Saul Bellow is a Jewish-American writer who was born in Quebec, Canada. He immigrated to American with his parents when he was nine. Bellow attended the University of Chicago and in 1997received a bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology from Northwestern University. And he
was enrolled to the graduate school of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
However, in order to realize his dream to be a writer, Bellow dropped out from school. Bellow then became a very productive writer. In 1944, his first full-length novel Dangling Man, an existential study of
man’s inability to make his own choice in life, released to the public. Then the Victim, which deals with
the prejudiced and guilt-ridden relationship between victor and victim. Later he wrote The Adventures of
Augie March, Seize the Day, Henderson the Rain King, Herzog, Mr. Sammler’s Planet, Humbolt’s Gift,
The Dean’s December, More Die of Heartbreak, The Theft, and The Actual and so on. There are also some
short stories of Bellow; he even wrote plays like The Last Analysis. Among his works, The Adventures of
Augie March, Herzog, and Mr. Sammler’s Planet won him the National Book Award; Humbolt’s Gift won
him the Pulitzer Prize. And in 1976, Saul Bellow was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. Bellow is reputed for interpreting the struggles of city dwellers to define their roles and responsibility in modern world. Therefore, the themes of his works are displacement, alienation, masochism and modern urban man’s search for meaningful identity. The artistic features in his novel are obvious. His
fiction is dominated by the marginal man and alienated and absurd character caught between his own inadequacies and those imposed on him by his friends and society. In a sense, the alienated man is his favorite protagonist.
He often confines his interest to the inner vision of the protagonist. His protagonists are typical, yet extraordinary, and portrayed with tremendous detail. Both major and minor personalities are given attention, and discussed in a manner that supports the theme of the story. Therefore, Bellow’s protagonists
are often uncommon thinkers who long for transcendental existence as they are estranged from the world around them. However, Bellow is by no means pessimistic because he believes in the possibilities of reason. Therefore, his fiction is affirmatively historic with his great faith in man. His fictional world is often chaotic and absurd, but he believes that a novelist begins with disorder and disharmony and gets toward order by an unknown process of imagination. He thinks that even if a man cannot shape his own destiny, he can still control the manner in which he faces it and then denies absurdities by his own efforts. The writing style of Saul Bellow is unique in its descriptive nature, which is full of blatant cultural and historical references. He uses his settings to move his story along, and to help portray characters, ideas, and emotions. The most obvious style of Saul Bellow is his frequent criticism of modern life is both bitter
and loving. His sense of irony is published which strengthens the force in narration. And he is well known for his wide range of interest, for his flexibility and diversity of style and idiom. Saul Bellow is not only a great writer but also a brilliant playwright; he has made a great contribution to the American literature and also to the development of the world’s literature. He is an intelligent
observer of the modern American way of life. Bellow saw many flaws in modern civilization. All his works are of great value to our modern society and to all the human beings.