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Writing Techniques in The Human Stain

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Perhaps the most important element of Roth's technique in this, his twenty-third novel, is his choice of Nathan Zuckerman as his technical narrative point of view.

Telling the story from the point of view of his "creative alter ego" gives Roth a certain useful distance from the characters and the action while at the same time creating a condition that commands belief in the fiction. Zuckerman as narrator and as a created character bears witness to the life, rise, and fall of Coleman Silk. Roth creates him as a reliable and credible witness not only to the "facts" of the narrative but to the qualities of Silk's mind and person, to what Aristotle called hamartia, that combination of choices, decisions, and action's that lead to a tragic figure's destruction. Zuckerman is the messenger, come to tell us the whole story, the truth.

Readers of Roth's seven other "Zuckerman...

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This section contains 511 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Human Stain Study Guide
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