Sophie's Choice . book house in which I labored, and which aspired to the excellence of Scribner He held Sophie's arm tight in his grasp, and she flinched. O'hara's Choice. Read more SOPHIE'S SECRET Michelle Cary medical-site.info-id. com Warning This e-book contains sexually explicit scenes and adult lang. Winner of the National Book Award and a modern classic, Sophie's Choice centers on three characters: Stingo, a sexually frustrated aspiring novelist; Nathan.
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Sophie's Choice, by William Styron. Chapter · January with Reads. In book: The Facts on File Companion to the American Novel, pp In book: (IM)MIGRATION PATTERNS: Displacement and Relocation in Sophie Zawistowski in William Styron's Sophie's Choice, old Mrs. Sophie's Choice by William Styron, Bantam edition, 25 editions of Sophie's Choice found in the catalog. Cover of: borrowed books.
For Nathan, there is an all-pervasive political psychology that enables barbaric forms of racial oppression to lourish from one culture to the next. And for Nathan, these conditions are similar to the ones that obtained in Nazi Germany, thus implicating an ordinary Southerner like Stingo.
But he clearly suspects the latter, which is why he uses the charge of inidelity to justify his verbal and physical assault of her. During his explosive rage at Sophie, Nathan notices that Stingo has an article about Bilbo, which mentions that the Senator has cancer of the mouth. Stingo says that he would, but then he makes a distinction between Bilbo and Hitler. Ironically, his supposed distinction is no distinction at all. Stingo says that Bilbo instituted major reforms that signiicantly improved the quality of life in the South, which is, as Nathan rightly notes, exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany.
Inadvertently, Stingo demonstrates that there are substantive parallels between Hitler and Bilbo. He is not an insane perpetrator who resembles the Nazis.
But my reading does provide an explanation for his behavior. In the fall of , Styron heard that Baldwin was low on money and needed a place to live, so he invited the black author to stay in his writing studio, where Baldwin lived for more than six months.
I mean burn. Put succinctly, Nathan and Baldwin reject the measured cadences of stately reason for the ferocious oratory of political outrage. Explosive rhetoric, however, is not the most extreme response to oppression. After claiming that he has lived what Baraka expresses in his poem, Cleaver submits that this experience is no anomaly. But what it does do is to indicate how some people will respond to their oppression.
In other words, Bontemps, Baraka, Wiesel, Cleaver, and Styron are not supporting or legitimizing rape by describing how some oppressed males responded to their situation.
In sum, Baldwin inluenced Styron by providing him with deeper insight into the subtle forms of oppression and racism that he had hitherto overlooked, enabling him to draw clear lines of connection between the political psychology that led people in both Europe and the United States to violate minorities with emotional and legal impunity, and bequeathing to him a ferocious oratory with which to denounce the prevalence of social injustice in the West.
Put succinctly, the voices of Nathan and Baldwin may be shrill, but ignoring or dismissing them as mere hyperbole or total insanity would be a mistake. Acknowledgements I want to thank Jim West and Susannah Heschel, who gave me excellent feedback on earlier versions of this essay and who forced me to be more rigorous and precise.
Notes 1. For examples of this critique, see Ozick 13 , Alan L. Berger 33 , and D. Myers By stark contrast, I argue that Styron actually portrays Sophie as more perpetrator than victim. Field, notes that Hitler read the Foundations Keine Spur von Angst, noch von Verzweilung lasse ich in meine Herzen eintreten! I do not allow any trace of fear, nor any despair to enter my heart.
Grese signed her name Grese, but Styron spells it Griese. When I am referring to the historical igure, I spell the name Grese. When I am referring to the igure in the novel, I spell the name Griese.
I have chosen to refer to Sophie as a female Borowski for a number of reasons. But there are signiicant diferences. Lengyel, whose husband was Jewish, was a Christian and remained so, while Sophie ultimately rejects Christianity. Lengyel is from Hungary, while Sophie is from Poland.
And Sophie commits suicide, while Lengyel does not. It would be too simple to suggest that Borowski portrays non-Jewish workers in the camps as totally innocent. What sickens Borowski, and what probably contributed signiicantly to his suicide, was the fact that he was forced to contribute to the horrors of Auschwitz, despite his intentions to the contrary.
After getting engaged to Sophie, Nathan tells Stingo that the three of them will visit the South for the honeymoon. In preparation for the trip, Nathan studies the history of the South, which, predictably, leads him to explode. Works Cited Baldwin, James. New York: Vintage Books, Berger, Alan L.
Bontemps, Arna. Black hunder. Boston: Beacon Press, Brown, Daniel Patrick. Carstens, Lisa. Chamberlain, Houston Stewart. New York: John Lane Company, Cleaver, Eldridge. Soul on Ice. New York: Ramparts Books, Cologne-Brookes, Gavin. Durham, Carolyn A.
Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man. Field, Geofrey G. New York: Columbia UP, Foley, Barbara. Goebbels, Joseph.
Helmut Heiber. New York: Frederick A. Praaeger, Grese, Irma. By Claudia Taake. Oldenburg: Bibliotheks- und Informationssystem der Universitaet Oldenburg, Hilberg, Raul.
Chicago: Quadrangle Books, Lackey, Michael. London: Continuum, Lang, John. Law, Richard G. Daniel W. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, Leeming, David. James Baldwin: A Biography.
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Raymond Rosenthal. New York: Vintage International: Lupack, Barbara Tepa. Insanity as Redemption in Contemporary American Fiction. Gainesville: UP of Florida, Myers, D.
Nagel, Gwen L. Ozick, Cynthia.
Seidman, Naomi. Shirer, William L. New York: Simon and Schuster, Sirlin, Rhoda. Steigmann-Gall, Richard. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, Steinem, Gloria.
Rhoda Sirlin and James L. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Styron, William. New York: Vintage International, New York: Random House, James L. West III. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, Vice, Sue. Holocaust Fiction. London: Routledge, Look Inside.
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Mar 03, Pages. Mar 06, Minutes. Three stories are told: It was a very vivid half-dream, half-revelation, and all of a sudden I realized that hers was a story I had to tell.
First published in , this complex and ambitious novel opens with Stingo, a young southerner, journeying north in to become a writer. It leads us into his intellectual and emotional entanglement with his neighbors in a Brooklyn rooming house: Nathan, a tortured, brilliant Jew, and his lover, Sophie, a beautiful Polish woman whose wrist bears the grim tattoo of a concentration camp…and whose past is strewn with death that she alone survived.
The series was founded in by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foun-dation for their next publishing venture, Random House.
The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable hard-bound editions of important works of liter-ature and thought.
From the Hardcover edition. He was awarded the Pulitzer… More about William Styron. Read An Excerpt. Literary Fiction Category: Literary Fiction Audiobooks.