Stry of higher and secondary specialized education of the republic of uzbekistan state world languages university
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- Chapter 1. American literature after World War II
- Norman Mailer. His life and work
- Chapter 2. The theme of war in Norman Mailers " The Naked and the Dead"
- 2.2. The depiction of war in the novel
Chapter 1. American literature after World War II 8
1.1. Unfound generation in American literature and its literary specificity 8
1.2.Norman Mailer. His life and work 13
Chapter 2. The theme of war in Norman Mailer's " The Naked and the Dead" 20
2.1.Literary analysis of the novel and impact of biographical facts on it 20
2.2. The depiction of war in the novel 29
Learning literature of foreign countries lets us know their cultural lifestyles, ways of thinking, and the ways how to describe their feelings through literary works. As a result not only about their life and history, but also we get knowledge on the language that we are learning. It is the one of the best ways to learn a language by the help of literary works which can also help to broaden our worldview. In order to reach our target we should learn literature of different periods which can give image of those periods.
This paper deals with the description of World War II in the naturalistic novel “ The Naked and the Dead” by Norman Mailer who was one of the representatives of Unfound Generation. My paper intends to show also the impact of author’s life on writing this novel.
The theme of research paper is the theme of World War II in “ The Naked and the Dead” by Norman Mailer.
The topicality of the following research is searching out literary specificity of war novel “ The Naked and the Dead” by Norman Mailer. His life and literary works have been well researched by literary scientists of Europe including Russia and The USA. However , works of Norman Mailer have not been analyzed and translated into Uzbek language.
The aim of this course paper is to depict the theme of war after World War II in American literature through the naturalistic work of Norman Mailer ( The Naked and the Dead ).
To succeed in reaching the aim of this research the following tasks have been set up:
to find out the information about the Unfound generation and its literary particularity in American literature;
to get acquainted with Norman Mailer’s biography and search out its impact in the novel;
to discover the specific features which give a depiction of war in the novel “The Naked and the Dead”;
Object of this research is naturalistic novel “ The Naked and the Dead” by Norman Mailer;
Subject of this course work is the depiction of the war in the “The Naked and the Dead” by Norman Mailer who reached to combine factual journalism and literary fiction;
The theoretical value of the investigation lies in fact that the work can be used for future scientific writing and article writing on the given theme;
The practical value of the course paper is in fact that it can be used as basic material for lectures and seminars on American literature. Also the analyzed extracts can serve as examples during the practical lessons and lectures on English language .
The structure of the research paper includes the following parts:
Introduction, two chapters (including two paragraphs each of them), conclusion, the reference of used literature.
Chapter 1. American literature after World War II
. Unfound generation in American literature and its literary specificity
Sudden and violent occurrence of war in 1939, as in 1914, caused an era of great intellectual and creative exuberance to end. During the war no important new novelists or play writers appeared. The most well-known works were written by established writers who had already an experience on writing. For example: The best fiction about war period was “Put out more flags” by Evelyn Waugh(1942), “Caught” by Henry Green (1943), “The Slaves of solitude” by Patrick Hamilton (1948) and “The heat of the day” by Elizabeth Bowen (1949). Also, the haunting short stories of Lewis which are about the lives of officers are the works of great accomplishment of wartime.
However, when it comes to the period of American literature after World War II , it should be mentioned that initial works created after war were influenced by war. More than sixty years after the end of the war, the work of writers such as Joseph Heller, Saul Bellow , Kurt Vonnegut and Norman Mailer continue to be read in graduate seminars, book clubs, and high school classrooms across the country. Moreover, we can add to this list Salinger and John Updike as representatives of Generation which came after The Second World War with the name: Unfound generation. In their works we can see the impact of the war in life of young generation who had many disillusionment. In fact, we can analyze the impact of war in “Catcher in the Rye” by Salinger. Before giving the small analyze of this work I should mention the reason why Salinger wrote such kind of novel which describes the features of Unfound Generation. Jerome David Salinger was born in wealth family in New York in 1919. He had good education and started to write before war. He went on writing when he was accepted to the army. He fought in Europe during The Second World War. After returning to his motherland , Salinger wrote a lot of stories and published them in many magazines. “ The Catcher in the Rye” published in 1951
Book is considered as ‘A rebellion born out of the chaos of world War II’. We can see the some literary facts which help us to understand the psychological impact of the things Salinger saw during the war took a severe toll on Salinger. However, many events in the novel “ The Catcher in the Rye” is from Salinger’s early life. The novel was published at a time when the burgeoning American industrial economy made the nation prosperous and entrenched social rules served as a code of conformity for the younger generation. Because Salinger used slang and profanity in his text and because he discussed adolescent sexuality in a complex and open way, many readers were offended, and The Catcher in the Rye provoked great controversy upon its release. Some critics argued that the book was not serious literature, citing its casual and informal tone as evidence. The book was—and continues to be banned in some communities, and it consequently has been thrown into the center of debates about First Amendment rights, censorship, and obscenity in literature. Though controversial, the novel appealed to a great number of people. It was a hugely popular bestseller and general critical success. Salinger’s writing seemed to tap into the emotions of readers in an unprecedented way. As countercultural revolt began to grow during the 1950s and 1960s, The Catcher in the Rye was frequently read as a tale of an individual’s alienation within a heartless world. Holden seemed to stand for young people everywhere, who felt themselves beset on all sides by pressures to grow up and live their lives according to the rules, to disengage from meaningful human connection, and to restrict their own personalities and conform to a bland cultural norm. Many readers saw Holden Caulfield as a symbol of pure, unfettered individuality in the face of cultural oppression.
