Henderson the Rain King Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 63 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Henderson the Rain King.
This section contains 4,687 words
(approx. 12 pages at 400 words per page)
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Themes

Although Henderson the Rain King uses humor and even parody to get at its core issues, it does treat seriously the themes that are central to all of Saul Bellow's fiction: the search for meaning, the notion of an existence rendered absurd (in the philosophical as well as the more general sense) by the omnipresence of mortality, the relation of esoteric philosophy with practical action, and the need for transcendence. For more than half of a century, the author has wrestled with the often tenuous relationship between ideas and practical actions.

His novels are among the most allusive of the later-generation modernists, summoning the works and thoughts of philosophers, scientists, writers, and anthropologists.

As has been suggested in the "social concerns" section, Henderson lives an existentially and literally absurd life, largely because he cannot locate a purpose that offers consistency and meaning. Behind this uncertainty about one's goal...

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This section contains 4,687 words
(approx. 12 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Henderson the Rain King Study Guide
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