Seize the Day is a notable literary work by Saul Bellow. A complete discussion of this literary work is given, which will help you enhance your literary skills and prepare for the exam. Read the main text, key info, Summary, Themes, Characters, Literary Devices, Quotations, Notes, to various questions of Seize the Day.
“People are dropping like flies. I am trying to stay alive and work too hard at it. That’s what’s turning my brains.”- Explain.
The quote, “People are dropping like flies. I am trying to stay alive and work too hard at it. That’s what’s turning my brains,” is from the novel “Seize the Day” by Saul Bellow (1915-2005). The quote reveals the inner restlessness and existential crisis experienced by the protagonist, Tommy Wilhelm. In this passage, Wilhelm is wrestling with the harsh realities of life and the relentless pursuit of success.
The first part, “People are dropping like flies,” shares a sense of mortality and fragility in facing life’s challenges. Wilhelm observes that people around him are failing, suffering, or dying, highlighting existence’s unpredictability and impermanence. This phrase reflects his growing awareness of life’s harshness and uncertainty.
The second part, “I am trying to stay alive and work too hard at it,” reveals Wilhelm’s relentless pursuit of survival. He is not just trying to exist but is exerting tremendous effort to do so. This could metaphorize his desperate struggle to find his place in the world. He tries to maintain financial stability and achieve societal expectations.
The final part, “That’s what’s turning my brains,” suggests that this relentless pursuit is taking a toll on his mental health. The continuous pressure to succeed and the fear of failure are causing him notable stress and pressure. Wilhelm’s mind is dominated by the struggle to keep up with the demands of life.
This quote from “Seize the Day” captures the spirit of Tommy Wilhelm’s internal conflict and the novel’s overarching theme – the struggle to find meaning and purpose in a world that can be unforgiving and overwhelming. It highlights the human tendency to push ourselves to pursue survival and success, often at the cost of our mental and emotional well-being.