Read more · Philip Roth - The Human Stain. Read more · Roth, Philip - The Human Stain · Read more · Stain of the Berry. Read more · The Ink Stain · Read more. THE HUMAN STAIN. Screenplay by. NICHOLAS MEYER. Based On The Novel. The Human Stain. By Philip Roth. Production - white. February 25, PDF | Philip Roth belongs to the first generation of American novelists for whom a It focuses on The Human Stain (), the novel in which he reflects most.

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Editorial Reviews. Review. Athena College was snoozing complacently in the Berkshires until Coleman Silk--formerly "Silky Silk," undefeated. This books (The Human Stain [PDF]) Made by Philip Roth About Books none To Download Please Click. While the centrality of the genre of tragedy to The Human Stain has been consistently acknowledged by critics, the novel has tended to be read simply as an.

I would also like to acknowledge my Grandma and Grandpa Britt and my Grandma and Grandpa Williams, you are all so special to me and I love you dearly. Writing this thesis has caused me to go into hibernation at times and I would like to thank my friends for sticking by me and for always being there when I needed them.

A special thanks to Sarah Dodd, for not only being a great friend even though you didnt call me about those PJ tickets! To my mother, even though we dont see each other often, you are in my thoughts and heart always; I love you very much and I am so happy and proud to have a mommy like you. Lastly I would like to thank my father. It was through you that all this was possible and I will never be able to thank you enough.

You have given me the world and I hope you know that you mean the world to me. Love you!

In Roths work the main focus is on Coleman Silk, a tenured professor who quits his job at prestigious Athena College due to accusations that he made racist remarks in one of his classes. Proses novel focuses on the affair of creative writing professor, Ted Swenson, and his student, Angela Argo, and the subsequent consequences of their actions. I propose, in this thesis, that the setting of the college campus is used in these two novels because it is an appropriate vehicle to satirize and deliver commentary on present-day society.

The Human Stain and Blue Angel make numerous comments and observations about contemporary American society. Issues such as family and sexuality are apparent in the text as well as feminism, political correctness, and occupational relations.

In addition, the setting of the college campus propels observations on identity and the ways in which identity construction can be influenced by academia. The academic genre is well equipped to explore social issues because as Carlin Romano observes in his article The Troves of Academia,[w]ith the exception of Christian churches, no American institutions provide so much yawning space between appearance and reality for the novelist of manners to explore It is interesting that while the college campus is a seemingly ideal genre to explore the reality of our culture, critics have not given it much attention in terms of it being an important literary device.

The academic novel or college fiction as it is sometimes referred is neither extensively researched nor critically examined. It has transformed over the years in scope and continues to evolve as a genre. Two major works introduced the topic.

Proctor, published in , covers the history and tradition of the college novel in England. In his study, Lyons talks about themes of the college novel and lists over two hundred works that he categorizes as academic fiction, dating from In a follow up article that appeared in , Lyons adds over ninety works to his list, illustrating the growth of the genre.

The Human Stain by Philip Roth

In terms of relative theme and scope, he notes that many of the college novels he added to his list continue to be written by irritated professors and students who depict campus as a heartless mill, but now the administrators, especially the college presidents, are held in even lower esteem Lyons goes on to discuss the use of the college novel to address social problems.

When speaking about the feminist crusade he remarks that this issue has not yet touched the form, but speculates that no doubt the novels themselves will make the argument in years to come It is interesting to note the accuracy of this statement made over thirty years ago. As seen in The Human Stain and Blue Angel with the examination of the relationships between older professionally established men and younger less established women, the issue of feminism has definitely infiltrated the college novel.

The feminist issue is just one of the examples of the many features of the academic genre. Academic novels encapsulate a variety of characteristics. Satire and scrutiny of the established order are often seen, which frequently leads the author who is usually associated with or was associated with academics to vent about issues ranging from tenure to parking spots. Distribution and allocation of power are also prevalent themes.

Power flows throughout the college campus and is manifested in many ways. For example, professors hold power over their students, though sometimes it is the students who hold the power.

Lack of power is also a feature of academic novels. What happens when power is taken away? What are the ramifications when two people on different levels of the power scale intermingle? What occurs when an individual feels powerless? The themes of power and the scrutiny of college campuses appear in numerous academic novels, prompting some critics, such as Adam Begley, author ofThe Decline of the Campus Novel, to tire of their tendency to cover the same turf Other critics are equally frustrated with these reoccurring themes that have a tendency to emerge in works of academic fiction.

He goes on to say that serious writers who are not fed up professors write the books that do survive Academic fiction produced by those not directly involved with academics is less biased because of the distance between the writer and the campus.

Culture and Identit. The Academic Settings in Philip Roth's The Human Stain.pdf

Hence, the accomplishments of Philip Roth and Francine Prose as writers not only add clout to the genre, but, make it more likely that scholars and critics will pay attention to future works of academic fiction. He feels they have a tendency to focus merely on problems within the college campus.

