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Peer-reviewed

Celebrating and Challenging Life’s Absurdities: A Postmodern Parody in Philip Roth’s ‘Everyman

Dr. Richa Mathur

DIP: 18.02.15/20230801

DOI: 10.25215/2455/080115

Received: December 10, 2022; Revision Received: January 17, 2023; Accepted: March 25, 2023

Abstract

Philip Roth’s novel “Everyman” stands as a remarkable work of postmodern literature, skillfully employing parody to challenge conventional narratives and societal ideals while celebrating the complex, messy, and uncertain nature of human existence. This research paper delves into the intricate interplay between postmodernism and parody within the novel, exploring how Roth’s narrative techniques and thematic exploration intertwine to create a profound and thought-provoking literary experience. The narrative structure of “Everyman” is a central element of its postmodern identity. Roth disrupts traditional linear storytelling, offering readers a fragmented and non-linear narrative that mirrors the protagonist’s fractured memories and underscores postmodern skepticism toward grand narratives. This fragmentation challenges readers to actively engage with the text and question the reliability of narrative coherence.

Self-reflexivity and metafictional elements further deepen the novel’s postmodern identity. The protagonist’s awareness of narrative construction in his own life and work invites readers to reflect on the artifice inherent in storytelling and challenges the stability of identity. Intertextuality, a quintessential postmodern feature, enriches the narrative by seamlessly integrating references to cultural and literary texts, encouraging readers to explore layers of meaning within the text. Roth’s use of parody in “Everyman” extends beyond imitation; it becomes a powerful tool for critique and celebration. The novel parodies societal conventions and cultural narratives surrounding youth, immortality, family, and the American Dream, revealing their absurdity and hollowness in the face of mortality. These parodic elements satirize contemporary society’s obsession with physical perfection, the denial of aging, and the pursuit of material success. However, amidst the satire, “Everyman” also celebrates the complexity of life and death. The profound theme of mortality serves as a catalyst for self-reflection and a deeper appreciation of the fleeting beauty of life. Roth invites readers to confront their own mortality and the narratives they construct to make sense of existence.

The authors profoundly appreciate all the people who have successfully contributed to ensuring this paper in place. Their contributions are acknowledged however their names cannot be mentioned.

The author declared no conflict of interest.

This is an Open Access Research distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any Medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Responding Author Information

Dr. Richa Mathur @ info.ijsi@gmail.com

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Article Overview

ISSN 2348-5396

ISSN 2349-3429

DIP: 18.02.15/20230801

DOI: 10.25215/2455/080115

Published in

Volume 08, Issue 1, January – March, 2023

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