Saul Bellow: Dangling Man

(431 words)

Dangling Man (1944), Bellow's first novel, is striking in its exclusion of the female voice, its enactment of a homosocial male world, and the overt narcissism and misogyny of its protagonist. Joseph is a would-be writer and intellectual caught waiting for the Draft, who romantically believes that intellectual and spiritual enlightenment is to be attained by isolating himself within the confines of a room in a cheap Chicago boarding house while he studies the great writers of the Enlightenment. It also reflects the 1940s preoccupation of American intellectuals with French existentialism and themes of individual freedom, the meaning of moral responsibility, death, and social contract. While Modern writers such as Flaubert, …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Cronin, Gloria. "Dangling Man". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 November 2003
[, accessed 02 July 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. World War 2 Literature
  2. Jewish American Writing