The Recognitions Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 7 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Recognitions.
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The Recognitions Summary & Study Guide Description

The Recognitions Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Related Titles on The Recognitions by William Gaddis.

Preview of The Recognitions Summary:

Like T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land (1922), The Recognitions is one of several major works in American literature that concerns an individual trying to survive in a civilization that is rapidly falling apart. Wyatt Gwyon, himself no moral hero, reflects the state of his world in his struggle to accept his religious heritage and to realize his artistic yearnings in this atheistic and pragmatic modern age. Gwyon, like all the characters in The Recognitions, both rejects and seeks desperately to find some sort of salvation in an apparently godless world.

Gaddis also develops several other themes. Reflecting a world which lacks a proper moral exemplar, Gwyon's friend, Otto Pivner, must come to terms with living without his father, a theme that runs through much of American literature as well as Gaddis's three novels. Elements of alchemy crop up repeatedly. On the more representative level, a Faustian strain runs throughout...

This section contains 170 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy The Recognitions Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
The Recognitions from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.