Exit Ghost Themes & Motifs

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Fiction

Like many of Philip Roth’s novel, Exit Ghost functions in part as a metafictional meditation on the nature of fiction itself; the novel explores the nature of fiction as it relates to the life of the author, encouraging the reader to doubt whether the latter holds any permanent sway over the latter. The narrative centerpiece of this thematic exploration is Kliman’s biography project, as he operates on the assumption that Lonoff’s final, unfinished novel is definitively connected to Lonoff’s own life. Kliman believes that Lonoff never finished his novel because its plot was directly connected to some deep personal secret of Lonoff’s. After reading half of the novel draft, Kliman says, “This is a tormented confession disguised as a novel” (267). However, Kliman is portrayed as something of an antagonist, driven by ambition and naiveté, and while the novel does not definitively...

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This section contains 2,403 words
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Buy the Exit Ghost Study Guide
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