The Representation of death in selected contemporary american novels by don delillo and philip Roth

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This thesis deals with the representation of death in four selected contemporary American novels : White Noise(1986)and ZeroK (2016) by Don DeLillo, and Everyman (2003) and Nemesis (2010) by Philip Roth. Using the existential theories of Martin Heidegger, the psychoanalytical ideas of Sigmund Freud and the literary theory of dialogism by Mikhail Bakhtin, it looked into the cultural and private dynamics which altered the death epistemology in the selected novels.The existential, psychological and spiritual impacts of the dissimilar attitudes toward death range from denial to affirmation of its inevitability without admitting its existential/ ontological merit. Existential inauthenticity, meaninglessness, and loss of dwelling, in addition to psychological introversion and uncanniness, are consequences of the different representations of death. These consequences articulate the postmodern estrangement from the naturalness and necessity of finitude. However, while DeLillo struggles against the postmodem cultural pathology of meaninglessness by advocating reconciliation with the inevitability of death, Roth struggles with the idea of mortality and offers a cynical image of death synonymous with deprivation and humiliation.In addition,the thesis argued that DeLillo and Roth's conceptualisation of death absorbs philosophical, literary, psychoanalytical, religious and historical discourses and dialogises them in formulating a discourse of death which challenges all the claims of authority orcentrality.It showed that a priord iscourse on death is but a point of reference in the formulation of awider postmodern discourse.In contrast to DeLillo's fiction which enters in a dialogue with context and historical events andupdates,Roth's texts interrogate other literary texts in order to investigate contemporary attitudes to death; comparing and contrasting the epoch'simage of death to previous ones, and answering DeLillo's discourse.


269f. ; 30cm. + CD Rom


Death : representation, Don Dellio, Philip Roth, Postmodernity