Philipp Roth: The Sequence of Generations in "American Pastoral"

Hausarbeit, 2000

14 Seiten, Note: 2

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Philipp Roth: The Sequence of Generations in "American Pastoral"


Much has been said about Philip Roth's American Pastoral in terms of general criticism. While some critics say it is a book about a writer, the famous novelist Nathan Zuckerman, who somehow comes to terms with the hero of his youth, Seymour "The Swede" Levov, others say that it is "a novel about three generations of family life and, in particular, the rupture between a father and a daughter that embodies the social upheaval of the 60's."1 So, who is right? All of them are. It just depends on one's point of view and one's focus.

Nathan Zuckerman narrates the story of Seymour Levov, who "is a consummate athlete, husband to Miss New Jersey and heir to a glove factory. [...] With his canny eye, Zuckerman gives us the Swede's rise and fall, from hale high school hero to bastion of mediocrity."2 Zuckerman's own story about his childhood in Newark and parts of his life lead to the Levov- story starting on page 89, which is when Zuckerman disappears and does not return as a character. He does come back, though, from time to time when his sarcasm gives him away while telling the story. His sarcastic, personal involvement would certainly be an interesting subject to talk about, along with other themes that run through the novel, e.g. the shifts in perspective, the different settings and their meaning, the question whether "Swede Levov [is] a good innocent man who has the bad luck to become history's plaything" or whether there is "something significantly wrong with [him]"3, "the trials of ethnic identity, the fate of Old World values transposed to the New World, the wrenching political confusion of recent American history."4

My focus will be on the three generations of the Levovs and their relationships towards each other. Lou, the Swede and Merry are "people as different from one another as they could possibly be, but intimately intertwined."5 Critics have often said that "family" is a major theme in all of Roth's works, and American Pastoral is no different. In this novel, too, Roth views "family relationships as extremely problematic and essentially frustrating but acknowledge[s] their importance in human affairs." The problems between parents and children, again, are caused by the lost viability of "traditional ideas of family solidarity and reinforcement of personal identity through strong familial bonds."6 But this cannot be the only reason for the breaking apart of the Levovs' world. This paper intends to discuss the characteristics of each Levov generation and the way Lou and Seymour Levov in particular deal with "the total vandalization of their world."7

Lou Levov

The first generation in question to this paper is actually the second generation of Levovs in Newark. Lou Levov's father "had come to Newark from the old country in the 1890's" (11), so Lou belongs to "the first postimmigrant generation of Newark's Jews [that] had regrouped into a community that took its inspiration more from the mainstream of American life than from the Polish shtetl their Yiddish-speaking parents had re-created."(7) George Searles says, "almost always, the "older man" in Roth's fiction, as in Hemingway's, is a wisdom figure - almost a Bellovian "reality instructor."8 In American Pastoral Roth shows a somewhat altered father figure:

Mr. Levov was one of those slum-reared Jewish fathers whose rough-hewn, undereducated perspective goaded a whole generation of striving, college- educated Jewish sons: a father for whom everything is an unshakable duty, for whom there is a right way and a wrong way and nothing in between, a father whose compound of ambitions, biases, and beliefs is so unruffled by careful thinking that he isn't as easy to escape from as he seems. Limited men with limitless energy. (11)

Those are Nathan Zuckerman's words, but they can be taken as Roth's words, too. Lou Levov is a self-made man, having worked hard and gained success through his own efforts. He learned the glove-business from scratch starting work at a tannery and working his way up to his own glove-factory. According to his son Jerry, he is "a brute man"(75), according to Nathan Zuckerman, "he could sometimes still manage to be [...] civil"(12). Lou Levov appears to be very American from the outside9, after all, his "American claim [is] not inconsiderable" (208), but just beneath the surface, he is a Jew. He values "community, home, family, parents, work" (365), and religion is no small thing to him. He laments "the lack of feeling for individuals, [and] the lack of feeling for places" (365) that seems to be the general attitude in the late 60's. Being the man he is, he wants to spare his family grief of any kind, and he tries to do this by controlling everybody, by being "overbearing [and] omnipresent" (66). Lou Levov is even in control of himself. When his father died, he sat on the front steps of his house, taking an hour time to calm himself and then "got back in the car and drove to work" (369). Which is not to say that he did not mourn his father's death, but he would not let himself be brought down by it; the most important and "serious thing in [his] life [was and always has been] to keep going" (11).

