William Lackey's The Scandal Of Jewish Rage In William Styron

Decent Essays

Having a “Sophie’s Choice” is a term that has become infamous after the publication of William Styron’s Sophie’s Choice in 1979. It is a noun that describes choosing between two difficult decisions that have the same outcome. In the story there is a writer living in New York who meets an odd couple, Sophie Zawistowaska and Nathan Landau. They are lovers, but in the story Sophie’s past in Auschwitz is revealed in greater detail. Through that, it is revealed that “Sophie’s Choice” was the unforgivable act of Sophie choosing her son over her daughter, leaving her daughter to die in the extermination camp. In Sophie’s Choice there is evidence of violence, explicit sexual content, and offensive language, but the effect the Holocaust has on characters of different backgrounds causes this to be a text that should be taught in a high school classroom. The main themes found in Sophie’s Choice include the Holocaust, mental illness, friendship and betrayal. The Holocaust is seen prominently in this story because it was what the one of the main characters, Sophie Zawistowaska, had to live through. Her lover Nathan Landau had trouble with substance abuse, and he was also a paranoid schizophrenic. This was a theme that troubled some people. Nathan was a much scrutinized character. In Lackey’s “The Scandal of Jewish Rage in William Styron’s Sophie’s Choice,” he talks about how there are some scholars who believe that Nathan Landau did not have any reasonable background to be a

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