It can be clearly seen that Salinger was able to describe the life of Unfound generation which came as a result of impact of World War II. In the novels of members of Unfound generation the main themes described were the lives of young people who were under great depression and ready to do what they wanted in order to escape from disillusionment and harsh sides of life.
Besides, from the end of World War II until the beginning of 1970s many popular works in modern American literature were produced, in fact, “To kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. Moreover, the involvement of America in war brought to produce most notable works about wartime. For instance, Norman Mailer’s “The Naked and the Dead” (1948), Joseph Heller’s “Catch 22” (1961) and “Slaughterhouse five” by Vonnegut Jr. In their works influence of both World wars can be seen.
The literary historian Malcolm Cowley described the period between two wars as a “second flowering” of American writing . Most significant works by major authors were created in the 1920s and 1930s, and it meant that a new maturity and a rich diversity was attained in American literature. Those works from those decades mentioned above were published after 1945. Memorable fiction which was not up to prewar standard was produced by Faulkner, Hemingway, Katherine Anne Porter and Steinbeck, and William Carlos Williams , Gwendolyn Brooks , Marianne Moore and Frost, Eliot published significant poetry. Most distinguished play , “Long Day’s journey into tonight” by O’Neill ‘( which is numbered on the short list of the finest U.S. plays in the 20th century , alongside Tenessee Williams’s “A streetcar named desire” and Arthur Miller’s “Death of a salesman”1 came to the literature in 1956 after the death of author. Moreover, Robert Penn published not only poetry and criticism but also influential fiction in the period of before and after World War II. His “ All the king’s men” ,won the 1947 Pulitzer Prize, is considered one of the best American political novels. Considered all, impressive new novelists, playwrights and poets emerged after war . In fact, there was a gradual changing of the guard.
“Not only did a new generation come out of the war, but also its ethnic, regional and social character was quite different from that preceding one”2. Before the World War II the cultural center the world was Paris , but after the war it was New York. That happened mostly because of the intellectual emigrants from Europe , who strengthen intellectual position of the United States. In the post –World War II American literature there were children of immigrants, many of them Jews; African-Americans, a few generations away from slavery, eventually, women among the younger writers. They were to speak in new voice. However, the domination of United States in literature can be clarified with the number of literary Nobel Prizes. First Nobel Prize after war was given to William Faulkner for “his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel”3 in 1949. Then the prize was to Ernest Hemingway in 1954, following to John Steinbeck in 1962 and few more.
The war had several effects: some writers stopped writing , some continued and some people discovered they were writers, by writing. In spite of the fact that two distinct groups of writers raised responding to the cultural impact, and especially the technological horror of World War II, it is hard to distinguish the most important theme after 1945 in American literature. As the impact of World War II in literature was multifaceted, it gave rise to diverse form of literary expressions ranging from memoir to non fiction to fictionalized true stories , from historical stories to journalistic works or dealing with aftermath of the events in terms and social context. The writers and literary people in the vast universe of writings inspired by World War II were a very diverse group of ex-soldiers , historians, victims as in the Lost generation. Furthermore, American Literature reflected the movement of disillusionment, and portrayed the lost generation. Many World War II writers adapted new approaches and philosophies in writing in their novels portraying the Unfound generation , anti-war perspective.
Although the social climate of postwar years was conservative , some of the most discussed writers were homosexuals or bisexuals , including Truman Capote, Paul Bowles, Tennessee Williams and James Baldwin , whose dark themes and experimental methods cleared a path for Beat writers , who were also called “The second lost generation” such as Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac.
The Generation which came after The Second World War had great importance in the history of American literature. Because the novels written by representatives of Unfound Generation gave the full picture of young generation most of whom were not able to find the way of life. In this case, the peculiarities of this generation can be found through the novels written in that period.
Norman Mailer. His life and work
“The natural role of the twentieth century man is anxiety”
( Norman Mailer, The Naked and The Dead )
One representative of naturalism - Norman Mailer, in full Norman Kingsley Mailer , is often described as egotistical , combative and controversial person. He was the Brooklyn–born and bred writer who tried to fight over what he characterized as the “ heavyweight championship” of American letters after the death of Ernest Hemingway. In spite of the fact that he never reached to dream of writing the Great American novel, he remained his great importance in American culture and literature in the 1960, 1970s and 1980s.
Norman Kingsley Mailer was born January 31, 1923 , in Long Branch New Jersey. He was brought up in good family: his father, Isaac Barnett Barney Mailer , worked as an accountant and his mother , Fanny Fan Schneider, had several small businesses. It can be clearly seen that Mailer was in good status which gave him opportunity to get further education.
At the age of sixteen ( 1939) Norman Mailer entered Harvard University, majoring in aeronautical engineering sciences. While working on the university’s journal , The Harvard Advocate, he took several elective courses in literature with a strong desire to write. Mailer’s ambition to writing was dream of his childhood years when he began to write a 250-page story in notebooks , called “ Invasion from Mars”. “ Selection of the “ The Greatest Thing in the world” as the winner of Story’s annual contest for college students , Norman Mailer began considering the idea of turning his avocation into an occupation. However, winning in college story writing contest brought him to the attention of several editors and publishers.”4.
