The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (excerpt) Questions due Thurs 2/25 1. The novel from which the Kavalier and Clay excerpt was taken begins with a discussion of Harry Houdini, a major public figure when the two characters were little boys, who the narrator informs us “was a hero to little men, city boys, and Jews,” and that Sammy fit all three categories. Sammy himself says that he always saw Clark Kent in his phone booth as equivalent to Harry Houdini about to escape a packing crate: both images of a pupa about to break out of a cocoon. Chapter 2 begins with the same image, “a caterpillar escape” of the legendary Jewish champion, the Golem, before it details the first failed attempt of Sammy’s cousin Joe (also Jewish) to escape Nazi-occupied Prague in the fall of 1939. How does this context and imagery help explain the back-story (the “why”) that the two boys come up with for their original superhero, The Escapist? Does that historical context seem appropriate and consistent with the superhero genre, or
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