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Dangling Man

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Novel by Saul Bellow, published in 1944.

At 27, a Chicagoan named Joseph, a university graduate, an intellectual, five years married, leaves his job with a travel bureau, and under the pressure of waiting to be taken to war as a draftee feels himself alienated from society. In his diary between Dec. 15, 1942, and April 9, 1943, he objectively describes his quarrels with friends, in-laws, his wife Iva, by whom he is supported in their mean rooming house, and his brother Amos, a go-getting success, as he undergoes intense self-analysis dedicated only to the belief “I must know what I myself am.” Talks with his alter ego, “Tu As Raison Aussi,” finally convince him that man creates his own destiny and send him to volunteer in the army rather than continue to wait indefinitely to be inducted.

Subjects: Literature

Reference entries

Saul Bellow (1915—2005) Canadian-born American novelist