Character and Satire in Post War Fiction by Ian Gregson

By Ian Gregson

This monograph analyses using cartoon as one of many key recommendations in narrative fiction because the battle. shut research of a few of the simplest recognized postwar novelists together with Toni Morrison, Philip Roth, Joyce Carol Oates, Angela Carter and may Self, unearths how they use comic strip to specific postmodern conceptions of the self. within the strategy of relocating clear of the modernist concentrate on subjectivity, postmodern characterisation has usually drawn on a miles older satirical culture including Hogarth and Gillray within the visible arts, and Dryden, Pope, speedy and Dickens in literature. Its key pictures depict the human as decreased to the prestige of an item, an animal or a computer, or the human physique as dismembered to symbolize the fragmentation of the human spirit. Gregson argues that this go back to comic strip is symptomatic of a satirical perspective to the self that's relatively attribute of latest culture.

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It is through its caricatural style that the novel exposes the Brotherhood’s ideology as a distortive simplification. Its grand narrative, its ‘all-embracing idea’, which gives the protagonist ‘a vital role’ and the world ‘a new shape’ in which ‘everything could be controlled by our science’, is satirized as being achieved through a tunnel vision which conveniently tidies up ‘loose ends’ (382). When Ellison represents this with Jack’s glass eye he is drawing upon the resources of the political cartoon.

Heller’s historical works of the 1980s, God Knows and Picture This, insist that the shaping force of institutional thinking is an inescapable fact in human experience – that no individuals have ever existed outside or before institutions. What is especially clear from Picture This, however, is how much Heller considers that the rise of capitalism is responsible for the ills which his novels indict: whenever there is more money to be made from money than from anything else, the energies of the state are likely to be devoted increasingly to the production of money, for which there is no community need, to the exclusion of those commodities that are required for health, physical wellbeing and contemplation .

He has tried to teach him to see himself and those close to him in terms of their inner spirit, their human quality, their quiet understated heroism. (Juneteenth, ‘Notes’, 355) The ‘eight-rocks’ spread the materialization of themselves everywhere across their community, and twins represent their narrow and separatist self-regard. This resembles the image of incest used by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, in One Hundred Years of Solitude, to satirize a similarly overheated self-preoccupation in the isolated citizens of Macondo.

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