Critics have called Lou Levov "a quintessential Jew [...]"10, a "bulldog of a father"11, and a "controlling father."12 All three statements describe parts of Lou Levov, and I will focus on the last one. Lou Levov controlled his two sons as much as possible. The Swede had broken off an engagement to a girl in South Carolina at his family's request, which is to say, on Lou Levov's demand. Jerry, the younger son, also was not spared his father's controlling forces. Lou gave each of his ex-daughters-in-law money after Jerry had divorced them. But Jerry "doesn't pull his punches," "doesn't back down" (297), he fights his father's influence on his life. The Swede does not. What his mother calls his "considerateness" (297) others, namely his brother, call "compromising [and] abid[ing] everything patiently" (274). On two occasions only did the Swede stand up against his father: When he married Dawn Dwyer, and when he bought the stone house in Old Rimrock. Buying the stone house seemed to be "impractical and ill-advised" to Lou, to the Swede, it "was an act of bravery" (310). Lou Levov was against the marriage with Dawn because of her being Catholic, and so he interrogated his future daughter-in-law about anti-Semitism and religion. "After three solid hours of negotiations" (388), in which the religion of Dawn and the Swede's child was decided, Lou agreed to let Dawn celebrate Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the Easter bonnet with the child. Apart from that, the child was to be raised in Jewish tradition. It makes one wonder, though, why the Swede stayed as inactive as he did during the whole interrogation. He left it entirely up to Dawn and his father to settle the matter, and Lou Levov never seemed to think that the child's religious upbringing could be a decision its parents should make on their own: "I'd rather make the decision myself" (396). Later Dawn let Merry get baptized without Lou's knowing, but by the time he found out about the secret baptism, "Merry was a family treasure six years old, and the up-roar was short-lived" (389).

Just as Lou tried to influence his sons, he also tried to do it with Merry. He tried to "influence Merry's behavior" and "to control [...] not so much [her] opinions as the ferocity with which she sputtered them out" (287/288). The subject in question was the Vietnam War, which is also the time Merry began to go radical. Lou mailed her copies of letters he had written to politicians, President Johnson in particular. He wanted "to nip [her enragement] in the bud" and so he "ostentatiously all[ied] himself with her" (288). He also showed her alternatives - "You can write letters. You can vote. You can get up on a soapbox and make a speech. [...] You can join the marines. [You can] join the other side" (289/290). But nothing he did prevented Merry from planting the bomb. Later, he talked about his feeling for her, "I saw it coming. [...] I knew it. I sensed it. I fought it. She was out of control. Something was wrong. I could smell it. I told you" (291).

Lou Levov does sometimes come across as someone not easy to deal with, and at times, he seems to be stuck in the old times - at least Nathan Zuckerman thinks so: " opinionated old man, fettered still to his fantasy of the world" (361). But Lou also has some characteristics of the "traditional" Rothian father figure. First of all, Seales states that Roth has a "tendency to portray father figures warmly."13 This is certainly true for Lou Levov, for he does show deep affection and love for his family and would do anything for them. The controlling, dominant side of his character is just Lou's way to ensure the well being of his loved ones. His feeling for Merry does go conform to the already mentioned "wisdom figure". One could even say that he tried to prevent the catastrophe by interrogating Dawn and making the "religion- deal" with her. But still he "could [never] shake the conviction that what lay behind Merry's difficulties all along was the secret baptism: that, and the Christmas tree, and the Easter bonnet, enough for that poor kid never to know who she was" (389). Lou told the Swede from the very beginning that the Swede was "going to raise a child who [wouldn't] be one thing or the other" (386) - neither Catholic nor Jew. So Lou blames Merry's downfall on religion, namely, the lack of one constant religious upbringing. He believes in his grandchild's innocence - and he wants everybody else to believe in it, too:

Merry had been used to somebody else's purposes - that was the story to which it was crucial for them all to remain anchored. He kept such a sharp watch over each and every one of them to be certain that nobody wavered for a moment in their belief in that story. No one in this family was going to fall into doubt about Merry's absolute innocence, not so long as he was alive. (365)

Bill Orcutt brings it to the point: Lou tried to keep "the permissiveness, the abnormality [...], the perpetual protest" (347) out by controlling each and everybody. But Lou's controlling did not keep the world around him from changing, neither did it prevent the catastrophe Merry inflicted on the family. Lou comes up with his very own solution as to why it happened, but he cannot take the necessary next step and admit that it happened to his family, too:

I remember when Jewish kids were home doing their homework. What happened? What the hell happened to our smart Jewish kids? If, God forbid, their parents are no longer oppressed for a while, they run where they think they can find oppression. Can't live without it. Once Jews ran away from oppression; now they run away from no-oppression. Once they ran away from being poor; now they run away from being rich. It's crazy. They have parents they can't hate anymore because their parents are so good to them, so they hate America instead. (255)

So in the end, he cannot prevent anything. "He never could, though only now did he look prepared to believe that manufacturing a superb ladies' dress glove [...] did not guarantee the making of a life that would fit to perfection everyone he loved" (421). These are Nathan Zuckerman's words, but they describe Lou's condition at the end of the novel perfectly. He is a broken man, brought down by the disappointment of not being able to protect his family.

