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The Application of Herzog

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Jewish-American literature has sprung up since World War II, of which a large number of excellent writers appeared. Saul Bellow is one fine example who has been acclaimed the most influential writer after Hemingway and Faulkner. Herzog is Bellow's tour de force which is set in 1964 when the United States was undergoing a series of social transitions. This novel is about the midlife crisis of a Jewish man named Moses E Herzog. At the age of forty-seven, he is just emerging from his second divorce. Herzog's career has floundered and his psychological status is in confusion. Herzog aims to present the readers with the spiritual crisis that American intellectuals go through. In this novel, Bellow abandons the depiction of the outside world. He spares no effort to explore the inner world of the protagonist, which inevitably makes the plot plain. However, Bellow skillfully applies the literary method, stream of consciousness, such as monologue, free association, montage, etc. to present the readers with the inner flow of Herzog vividly. Unlike his predecessors such as Faulkner and James Joyce whose works are brimmed with complex application of stream of consciousness, due to which readers will find it hard to read their works. While Saul Bellow's stream of consciousness is fresh and unique that also brings the readers the freshness when reading Herzog. Since 1918, stream of consciousness has been introduced into the literary circle. Since then, if the works depicting the continuous flow of sense such as perceptions, thoughts , feelings and memories in the human mind would be flagged as "literature of stream of consciousness." Stream of consciousness is one of the most important writing devices of modernist. And it is pioneered by Dorothy Richardson and James Joyce. This thesis will discuss the application of stream of consciousness appeared in Herzog and how it affects the shaping of the characters and the structure of the novel. This thesis is composed of three parts. The first part mainly focuses on the introduction of Saul Bellow, the novel Herzog and stream of consciousness. The second part is mainly about the application of stream of consciousness that occurred in Herzog such as monologue, free association and montage etc. The last part will talk about the effects of stream of consciousness on shaping the characters and the structure of Herzog.

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