During his full life he had six marriage , almost all of them were in short period length. In 1944 , after graduating from Harvard , Mailer married his first wife , Beatrice, who was his girl friend during his college years . It was the time shortly before the writer was formally admitted to the United States army. After fulfilling the basic and advanced training he was inducted into the 112th Cavalry Regiment in the Philippines. He was ordered to perform various duties including reconnaissance patrols. Later Norman Mailer longed his military career as a cook in occupied Japan until his discharge in May 1946.
Being a soldier and witnessing a lot of military acts , all in all military experiences gave him the inspiration he needed to write his first book which is considered as a semi-autobiographical novel “The Naked and The Dead”.
By writing this book ‘ Norman Mailer came to public attention as the young author of a best - selling novel of 1948, The Naked and the Dead. It quickly become one of the three war novels by Americans that any reader of that generation was likely to know : the others were James Jones’s “From here to Eternety” and Irwin Shaw’s “The young Lions”.’5.
After publishing The Naked and The Dead, the writer was never far from the focus of public attention for the next six decades . During those years he wrote more than 30 books and published , including biographies , novels and works of non- fiction . He managed to win two “The Pulitzer Prizes” for the second well-known work – The armies of the Night (1968), which also won the National Book Award , and The Executioner’s song (1979)’.6
Besides the works mentioned above he wrote a lot although most of them didn’t bring him any fame. He never stopped being unsuccessful in his following attempts.
‘In the years that followed , Mailer was not yet a public figure but his views were well known, and they were those of revolutionary socialist – in the early McCarthy period a non - conformist position to the last degree. His second novel, Barbary Shore , came out of that moment’7.
Having been on top of the world for three years Norman Mailer failed totally after publishing his next novel “ Barbary Shore”, which was criticized widely . Writer’s second novel was dedicated to depict the conflict between a former radical and a federal agent. Later it was called “paceless, tasteless, and graceless” by Time Magazine’0. After that being very worried and upset about the bad reviews and the failure in personal life with her wife , Mailer took a break from the life which was dedicated to write the Great American Novel. At that time his work place was in Hollywood where he had been working as a screenwriter since 1949, in order to take change in his life he left there moving to New York’s Greenwich Village. In fact, this movement made a change in his personal life and literary activity . The life of that place gave him encouragement to work on his third work, The Deer Park. Moreover, he met the women who entered his life with full of love and he married that women, artist Adele Morales0 . While describing about the corruption of values in Hollywood Mailer also mentioned about his confused relationship with his wife. After finishing the work Norman Mailer came across next challenge which caused deeper depression, Because a lot of publishers refused his work openly. .“The following years in the writers life were chaotic , Mailer had grown more violent and less productive.”0
Mailer was the writer who not only wrote but also was concerned about the state of American Politics. Consequently, he reached to co-find The Village Voice which was one of the earliest underground American newspapers as an alternative voice to traditional commentary. However, he worked as the president of the PEN American center. It can be clearly seen that Mailer was occupied with politics while he was creating notable works. In fact, ‘ in 1960 he began writing on the Republican and Democratic presidential conventions. He has placed himself at the center of American political and cultural life by reporting his observations on the civil rights movement, political assassinations, and other social upheavals. He has published numerous essays in popular and men’s magazines , including Esquire and Playboy, as well as in more intellectual journals , such us Discent, Commentary, and the New York Review of books.’0
It is interesting to note that Norman Mailer had ‘a double life’ as Michael Lennon said. “Norman Mailer’s furious life was packed with sex, drugs, and very long novels”.0 The writer wrote almost about everything that he had experienced in his life. In his some works he found himself the controversial center of conversation.
Norman Mailer never stopped to write true life, he went on to describe the highly successful true life novel. It can be seen in ‘The Execution’s song”. Furthermore, description of brutal sides of life can be seen in “A true life novel”. In this novel he takes study of crime, punishment, madness and greed, religiosity and sex , universal guilt and karma as focus of his work.
Moreover, he addresses different themes, describing legendary about between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in ‘the Fight(1975)’. And historical theme was written in the novel ‘Ancient evenings’ published in 1983, this ambitious novel give the depiction of ancient Egypt(1290-1100-BC). Anthony Burgess characterized it as “one of the great works of contemporary mythopoesis”0.
The writer had more success in non-fiction , not in fiction, and Michiko Kkutani, reviewer of ‘The time of our time”, commented about it. “Yet what this volume makes clear , if it were not already quite apparent, is that Mr. Mailer’s strength lies in non-fiction, not in fiction”0.
Norman Mailer spent his lifetime honing a career that is nothing if not controversial. Although he fought in bars , drank heavily, took drugs, slept with anyone he could, he could be one of the greatest authors of all time. He was not so successful in his private life, in marriage with his six wives, but was admired as a writer. He dedicated his life to write best novels , not to succeed in all spheres of life.
Maier himself wrote in ‘The New York Times Review of Books’ in 1998 –“ It is not routine to bring off a long novel when your ambition is more than major, when you will settle for nothing less than an attempt to write a great novel, and when you are into your sixties and not all that well’.
