Saul Bellow: The Victim

(398 words)

The Victim (1947), written in the aftermath of the Holocaust, intensely explores the ability of twentieth-century man to cope with victimization and paranoia. During one long hot summer during which his wife is temporarily absent, Asa wrestles with fears about his job security, anti-Semitism, and the predations into his private life of his seedy, gentile nemesis, Kirby Allbee.

Asa Leventhal, is a Jew scarred by his mother’s madness and screaming fits, and by his failure to bond with his father. When he loses both parents before his adult life really begins he is emotionally ill-equipped. His brother, Max, is absent for the summer also and his immigrant sister-in-law plagues him with pleas for financial help as …

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Cronin, Gloria. "The Victim". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 October 2003
[, accessed 07 July 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Jewish American Writing