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Herzog | Study Guide

Saul Bellow

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Course Hero, "Herzog Study Guide," December 14, 2017, accessed March 27, 2023,


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Saul Bellow

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Perspective and Narrator

Herzog is told from the point of view of a third-person narrator. Although cast in the third person, the text is interspersed with first-person interior monologues in which the character Moses Herzog reminisces, laments, reflects on the nature of human existence, and composes letters to the living and the dead. Interrupting the flow of the narrative, these first-person meditations and letters are styled in italics.


The action in Herzog is in the past tense, except for some of Moses Herzog's first-person interior monologues and letters, which are in the present tense.

About the Title

The title Herzog is eponymous, or taken from the name of an individual. Herzog is the surname of the main character, Moses Elkanah Herzog. Like the Old Testament's Moses, Herzog can lead his people to the Promised Land, but, being punished for his errant behavior, he cannot enter. The Promised Land of this 20th-century novel is domestic contentment, and this modern Moses, who desperately seeks the comforts of married life, cannot achieve this simple goal for himself or for anyone else.


This study guide and infographic for Saul Bellow's Herzog offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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