The Floating Opera Summary
John Barth

Everything you need to understand or teach The Floating Opera by John Barth.

  • The Floating Opera Summary & Study Guide

The Floating Opera Summary

Although Todd Andrews, the firstperson narrator and protagonist of The Floating Opera, is fifty-four years old in 1954, when the novel takes place, the narrative relates the events leading up to his fateful decision on June 21 or 22, 1937. Todd lives with the possibility that he may die at any moment from a chronic heart condition, first diagnosed when he was released from the army at the end of World War I. The unpredictable nature of his existence prompts Todd to recognize his inability to order and control his own experience, but this alone does not lead to his attempted suicide. As a result of his conviction that sexuality is simply hilarious and his experience of killing a German soldier who had befriended him during World War I, Todd becomes convinced that there is no rational basis for human values and actions. In his opinion, humans are merely animals, and there...

(read more from the Short Guide)

Study Pack

The The Floating Opera Study Pack contains:

The Floating Opera Short Guide