Compare and Contrast Herzog, Humboldt’s Gift and Something to Remember Me


Bellow’s fiction stories have a Freudian elucidation. His heroes experience the ill effects of an issue that makes them a concentration in the story. The real themes of Saul’s writing in the three books are affected by ideas of ideology and values and personal life experiences.

All books depict a hero in a troublesome, groundbreaking circumstance that prompts a reexamination of his present life and a resulting mission for truth. Regardless of the possibility that the fundamental theme is indistinguishable in many regards, and all heroes ultimately discover their answers, the quest circumstances and each hero’s perception differ.

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Story Analysis

In Something to Recall Me By the parody in Saul Bellow’s fiction is the comic drama of disgrace. His legends are ordinarily vain, pleased, and unyielding men who feel they are distinctive, remarkable, or more the essential destiny. The book depicts them as not excluded from ordinary reality; they are in truth ludicrous schlemiels. Naturally, what occurs in Saul’s books and stories is that the grandiose heroes utilize the full gauntlet of shame, ridicule, disfavor, and humiliation to learn a lesson by a comic scourging. Saul is involved in his characters: he gives them the works. Nor are his saints pure on themselves.

There is dependably a minute in the account when the legend contemplates internally, as does Louie in the short story “Something to Recollect that Me By,” “I had no sensitivity for myself. I admitted that I had this coming, a good Jewish schoolboy, too grandiose to be Standard and with his eye on an extraordinary fate. . . . The absolute truths that apply to everyone were having their turn (“Something” 213). Their first impact was scorn.

In Humboldt’s Gift expectation, history and humanism in the current time’s literature are antagonized by various adversaries, by and large as frequent inquiries and comprehensive philosophical, political and religious examination. Accordingly, the test for inventive artisans is to discover new techniques for managing the pressure between open diversion and the secret circle of the person. In Humboldt’s Gift, the author investigates the mind of the craftsman attempting to locate the real and otherworldly focus in the midst of the confusion and interruption of contemporary America that from various perspectives stay disjoined from the past.

Saul introduces the relationship through various interconnected issues the anguish of the scholarly inside mass culture, the connection amongst craftsmanship and trade, and the link amongst mysticism and realism (66). While Saul manages such good distractions with high affectability, the general vision of the novel is dimly funny as the hero Charles Citrine turns into the hapless casualty battling through a progression of ridiculous occasions that strip him of both his riches and respect. The idea of the middle as both a tasteful gadget and social tricky is frequently strikingly foregrounded in pioneer writing to pass on its general significance to humanity.

While this story goes up against everything from the most profound sense of being to the connection amongst logical soundness and inventiveness, its most grounded topic identifies with capitalistic America where material riches gets the high need. Achievement is dictated by riches since riches control the social structure. In different social orders, social structure is regularly controlled by instruction, inheritance, occupation, and so on.

Most Western societies utilize cash as a power base. The theme in the book is composing – not simply the composition of the book, but rather the written work that happens inside the book. Charlie, the hero, and Humboldt, his tormented companion, both compose works of incredible importance, yet while Charlie is for the most part upbeat in his life, Humboldt is under consistent mental misery.

The side effect of madness is noticeable in the novel Humboldt’s Gift which tells around two scholars’ predicament and dissatisfactions in the 1970s. The two journalists Humboldt and Citrine endured the lunacy in various levels and their nutty strike the reader as depressive and amazing. Peter investigated Carine’s distrustfulness and hyper discouragement and Humboldt’s franticness from social culture. The misery of the individual writer in a mass society, the connection amongst artistry and business, the link amongst otherworldly and material, the separation of present day American culture from its European history.

In Subside’s view, the two intellect sits’ issues are created by their inability to trade off with the materialistic culture. Bigler investigated this frenzy subject, and he believed being hyper or nut is a path for the storyteller Citrine to shield himself from this silly world and other subordinate characters who can’t comprehend his spirit. What’s more, besides, Bigler thought in Charlie’s view, Humboldt’s declaration to a historicist’s perspective and his revival of Dispassionate, Sentimental and Jamesian qualities prompts another type of logical soundness by Charlies’ standard. Bigler’s proposal begins from the way of life and philosophical view, while this postulation plans to investigate their mental issue from Lacan’s hypothesis.