He argues that writers of academic fiction stick with a formulated plot and only alter who is complaining about the problems within the campus and who they affect.

As he observes, The novelists perspective shifts, but the place itself remains substantially the same. He goes on to point out that many recent academic novels are too pleasant and affable, since the majority of those writing them are employed by the university and do not want to bite the hand that feeds, houses, insures He seems to believe that light-hearted campus fictions do nothing for the advancement of the academic novel as a scholarly genre and instead debase the genre to that of an easily read romance novel.

He stresses that if a campus novel wants to survive the times, it needs to be brutally honest and nasty; for example, Randall Jarrells Pictures From an Institution and Mary McCarthys Groves of Academe both written in the s are about either leaving or swearing off the university Incidentally, like those of Jarrell and McCarthy, Roth and Proses works involve swearing off and leaving the world of academe.

While many works of campus fiction involve critiquing the academic establishment, they also give a glimpse into cultural history, shifting in themes and purpose as times change. The academic novel of the s, for example, saw a rise in popularity as more people began attending college and sought outlets for the changes taking place at home and abroad, socially and politically Bradbury John Lyons, in his article The College Novel in America, cites three academic novels written after , when the popular news media portrayed American universities as troubled and on the verge of a breakdown; Norman Garbos The Movement, Paul Radars Professor Wilmess Must Die and Nicholas Von Hoffmans Two Three and Many More examine the issues of leftist professors, radical students, betrayal, and campus uprisings Accordingly, present day culture is reflected in the recent academic novels of Philip Roth and Francine Prose.

These academic novels give a pointed and often humorous glimpse of contemporary American society. This range of purpose in academic novels adds to their overall appeal and accessibility for both the reader and writer. Academic novels, as pointed out by William Tierney, have a broad reach and can be enjoyed by non-academics as well as those involved in academe While lay readers would likely miss much of the irony and sarcasm geared toward the university, they would certainly get a view of life inside the coveted ivory tower Sanford Pinsker goes on to articulate that professors often enjoy academic fiction because they contain just enough to seem familiar, even as their pages move steadily into territory over the top For those involved in academics, the books provide a realization that things could be worse and perhaps allow them to look at their own college with renewed appreciation.

In addition to its accessibility, the academic novel offers ways to reflect upon our lives and society. William Tierney writes that [a]cademic novels are helpful for academics not merely for the pleasure one may derive in reading fiction, but also for what the text tells us about ourselves What makes academic novels unique, and what differentiates them from 10 other genres, is their exaggerated use of satire and allegory in examining contemporary culture, as well as what they reveal about identity and tell us about ourselves.

Philip Roth has been writing for over forty years and in that time has been established as a well-known literary figure. In addition to the many novels he has written, he is known for writing articles and short stories, some of which have been adapted for TV and film.

Roth has produced controversial and thought-provoking literature. His novels often leave critics divided and reviews mixed, yet he has won numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize in for American Pastoral.

Accepted by ______________________________ Dean, Graduate School

Roths narrators are complex; the stories they tell are not chronological, and there is often a twist in plot. In addition, the text often engages in a dialogue with the reader scrutinizing and satirizing American culture.

Roth is innovative; constructing, twisting, and playing with literary devices has helped him to produce engaging fiction.

Critics, reviewers, and readers alike often claim that Roths works are autobiographical. Yet he is insistent that, contrary to what people want to believe, they are not Milbauer 1. Milan Kundera accurately describes one aspect of Roths writing style: Roth is infinitely sincere in his desire to tell all, to say everything he has in his heart and to say it openly, naively, like someone who at confession wants to hold nothing back.

Infinitely vulnerable in his sincerity, Roth is infinitely ungraspable in his irony. Milbauer Themes in his books, particularly in The Human Stain, range from issues related to sexuality, power, gender roles, the search for identity, the role of family, to the importance of honesty.

He takes these themes and produces fiction that does not follow the typical fiction writing formula. As Paul Gray ascertains in his review [o]ne of his 11 more intriguing aspects has been his refusal to tailor his work to anyone elses expectations I believe this refusal not only makes Philip Roth controversial, but also gives him a unique voice for writing about the absurdities of American culture and the tribulations of identity construction.

Davies asserts that Roth has pioneered the production of a compelling mix of social commentary and fiction that has afforded a portrayal of a nation corrupted by a moral and political bankruptcy, undone by a spiritualism that smacks of Reaganism at its worst His most recent novel, The Human Stain, uses the academic setting to deliver commentary on and satirize a time period when the nation is saturated with political correctness and moral questioning.

This novel takes place in a small Northern New England town. The town is home to the prestigious Athena College, and the town and the college share an air of longstanding Puritan New England values.

