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.
“The interest of the pretender soul is the same as the interest of the social life, the society mechanism.”- Explain.
In Saul Bellow‘s (1915-2005) novella “Seize the Day,” the statement, “The interest of the pretender soul is the same as the interest of the social life, the society mechanism,” spotlights a central theme in the work—the tension between individual desires and societal expectations. This reflection exposes the inner struggle of the protagonist, Tommy Wilhelm. He faces the tension as he wrestles with his sense of self and societal pressures.
The “pretender soul” refers to the inner conflict within individuals who often wear masks or pretense in social interactions. The main character, Tommy Wilhelm, represents this pretender soul as he tries to conform to societal norms and expectations. He pretends to be successful and financially secure, hiding his insecurities.
The assertion that this pretender soul shares the same interests as the “social life” and the “society mechanism” highlights the idea that individuals often shape themselves to fit into the larger societal framework. In this context, “interest” refers to the need for societal acceptance, validation, and success.
People like Tommy desire to align their aspirations with what society deems valuable. However, Bellow’s statement also carries a note of irony and critique. Individuals too entangled in pursuing societal success may lose touch with their genuine selves. Tommy’s determined pursuit of financial success and societal approval ultimately leads to his emotional and financial downfall.