The opening pages apparently recognize the bearing of the novel. Loaded by numerous disappointments, Moses E. Herzog is very nearly madness. His life has fallen, and the world itself appears to be disorganized and frantic. He can clarify none of it; life might be without importance. Whether rational thought reaffirm Herzog’s feeling of himself or any moral convictions exists. The novel demonstrates to us Herzog’s edgy endeavors to answer these inquiries. Howl starts his story in the Berkshires, in midsummer, as Herzog is endeavoring to wash down his troubled soul and cleanse himself of his mental issues.

We witness an elaborate procedure of self-examination. Herzog contemplates his disappointments as a child, a sibling, father, a spouse, a mate, and a teacher as an American, as a Jew, and as an individual. He filtered through his recollections and recorded and philosophical clarifications of the human condition. There are no simple answers. One of the pivotal inquiries which the saint must resolve is regardless of whether the individual can keep up logical soundness and exercise opportunity of a decision in an innovative and materialistic culture (Herzog 34). These are the dissatisfactions of a moderately aged, eccentric scholarly not able to adapt to the breaking down of his marriage, his confidence in individuals, and in rationality itself. Everything Herzog had trust in has demonstrated false.

One of the main things that we should acknowledge about Herzog is that he is estranged. He has been anxiously moving from place to put, from nation to nation, composing unlimited letters. He is disengaged from companions and relatives. Not able to legitimize his social connections and his scholarly speculations, Moses Herzog “dangles” amongst engagement and withdrawal. Typically, he can’t remain remotely in one spot since his internal state is so unequal.

Saul stresses the division amongst body and soul, and amongst reason and feeling. As a result of Herzog’s affectability to his physical environment, he can’t focus totally on his issues. Indeed, even as he scribbles down new musings, one a player in his brain is delicately mindful of a relinquished marriage bed, rodent chewing bread in the kitchen, creepy crawlies, and a full garden, all typical of his divided passionate state.

There is a funny incongruity in the depictions of Herzog relaxing carelessly in his old physical environment, attempting to understand his confounded recollections, yet being redirected by stressing over his hair dropping out. He is pulled one route by good consideration, another path by vanity. Be that as it may, out of this perplexity, Herzog sees an express solidarity: Inside and remotely, wherever he looks, he sees rot.

What intrigues me in something to Recall Me By is the psychoanalysis capacity to educate us concerning the Saul heroes’ voyage, and why the elderly storyteller recounts this dishonorable story to his child instead of an occurrence of which he may be pleased. In late reviews, disgrace has been examined fundamentally regarding narcissism. Saul’s hero is even more a hypochondriac character than a narcissist.

As Andrew P. Morrison indicates a psychoanalystfor narcissists, disgrace appears to constitute their focal negative full of feeling background, while for psychotic patients disgrace imparts the spotlight to other hidden emotions, essentially blame and uneasiness (Morrison 162). In spite of the fact that disgrace is an overwhelming feeling in Saul’s stories, so is culpability and uneasiness. Blame and degradation are frequently related effects, and both can be evoked by a similar demonstration; blame alludes to the feeling of having fouled up, and disgrace alludes to the lessened mental self-view from the exhibit (Miller 47).

Saul’s herois an out-dated psychotic, finish with oedipal blame. This blame is firmly associated with the disgrace the character feels. Also, because he is not so much a narcissist, and his issues lie in the oedipal as opposed to only in the preoedipal domain, Saul’s masochist hero is more able to do actual self-protest separation and question love than the narcissist.

Lacan symbolic order entry is a type of emasculation for either sex. For Lacan, maiming is typical, not exacting and speaks to every individual’s loss of wholeness and his or her acknowledgment of society’s principles. Father in these stage capacities as the energy of the community and the question that hinders his longing for sexual union with his mom. The community in the Humboldt’s Gift appears, and individuals on the planet feel more divided and estranged because people turn into the slaves of emergence in the constant longing for material.

Indeed, the world in HG typically works as the Father who constrained the general population in the novel to acknowledge and comply with the law of industry and decimated the likelihood to come back to a chief feeling of wellbeing and wholeness. Humboldt and Citrine are the run mill men maimed by the general public. At the point when the period of madness and ballad left, Humboldt lost his radiance. He ached to be a section in the legislature and spare the general public through lyric and reasoning, however, the disappointment of Stevenson in Presidential decision broke his fantasy.