His each work has something that can attract people. From the beginning of his writing he could be celebrity that would be dream of any writer. In spite of the fact that most of his works were criticized by some writers, publishers, he believed that he could write a great novel of any period. It was what keeps the author going.
Mailer’s reputation as a hard-drinking, tough-talking anti-feminist made him a controversial literary figure in the 1970s and 1980s. His high-profile exploits included drinking binges, the alleged stabbing of his wife at a party, and a run for the mayoralty of New York.
‘ In 2003 , Norman Mailer celebrated his 80th birthday in New York with the publication of “The spooky art: thoughts on writing “, in which the author collects a career’s worth of observations on both the mundane realities and the abiding mysteries of his craft. In 2oo5, he received the Admired national Book medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.’0
The writer’s last novel is “The castle in the forest” which is about Adolf Hitler’s childhood . This book was landed at on The New York Times’ best seller list because readers took it with positive reviews. It was published in 2007. The next year he died while working on a sequel, on November 10 in New York city.
2.1.Literary analysis of the novel and impact of biographical facts on it
“ The more things you own , the more things you need to keep you comfortable”
( Norman Mailer ,The Naked and the Dead )
The naturalistic war novel “The Naked and the Dead” was published in 1948 as Norman mailer’s first novel . When the novel was published the author was only 25 years old. But immediately the novel was considered as the best American novel about World War II after it appeared. And it is numbered in the list of masterpieces of realism. The novel gives impression about terrifying view of men at war and war.
The naturalistic novel “ The Naked and the Dead” was partly based on Norman Mailer’s experience .The author thanked to the people who had encouraged him to write this novel-“I would like to thank William Raney, Theodore S.Amussen, and Charles Devlin for the aid and encouragement given me at various times in the writing of this novel” on the first page of the book.
“The Naked and the Dead” consists of four parts: Wave, Argil and Mold, Plant and Phantom, and Wake. The first part of the novel is called “Wave” which begins describing the soldiers’ process of events before the battle.
“Nobody could sleep. When morning came , assault craft would be lowered and a first wave of troops would ride through the surf and charge ashore on the beach at Anopopei. All over the ship, all through the convoy, there was a knowledge that in a few hours some of them were going to be dead”0. .It can be seen from the given example “The Naked and the Dead” centers on a platoon of soldiers on the Asian island of Anopopei.
“Anopopei is the imaginary island in the South Pacific on which the novel is set. The island’s dense jungle terrain is itself almost a character in the novel – a constant reminder of how primal Nature is when seen in the raw. From the novel’s earliest sections, Mailer uses the jungle to remind readers that this also true of human beings. One of the foot soldiers thinks that the jungle looks like the Garden of Eden, and there is, in some sense, a parallel. However, this is a post Fall Eden, not Paradise. Anopopei’s jungle is primal, a force unto itself, and it stirs some ancient, atavistic recognition in the men who try to survive it.”0
Norman Mailer gives description of the novel’s major characters in the opening scene as the assault of Anopopei, which is described above, is about to begin. For example: “The soldier’s name was sergeant Julio Martinez, and he was the scout of the I and R platoon of headquarters company of the 460th Infantry Regiment.”0
The platoon is part of 6000 men force ready to take Japanese held island in order to clear way for a larger American advance into the Philippines. All of the soldiers are given orders to take their places on a boat and they are driven to the invasion shore. In the first part of the novel characters try to overcome their fear of death.
“Hennessey began to suspect he had been left alone. “Toglio, Corporal Toglio”, he called, but it came out in a hoarse croaking whisper. There was no answer; he didn’t ask himself whether they had heard him. He was alone , he told himself, and he felt an awful dread at being so isolated. He wondered where the others were. He had never seen combat before, and unfair to leave him alone; Hennessey began to feel bitter at being deserted. The jungle looked dark and ominous like a sky blacking over with thunderclouds.”0
Part one concludes with the death of Hennessey which is the first comrade death they witness. “He came around a bend in the beach and saw Hennessey lying face-down in the sand with a deep rent in his helmet and a small circle of blood about his head. One of his hands was turned palm upward, and his fingers drenched as though he were trying to hold something. Red felt sick.”0
Within these four parts of the novel there are chorus section which consists of dialogues between characters. Besides, it is important to mention that there are Time machine sections that describes brief histories and flashbacks of individual character’s lives. These time machine sections help us to get acquainted with their early life before coming to there, and this lets us comprehend their individuality and feel their feelings.
The second part of the novel, Argil and Mold, includes such kind of time machine sections which is additional information to recognize personality of the soldiers.
“The time machine:
Shoeing The Mare
A small slim and very handsome Mexican with neat wavy hair, small sharp features. His body had the poise and graze of a deer. And like a deer his head was never quite still. His brown liquid eyes always seemed nervous and alert as if he were thinking of flight.
……The night is dull with woe. Rosalita is sweet but there are girls sweeter. He walks along the dirt-impacted streets. They are beginning to pave them now.
Tired? Restless? Knock up a dame? Join the army.”0
Before giving the chorus sections author describes the spot that dialogue takes place on. The main characters of the novel: Lieutenant Hearn , General Cummings and Staff Sergeant Sam Croft, have many discussions about how to manage to reach direction they are ordered. Not only between them but also between the soldiers there are discussions about different themes, like their origin, religion, race and so on. For example:
“ He sat down beside Roth and looked off moodily at the ocean. When Roth finished talking, Goldstein nodded his head, “ Why are they like that?” he asked.
