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The Path To The Truth Essay

1942 words - 8 pages

The Path to the Truth

Saul Bellow is known as one of the most influential and important writers in the post World War II era and has won numerous awards for his work including the Pulitzer Prize, a Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Nobel Prize for literature. One of Bellow's famous short stories, "A Father-to-Be" follows a single day in the life of a young scientist, Rogin, who is starting to feel pressure from his fiancee, Joan, and the stress of marriage and possibly fatherhood. "The Gonzaga Manuscripts" is another short story of Bellows that is examined by many critics. The story tracks the expedition of an American scholar, Charles Feiler, who is in search for the works of a Spanish poet, Gonzaga. To find the poems would be an act of deliverance in Feiler's mind and he believes bringing that little part of Gonzaga to the world would be an act of hope the world needs.A final example of Bellow's short stories is "Looking for Mr. Green". The tale outlines the first day on the job for a relief check delivery man, George Grebe and his struggle in finding his first receiver in a Chicago ghetto. In Saul Bellow's critically acclaimed novella, Seize the Day, which includes three short stories, Bellow explores the central theme of the protagonist's fight against the unpredictable conflicts of life and the search for transcendence and truth.
"A Father-to-Be" is a reflective piece where Bellow writes about the stress that many Americans feel on the edge of marriage especially during the Depression. The main character is 31 year old chemist, Rogin, and is traveling to his fiancee's apartment for dinner. He was an average American feeling the same pressure most Americans felt at this time, from inflation and high taxes. Along with these pressures of money, Rogin is spending a lot of his income with helping his brother through college, To begin his long journey, Rogin leaves work shortly after his fiancee, Joan, phoned him to send on an errand to the drugstore for shampoo and a delicatessen for roast beef for supper. This is when Rogin starts to meditate on the pressures money puts on life. As the cashier wraps the shampoo bottle, Rogin experiences an epiphany. He realizes "Money surrounds you in life as the earth does in death...Who is free? No one is free. Who has no burdens? Everyone is under pressure." (Bellow, 123). He has persuaded himself to be happier and more carefree due to what he believes to be the answers to the rhetoric questions of life. Rogin suddenly believes his search for truth has lead him to the answers to life's most esoteric questions. Another example from the story of when the character searches for answers to the unpredictable parts of life is when Rogin is on the subway, heading to his and Joan's apartment. He has another epiphany with his imagined son grown old. Observing one of the passengers of the subway Rogin visualizes the man to be his son in the future, although the man is more imitative of Joan's...

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