The Adventures of Augie March Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Adventures of Augie March

Saul Bellow writing is very poetic and beautifully scripted – it's not straightforward to read, but then again since Bellow is examining the purposes of our lives, I wouldn't expect the novel and writing style to oversimplify our predicament.   Augie is a poor Jewish boy growing up in Chicago – “that somber city” – in a broken home with his dictatorial Grandmother, abandoned mother, and two diametrically opposed brothers (Simon and George.) He finds his brother Simon obsessed with material facts and riches that he cannot possess. Whereas Augie maintains a carefree life experimenting and dabbling with various encounters with different people and places in Chicago, Mexico, and Europe – never quite satisfied or convinced of the importance of each situation. Augie resists the Machiavellian pursuits of his older brother Simon, and is willing to live as a pauper, and as a result, not be controlled by money, wives, children, and especially responsibilities.
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Augie's plight is like any other introspective journey. What is my purpose? Why am I here? Bellow, I believe tries to not necessarily answer this question, but rather appreciates the quandary that many of us find ourselves in.
The review of this Book prepared by David G. Phillips

Chapter Analysis of The Adventures of Augie March

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of story    -   1930's-1950's Other aspects:    -   story of the poor Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Ethnic/regional/gender life    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   unemployed Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Jewish


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Italy The Americas (not US):    -   Yes Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   sinister, like an X-Files Gomer Pyle

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Saul Bellow Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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