“ The Anti-Semiten. Why don’t they ever learn? Why does God permit it?”
Roth sneered. “ God is a luxury I don’t give myself.” Goldstein struck the palm of his hand with his fist. “ No, I just don’t understand it. How can God look down on it and permit it? We’re supposed to be the chosen people.” He snorted. “ Chosen! Chosen for tsoris!”
Personally, I’m an agnostic” Roth said. For a time Goldstein stared at his hands, and the he smiled sadly. The lines deepened about his mouth, and he had a sarcastic indrawn look on his lips. “ When the time comes,” He said solemnly, “ they won’t ask you what kind of Jew you are.”.”0
In the second part the development of the conflicts between the men within the military hierarchy takes place. The soldiers, metaphorically seen as “argil” are victims of the “mold” which is the war.
From the second part conversations and discussions among soldiers , especially, between Hearn and Cumming are given to reveal the main issues of the work within itself. In this case understanding the personalities of those people gives an opportunity to comprehend what the author wanted to describe in the novel. Now we want to give small description of main characters by the help of their personal life given in Time Machine Sections and conversations among them. It will be better to begin with analyzing the character of Hearn.
Successes and failures of Hearn is a reflection of the ambiguous position of liberal intellectuals in the pragmatic world. Before the war, Hearn tried to find himself in public activities, but his contacts with the Communists and trade union leaders are unfruitful. There is a growing sense of frustration and fatigue in him, a feeling that an attempt to realize ideals in practice is just vanity of vanities, and the only thing that remains of the subtle, unordinary personality is "to live without losing style," which, according to Hearn, is akin to the Hemingway Code of the present men. He desperately tries to keep at least the appearance of freedom and defend his dignity.
But the head of Hearn, looking at the Edward Cummings, has a good nose for "sedition" and tries to put in place the obstinate adjutant. If Hearn wanders from one vague half-truth to another, then Cummings knows no doubt and, distorting in his own way the thinkers of the past, mumbles the aphorism behind the aphorism: "The fact that you have a gun and the other does not have an accident, but the result of all that , that you have reached "; "We live in the middle of a century of a new era, we are on the verge of a revival of unlimited power";
"The army acts much better if you are afraid of the person who stands above you, and treat contemptuously and arrogantly to the subordinates"; "The machinery of our time requires consolidation, and this is impossible if there is no fear, because most people should become slaves to cars, and few will go with such joy."
Equally important for understanding the image of the general and the military machine as a whole, Cummings's second world thesis: "Historically, the goal of this war is to transform America's potential energy into a kinetic one. If you think carefully, the concept of fascism is very viable, because it relies on instincts. It's a pity that fascism originated in a different country ... We have the power, material means, armed forces. The vacuum of our life as a whole is filled with liberated energy, and there is no doubt that we left the backstairs history ... "
Edward Cummings - ideologist and poet, even fascism, then Sam Croft - fascist spontaneous receiving genuine pleasure from violence. As the Time Machine testifies, for the first time Croft killed a man while still in the ranks of the National Guard. He deliberately shot the striker, although the team was shooting into the air. War gives Croft a unique opportunity to kill on official grounds - and enjoy it. He will treat the captive Japanese with chocolate, look at photos of his wife and children, but as soon as something resembles a human community, Croft coldly shoots the Japanese at point-blank range. So he is more interesting.
Having failed to find a place peaceful in America, Lieutenant Hearn can not find himself in the conditions of war either. He is a stranger both among soldiers and among officers. Experiencing a dislike for the fascist boss, he decides on a desperate act. Having appeared in the tent of the general and not finding the latter, he leaves a note - and a cigarette butt on the floor, than plunges into the fury of his boss. He calls Hearn, conducts an educational conversation with him, and then drops a new cigarette butt to the floor and causes the obstinate adjutant to pick it up. Hearn carries out the order of the general - and thus concedes to his will. Henceforth, Cummings will dispense with his services, and the lieutenant will be transferred to a reconnaissance platoon. Sergeant Croft, who was there before this chief, is by no means delighted and ready to do anything to get rid of unnecessary care.
Soon, the reconnaissance squad goes to task, and Croft has an excellent opportunity to restore the status quo and his position as a commander. Hiding the data about the Japanese ambush, he watches calmly as the lieutenant goes to the Japanese machine gun, so that a few moments later he dies.
It seems that strong personalities triumph. Lieutenant Hearn died, the island was captured by the Americans, but this victory is a matter of blind chance.
