The Sot-Weed Factor Summary
The Sot-Weed Factor returns to Barth's earlier exploration of the existentialist notions of action, choice, and value.
Whereas his earlier fiction considered these questions in a contemporary context, Barth's third novel introduces an existential perspective into late-seventeenth-century colonial America.
Throughout the novel, he suggests that the absence of any absolute order and the necessity of confronting the imperative to act is a persistent human dilemma; in addition, he suggests that early America was a lawless and perilous place, filled with murky political conspiracies and a thorough disregard for any sense of fair play.
Barth is also concerned with the difficulty in establishing a coherent sense of self and the assumptions that underlie any notion of the self. In part, this is accomplished through his use of twins in the novel to suggest opposition and the merging of contraries.
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The The Sot-Weed Factor Study Pack contains:
The Sot-Weed Factor Short Guide
John Barth Biographies (2)
6,178 words, approx. 21 pages
John Barth has taken what he considers the moribund genre of the traditional novel and has revived it with a series of imaginative and inventive "fictions." Barth writes, "If I were a painter, I would...
9,707 words, approx. 33 pages
In a writing career that spans five decades, John Barth has established himself as the premier writer of the postmodern novel in America. Perhaps more than any other contemporary writer, Barth has man...
Essays & Analysis (1)
1,833 words, approx. 7 pages
Barth, an American novelist and short story writer, is a skillful parodist, satirizing language and literary style, the tools of his craft, as well as social and moral conventions. Fascin...