The modern novel as a frame of orientation in fragmented social worlds: The individual in the postwar urban America of Saul Bellow
Hill, Alison Hart
Brown, David P.
Master of Architecture
The modern novel as an urban investigation reflects the tensions evolving between the individual and the urban environment. As the American urban experience becomes increasingly fragmented, the more these texts can be looked at as providing a framework for understanding contemporary social structure. Changes to the physical environment as well as the socio-political construct of the city have repercussions on the life of the urban individual. The postwar city has become fragmented by its own diversity as well as by the increasingly alienating experience of man's search for identity within the urban environment. Responding to his own perceptions of societal dissolution, Saul Bellow incorporates popular culture and recent history into his exploration of urban alienation and the postwar diminution of Self. These narratives lend comprehension to the chaotic and evolving relationship between modern man, American cultural identity and urban landscape.
American studies; American literature; Architecture