Carefully designed by Cummings operation to capture Anapopei requires serious support from the sea. The general goes to the headquarters to persuade the superiors of the need to allocate warships for his needs. But while he is negotiating, while the platoon of scouts is climbing Mount Anaka to go to the rear to the enemy, the most untalented Major Dulleson is making a clearly erroneous attack. But instead of suffering a shameful defeat, the Americans gain a brilliant victory. A random shell kills the Japanese commander, and his closest assistants perish. In the ranks of the Japanese panic begins. Warehouses with ammunition and food become easy for Americans, who soon easily seize the island. Both Cummings and Croft are out of work. The victory took place in spite of their efforts. His Majesty the Absurd is triumphant. As if amusing over the attempts of American commanders of all levels to direct life into the channel of cause-effect dependencies, he turns to nothing the attempts of aggressive pragmatists. The person remains alone with a mysterious, impenetrable reality, where there are more enemies than allies, where dark, hidden forces are raging against which resistance is useless. Morale-edification says one of the soldiers of Croft's platoon, the elemental absurdist Volsen: "The man bears his burden while he can carry it, and then gets out of the way. He alone is at war against everyone and everything, and this in the end breaks it. It turns out to be a small cog, which creaks and groans if the machine is running too fast. " The rational beginning suffers defeat in a clash with General Absurd
The next appearance of the "choir" is now connected with the question: "What will we do after the war?" Soldiers speak differently, but no one is particularly happy at the thought that it will be possible to withdraw the military uniform, although the army for most of them not a panacea for all ills. A summary of the short discussion will be summed up by Sergeant Croft: "Thinking about these things is a waste of time. The war will continue for a long time. "
Impact of biographical facts on the novel
Mailer himself was taken to the army after graduating from Harvard with the determination to write a great war novel. By witnessing combat and absorbing the rudiments of army planning the author could find a realistic background for this novel. He enlisted purposely as a private even if as a Harvard graduate Mailer could have easily become an officer. The novel is based on the letters he wrote to his wife during the war and characters were drawn from real people in Norman Mailer’s platoon. As one of his comrades said, when asked if he would recognize any of the details in the novel: “ I recognized all of it. Some characters , he didn’t even bother to change their names”.
The character of Lieutenant Hearn can be assumed to be based on Mailers himself. Hearn is a liberal Harvard man who despises the other officers. The situation when Hearn gets humiliated by the general by having to pick up a cigarette butt from the floor reflects a real situation in Norman Mailer’s life when he found himself “ crawfishing” before his own superior officer and felt the same self-loathing that Hearn does in the book.
Below I try to give some details related to biography of Norman Mailer’s biography which reflected in the events described in the novel.
Naked’s story began as an idea Mailer had as a student at Harvard. It was not until Mailer’s entrance into the army in 1944 and subsequent experiences in the Pacific that he would begin assembling the components of the novel. Molded upon an embellished story about a reconnaissance patrol Mailer had heard about during his time in the Philippines , “The Naked and the Dead” is filled with conflicts between soldiers and their commanding officers. The men of the 112th Calvary out of San Antonio, Texas provide templates for the anti-Semitic WASPs that torment Roth and Goldstein. Mailer also poured much of his experience from his time under a discriminatory and intellectually intimidated wire sergeant into General Cumming’s relationship with Lieutenant Hearn.
However, as much as Mailer’s military experiences shaped his first novel, Mailer’s early life shows up in the book as well. As a young Harvard man, Mailer lionized modernists like F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos, and especially Ernest Hemingway. Their extravagant and troubled lifestyles excited and entranced the henpecked , middle-class, Jewish boy. At the same time, However, Mailer often lost track of where his personality left off, and his ambitious literary ego began. One of Mailer’s biographers, Hillary Mills, believes that so much of Hemingway’s macho style was adopted by Mailer that is difficult to say “ which parts of Mailer’s makeup are inherent and which have been adopted from Hemingway and others as literary coloration”. Mailer’s personality tore him in two separate directions. In some internal way, He was just a middle class Jewish kid from Brooklyn. He was a good student and had a great relationship with his family. However, almost as a way for making up for this, he adopted a façade of uber-musculinity in order to cover his diminutive size and easy early life and bad boy public persona known to start bar fights. His internal ambivalence translated into his feelings toward American involvement in World War II, as well. In some ways, he wanted to be the war hero of which his mother and father could be proud, but in other ways, the radical at heart wanted to uncover the wrongs within the military system. Mailer was very much an untraditional hero although his life and biographers suggest he would have loved to fill the role of the John Wayne war hero.
Recognizing the military as an often undemocratic extension of a democratic society, Mailer’s experience and subsequent novel about the American military war machine casts the military as a giant bureaucracy that sacrificed its members for expediency
2.2. The depiction of war in the novel
“Yeah, fighting a war to fix something works about as good as going to a whorehouse to get rid of a clap”
( Norman Mailer, The Naked and The dead )
The novel by the American writer Norman Mailer describes the life and combat activity of one of the units of the US Army during the Second World War. Naked and the Dead (The Naked and the Dead, 1948) - this is the first major work of Mailer. The novel was published in 1948 and immediately created the author a wide popularity. The book was published and reprinted dozens of times in the United States and abroad, it was the film of the same name that was very successful. Articles about Mailer are published in the largest encyclopedic publications and bibliographic reference books in the USA and abroad. This is due to the fact that Mailer, although he does not belong to the list of outstanding writers, managed to create a novel that favorably differs from many standard US military novels that justify one or another militaristic acts of the Pentagon.
In the novel The Naked and the Dead, the life of American servicemen and the rules reigning in the US, armed forces are shown. And although the novel belongs to the period of the Second World War, the truth and reality of the situation and images in this work are quite modern, topical. The reader does not leave the feeling that what is said in the novel is not a quarter of a century ago, but today, in our days.
Mailer tried, objectively, even from the position of a bourgeois writer, to understand both the essence of the war that had just ended, and what the American army was.
