The Naked and the Dead Essay

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In the following excerpt, Rideout argues that Mailer presents hope for humankind, in the figure of Lieutenant Robert Hearn.

Mailer's radicalism is of an indeterminate sort, the kind that expresses itself preeminently, perhaps, in images and fictional constructs rather than in abstract schema.... [His] dislike [for any kind of collective action] lies at the heart of his first novel and has often been interpreted as making his critique of capitalist society an entirely negative one; nevertheless The Naked and the Dead is a radical novel which affirms and does so within its own logic as a literary work.

Mailer's novel has a number of faults, not the least being that it sounds at times like a pastiche of the novels about World War I. The echoes of Dos Passos, another individualist rebel, are especially insistent: the interchapter biographies in The Naked and the Dead combine the techniques of...

(read more from the Critical Essay #5 section)

This section contains 412 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Naked and the Dead Study Guide
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