For the Relief of Unbearable Urges Characters

Nathan Englander
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Pinchas, the protagonist of "The Twentyseventh Man," is the vehicle for two of Englander's most important themes, the compulsion to write and the calming force of tradition. Pinchas is condemned to death for his eccentricity. Though he never publishes a word, he spends all his days isolated in a room, writing. The authorities suspect that he intends to dismantle the Communist regime with these writings. In fact, his motive is purely self-serving: he loves to write. In fact, he has a compulsion to write that, in his last days, becomes his only solace. For Pinchas, writing is a tradition, like the rites of prayer. Rather than reverting to prayers, however, Pinchas begins composing a final story at the outset of his internment. In part, he does this out of habit, but on a deeper level it works as his sole psychological ballast. While the guards tortured him to...

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This section contains 548 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the For the Relief of Unbearable Urges Short Guide
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