Philip Roth Writing Styles in Goodbye, Columbus

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Point of View and Narration

This story is narrated from the first person restricted point of view. Neil Klugman is both the narrator and the protagonist and everything is portrayed from his perspective. This is effective because this is a story about identity and self-discovery; what is important is how Neil perceives himself and his relationships with others, particularly Brenda, and how these perceptions change over the course of the story.

Setting

This story is set during the 1950s in Newark, New Jersey, the New York City metropolitan area, and Cambridge, Massachusetts. The settings are important in establishing the class divisions between Neil's family and Brenda's family. The geography of the city becomes a map of socioeconomic divisions. For instance, Brenda's family used to live in Newark, where Neil now lives with his aunt and uncle. This information indicates that the Patimkins once shared the socioeconomic standing that Neil's...

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This section contains 536 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Goodbye, Columbus Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Goodbye, Columbus from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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