Human Stain Essay

836 words - 4 pages

One of the main problems described in The Human Stain is the dependence between the perception of another person and the context in which this takes place. People can quickly shift attitudes depending on who they are with and especially to how they are feeling which can cause a myriad of perceptions, even from just one view. Coleman Silk is a character that Philip Roth explores through the eyes of Nathan Zuckerman and he follows a map of dramatic revelations which causes even readers to have shifting opinions about Silk. Thus one person can contain many different features which are hidden not because the person wants to hide them, but due to an absence of the context needed for the ...view middle of the document...

Coleman's state of mind during his grief and rage for his wife’s death become a powerful tool in the destruction of his more calm and contempt lifestyle. “All that was playful in him and lighthearted had been destroyed and lost, right along with the career, the reputation, and the formidable wife” (26). Nathan's reminiscence is very important because it is mentioned in the context of Coleman's new behavior in accordance with the power of “eros”. Nathan here proves that not so far earlier his neighbor was completely different from the pre-Spooks Coleman, which speaks about his women and dances without his shirt. Certainly, Coleman is changed because the conditions of his self-realization are changed. But in both cases there is no place for a new and old Coleman: these different behavioral paradigms are always potentially in him and the superiority of one over another is determined by the relevancy of some sides of his character in different situations.
Everything that has happened up to now is already the past; some things maybe forgotten whereas others may linger on only in the memory. But certain events, people, or objects can trigger an emotional response that allows one to remember the past and all the feelings along with it. When Coleman reads the letter from his past. “I've got to dance”, Coleman said. “Want to dance?”. I laughed. No, this was not the savage, embittered, embattled avenger of Spooks, estranged...

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