Seymour "the Swede" Levov

Although Seymour Levov is the character American Pastoral is mainly concerned with, he shall only be viewed from three perspectives in this paper: First, his relationship with his father, second, his relationship with Merry, and third, how he deals with the destruction of his world.

Seymour "the Swede" Levov is "a Jew who does not look or behave like a Jew."14 To his schoolmates and neighborhood of the 40's he was somewhat of a magical being and "a symbol of hope" (5). He was looked at "as the embodiment of strength, resolve, [and] emboldened valor" (5). The Swede is a "Jew who could be taken for Anglo-Saxon"15: He is a "blue-eyed blond" with a steep jaw and an "insentient Viking mask" (3). Even being a successful sports athlete takes him a bit away from his Jewish origins. Just as his father he worked his way up from working at a tannery to owning his own factory, the only difference being that this way was forced upon him by his father. The Swede did not complain but gave up a promising sports career. He actually never complained; he always did what is father told him to do. "At his family's request he broke off the engagement" (191) to a girl in South Carolina.

The Swede dreams the American Dream of good old family values, such as safety, security, the feeling of being home, and comfort. Newark is his paradise, but all in all, it is not enough, he wants the "real" thing, the old-fashioned Puritan paradise, including a wife, a child, and an "indestructible, an impregnable house that could never burn to the ground" (190). He finds the building for this paradise in the stone house in Old Rimrock, and the wife that fits into this picture of paradise is Dawn Dwyer, a stunning looking Miss New Jersey who happens to be Irish-Catholic. Who happens to be Irish-Catholic? According to Roth's own words, this is no coincidence. The second generation of Jewish immigrants always strives to be more American than their fathers - they are usually less religious, they try to hold up the American values, and they are often good, if not fantastic in sports. And when it comes to sexual relationships, they are of the opinion that "Jewish women are [only] mothers and sisters. [And so their] sexual yearning is for the Other. The dream of the shiksa [...] - often adjectivally described as "melon-breasted"."16 The Swede fits exactly into this scheme. He does not care too much for his religion, he is a fantastic athlete, he evolv[ed] into a large, smooth, optimistic American" (207), and, most of all, he married a shiksa. Lou Levov opposed the marriage from the very beginning: "There are hundreds and thousands of lovely Jewish girls, but you have to find her." But the Swede "defied him, just that one time" (385) and married Dawn. What he did not do was to keep his father from interrogating Dawn and making a deal with her about their future child's religion. Why did he not stop his father? Because he had never developed a sense of responsibility and duty17, he only feels the need to do things right. And so he "abides everything patiently" (274). The Swede only wants to be like Johnny Appleseed, tossing his seed around; he longs to lead a life as "a happy American" (316). `The Swede "believes in [his] form of the American Dream, and fails to recognize it for the idealized inflation that it actually is"18 before his "beautiful American luck deserts him. For the Swede's adored daughter, Merry, [grows] from a loving, quick-witted girl into a sullen, fanatical teenager."19 Vietnam radicalizes Merry, and she plants a bomb, destroying the Old Rimrock general store and accidentally killing the doctor who happens to be there when the bomb goes off. She then goes underground and does not return. "Overnight the Swede is wrenched out of the longer- for American pastoral and into the indigenous American berserk."20 And the Swede does - nothing. He did not do anything to prevent it, he was "just a liberal sweetheart of a father"

(69), and he does not take any action after it has happened. "Is he mad - to be so passive and smiley [...]? Or merely stupid?"21 "Madness and provocation" (371) constitute certainly one factor of his passivity; stupidity surely does not. The Swede "finds himself encaptured in a ghetto of the mind"22, which leads him to think about Merry's driving reasons over and over again. The "bomb detonated his life. His perfect life was over" (69); now he has to ask himself questions like "Why are things the way they are?" (87) and "What the hell is wrong with doing things right?" (275). But he cannot find the answers to his questions. Jerry, his younger brother, tries to open the Swede's eyes by giving him his version of an answer: You wanted to be a real American jock, a real American marine, a real American hotshot with a beautiful Gentile babe on your arm? You longed to belong like everybody else to the United States of America? Well, you do now, big boy, thanks to your daughter. [...9 With the help of your daughter you're as deep in the shit as a man can get, the real American crazy shit. Your kid [blew] your norms to kingdom come. (277)

