Literary Precedents for Underworld

This Study Guide consists of approximately 34 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Underworld.
This section contains 326 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Underworld Short Guide

As a novel that addresses the period between 1945 and 1991, Underworld echoes the work of Thomas Pynchon, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Joseph Heller, Robert Coover, and E. L. Doctorow. Though Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow, Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five (1968) and Heller's Catch-22 (1961) are all set during the Second World War, each addresses post-War cultural paranoia. They are all concerned with "[t]he secret history that never appears in the written accounts of the time or in the public statements of the men in power," as Lenny Bruce says in Underworld. As World War II novels written through the lens of the Cold War, they address paranoid belief systems and depict America as being morally complicit in the very things it purports to condemn: Vonnegut implies that the Allied fire-bombing of Dresden was also a war crime; Pynchon makes much of the fact that German rocket scientists work for the American government in the...

(read more)

This section contains 326 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Underworld Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
Underworld 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.
Follow Us on Facebook