Giles Goat-Boy Writing Style & Techniques

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Like the manipulation of eighteenthcentury novelistic conventions in The Sot-Weed Factor (1960), the use of allegory in Giles Goat-Boy is designed to assert the fictional nature of Barth's narrative and to suggest at the same time a parallel between this elaborate fiction and the United States in the early 1960s. But the allegory is only one dimension of Barth's novel; more significant to the structure of Giles Goat-Boy is the typical pattern of heroic adventure outlined by the comparative mythographer, Joseph Campbell. In his 1949 study The Hero With a Thousand Faces, Campbell outlines a monomyth, in which the typical hero traces a course that leads him from initiation to illumination and eventually to disillusionment. Barth's George conforms to this course, but it is also important to note that he often does so ironically.

This elaborate structural pattern is thus mocked in order to demonstrate the...

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This section contains 348 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Giles Goat-Boy Short Guide
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