Is America a „Sow that Eats Her Farrow”: John Updikeʼs <em>Terrorist</em> as a Bildungsroman
Keywords:John Updike, Terrorist, Bildungsroman, Islamic fundamentalism, Ahmad Ashmawi Mulloy, character development, epiphany.
AbstractIn this paper we analysed John Updike’s 22nd novel, Terrorist, to ascertain whether this novel could be viewed as a Bildungsroman. Our investigation is based on theoretical insights that Hegel, Lukács and Bakhtin offered on this literary genre; furthermore, we acknowledged some contemporary theories regarding this issue as well. By analysing characters and relations among them, narrative layers of the text and intertextual dialogue in Updike’s Terrorist, we strove to point out how Updike deconstructs this literary genre by showing a young man, Ahmad, who – under the influence of an imam – considers and plans to become a suicide bomber. Also, we indicated how the author’s approach to this sensitive topic is a nuanced one: the novel is militant only on surface.
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