The World According to Garp is often billed as a coming-of-age novel, but in fact spans T.S. Garp's entire life, beginning with his unconventional conception by his feminist mother, Jenny Fields, and his father, a brain-damaged, dying World War II fighter plane gunner. Much of the novel does focus on his upbringing by his mother, a nurse who later becomes a controversial feminist writer & icon. Jenny's influence is evident in every aspect of the novel; she pushed him to join a wrestling team against his wishes, which leads him to meet his future wife, Helen. Jenny's wishes to pursue writing coincide with Garp's own similar desires, and Jenny even pays a hooker whom she interviews to sleep with her son. Her relationship and influence with her son have far-reaching implications in the novel. Much of the plot also hinges around Garp's marriage with Helen, and the impacts of the decisions each spouse makes.
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The review of this Book prepared by Shelley Livaudais