He needed to pick up a position as teacher in Princeton College, yet the ruin of Longersloff additionally lost hope him. To be included in the history or turn into an incredible artist is the path for Humboldt to fill the feeling of need and achieve security and fulfillment. The universe of a ballad to Humboldt resembles the world in a nonexistent request where he could discover fulfillment and assurance. However when the wellbeing scene was broken by the advancement of the general public, the main way to deal with achieving the condition of wholeness for Humboldt was devastated, and he was lost in the madness and melancholy.


Humboldt’s Gift inspects the function of the craftsman in American culture. The Assembled States is a progressed mechanical society, controlled by business premiums, overwhelmed by cash. Science accomplishes astounding triumphs. It can perform heart sidestep surgery and fly individuals across the nation. What function does artistry have in such a populace since it’s only the area of a couple of safe erudite people.

How can it be that such a variety of American writers have succumbed to suicide. Von Humboldt Fleisher showcases the desolation of the artist in American culture. Nothing in the general public supported his fantasies. The enticements and diversions of America were excessively extraordinary for the individual writer. Presently, his companion, Charlie Citrine, inspects Humboldt’s profession. Charlie too is a craftsman who has fallen into troubles, and the novel is to a considerable degree about his battles to maintain a strategic distance from the destiny of the dead poet. Charlie Citrine grapples with the topic of death.

A devotee of Walt Whitman, he trusts demise is the subject of inquiries, particularly for a vote based system committed to delight and consumerism. He understands that the hidden presumption of America’s reality view is that demise is last. That supposition invades American organizations and lead. It commands American thought. All things considered, Charlie is searching an exit plan, an approach to discover limitlessly more space in the universe. In particular, he swings to the anthroposophic convictions of Rudolf Steiner to help him pick up an alternate point of view.

This thought of death and rot is stressed by Bellow’s utilizing the pictures of moderately aged men and ladies stupidly attempting to protect their childhood. Herzog is spurned by the over the top exhibitionism of maturing individuals with varicose veins and “Pelican’s guts.” This shock is Herzog’s very own side effect fears that he too is aging and will soon lose his still-energetic physical make-up.

All through the novel, he experiences an unwillingness to acknowledge his physical disintegration. Demise and rot, in any case, are truths; Herzog should recognize them on the off chance that he is to pick up the development that he is seeking. What another thought introduce in this segment is that of exploitation. It becomes hard to recognize whether Herzog is the casualty of Madeleine or the other way around. It is inaccurate to say that he is a victim, also, of his mental issues.

Loaded with self-centeredness and conceded masochism, Herzog is persuaded that the world is against him; boy just does not know how to reassert his character. He agonizes over his lack of involvement and tries to convince himself that he is the casualty of outside strengths. However, the novel is saturated with Herzog’s developing attention to his particular inward failings. Aforementioned is by all accounts Herzog’s approach to recuperation; keeping in mind the end goal to finish his procedure of self-treatment, he should sincerely perceive every one of his issues.

In Herzog Saul utilizes sex, to put it plainly, to characterize our place in the universe. To his creative ability, most strikingly, the sexy exists on a continuum with the energies that drive the world as is identified with them: the arousing may allude to what we are, may sensationalize on occasion our creaturely presence, which we should acknowledge to be sound. A focal actuality Saul makes concrete in his skillful inspiration of countenances and bodies.

Also, may at different circumstances help us to remember our perishable physical being, which the psyche or the soul sees as a grandiose put-down, the diminishing creature to which our awareness is tied. One wonders whether a mantruly is a mishap of nature. Saul doesn’t think so for a moment, and the extraordinary potential in sex for delicacy and drive, love and misuse makes it a litmus trial of reality.


Since the storyteller of Something to Recollect Me By is an average Bellow hero, this applies to numerous other Saul stories and books. For example, Moses Herzog in Herzog, or Louie in “Something to Recollect,” regularly experiences a shattering background of disgrace which briefly strips him of his character and his comprehension of his reality. Through activity, reflection, or the demonstration of portrayal, he endeavors to counter that disgrace, to rediscover his personality, to reinterpret his reality, and to reassert his ability to love.

The story intrigues me because the tender soul changing experience is an adverse custom of debasement and disgracing. Louie takes after Herzog, the standard Saul legend who is all the while a decent, intelligent searching for a definitive importance of things and a schlemiel drove adrift by desire.

