Tropic of Cancer Social Concerns

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Henry Miller's work is marked by his commitment to the principles of individual liberty and freedom of expression. Because his emphasis is on an erotic expression of these principles, his very strong feelings about the necessity to resist authoritarian social structures has often been misunderstood, but in Tropic of Cancer, Miller's anger at a society that has dehumanized its inhabitants flares with radiant light. Although the book is set in Paris, Miller's narrator finds himself amid a group of American and British protobeatniks and European demi-bohemians who have been reduced to groping, desperate samples of human detritus.

They have brought their native neuroses with them and the fabled City of Light cannot save them.

Miller's narrator is able to survive because he is responsive to the great art available for inspiration throughout the city and because he is still in touch with the beauty and purity of the...

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