Among all the major American literature writers, Norman Mailer is perhaps one of the most well-known both in the United States and internationally. No career in American literature has been at once so brilliant, varied, controversial, public, and misunderstood. Few American writers have had their careers on the verge of public inspection for such a lengthy period; none has been so regularly celebrated. In Norman Mailer’s novel, “The Naked and the Dead”, the author uses inspirational fiction and non-fiction to bring out the emotional aspects of people after a war has ended.
Norman Kingsley Mailer was born on January 31, 1923 and died November 10, 2007. He was an American novelist, journalist, essayist, poet, playwright, screenwriter and film director. Along with Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Hunter S. Thompson, John McPhee, and Tom Wolfe, Mailer is considered an innovator of creative nonfiction, a genre sometimes called New Journalism. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize twice and the National Book Award once. In 1955, Mailer, together with Ed Fancher and Dan Wolf, first published The Village Voice, which began as an arts and politics weekly newspaper distributed in Greenwich Village. In 2005, he won the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation. Mailer was born to a well-known Jewish family in Long Branch, New Jersey. His father, Isaac Barnett Mailer, was a South African-born accountant, and his mother, Fanny Schneider, ran a housekeeping and nursing agency. Mailer’s sister, Barbara, was born in 1927. Raised in Brooklyn, New York, he graduated from Boys High School and entered Harvard University in 1939, where he studied aeronautical engineering. At Harvard, he became interested in writing and published his first story at the age of 18, winning Story Magazine’s college contest in 1941.
America has always had a historic role as a haven for immigrants from all over the globe. For many reasons, many unrestricted immigrates were seeking a new life in the U. S in the late 19 th century and early 20 th century. Not everyone was happy with this, such as a group of people called the "nativists." The nativists were largely made up of American born Protestants who disliked the idea of ...
As an undergraduate, he was a member of The Signet Society. After graduating in 1943, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. In World War II, he served in the Philippines with the 112th Cavalry. He was not involved in much fighting and completed his service as a cook, but the experience provided enough material for The Naked and the Dead. In 1948, while continuing his studies at the Sorbonne in Paris, Mailer published The Naked and the Dead, based on his military service in World War II. A New York Times best seller for 62 weeks, it was titled by many as one of the best American wartime novels and named one of the “one hundred best novels in English language” by the Modern Library.
The Naked and the Dead reflects what Norman Mailer learned from Tolstoy: “compassion is of value and enriches our life only when compassion is severe, which is to say when we can perceive everything that is good and bad about a character but are still able to feel that the sum of us as human beings is probably a little more good than awful. In any case, good or bad, it reminds us that life is like a gladiators’ arena for the soul and so we can feel strengthened by those who endure, and feel awe and pity for those who do not.” Mailer’s portrayal of the characters’ heroic struggle to keep their dignity as they experience the horrors of war provides the book with its enduring value. Mailer introduces the novel’s major characters in the opening scene as the assault of Anopopei, a mythical Pacific island, is about to begin. The platoon is part of a 6,000-man force poised to take the Japanese-held island in order to clear the way for a larger American advance into the Philippines. The story of the invasion is divided with vignettes that provide background information on several of the men. As they wait for their rush onto the beach, many of them address and try to overcome their fear of death. The American soldiers advance quickly during the first few days of the campaign, with little resistance from the Japanese. Soon they realize just how oppressive the heat and moisture of the jungle is. Lieutenant Robert Hearn feels dissatisfied with his position as aide to General Cummings and “contemptuous” of the other officers. He enjoys his nightly talks with the general, even though he acknowledges that he is a “tyrant.” The general is a complex character who enjoys complete power over his men, and Hearn is attracted to that power. The Naked and the Dead ends with Mailer’s basic explanation of his war thoughts and feelings.
The United States of America is these days the most powerful country in the world but back in 1861 the tide was different due to an incredible event in which 660,000(Encarta 1997 Encyclopedia) people died in a war which was just because of a difference in opinion. Thoughout this essay I will talk briefly about how the civil war started then mainly what led to the end of this terrible event. The ...
Among all the major American literature writers, Norman Mailer is perhaps one of the most well-known both in the United States and internationally. He was an American novelist, Journalist, essayist, poet, playwright, screenwriter and film director. Along with Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Hunter S. Thompson, John McPhee, and Tom Wolfe, Mailer is considered an innovator of creative nonfiction. In Norman Mailer’s novel, “The Naked and the Dead”, the author uses inspirational fiction and non-fiction to bring out the emotional aspects of people after a war has ended.