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"I am as research on female image of a man's life"

Author XieRuiLian
Tutor HuangTieChi
School Shanghai Normal University
Course Comparative Literature and World Literature
Keywords Philip Roth <My Life as a Man> Female characters
CLC I712.074
Type Master's thesis
Year 2012
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Philip Roth, an American contemporary Jewish writer, is awarded asthe living American literary myth.<Sunday Telegraph>praised that Rothhad a luminous pen, few people in the contemporary American fictionworld can match with him. He was paid much attention for his prolificworks, changing artistic styles and themes of innovation. Hiscomposition is closely linked to the development of the times. AmongRoth’s over30works, each works has sexual description, the femalefigures in them also resist the women image in literary and culturetradition, have the character with doughty and tender, resisting andcompliance but more doughty and tender. Nonetheless the man hasbecome the victim under the women’s bully. There are few works aboutthe understanding of Roth’s women image.<My life as a man> is themost ambitious works of Roth, there are few studies in this works,especially in the women image. Because of this situation, the author hasa detail study in the women image of <My life as a man>, and pointsout the women characters with symbolic meaning.The text is divided into three chapters, which are "the artistic styleand the background significance of <My Life as a Man>","womenscomplexity and contradiction on their own of <My Life as a Man>","thesymbolic meaning in women image ". And plus introduction andconclusion, five parts in all.Introduction is mainly on Roths composing process and style, andRoths study at home and abroad as well as the innovation andresearch methods in the topic implementing a certain sort, sum up andanalysis, has made the background and the role of bedding for thefollowing detail analysis, with a overall view to grasp the situation, andto prevent the analysis of one-sided.The first chapter mainly analyzes4main women image’s complexity and contradiction in the3novels of <My life as a man>: theJewish girl Sharon Shatzky in <Salad Days>; Lydia Katteerer in <CourtingDisaster>; Maureen and lover Susan in <My true story>. Through thecomplexity and contradiction of these4main women images anddetailed analysis points out their commonality, contradiction, anddifferent attitudes and multiple meanings existing in these4figureswhich are composed by the write as the hero.The second chapter is mainly on the detailed analysis in <My life asa man> through times and background meaning and artistic style,mainly states the women figure shaping relationship in Roth’s works andbilateral fusion of fabrication and reality, then proves Roth doped largequantities of ego society and life experience to the works and humanfigure shaping in the special culture.The third chapter is mainly on the further deep based on the above2chapters. Composed intricate women images’ plural meaningsthrough Roth’s deliberation points out on corresponding betweennon-Jewish women Lydia, Maureen and autonomy in American pluralculture; the corresponding in the tradition of Jewish culture betweenJewish women Sharon Shatzky and Susan. Pointing out their culturalsymbolic meaning, further indicating Roth’s self surpassing in sex andcultural difference, probing Roth’s exploration in human commonsurvival meaning and the wanting and pursuing of absolute freedom.The conclusion is mainly on the further sort based on the abovemain views and structure, points out Roth’s composition has an effectand significance in the literary history, formulates the text’s creation anddeficiencies and the anticipation of the further study in Roth.

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