Date of Award

1984

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

Abstract

Bernard Malamud’s work is the subject of this thesis project. Malamud, a major twentieth-century Jewish American author, was the recipient of several National Book Awards as well as a Pulitzer Prize for his novel, The Fixer. This study examines The Magic Barrel (1958) and Rembrandt's Hat (1973), two of his short story collections, and highlights the extreme ideological contrasts between them. It discusses the idea of Malamud’s short stories as “the breeding ground” for his perspectives on life and art. The discussion includes Malamud's views on the artist’s role and leads to a consideration of his sociological background. It posits the idea that Malamud’s world view experienced a reversal, a switch from optimism and idealism to hopeless pessimism. This change or metamorphosis, it is argued, was revealed within the author’s life and work and reflected the world in which he was writing.

Comments

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