Nathan Zuckerman, a writer who has moved to the outskirts of town to escape mainstream society, narrates the novel. In typical Roth style, the narrative is complicated due to Zuckermans first person semi-omniscient perspective continuously shifting from the present to the past. The narrative is further complicated by the fact that Coleman Silk, a key character throughout, is already deceased at the onset of the novel, but we do not learn of his passing until much later in the text.

Most events of the novel are relayed through the voice of Zuckerman as they were presented to him through conversations with Coleman Silk.

However, some of the information in the novel is presented by Zuckerman as he learned it through outsiders such as Colemans sister Ernestine, or on his own accord such as when he learns of Faunias illiteracy lie by eavesdropping on a conversation at a local diner. Coleman shows Zuckerman one of the many documents from his case which states one of his students was forced to flunk out of Athena College because she was too intimidated by the racism emanating from her white professors to work up the courage to go to class Silk wants to put in writing the events that not only motivated him to leave his position of Classics professor at Athena College, but also, in his estimation, caused his wifes untimely death.

It is through the attempt to write this account that a friendship develops and Zuckerman learns much about Coleman Silks life. Yet, it is not until after Silks death that Zuckerman learns the full truth about his friend.

The reader learns through Nathan Zuckermans flashbacks all about Coleman Silk, including the fact that he is not a Jewish man, as people suppose, but a light-skinned African American who, upon leaving college and entering the military, decided that for the rest of his life he would pass as a white man. Subsequently, he also made the decision to cut all ties with his family.

The woman he eventually married believed he was a white man, as did his children, acquaintances, and anyone he came into contact with over the next forty years.

Through these flashbacks, a dialogue about social values and morals takes place. The narrator depicts Coleman as a hard worker, who believed in his ability to achieve and prevail, skilled at whatever he chose to put his mind to from boxing to the Classics.

He was an intelligent and insightful man, who, upon being appointed Dean of faculty at Athena College, enacted extensive changes throughout the establishment, in order to ensure the credibility and professionalism of Athena faculty.

Coleman, 13 consequently, made both new friends and new enemies with these changes. It becomes evident that Coleman has more enemies than friends within Athena when he is ridiculously charged with racism for calling two absent students, who happen to be Black, spooks.

Almost all the faculty members, including those he aided by hiring them, do not stand behind him in his time of need. In particular, a French language and literature professor, Delphine Roux, seems to have a personal vendetta against Coleman Silk and is one of the key players in supporting the allegations. The once confident and established Coleman Silk becomes angry and resentful of both the policies and procedures of Athena College and his co-workers.

A change in Colemans personality takes place only after he develops a surprising relationship with a woman after his wifes death who works on the custodial staff at the college.

While this woman is much younger than Coleman and passes herself off as illiterate, the two connect on a profound personal and physical level. Despite the comments and actions of his ex-co-worker, Delphine Roux, who is jealous and resentful of the relationship and despite the fact that his children have little to do with their father, Coleman begins to see life in a new light. Unfortunately this bliss and resurrection of self are short lived, due to the irrational and crazed actions of his lovers ex-husband.

Faunias ex-husband, Les Farley, is a Vietnam vet, who, upon returning from war to the United States felt angry and displaced, and, while he attempts to help himself through therapy, he is never able to let go of the experiences he had abroad. These experiences cause Les to act out in violent and inappropriate ways to Faunia, which causes her to cut all contacts with him. It is brought to the readers attention that Les additionally has a plethora of hatred for Faunia, because he is convinced that she is responsible for their children dying 14 in a fire that destroyed their home.

The character development of Les and his subsequent actions depict the troubled plight of Americas vets. Roth links the actions of the characters, the setting of the college campus, and the surrounding New England town to present an atmosphere saturated with incongruous ideals and political correctness.

It is within this atmosphere that a variety of relationships and issues are examined. These examinations lead to commentary on popular American society and the struggle of identity. In much the same way, Francine Proses Blue Angel, investigates and comments on American culture and identity through the setting of the college campus. While not as well known as Philip Roth, Francine Prose is an accomplished writer.

She has written over fifteen books, which include novels, childrens books, and collections of short stories. Her most recent work The Lives of Muses looks at the wives of some of literatures most famous authors.

Prose writes articles for magazines such as Harpers and the New York Times Magazine and has also written a script for a motion picture entitled Janis. Troy L. Thibodeaux writes that Francine Prose is known to have a keen sense of observation of the idiosyncrasies of contemporary behavior and for the funny, frequently biting social satire that these observations occasion He goes on to say that many of Proses characters are trying to find meaning and direction in their disconnected lives.

She is adept at social criticism, and while her themes vary, overall they are centered on[u]npredictability and the imminent threat of catastrophe Ted Swenson, a professor, in Blue Angel is a good illustration of her use of characterization and satire to comment on contemporary behavior.

