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Identity Crises in Philip Roths Eli, the Fanatic and The Conversion of the Jews.

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Presentation on theme: "Identity Crises in Philip Roths Eli, the Fanatic and The Conversion of the Jews."— Presentation transcript:

1 Identity Crises in Philip Roths Eli, the Fanatic and The Conversion of the Jews.

2 Identity Crisis Erik Erikson Defined as self analysis and self exploration. Originated from childhood. Eriksons hyphenated identity. Erikson is Danish-German- American.

3 Questions Roth Poses in GC Short Stories What does Jewish identity mean in a Post-World War II America? Have Jews achieved assimilation and American status? Are they hyphenated Americans with a dual nationalism and an inability to be classed as truly American?

4 Victoria Aarons The characters in the stories in Goodbye, Columbus, however, are at the initial stages of attempting to define themselves as Jews or not as Jews. And this tension, this push and pull between Jew or not makes projected Jewish identity the single most uncompromising antagonist against which Roths characters must contend. (Aarons 10)

5 Eli, the Fanatic Suburb of Woodenton. Eli Peck is a suburban attorney. Assimilated Jews wish to eradicate Orthodox Jews- the mementos of Jewish heterogeneity. Achieved assimilation by suppressing conspicuous aspects of Jewish culture and tradition. Arrival of Orthodox Jews challenges the Jew-Gentile peaceful coexistence. Leo Tzuref is the head of the Yeshiva. Assimilated Jews replicate Gentile impositions.

6 Elis Identity Crisis I am them, they are me, Mr. Tzuref./ Aach! You are us, we are you! (Eli, the Fanatic 192) Survivors guilt Empathises and Identifies with Yeshiva Jews. Just give me the day-them the day (201) – Freudian parapraxis?

7 James Marcia Identity Status Theory Identity Moratorium Milowitz: The changing of clothes suggests that Eli is trying on alternative identities. (20)

8 Elis Dual Identity Identities metaphorized in two suits: – Green suit: Pseudo-American identity – Black suit: Crypto-Jewish identity Doppelganger

9 Dissociative Identity Disorder Two Alter Egos: 1.Eli Peck 2.Eli, the Fanatic Intravenous Sedation

10 The Conversion of The Jews Ozzie Freedman: Is it me? Is it me ME ME ME ME ME! It has to be me-but is it! (106) Roth says: I am not a Jewish writer; I am a writer who is a Jew (qtd. in Rabin 9)


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