Henderson The Rain King Essay
Henderson The Rain King
The great book ‘Henderson the Rain King’ is a masterpiece creation of an imperative American writer who in addition became the source of inspiration for many other writers in the era of 1950s. The author, Saul Bellow’s triumph has been striking enough for he stirred other writers a new-fangled kind of idol and a new type of expressive fashion (High, 12). Bellow’s lead character lives dynamically within his own intellect. In scripting his hero, Saul Bellow has a few characteristic qualities assembled in his works. In this book he crafts a character who at all times seeks various exposures.
In this paper I will discuss how Henderson has some pre-arranged stereotypes about Africa and the people there, what he learns from them in the end, how does Henderson `find` him self in Africa and will support all this with examples from the book. This book begins with a radiant portrayal, the thought of a determined victim, the personality of Henderson, and his declaration of having resolved a trouble. Henderson is actually an American hero probing toward maturity, hesitant between a desire to be loved and abandonment from a world which does not care for him as he needs; he is unripe and a victim of his own thoughts and desires.
Bellow has sketched a hero who seems to be disgruntled with the truth of his existence. He is suffocating beneath the accumulative specifics of his life even though he appears to contain what people valor wish for; that is assets and position, wealth and love, as he is described by the people of his times. Many feel that the author has actually carved out a character that is none else but the author himself. Many believe that Saul had a mindset or more specifically stereotypes about Africa and its natives that he inks out through this book.
In the book through satire and spoof, Bellow provides ridiculous loads of its banalities. Henderson is a mockery of the bizarre, aggressive, artist-hero of the Stephan Daedalus range. Fiddler and pig grower, he is described as a menopausal social outcast and that is what Bellow had the stereotype about the Africans (High, 33). A straight caricature of the Hemingway narcissist, he is solemn, thoughtful, solipsistic, clumsy, and self-centered. He supposes with his Eliotic fisher king forbears that the land is cursed.
As Bellow had stereotyped the Africans, the hero in his book, is in reality Bellow’s reply to an age group of recent writers who retorted with overstated discontent to the botched assurances of Rousseauistic idealism (Ophdal, 62). It is in addition a notable investigation into the incompatible codes of maleness that bothers the contemporary American gentleman. Henderson merges the idealistic maverick, rich capitalist, rough warrior, schlemiel, unattractive American, and spiritual quester in his character of Henderson which speaks volumes about Bellow’s stereotype of the native Africans.
Considerably, we find that once when he has been embraced by African classic mother-goddesses, and has taken training from a lioness, he is competent to suppress his previous aggressiveness to his housekeeper whom he has screamed to demise, his daughter whom he has overlooked, and Lily whom he has disgraced and mistreated for years (Bellow, 59). He is after everything else seen taking pride in his lately attained spiritual balance, taking on an orphan kid on the glacial ice cap of Newfoundland. As a final point, the “I desire” influence in his heart is at rest.
Nevertheless, we are left to ponder whether he can uphold this stability found in the simple loneliness of a glacial ice cap inside the collective circumstances of his family unit. It illustrates the distinct survival wit of the Eastern European shtetl and its stereotypes. Bellow in this book claims that literary innovation has formed novels bursting of the communal disorders of our daytime and urbanized a common sense of catastrophe. Bellow, particularly in ‘Henderson The Rain King’ cultivated for American literature a few of the humorist postures, stereotypes, and mythology of Yiddish literature.
His principal work of domestication of Yiddish fable is the utilization of comedy to mutually steal from self-pity and augment the actual existential problem of the hero through the wit shambling pursuit depicted in Henderson’s role (Ophdal, 77). Bowel embarks on a journey to defy racially prejudiced legends and uphold racial synchronization. Henderson commences his pursuit sharing in white prejudices against Africans. Though Bellow believed that they were just prejudices, they were deep-rooted in his opinion and tend to propose lucid ineptitude on the part of Africans (Bellow, 87).
They contributed in the primitivist national troops of Africa that was suggested by Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Ultimately, nevertheless, Henderson is exposed to his love of Western Civilization and takes a massive fabled jump in time. It is a three-part hunt relating sin, penance, and escape. If we analyze how Henderson evolved throughout the narration, we find that there were till the end some traces of the deep- rooted stereotypes present in his personality but as in the novel when it finally started to rain, it actually depicts that Henderson had freed himself from his thoughts and burdens of the images that he always had.
It may well be that he in reality resembles other wastrels who have attempted to flee from themselves on voyages to remote places, but, for all his bristle and self-worth, all his sympathy and humbleness, all his obscure references to fine art, writing and times gone by, Henderson remains only a weary cursed with for the most part uneasy stream of fancy chatter in a store of current fiction. He is finally seen to have found peace within himself.
The continuous “want” “want” screams within him that lead him to the painful journey, were in the end crushed as he contends with the surroundings and learns to accept things that he cannot change. Many readers though still question, whether a character like Henderson can stay content with the peace he found for long. The conclusion of the movements is the track in the stillness of love and decision, the agitated man, the battered animal, and the stray children who have all accomplished shared comfort and salvation.Prayers for rainfall are responded to, the impatient traveler turns in the direction of abode, and the long night’s voyage finally reaches day.
Bellow, Saul (1976) Henderson the Rain King. New York: Viking Press Publishers. High, Peter (1986) An Outline of American Literature. New York: Longman Inc. Ophdal, Keith Michael (1978) The Novel of Saul Bellow: An Introduction. Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania University Press. Majdiak, Daniel. (1991). “The Romantic Self and Henderson the Rain King” in Bucknell Review: A Scholarly Journal of Letters, Arts and Sciences.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 9 April 2017
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