The writer's creative path was not smooth. After bringing him the world-famous novel Naked and the Dead, recognized as one of the best works of American literature about the Second World War, there followed works that abound with naturalistic and psychopathological elements. Then in the work of Mailer there is a new leap - the transition to a humanistic, anti-war, civilian theme, to the genre of military journalism. Mailer becomes a recognized chronicler of protest marches against the Vietnam War, mass democratic demonstrations against racism. Public works of Mailer are very popular and significant, they refute the fabrications of the propaganda hirelings of American imperialism. It is therefore no accident that the books of this writer were blacklisted by the US Information Agency.
The Second World War. Pacific theater of military operations. The history of the landing and capture by the Americans of the fictional island of Anapopei, where the Japanese concentrated, develops as it were on several levels. This is a chronicle of military operations, a detailed reconstruction of the atmosphere of the everyday life of the war, this is a psychological portrait of a man in the war, given through a combination of images of individual representatives of the American landing; it is the image of pre-war America growing up in the background and finally an essay novel about power.
The composition of the novel is determined by the existence of three sections. Actually, the story - the story of the assault and capture of Anapopei - is interrupted by dramatic inclusions ("chorus"), where the voices of the characters make themselves felt, without author's comments, and also by excursions into the past of the characters (the so-called Time Machine). The time machine is a brief biography of the heroes representing the most diverse social groups and regions of America. Irishman Roy Gallagher, Mexican Martinez, Texan Sam Croft, Brooklyn Jew Joe Goldstein and many others appear before the readers as "the most representative representatives" of the country where in times of peace there is a fierce struggle for existence and only the strongest survive. the state of humanity as depicted by its author. Americans fight with the Japanese for Anapopei, and at the same time soldiers, as they know how, defend their small rights and privileges in the struggle against each other and officers, and they, in turn, fight for ranks and titles, for prestige. Especially clearly the confrontation between authoritarian General Edward Cummings and his adjutant Lieutenant Robert Hearn.
During the Second World War Mailer for quite a long time served in the army, participated in military operations in the Philippines, Japan. He well knows the life of the American barracks, the mood of soldiers, the relationship between them and the officers. He experienced the mockings of the corporals, the cold arrogance of the officers - graduates of West Point.
The reader will learn about the attitude of soldiers to officers, about the social gap between them, from the conversation between Red and Minette. Among these officers there is not one who deserves anything other than a curse! - point of view of Reda. I'm sorry for even spitting for the best of them ... All of them scoundrels are the words of the private Minetta. Severely ill, Red unsuccessfully tries to get medical help from the regimental doctor. With resentment and anger, he thinks: They do not behave in vain. They achieve that you hate them and you'll fold your head before turning to them. That's how they keep us in the ranks. Of course, it happens that the soldier is dying, but does one person mean anything for the army? These scoundrels have an order to treat us like cattle. You might think that we are not people at all.
The American Encyclopedia (vol. 18, p. 141), being compelled to recognize the extraordinary success of the novel The Naked and the Dead, aspires at the same time to cast the most affected by the personal indignation of the Mailer with the life. Perhaps, in some measure this is so. The life and the orders that came out with sharp criticism of them. It is, of course, not the personal grievances of the author, but the deepest class-social causes of the injustice that is characteristic of the army of the imperialist, bourgeois state.
In the novel ‘The Naked and the Dead’, Mailer tells of the landing part of the division on a small Japanese island and a senseless, doomed to failure adventure - the platoon of scouts in the rear of the Japanese. Before the reader stands a gallery of memorable images: from the fascist careerist commander of the division, General Cummings and his entourage - Dulleson, Conn. And others - to the simple workers of the war - the soldiers of Red, Gallagher, Wilson, Minette, Goldstein, Martinez, Polak. Among these soldiers there are no hundred percent rascals or, on the contrary, carriers of the highest virtue. The heroes of Mailer are individual and human, often contradictory, but always very vital. At the same time, it is quite clear that in many ways they are the product of a brutal social system.
In other words, perhaps, Norman Mailer should not be damned for attempting to reduce by frontal assault what better writers have failed to win by infiltration. "The Naked and the Dead"--the story of an imaginary battle in the Pacific--trumpets his dusty answer to the brutality of modern war. Undoubtedly the most ambitious novel to be written about the recent conflict, it is also the most ruthlessly honest and in scope an integrity compares favorably with the best that followed World War I. Even in its repetitiousness, wordiness, and over analysis of motive, it is a commanding performance by a young man of 25 whose gifts are impressive and whose failures are a matter of reach rather than grasp.
"The Naked and the Dead" is an enormously long novel, washed up by the choppy waters of disillusionment, leaving nothing to the imagination. It is a saturation bombardment with every target hit at least three times. It is virtually a Kinsey Report on the sexual behavior of the GI. Its style is an almost pure Army billingsgate that will offend many readers, although in no sense is it exaggerated: Mr. Mailer's soldiers are real persons, speaking the vernacular of human bitterness and agony. It gives off a sky glow that is quite faithful to the spectrum of battle, and exposes the blood, if not always the guts, of war. Yet for all its virtuosity, its deafening emotional cannonades, it is primarily a series of brilliant skirmishes; the central objective is never taken.
For one thing, we are not quite sure what the objective is. Mr. Mailer obviously doesn't like war, or the people who fight it, but this is hardly an original theme. He tries very hard to show that much of its unpleasantness comes from the nature of the participants, and that their nature, in turn, is warped by the circumstances inevitable in the conditions of war and the climate of a military organization. But not entirely.