But the Swede still cannot see Merry's reasons, so he looks for causes. What caused Merry to become a terrorist? Was it the self-immolation of the Buddhist monks Merry saw on television? Was it that fatal kiss one sunny summer afternoon? Or was it because "he had made fun of her" (91) and her stuttering? He lets himself be influenced by Rita Cohen, who claims to be an acquaintance of Merry's; he follows her orders and gives her everything she demands of him - Merry's stuttering diary, her scrapbook, and money. He thinks that it is for Merry's best - and reacts in just the way Sheila Salzman, Merry's speech therapist, describes him: "The influence you allow others to have on you, it's absolute. Nothing captivates you as another person's needs" (357). But actually the Swede cannot do anything else but trying to go on with his life; and still he is caught in his thoughts. He looks for a way out and thinks he has found it in starting an affair with Sheila Salzman, a solution that is as untypical as can be for the Swede. Later he admits that having an affair with Sheila was wrong, even though he needed it at the time because his wife could neither be his comfort nor any help for him; she was too depressed and too busy with herself: "I betrayed my wife, I betrayed [Sheila], I betrayed myself" (352). The affair is just his way of dealing with what happened, it is his little hideaway place. Eventually he comes out of the hiding, only to spend the next "five years searching for an explanation, going back over everything, over the circumstances that shaped [Merry], the people and events that influenced her" (152).

Meanwhile, his wife Dawn has found her own way of healing her wounds and going on with her life. After spending the first time after the bombing in hospital and being miserable, she got a face lift in Switzerland. To her it is "as if [she has] been given a new life" (188) - a life which excludes the Swede. She starts an affair with their neighbor, an architect named Bill Orcutt. Orcutt also designs a new house for Dawn, a house full of light - which stands in striking contrast to the Swede's beloved stone house. When the Swede gets a letter from Rita Cohen telling him the whereabouts of Merry, he rushes to see his daughter. He finds out that "she [has] become a Jain" (245), lives in a shabby, dark room, does not eat or drink anymore, in short, she lives a life which is not worth living to the Swede. But Merry has become a different person, she does not stutter anymore, and she deepens his misery by telling him that she not only killed one person but four people, and she did it on purpose and on her own. The Swede finds himself in a nightmare and cannot help but think, "This is not my life, this is the dream of my life" (254). He begs her to come home with him, but she refuses. And since he cannot bring himself to use force on her, he leaves her in her dirty little room, all the while knowing that "the only thing worse than [his family's] never seeing her again would be their seeing her [...] on the floor of that room" (294). Later, at a dinner party at his house, the Swede is again thinking of what he should have done with Merry in her room, he goes over it again and again; ultimately, he comes to the conclusion that he not only failed to be the "Mr. America" he had always wanted to be, but that he failed to do "the most serious thing in his life [:] to prevent the suffering of those he loved" (386). He now knows "that he's no longer a man who can endlessly forestall being crushed" (372). He comes to realize that all his efforts of doing good were futile because of Merry's bomb. But he cannot explain why; this question and Merry's reasons for the bombing stay an enigma to him. According to Nathan Zuckerman, "the Swede [then] got up off the ground and he [did] it - a second marriage, a second shot at a unified life controlled by good sense and the classic restraints, once again convention shaping everything, large and small, and serving as barrier against the improbabilities - a second shot at being the traditional devoted husband and father" (81).

But still "there must have been times when Swede thought of himself as Job, except that he was not sufficiently involved in his religion to give any thought to that ancient paradigm of unearned and undeserved suffering."23

Meredith "Merry" Levov

Meredith Levov is difficult to describe because she seldom speaks on her own behalf. What is known of her is presented through her family's opinion of her. Showing her characteristics also means to deal with how people reacted towards her and the way they dealt with the effects of Merry's bomb.

