Goodbye - Joseph Hogeboon HU 142 07 Goodbye Columbus Essay...

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Joseph Hogeboon HU 142 07….02/21/08 Goodbye, Columbus Essay The American novelist, Philip Roth, wrote his first novel titled Goodbye, Columbus, in 1959. Neil Klugman is a twenty-three year old Jewish male who resides with his Uncle Max and his Aunt Gladys in a lower middle class neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey, and he currently holds a job at the public library. He committed to a relationship over the summer with Brenda Patimkin, who we would call a Bourgeoisie Jewish college student at Radcliffe College staying with her family in the suburbs of Newark. Neil and Brenda’s relationship is characterized by the bleak distinction of their socioeconomic differences, even though they are both Jewish in the novel. When summer ends, we find out that Ron is getting married to Harriet, after which Brenda returns to her College in Massachusetts. Later on in the novel, we see that Brenda and Neil decide to meet up with each other over the Jewish holidays. Shockingly, she tells Neil that while her mother was putting away her summer clothes she found the diaphragm under some of her clothes in the dresser. She also tells him that they have both written letters to her expressing their disappointment and their disparagement of Neil as a result. As Brenda feels she can no longer prolong their relationship, Neil argues how they can still keep going on with it and blaming her for leaving the diaphragm at her house. However, shortly after, Neil decides to from depart the hotel, eventually achieving a new sense of self-knowledge, shown by the sun rising on the Jewish New Year in Newark, New Jersey. In this breakup, I believe that Brenda is the person that bears the predominant burden for the failure of their relationship. In the beginning of the novel, we see that Brenda begins to like Neil and chooses to hang out with him a little more each time they meet each other. When the two were at the pool for the second time, Roth mentions, “Brenda dove down beneath us till I felt her clamping her hands on the soles of my feet. I pulled back and then down too, and then, at the bottom, no more than six inches above the wiggling black
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lines that divided the pool into lanes for races, we bubbled a kiss into each other’s lips” (Roth 11). In addition, by her starting the action of pulling on his feet and pulling him, he gets the signal that she is
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