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Abstract

Philip Roth's novella Goodbye, Columbus is a story of summer love shared by Neil Klugman and Brenda Patimkin. The lovers come from very different worlds, and the differences between the lovers contribute considerably to their breaking up at summer's end. Below the surface of the story Philip Roth weaves a subtle and complex series of motifs, the understanding of which affords the reader insights into the private inner world of Neil. Among the motifs is an onomastic one, the primary focus of this paper, but one that must be considered along with motifs of ironic and mock battles on land and on sea, of sharp-pointed weapons, of giants and dwarfs, and of search and of near discovery.

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