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Political Initiation in the Novels of Philip Roth exemplifies how literature and, specifically, the work of Philip Roth can help readers understand the ways in which individuals develop their political identity, learn to comprehend political ideas, and define their role in society. Combining political science, literary theory, and anthropology, the book...
Political Initiation in the Novels of Philip Roth exemplifies how literature and, specifically, the work of Philip Roth can help readers understand the ways in which individuals develop their political identity, learn to comprehend political ideas, and define their role in society. Combining political science, literary theory, and anthropology, the book describes an individual's political coming of age as a political initiation story, which is crafted as much by the individual himself as by the circumstances influencing him, such as political events or the political attitude of the parents. Philip Roth's characters constantly re-write their own stories and experiment with their identities. Accordingly, Philip Roth's works enable the reader to explore, for instance, how individuals construct their identity against the backdrop of political transformations or contested territories, and thereby become initiands—or fail to do so. Contrary to what one might expect, initiations are not only defining moments in childhood and early adulthood; instead, Roth shows how initiation processes recur throughout an individual's life.
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