From the time Merry is born, her parents have to cope with difficulties. As a baby she screams almost constantly, and when that stops and she starts to talk, the stuttering begins. Her otherwise idyllic childhood is overshadowed by her severe stutter. Merry is a very intelligent child with "a logical mind and a high IQ and an adultlike sense of humor even about herself. [...] Security, health, love, every advantage imaginable - missing only [is] the ability to order a hamburger without humiliating herself" (95). Dawn and the Swede take her to several speech therapists. One of them tells the Swede that Merry only stutters because "it's easier to stutter" (97) and because it is a way to get the attention she wants, and to manipulate her parents. Merry would only stop stuttering, "when she found a more valuable replacement for the manipulativeness" (98). So is that the first hint to Merry's becoming the Old Rimrock bomber? Throughout the novel there are sentences and utterances that blame Merry's motifs on her feeling inferior to her parents and her mother in particular:

Because she thought that was the best chance she had with that vain little mother if hers. [...] Hard to believe you could fit so much vanity into that cutesy figure. Oh, but it [...] fits, all right. Just doesn't leave much room for Merry [...]. (136)

But it cannot be only that, although Merry "seems not to have inherited the great beauty of either parent."24

By the age of sixteen, almost overnight, the grass hopper child [...] all at once [shoots] up, [brakes] out, [grows] stout - she thicken[s] across the back and the neck, stop[s] brushing her teeth and combing her hair; she [eats] almost nothing she [is] served at home but at school and out alone [eats] virtually all the time (100). In short, she becomes fat, slovenly, and begins to "renounce [] her meaningless manners, her petty social concerns, her family's "bourgeois" values" (101). She now "sees her father as a wealthy parasite and her mother as a flighty and self-indulged woman."25 The Vietnam War fuels Merry's leftist political opinion and she spends the weekends with friends in New York City. Her reading becomes more and more communist - The Communist Manifesto and books by Angela Davis. In 1968, at the height of the Vietnam War, "throwing slogans and vitriol at her parents"26 is no longer enough, and she bombs the general store in Old Rimrock, accidentally killing the local physician who happens to pick up his mail at just that time. She then "goes into hiding, vanishing from her parents' lives."27 "The first seventy-two hours after the bombing she [spends] hidden I the Morristown home of Sheila Salzman, her speech therapist" (257). In the process of her new life she adopts the name of Mary Stoltz, washes dishes, moves around the country, works in old people's homes, gets raped several times, kills three more people, has a lesbian relationship, teaches English to Spanish boys, clerks at stores, studies "the revolutionary thinkers [like] Marx, Marcuse, Malcolm X and Frantz Fanon" (261) and lives with an old black woman and her dog. She then starts studying religions and decides to become a member of the ascetic Indian sect known as the Jains. She returns to Newark and works at the local cat and dog hospital, living in a shabby little room like "an urban hermit, following that obscure religion which leads her to eat very sparingly out of consideration for the animals and products she would consume."28

So the questions that inevitably come to one's mind are, "how could this fruit fall so terribly far from the tree? How could a decent man like Swede Levov and his respectable wife have raised a creature like Merry?"29 Lou Levov gives two possible answers. In his eyes, the "children, lacking the courage to rebel against their own parents [choose] instead to rise up against the nation-as-parent."30 So this answer blames wealth and the lack of a life in hardship. Lou's second possible answer blames religion. A Catholic mother and grandmother, who took Merry to church to celebrate Christmas and Easter and who baptized her secretly were "enough for that poor kid never to know who she was" (389). "As a believing Jew, [Lou] must certainly view the breakdown in this century of moral order and the erosion of spiritual values [- and, in turn, Merry's disorientation -] in terms of the inadequacy of Christianity as a sustaining force to the good."31

Jerry Levov does not really look for the cause of Merry's behavior. He just says the "little shit was no good from the time she was born. She was miserable [and] self-righteous" (69). Jerry does not care for Merry's reasons to hate her parents and the life she and her parents lived, he just states the fact that she did: "Everything permissible, everything forgivable, and she hated it. That bomb detonated his life. His perfect life was over. Just what she had in mind" (69). Although Jerry does ask himself why "life started laughing" (74) at his brother, he does not go any further.

I already mentioned Dawn Levov's reaction to the bombing, and that's where the novel stops, too. There is no information given whether or not Dawn thinks about Merry's reasons and causes.

So that brings us to the Swede. What is his answer to the questions asked at the beginning? He does not have any. Merry's motifs and reasons, just as the effects of the bombing stay a riddle to him. He fails to understand his daughter, and so he puts on a mask to flee the enigma; his mask being the pretending of everything being normal, and his second marriage.


