The American Dream happens to be Norman Mailers Fourth reputable book printed by Dial Press. The titles general story line depicts Mailers alter ego where he murders his wife, sodomizes his maid, brutally beats up a jazz artist, shells a titan industry and walks away unharmed and most surprisingly without punishment for his atrocities. An American Dream is in its wildest sense a fantasy novel depicting wild American fantasies of sex, crime, affluence, vehemence, influence and prominence each in their wildest form.
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The books lead character Stephen Rojack as depicted from the novel, is a war hero and was formerly a congressman. Stephen Rojack is also a television talk show host and a personification in the novel. Rojack is married to a true blood associate who he views in his wildest senses as his oppressor and intimidator. She seems to enjoy speaking in discourteous language or terms and takes sheer pleasure in mocking her alienated husband.
In a fit of alcoholic rage, he murders his wife by strangling her. He does this claiming it as a means of redemption or as a means to save his own soul. A question rises by the unfolding of events in the novel. The reader wonders or ponders whether Rojack is the typical protagonist, the typical tragic hero mostly depicted in what most scholars present as Greek mythology, or is he simply a man dealing with an ultimate quest to bridge the undefined gap or niche between legitimate and evil. The withdrawn character in Rojack is put to light in an all of a sudden design. He is all of a sudden a homicidal offender while, in contrast, he pales in comparison to other charisma's that he come across in his story line in the novel.
Everyone that Rojack seems to come across starting with the law, or police investigating his wife’s murder or demise to the climactic meeting with the father to his late wife seem to evade all societal values and the tales they share depict the most dreadful realities or performances and a series of awful criminality. In the company of such characters the alter ego, Rojack, does not at all feel comfortable and plays the role of the listener rather than the intervener but, keeps a level head and never judges them all too harshly. In every page turn, Rojack is perhaps expecting that the evil truth would be finally discovered or is simply at the verge of discovery but, each character seem to have his own plan and stumbles upon his guilt though each one seems to carry their own concept about the whole issue.
Mailer, the book's author, carries a deep sense of journalistic expertise as well as his all too aggressive story telling skills which he may have gained in his experience, in the field of fantasy novel authorship. He creates this impression through the use of his lead character Rojack in portraying various themes that contribute to the success of his novel. The novel has numerous depravities in the themes of sexuality, alcoholism and sanity that the author portrays through Rojack and the other minor characters that the writer depicts in the novel. It is ultimately clear that the lead character, Rojack, is in a quest to maintain any bit of rationality that he may have left after he commits the heinous crime, murdering his wife. The character is also an alcoholic which attributes to his somewhat psychotic or delinquent state through out the novel.
Perversity is in the most outrageous way the subject and villain that is most depicted in the chapters that actively make the book. It is most depicted in the rather boyish description on the act of sodomy that the lead character Rojack committed on his maid. Alcoholism and its effects also play a crucial role in the depiction of moral decline that the writer seems to want to depict in his novel. Rojack murders his wife while he was in a state of drunken hysteria. He feels liberated by the violence and imagines himself as transcribing or maybe, receiving messages from the moon and perceiving voices in his head that seem to command him ton make denial of his guilt.
Mailer makes the reader, question the various forms of morality with his own unique style by, ultimately presenting his characters as humane or human on the outside, but, extremely variable on the inside. He creates that wish for the rise of a redemptory character in the novel but yet he slithers past that gratification with unnoticeable ease, which leaves the audience, to pin point his equanimity in morality. Mailer does not seem to judge too harshly perhaps because he upholds two characters at a go, the sinner and the saint. This seems like a challenge to his readers by presentation of may be the worst form or states of moral decadency and socially unacceptable mannerism or developments just to create a test on the readers’ ability to read beyond what may be described as the obvious.
The book mostly attempts to generate explanations not only for extra ordinary behavior or mannerism but, also for attitudes that are often strictly taken as attitudes, are offensively immoral. For example, he melodramatizes sex. Too much is required of sex that is, according to Mailer. These requirements gives him the apt ability to melodramatize sex both in its most pervasive and creative aspect. What creates the book is a severe commitment to creativity that is invested, not in the depiction of violent or sexual acts but in acts of creative, meticulous writing. In the novel is a paragraph that portrays the killing of Germans. This paragraph can well be described as a model in which a private dream of what may be referred to as creativity flickers within a publicly ordered nightmare of bereavement.
Summarily, the book is a master piece of creativity depicting immorality in its wildest sense. The book is a must read for anyone looking to find some entertainment in fictitious fantasy novels.