Henry Roth: Call It Sleep

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Stacy Mulder (Ball State University)

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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…

1155 words

Citation: Mulder, Stacy. "Call It Sleep". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 October 2004 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=11036, accessed 29 January 2023.]

11036 Call It Sleep 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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