"There is no happy ending here."32 But to describe this "unhappy" ending properly, one cannot get around Nathan Zuckerman. He is the man to tell the reader how unhappy the ending actually is, and, in fact, he already does so while telling the story.

About Merry, he says, her tragedy "was that she'd never been anybody's child" (231), because she is so different from the generations before her. She is chaos itself, asking the Swede "again and again to take seriously things that [are] not serious" (240). But the Swede cannot fulfill this expectation of hers, he is "the dependable father whose center is the source of all order, who [cannot] overlook or sanction the smallest sign of chaos - for whom keeping chaos far at bay had been intuition's chosen path to certainty, the rigorous daily given of life" (231).

Is that the reason why "they were laughing at him"? Why "life was laughing at him" (216)? Not even Zuckerman can figure it out. He can only tell the reader that the Swede leads two lives: An outer life, which is, "to the best of his ability, [...] conducted just as it used to be; and "a gruesome inner life of tyrannical obsessions, stifled inclinations, superstitious expectations, horrible imaginings, fantasy conversations, unanswerable questions, [and] enormous loneliness" (173). Zuckerman poses the question of Merry's reasons time and again, and his guess is as good as anybody else's, "The daughter has made her father see. And perhaps this was all she had ever wanted to do" (418). He appears to be rather generous with Merry, but when it comes to Lou Levov, his verdict is almost devastating: The Swede's "restless father - who spent so much of life in a transitional state between compassion and antagonism, between comprehension and blindness, between gentle intimacy and violent irritation" (294/5). forced others, the Swede in particular, to subdue their own personality, seemingly subjugating it to him.33 Zuckerman calls Lou "an unrelenting father" whose son is always confronted with the problem of "maintaining filial love against the onslaught of [the] father" (361). In the end, Lou, "the combatant [,] ha[s] borne all the disappointment he could. Nothing blunt remained within him for bludgeoning deviancy to death. What should be did not exist. Deviancy prevailed. [...] Improbably, what was not supposed to happen had happened and what was supposed to happen had not happened" (422). Merry's bomb had not only destroyed the general store, it had also destroyed "the old system that made order", which simply "doesn't work anymore" (423). Too much for the Levovs to handle, and so Zuckerman has to pose the final question, "And what is wrong with their life? What on earth is less reprehensible than the life of the Levovs?" (423), demanding an answer as to why the Levovs were not allowed to lead a life in "liberty, peace, security, a decent liberal democracy."34 Was it because "American society and politics, by the late sixties, [were] a grotesque travesty"35 of the Jewish-American Dream? Or does the answer lay in the maintaining of a fake pastoral, the holding on to an illusion that everyone needs although we all know that the world changes? Merry confronted her family with these questions, but they could not give an answer. Can anyone?


Roth, Philip. American Pastoral. London, 1998.

Girgus, Sam B. (1986): "The Jew as Underground Man", in Bloom, Harald (ed.): Modern Critical Views: Philip Roth. New York.

Lee, Hermione. Philip Roth. Methuen, London, New York, 1982.

Roth, Philip. Reading Myself and Others. New York, 1975.

Searles, George. The Fiction of Philip Roth and John Updike. Carbondale, Edwardsville, 1985.







6 Searles, George J. The Fiction of Philip Roth and John Updike. Carbondale, Edwardsville, 1985, 31.

7 Roth, Philip. American Pastoral. London, 1998, 237.

8 Searles, George J. The Fiction of Philip Roth and John Updike. Carbondale, Edwardsville, 1985, 35.

9 "Fill'er up. Mac", American Pastoral, 208.




13 Searles, George J. The Fiction of Philip Roth and John Updike. Carbondale, Edwardsville, 1985, 37.



16 Roth, Philip. Reading Myself and Others. New York, 1975, 143.

17 "His golden gift for responsibility", A.P., 5.

18 Searles, George J. The Fiction of Philip Roth and John Updike. Carbondale, Edwardsville, 1985, 40.




22 Girgus, Sam B. (1986): "The Jew as Underground Man", in Bloom, Harald (ed.): Modern Critical Views: Philip Roth. New York, 163.









31 Roth, Philip. Reading Myself and Others. New York, 1975, 144.


33 American Pastoral, 361.

34 Lee, Hermione. Philip Roth. Methuen, London, New York, 1982, 45.

35 Lee, Hermione. Philip Roth. Methuen, London, New York, 1982, 45.

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Anke Balduf (Autor), 2000, Philipp Roth: The Sequence of Generations in "American Pastoral", München, GRIN Verlag,


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