• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month


Extracts from this document...


Justin Mather Mr. Mackechnie English 11 Honors 4B 07 May 2006 PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT CRITICISM The eccentric, obsessed, sex driven story of Alexander Portnoy in Philip Roth's novel, Portnoy's Complaint tells the story of a teenager going through his adolescent years with sexual urges to deal with in life. Alexander is a Jewish boy with a huge nose to match his huge ego, in love with sex. Published first in 1969 Philip Roth has Portnoy grow up in a strict household with expectations to be proper and well behaved yet he has to find ways around his parents to satisfy his sexual tensions. He loves being kinky in the bedroom even though he feels guilty doing it and he relates his problems through flashbacks, and anecdotes to his life seeking help for his problem. Philip Roth, through out the novel of Portnoy's Complaint, showed flaws of teenagers with sexual obsessions, harsh language to get points across, and concentration on Jewish-American experiences in life after the war in society. ...read more.


... I come back to the kitchen table, scowling and cranky, to grumble self-righteously at my father when he opens his mouth full of red jello and says, "I don't understand what you have to lock the door about. (Roth 19-20) Luckily he doesn't get caught but later he has to come clean to the doctor because it becomes and addiction and his problem lie in the urge to masturbate and he needs serious help to solve it. This problem occurs through adolescence and through puberty of a teenager's life, when hormones increase and you realize what "pleasure" is to your body and you want to satisfy it. Roth took care of this problem and played it out in the novel to a teen's perspective but got it through as a form in his writing. Another, style Roth used to get points across and to stress dialogue that was strong in emotion and meaning was by using figurative language and capitol letters to give a demanding tone. ...read more.


The writers were better educated and began to merge into the mainstream of American life." (1). Roth wrote about the household with a working father and the family at the dinner table with events going on in the world. The novel was thought to be written as "typical," and: Of a generation in rebellion against established values, but it has a curious resemblance to the immigrant school of Jewish-American fiction. Its hero rejects all things Jewish and struggles to become integrated into what he regards as a desirable, secular and liberal way of life." (Nilsen 1-2). Portnoy's battle against his society and heritage ended in a draw, where nobody won, and relates to current society where nobody ever wins, yet we are in a struggle all the time. Roth's novel is covers self struggle psychologically as well: Roth's novel has a great deal of psychological awareness built into it. The hero is prodigiously intelligent and well versed in his Freud and Marx, but his knowledge is of no help to him. Instead, he employs it as the instrument of an endless self-analysis that becomes an exercise in masochism.... (Nilsen 2). ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

The writer clearly engages with novel and has worked through three main points in essay logically. Evidence of wider reading shown by inclusion of critical voices. Quotes are overly long and at times are not analysed deeply enough.

There is some poor sentences construction, indicating a lack of careful proofreading.

3 Stars

Marked by teacher Kate Dixon 23/10/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The Growth and Importance of English as a Global Language.

    4 star(s)

    These technological advancements that were being made had widespread linguistic consequences. New terminology used to describe the industrial and scientific developments was invented, and rapidly became part of the English language, adding thousands of words to the already growing lexicon.

  2. Language Change: from Old English to Modern English.

    der (deren) des (dessen) der (deren) Dative dem der dem den (denen) Accusative den die das die In comparing the two systems, we note many similarities, for example, similar endings across the board, with some exceptions (eg the dative plural), and a similar pattern (eg the lack of distinction between fem.

  1. English as a world language

    as a superpower, which has spread the English language alongside its economic, technological, and cultural influence. In the same period, the international importance of other European languages, especially French, has declined. Who speaks English? There are three kinds of English speaker: those who speak it as a first language, those

  2. What are the consequences of societal multilingualism?

    The languages of education will be taught in the formal variety of Singapore English and Mandarin. Religious services will be given in different languages, depending on the religion that is being practised. The language that the government will employ will be formal Singapore English, and at times Mandarin may be used in times where there is a need for informality.

  1. Short Story Analysis

    Wilson denies Boyd of anymore gingerbread and chastises him for being ungrateful. The boys than leave to go outside to play but Boyd remains uneasy with the demeanour Mrs. Wilson has towards him. This positions the reader to make second thoughts on Mrs.

  2. Outline and Evaluate Chomsky's Approach to Language Acquisition.

    Observational, Descriptive and Explanatory adequacy levels were the different terms for the knowledge of the language. Chomsky's Universal Grammar is central in his approach to language acquisition. It does not lend itself to the study of behaviourism, as it is a theory that concentrates on knowledge and ideas.

  1. JFK Inaugural Speech Rhetorical Analysis

    be done to stop this mayhem and then states about the negative aspect of continuing it, emphasizes the significance of dwelling on what should be done. His youthful energy is seen through his activism and call for action where he stresses the fact that the solution to the problem is not war, but peaceful negotiations.

  2. "Bleak House" Linguistic analysis of Chapter 1.

    The first one is weather. Examples include "November weather", "soft black drizzle" and " fog everywhere". The second field is scenery. "Heaven", "earth", "river" and "street corners" are all examples of scenery semantic fields. This could be done because it helps describe the surrounding area of Where the novel is set.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work