Analysis Of The Book ' Philadelphia Fire ' Essay

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“Philadelphia Fire laments the impossibility of attaining this ideal in late twentieth-century urban America.” Start with the investigation of escaped orphan from the fire, Cudjoe, the protagonist of the novel revealed a decayed city. The narrative of this book is highly fragmented, especially in Part II, Wildman merged Cudjoe and himself to one narrator. In Part III, Wildman even created a mysterious character, J.B, to represent all the people saw the degeneration/fire. Through this way, Wildman generalized the narrations of different people in different time, elaborating personal experience to a phenomenon of a community. The book sank in a sense of despair and confusion. From Cudjoe to Philadelphia, everyone, every group and every community was stuck between the ideology of dream city and complicated reality. Hovering around the crossroad of past and future, People rot in the dissatisfaction of the current situation yet find no way to revive. Why couldn’t people jump out of the dilemma? What repressed the revolution for better life over and over again? Is the decay of this city in the story irresistible? Throughout the analysis of specific events and narrations in the book, we could categorize the causes of the degeneration to two sections: The conflict between ideology and needs to sustain the reality, and distribution of authority. With the compromise of these undesired situation, the deterioration dissolved in the root of the city, causing the irresistible decay.

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