The Dilemma of Power in The Naked and the Dead
The critic Stanley Gutman describes The Naked and the Dead1 as ‘an attempt to present a dilemma of power from a variety of perspectives’.2 But the dilemma Gutman points to is much more extensive than his observation allows; it is not, as he suggests, a theme of the novel which is under authorial control but a conflict of political values which affects the whole balance of the book. A deep argument in Mailer′s mind about the nature and meaning of power permeates all aspects of The Naked and the Dead, and it cannot be resolved. For this reason, the novel does not so much present as embody a dilemma of power.
KeywordsTime Machine Liberal Ideology Majority View American Foreign Policy Vitalist Power
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