ended up saying, "What?", "Huh?" and other such things. I've made a few stabs at going back and trying to read it again, but to no avail. For me, the ending is like that awful spell of time after you wake up from a nightmare not quite knowing if it were true or just a dream. In that respect, I think it was a successful ending for me because it left me with that uneasy feeling that, yes, this was fiction, but, also yes, this could be a real, living nightmare.