The generation that grew to manhood on the eve of the last war was not ideally suited to saving the world for democracy. It had been blighted by depression. Its minorities--two of the characters are Jewish, one a Mexican- America--had not yet been assimilated fully into the national dream. Even the dominant groups represented competing sectional and economic interests. In peace, the differences are adjustable. In war, Mr. Mailer believes, they become intensified, for the system gives men unprecedented degrees of power. How the GI--in his less virtuous moments--got the way he did, is the subject of this novel.
The battle is seen through the eyes of a single platoon, plus a major and a general. For the author's clinical purposes, they are an exposed nerve, exhibiting the whole shock of battle. A fighting unit, the men are nevertheless a collection of individuals. Each is studied, in crisply written flashbacks, as the product of a certain environment. If there is any doubt that Mr. Mailer is a perceptive, skillful writer, these vignettes will dispel it. By contrast, the main narrative is often sluggish; too much of the boredom of war is translated literally; the nexus between the characters' pasts and their battle existence is sometimes thin. The general, furthermore, on whom so much of the story's motivation depends, is clearly an over-intellectualized version of a Fascist, neither convincing nor typical.
These are faults, but they detract little from the book's overall power. The scene in which Gallagher continues to get letters from his dead wife--written before she died in childbirth but delivered for a month after he had been notified; the death of Wilson, among the most lingering in all war literature; the pointless, sadistic effort on the part of Platoon Sgt. Crofts to get his men to scale a mountain--these are moments which deeply touch the heart of war. They are a triumph of realism, but without the compassion which gives final authority in the realm of human conduct. "The Naked and the Dead" is not a great book, but indisputably it bears witness to a new and significant talent among American novelists.
When it comes to the period of American literature after World War II , it should be mentioned that initial works created after war were influenced by war. More than sixty years after the end of the war, the work of writers such as Joseph Heller, Saul Bellow , Kurt Vonnegut and Norman Mailer continue to be read in graduate seminars, book clubs, and high school classrooms across the country. Moreover, we can add to this list Salinger and John Updike as representatives of Generation which came after The Second World War with the name: Unfound generation. In their works we can see the impact of the war in the life of young generation who had many disillusionment.
Norman Mailer, one of the representative of Unfound generation, came to public attention as the young author of a best selling novel of 1948, The Naked and the Dead .It quickly became one of the three novels by Americans that any reader of that generation was likely to know; the others were James Jones’s “From here to Eternity and Irwin Shaw’s “The young Lions”. Mailer’s novel was the most complex in design and the most ambitious in what it aimed to say , not about the war but about American society as seen through the institutions of war. An antiwar book ( in some broad sense), it was , more emphatically , anti-statist and anti-militarist.
Along with Truman Capote, S.Thompson, and Tom Wolfe, Norman Mailer is considered an innovator of creative nonfiction, a genre sometimes called New Journalism, which uses the style and devices of literary fiction on fact-based journalism. Mailer wrote 12 novels, 2 plays, a collection of short stories,, 2 works on poetry, 6 essays on different themes , 2 collections of letters 9 non-fiction narratives , about 12 miscellanies, anthologies and collections , 3 biographies and created the films as a filmmaker .over a 59-year span.
Having analyzed the work of Norman Mailer we have come across with biographical facts of author which can be seen in the novel. It lets us analyze the novel “ The Naked and the Dead” through the personal life of writer. It can be clearly seen that part of Norman Mailer’s goal in “The Naked and the Dead” of what was already being excised ( both deliberately and inadvertently) from Americans’ memory of World War II. Drawing upon his own experience as in infantryman, Norman Mailer takes great care to highlight the brutality of combat and the physical and mental abuse suffered by ‘common soldiers’ throughout the war. His novel tells the story of an American invasion on the fictional South Pacific Island of Anopopei , where Japanese forces had been entrenched for many months.
During the research of course paper , information about Generation came after The Second World War and its literary specificity in American literature is given. And the theme of war is well described. We may conclude that the expected aim of paper is achieved by fulfilling tasks. And our research is concluded reaching our goal. Hence, it can be considered to be complete.
David Bromwich, Spring 2008, “Norman Mailer (1924-2007))
Norman Mailer , 1923-2007, Biographical sketch
Norman Mailer Literary Hustler by Terry Teachout Culture and Civilization: January 2014
The good war’s “ Raw Chunks”: Norman Mailer’s The Naked and The Dead and James Gould Cozzens’s Guard of Honor by John M.Kinder
The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
The Naked Novelist and The Dead Reputation by Algis Valiunas. Culture and Civilization: September 2009
When literature goes to war : How Kurt Vonnegut, Norman Mailer and “ Catch-22” changed the novel forever by Michael Schmidt
Wikipedia,” Norman Mailer biography”
Wikipedia Eugene O”Neill
1 Wikipedia Eugene O”. Neill
3 Wikipedia-William Faulkner
4 Norman Mailer , 1923-2007, Biographical sketch
5 (David Bromwich, Spring 2008, “Norman Mailer (1924-2007))
6 (Wikipedia,” Norman Mailer biography”)
7 David Bromwich, Spring 2008, “Norman Mailer (1924-2007)
0 Norman Mailer: a double life, by J. Michail Lennon,review by Duncan White.09 Nov 2013
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