In the novel where on one hand Zuckerman’s character is portrayed as the representative of an artist who has injured the feelings of his family by his autobiographical works and who is a failure in terms of relationships, Lonoff, on the other hand, is one who is different from Zuckerman and it can also be said that he is better than Zuckerman, for which Zuckerman idealizes Lonoff as a man who inspired him to write. Lonoff tells Zuckerman his strategy for writing as he says that he just turn sentences around.
The simplicity of Lonoff fascinates Zuckerman. The young writer is shown entrapped in the dilemma of his life as he faces reality that is different from his assumptions that he previously held. He had been revering the Jewish writer, Lonoff, with the start of his career and believes his every word without probing their authenticity. Roth reflects on the notion of language in search of its ‘source of power and authority orphaned by the very contingencies which make it come into being’ (O’Donnell).
Where Zuckerman fails to fulfill his loyalty to his religion as his short story about Jews causes his estrangement from his family Lonoff is an adherent Jew. Being a Jew Zuckerman was expected to adhere to Jewish honor and write stories that do not make fun of his community. Therefore when Zuckerman shows his short story to his father he reproaches him for betraying his fidelity to his faith (Roth).
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