Call It Sleep exemplifies Henry Roth's fascination with modernist technique; the influence of James Joyce is apparent throughout the novel, as are typical modernist themes of alienation and isolation. As a cultural portrait, Call It Sleep paints a vivid picture of immigrant life in early twentieth century New York, specifically that of the very large immigrant Jewish population. As a commentary upon the struggles of a minority group, Call It Sleep offers a poignant tale of a young boy and his often unsettling experiences both at home and in his community.
When Henry Roth began working on Call It Sleep in the summer of 1930, his intent was to write autobiographically. He wrote the first 75 pages of h…
Mulder, Stacy. "Call It Sleep". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 October 2004
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