The Executioner's Song Social Concerns

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In The Executioner's Song, Mailer narrates the life of condemned murderer Gary Gilmore and of the age in which he grows to kill. Much of the early part of the book concerns Gilmore's parole and his inability to adjust to life outside of prison. He is a solitary character who finds it virtually impossible to connect solidly with other people.

Many of the people he meets share a similar fate. There is not only Gary's girlfriend Nicole, who can seem to live only for him, but also Pete Galovan, who beats up Gilmore in a fight, but who has been on a similar quest, to find himself through a series of failed jobs and relationships. Gilmore, the quintessential outsider, the man who cannot fit in, nevertheless becomes a representative figure in the very loneliness and incorrigibly individual Americanness of his frustrating efforts to live in a Mormon community...

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This section contains 148 words
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Buy The Executioner's Song Study Guide
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