The Novel ' American Pastoral ' By Philip Roth

1679 Words7 Pages
A novelist incorporates three crucial elements when writing a novel. The first element is the ability for the author to draw from his or her own experiences. A novelist will paint an issue, usually political or social, on the canvas of the pages in the book. He or she draw from experiences, what they remember from the event taking place, locations, dates, and use a splash of fiction to blend the perfect color for the novel. The author will mainly stick to the color-coated facts to give the reader an authentic feel for the story, but gracefully integrates fiction to in essence portray the spin to the truth they desire. A novel is also driven by the desire to understand others, often in a sympathetic light. And last, but not least,…show more content…
Roth uses Nathan to reincarnate the protagonist in the novel, Seymour
“Swede” Levov, as Swede’s life is retold through the accounts of Zuckerman.
The story of Swede’s life in the novel is translucent. It is only semi-clear in nature as the narrator gathers the preponderance of information second-hand through the tales from characters that knew Swede. Much of the minutiae of Swede’s life were a reconstruction of the character through the imagination of how it would have occurred in Zuckerman’s head.
Nathan Zuckerman had an indescribable fascination for Swede from the very conception of the novel. He was his hero, idol, and a hometown legend. Nathan grew up in the Jewish community with Swede in Newark, New Jersey. Swede was someone to look up to for Nathan and many others. He was referred to as Swede because even though he was Jewish, he was graced with superior athletic ability and physical attributes, being tall, with blonde hair and blue eyes. “The Unjewish Jew.” He escaped the “bind” of the Jewish community with these attributes, and was admired by Nathan for it. Nathan had more exposure to his hero through befriending his brother, Jerry Levov. Jerry was radically different than the Swede as Nathan recounts. He had a fiery side, unlike his cool, calm, and collected brother. Nathan was one if not the only friend to Jerry in high school. “I would have not otherwise have played in Jerry Levov’s basement. If it weren’t for the opportunity to tell
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