Lesson 1 (from Chapter 1, In which Benny Profane, a schlemihl and human yo-yo, gets to an apocheir)
The picaresque novel is a popular genre of prose fiction which is usually satirical and depicts, in realistic and often humorous detail, the adventures of a roguish hero of low social class who lives by his wits. The objective of this lesson is to examine how the writing style of this section reveals the genre of this book as a picaresque novel.
1) Class Discussion: What is a picaresque novel? Begin with a discussion of this now popular genre. Identify elements of a picaresque novel in this chapter. In a picaresque novel, the actions of a character or characters are completely removed from sociopolitical attachments, thus on the loose, and, above all, uncommitted. What does the author reveal about the character(s) in these settings that immediately introduces the element of a picaresque novel? What elements of the story line are full of fantasy? Discuss.
This section contains 8,094 words
(approx. 27 pages at 300 words per page)