Despite the fact that the story is told sensibly, it has numerous dreamlike components: the sudden appearance of an exposed lady, the shame over being bare or improperly wearing open, and the bad dream of attempting to return home yet being forestalled by a progression of hindrances. One can think about the story as an oedipal tension dream; that way, the topics of sex, passing, and mortification adhere as parts of a center dream.

We could consider Louie to be feeling remorseful for his wishes to engage in sexual relations with the mother and to defy the father. Unwittingly, he both feelings of dread that his oedipal longings are slaughtering his mom and he wishes her dead. The story showcases his atonement for his goals through a sexual embarrassment which throws his personality in uncertainty. As the psychoanalyst, Francis Broucek expresses, “The Oedipal field is a mine-field of potential dishonor and mortification.

A definitive constraint or deserting of the youngster’s oedipal pain relates with humiliation/embarrassment issues as with maiming tension or guilt”, another therapist, E. Straus, has recommended that one capacity of disgrace might be a conceivable shield against the infringement of inbreeding forbiddances (Straus 223).

Herzog is a picture of a thoughtful, pained legend. Saul has communicated his dread that the human species is losing it’s a dependable balance on logical soundness and that the peculiar individual is losing his ability to fathom thoughts and to feel authentic feelings. Lacking vital, legitimate belief systems, we are tossed back upon ourselves just to find our void. Without a valid conviction or clear, judicious clarifications of the importance of life, present day man is profoundly harried.

Herzog is Saul’s present day man, investigating the potential outcomes of the person in contemporary society. Ceaselessly, he is assaulted by anxieties and strengths outside his ability to control, and he should battle to keep up his character and his humankind. It is this crisis of character which is at the heart of Saul’s novel.

According to Lacan, the human Mind comprises of three sections, the Fanciful, the Typical and the Real (Bressler 156). The minute when the child understands his autonomous creatures isolated from his mom, he feels the absence of security and fracture, the feeling of need will frequent him all his life. What’s more, in the typical stage, the father remains amongst mother and the kid and undermines to maim the youngster when the tyke does not comply with the social guidelines or laws he advocates.

For Lacan, emasculation is typical, not strict, and speaks to every individual’s loss of wholeness and his or her acknowledgment of society’s tenets. In this way, in Lacan’s hypothesis, man’s mind is in the condition of need and self-divided, and what man aches for is love, physical glad and endless articles; however, nothing can satisfy our longing to come back to the nonexistent stage and to be unified with our mom.

The story’s overwhelming figure is the withering mother, who appears a kind, supporting lady. She looks like the mom in Herzog, who likewise passes on of disease when Herzog is an adolescent; both persons are obviously in light of Saul’s mom. She never talks in the narrative. Louie however gets a sheepskin coat from her, which the whore steals, and gave her child-in-law the dental specialist in his office.

Upon meeting the harlot, Louie feels embarrassed seeing the coat: “I twisted my head to assume I hadn’t seen the coat” (“Something” 198-99). He can’t confront the clock, similarly as he can’t confront his noiseless, passing on the mother. Louie says, “I knew she was kicking the bucket and didn’t enable myself to consider it” and “I was undercover about my family life. In all actuality, I would not like to discuss my mom” (Bressler, 188).

Herzog too abstained from confronting his diminishing mother; this is a regular topic in the fiction of Saul, who himself lost his mom when he was a young person. Louie appears to be embarrassed about the reality of her withering, yet his shirking could be viewed as identified with before, oedipal blame which is currently increased. Whatever the reasons, which are implicit, he is in a cycle of refusal, blame, and disgrace which commonly strengthens each other.

What makes Herzog so overpowering is its endeavor to consolidate such a large number of conflicting thoughts. Differentiated all through the novel are skepticism and expectation, misery and comic incongruity, distance, and convenience. What Herzog is a secret clash with the “cover” he wears out in the open; he is latent and masochistic, yet he tends likewise to be stiff-necked and cruel. One of the novel’s engrossing thoughts is that individuals must get by keeping up an agonizing consciousness of this blended human condition. Saul additionally discovers that it is unthinkable for one personality to appreciate all of the human reality and that the self is obliterated when it presents its predetermination to others.