In the article A Wasteland of Ones Own, Prose attacks the recent influx of women-centered media, such as the television network Oxygen and the web site IVillage.

She goes on to say the women-centered hot spots are merely playing on already ingrained stereotypes by depicting women as technology illiterate and as feeling that shopping cures all woes. A closer look at what is seemingly feminist on the surface but just the opposite underneath resonates in her book Blue Angel.

Blue Angel addresses feminist issues, but they are not always apparent. For example, we may ask if Ted Swensons student Angela Argo is a victim of an older mans hopes and desires or if Angela is actually the one who victimizes, using her sexuality to seduce Swenson so as to help her publish her novel.

Furthermore, we may ask if Prose is poking fun at Swensons daughter for taking a class entitled Batterers and Battered [that deals with domestic abuse] or is Prose bringing to light an important issue?

The duality of her writing, whether it is on feminist issues, the role of family, the absurdities of society, or the struggle for identity deepens and enriches her construction of characters and thematic concerns. Francine Proses Blue Angel follows the thoughts and actions of a middle-aged creative writing professor. Ted Swenson has been teaching at Euston College for many years, and in terms of the American dream, he has it all: a nice house, a stable career, and a loving wife.

His only setbacks are his strained relationship with his daughter, his lack 16 of motivation to write his third novel, and the lack of connection he feels with those with whom he works.

Swenson has been facilitating fiction-writing workshops for many years. While he once found it exciting and intriguing, he now struggles with the absurd and mundane process of flushing out reputable fiction from his students. In one of the opening scenes of the novel, Swenson is trying to lead a class that has been writing short stories that deal with bestiality.

A job he once found intriguing and uplifting has become a weekly struggle to find a way to chat about awkward subjects so that no ones feelings get hurt 5.

He is irritated that many of his colleagues think his job is easy because he doesnt lecture or give tests. This scene illustrates the beginning of Swensons feelings of alienation, not only with Euston College, but with his identity as a competent instructor.

In what seems to be a search for self, Ted Swenson becomes overly interested in one of his students and consequently further alienates himself from his daughter and his colleagues and faces losing his job, his wife, and life as he knows it. From then on The Human Stain presents numerous analogues of sport — Dionysiac two-person contests of music or literature or dancing or sex.

Zuckerman too must stage funeral games — in memory of his friend, but also to ward off fears of his own demise. Knocking morbidity out of the ring is what Nathan incontinent, impotent, and deeply depressed most wants to do in telling this story. Coleman Silk is not just tragically fated, he is also fiercely joyful. Coleman Silk, in other words, is Nathan Zuckerman's Patroclus, the man who imitated him on the battlefield and who, by dying in his name, can make him want to fight again.

Of course the analogy between The Human Stain and the Iliad is incomplete. Zuckerman does not avenge Silk's death by killing Farley the novel's Hector — already an old man, it is too late for him to opt for a short, heroic life — but he does re-enter a battle of sorts.

It was to avoid this that so many of us went into teaching rather than prizefighting. Zuckerman's once potent sex life? His ethnicity?

The human stain

His abandoned academic career? Passing as Jew the very act that was meant to save him first lost Silk his job and then his life. Silk has not passed as just any Jew, however; more particularly, he has passed as the Jewish literature professor that Zuckerman or Roth might have been. But he too becomes a novelist. Coleman Silk, on the other hand, completes his Ph. In order to achieve this, Silk has had to perform a double impersonation.

He has had to pretend to be the kind of Jew who was pretending pretends to be an Englishman. His crimes are nothing more than an imagined linguistic faux pas and a little sexual impropriety.

Surely, Roth asks, what Zuckerman offers instead — the immortality of Homeric song — is to be preferred? It was that taking account, Roth and other writers of his generation may have felt, which high theory and identity politics had combined to preclude.

Scrutiny is the task that unites readers with writers and teachers. The best kind of novelist is really the best kind of teacher. Full Name Comment goes here. Are you sure you want to Yes No. Be the first to like this. No Downloads. Views Total views.

Actions Shares. Embeds 0 No embeds. No notes for slide. Book details 3. If you want to download this book, click link in the last page 5. You just clipped your first slide!I specifically focus on Roths characters Coleman Silk, a professor of Classics and his lover Faunia Farley, a college janitor and on Proses character Ted Swenson, a professor of fiction writing. When he comes to Zuckerman's house, Coleman is in a highly flammable mood himself. And it's not the secret of Coleman's alleged racism, which provoked the college witch-hunt that cost him his job and, to his mind, killed his wife.

The Army? A posthumous memoir, Of Farming and Classics, was published in In Roths work the main focus is on Coleman Silk, a tenured professor who quits his job at prestigious Athena College due to accusations that he made racist remarks in one of his classes.

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