Literature Study GuidesTropic Of Cancer

Tropic of Cancer | Study Guide

Henry Miller

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Course Hero. "Tropic of Cancer Study Guide." Course Hero. 20 Sep. 2017. Web. 12 July 2020. <>.

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Course Hero. "Tropic of Cancer Study Guide." September 20, 2017. Accessed July 12, 2020.


Course Hero, "Tropic of Cancer Study Guide," September 20, 2017, accessed July 12, 2020,


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Henry Miller

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Perspective and Narrator

Tropic of Cancer is narrated in the first person by "Henry Miller," a fictionalized version of the author. To distinguish between Henry Miller, the author, and Henry Miller, the character, the author is referred to by his last name in this study guide: Miller wrote the novel in Paris.


Tropic of Cancer is narrated in the present tense.

About the Title

The title Tropic of Cancer comes from Henry Miller's interest in astrology. The crab, a constellation representing the sign of Cancer, moves in any direction, much like the novel's protagonist, who lives a nomadic, unconventional life as a writer in search of freedom. Miller also envisioned the word cancer to suggest a world eating itself from within. As he wrote in a letter to his lover and fellow writer Anaïs Nin, "the disease of civilization, the extreme point of realization along the wrong path—[spawns] the necessity to change one's course and begin all over again."


This study guide and infographic for Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer 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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