There is a tremendous amount of symbolism in Malamud's novel. Discuss two forms of symbolism and show how they develop the theme over the course of the novel. Answer the question of why Malamud might have chosen that symbol over other possible ones and whether he was effective in developing the theme. Give examples from the novel to support your ideas.
There are many themes developed in this novel. Discuss one of them and show how they are developed through the novel. Explain what Malamud is trying to tell the reader about that theme.
Compare and contrast Roy's relationship with Memo and Iris. In what ways do they parallel, and in what ways are they opposite? What role does each play in Roy's life?
Discuss how the unfolding of Roy's character throughout the novel is related to the seasonal aspects of the vegetative myths from Arthurian tales.
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