Everything you need to understand or teach Paradise by Donald Barthelme.
Paradise touches on a wide variety of themes as it explores the experiences, thoughts, and memories of its central character, Simon. Marriage, sexual and economic power, midlife crisis, generation gaps, male inadequacy, male fantasy, the element of fear in urban life, the responsibility of the artist, feminism, and religious ideas of guilt and grace all appear as concerns in the novel. Often, however, these themes remain undeveloped since Barthelme's style presents them as disjointed elements in an often collagelike structure.
The characters whose disjointed lives express these themes are also not so much developed as presented to the reader in a collection of sometimes unconnected moments, fragments of conversation, and loose memories.(read more)