Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth (Book Analysis)
Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth (Book Analysis)
Detailed Summary, Analysis and Reading Guide
This practical and insightful reading guide offers a complete summary and analysis of Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth. It provides a thorough exploration of the novel’s plot, characters and main themes, including sexuality, shame and the contrast between the Jewish and non-Jewish worlds. The clear and concise style makes for easy understanding, providing the perfect opportunity to improve your literary knowledge in no time.
This clear and detailed 60-page reading guide is structured as follows:
- Biography of Philip Roth
- Presentation of Portnoy’s Complaint
- Summary of Portnoy’s Complaint
- Character study
- Alexander Portnoy
- Sophie Ginsky
- Jack Portnoy
- Mary Jane Reed
- Heshie Portnoy
- Doctor Spielvogel
- Analysis of Portnoy’s Complaint
About Portnoy’s Complaint
Portnoy’s Complaint is Philip Roth’s fourth novel, and garnered widespread popular and critical attention when it was first published – although not always for positive reasons. It was initially a highly controversial novel, and was even banned in Australia due to its explicit sexual content. It takes the form of a monologue delivered by the eponymous protagonist Alexander Portnoy to his psychiatrist, Doctor Spielvogel, in which he talks at length about the formative experiences of his childhood and the sexual compulsions he has experienced throughout his life. By turns shocking, satirical and outrageously funny, Portnoy’s Complaint is now widely recognised as one of the finest works of one of America’s greatest living authors.
About Philip Roth
Philip Roth is arguably the most decorated American author of his generation – no small achievement, considering that his contemporaries include such acclaimed writers as Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo and Cormac McCarthy. His novels and short stories explore a wide range of themes, from the search for identity among young American Jews to the role of the writer and the relationship between art and life. His best-known works include the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel American Pastoral, Portnoy’s Complaint and The Human Stain.