Herzog is assailed by “reality-educators,” the individuals who attempt to decide his future and to fit him into their ways of life. He should continually battle to declare his distinction. At long last, he finds that presence includes the need of tolerating discontinuity, flux, disappointment, enduring, mindlessness, sexuality, rot, and demise. The novel offers no answers past this acknowledgment of our weights and confinements. In any case, for Howl, it is just through influences and constraints that we can accomplish personality.

Furthermore, the proof that exists for such a perusing lies in the structuralist approach, as we look for the focal story to which Saul returns, dressing old bones in new garments. Arousing quality gives an amazingly rational clarification of the development of Saul’s fiction (Guttmann 24). In any case, Saul’s symbolism epitomizes this topic too, thus as well when we plumb them to do the thought processes of his characters.

To look for confirmation for this issue is soon to endure a humiliation of wealth, for Saul has concealed his question exceptionally, just as he tried to be discovered, or maybe more precisely planned to shroud it, similar to Poe’s Purloined Letter, in the closer view of our vision. Saul expels the arousing in his work by making it focal, and he does as such not because he supposes it unessential or is himself a stick in the mud, but due to the mysticism and the aspiring power of his view. To look at the subject of arousing quality in Saul’s work is to understand that his vocation has been molded by a captivating and goal-oriented endeavor to tackle by methods for his creative energy one of the hoariest and most vexing of our scholarly issues.

Other than investigating mankind’s requirement for singularity, Saul’s novel is additionally about the heart showed by the German herz in his hero’s name. The certainty that Herzog perseveres through appears to give a false representation of his inability to handle digest explanations behind survival. Herzog requires of every user some combination which just the sole heart can accomplish; it demands that every person must acknowledge the weight of being human.

This implies cognizant acknowledgment of insidious and additionally goodness, disappointment and also probability, loathe and adore, restriction and besides flexibility, and the significance of feeling and reason (Bernstein 277). Herzog declines to surrender, to take “the easy way” and characterize himself with marks, for example, skeptic, sentimental, deviating person, or the masochist. Life is not a framework or a rundown of marks; life is more than insignificant realities and definitions. Life, Saul demonstrates us, includes domains of the heart that evade discerning comprehension.


Saul’s story in Something to Recall Me By exhibits that, for its entire bite, disgrace can, in any case, be a lively, adapting feeling. Louie’s disgrace may have its sources in depression, in an Oedipal struggle, and in inner conflict about his sexual personality. All things considered, admitting his disgrace can perform penitent, reparative, and academic capacities and lead to love. The world in Humboldt ‘Gift is a typical universe of Lacan who hold the view that fracture and depression would go with a man regularly, the interminable craving for the outer world was a regular route for them to draw near to the snapshot of joy when they were one a player in their mom.

The industrialism and realism in the novel are contrasted with the father who remains the law of society in Lacan’s hypothesis (Humboldt ‘Gift 54). It is overwhelming to the point that it ceaselessly decimated the route for Humboldt and Citrine to achieve the feeling of satisfaction and wellbeing and emasculated them by the method for denying Humboldt of his capacity to make and compose, and furthermore obliterating the concordant connection amongst Citrine and his young ladies.

Humboldt and Citrine experienced a fracture, and a need arises because of the partition from their mom in the first sense. They were additionally the casualties of the mechanical society which impeded their endeavors in looking for the feeling of bliss and satisfying the need through outside strengths, and their destiny was likewise the encapsulation of the individuals in the current world.

Work Cited

Bellow, Saul. Herzog. New York: Avon Books, 1964.

Bellow, Saul. Humboldt’s Gift. New York: Avon Books, 1976.

Bellow, Saul.Where Do We Go from Here: The Future of Fiction, in I. Malin (ed.) Saul Bellow and the Critics, pp. 211-220. London: University of London Press, 1967.

Bernstein, Michaael. Jewishness, Judaism and the American Jewish Novelist, Chicago Jewish Forum 23: (1985):275-282.

Bressler, Catherine. Literary Criticism. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 2003.

Broucek, Francis J. Shame and the Self. NY: Guilford Press, 1991.

Guttmann, Alice.The Jewish Writer in America: Assimilation and the Crisis of Identity. New York: Oxford University Press .1971.

Miller, Susan. The Shame Experience. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 1985.

Morrison, Andrew P. Shame: The Underside of Narcissism. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 1989.

Saul Bellow , Something to Remember Me by: Three Tales, Viking Press , 1991.

Straus, E. Phenomenological Psychology. NY: Garland, 1980.

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