Reading Misogyny; Gender Stereotyping in Selected Novels of Saul Bellow
By Nasser Motallebzadeh
Saul Bellow’s exploration of issues of gender is far subtler, sophisticated and amusing. In his account of masculinity in post-World War (II), he exploits American gender ideologies, their comic dimensions and explores their psychological, social, intellectual as well as philosophical origins. Out of all these, Saul Bellow weaves his own high comedy to make us laugh and think over his male characters and their struggle to come up with a solution for their masculine problems in late capitalist America.
Despite the humor, sophistication, and cultural irony, in a serious critical reading, it is quite possible to see, in Bellow's text, a virulent antagonism to women, and sorts of misogyny which seeks the sympathies of like- minded men. As a result, this destroys the seriousness of Bellow's investigation into the failure of heterosexual relations, modern marriage, and love affairs in Post-World War (II) America. Indeed, Bellow's text fails to provide a full vision of responsibility towards its representation of women characters.