Goodbye, Columbus Essay

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In the following essay, Halio presents an overview of "Goodbye, Columbus," and examines the character development of Neil Klugman.

Roth's most famous protagonist, Alexander Portnoy, complains that he is living inside a Jewish joke and pleads with his psychiatrist, Dr. Spielvogel, to help get him out of it. Though at first he seems oblivious of it, Neil Klugman in "Goodbye, Columbus" lives inside a burlesque-show joke—a sexual tease that from the opening paragraph sets his hormones pumping wildly. He describes his first sight of Brenda Patimkin at the country club swimming pool, when she asks him to hold her glasses. After her dive, as Neil returns her glasses he gazes after her. "I watched her move off. Her hands suddenly appeared behind her. She caught the bottom of her suit between her thumb and index finger and flicked what flesh had been showing back where it...

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This section contains 4,373 words
(approx. 11 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Goodbye, Columbus Study Guide
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