The Prize Summary
Irving Wallace

Everything you need to understand or teach The Prize by Irving Wallace.

  • The Prize Summary & Study Guide

The Prize Summary

Although capitalizing on four social concerns, Wallace pays most attention to the Sexual Revolution embodied in Sweden's liberal morality. The other Revolutions are handled perfunctorily.

The social effects of the laureates' scientific discoveries are ignored. The East German agents threatening one scientist are stereotypical "heavies" and easily thwarted. The two laureates who are victims of the Holocaust have physical and psychological scars that readily earn the reader's sympathy, but neither has a story that offers new insights into the origin or consequences of this historical tragedy.

The personal and social implications of the Sexual Revolution are thoroughly explored. The novel dramatizes the healthiness and healing power of sensuality. Open sexuality heals the emotional and mental wounds of various characters. Adultery restores elan to the dulled marriage of two French biologists; friendly fornication frees the American novelist from guilt and alcoholism; romantic wooing erases the scars of sexual abuse...

(read more from the Short Guide)

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