Richard Powers, Bewilderment

Martin Kich (Wright State University)
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The main characters in this novel are Theo Byrne and his son Robin. Theo is an astrobiologist, searching for evidence of life on other planets, and Robin is a nine-year-old who has been diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum, most likely as having Asperger’s Syndrome. His condition has given Robin a heightened responsiveness to natural phenomena, but, in other settings, he is easily frustrated and expresses his frustration in angry outbursts. After he attacks a fellow student, throwing a thermos at him and breaking his cheekbone, Robin’s school demands that Theo seek appropriate treatment for Robin’s Asperger’s. But the standard treatments involve heavy doses of psychotropic medications, and Theo fears that the medications will also reduce Robin’s responsiveness to those…

2607 words

Citation: Kich, Martin. "Bewilderment". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 May 2024 [, accessed 30 May 2024.]

41607 Bewilderment 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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